QRA JO01OX, WAB TM23, Fists #16909 GQRP #15161 DMR-ID 2342670

December 21st, 2016

Following an article by Jonathan Hare in a recent copy of RadCom I’ve been having a play with the BBC micro:bit. It’s a small device with two buttons for input and a two dimensional array of 25 LEDs that can be used as output. It support a few programming tools but the ‘easiest’ for me Python route. I say ‘easiest’ as Python would not be my first, or second, choice of programming languages!

Perhaps Microsoft PTX might have been a better choice!

What can it be used for? Well, I decided to use it to build a silent Morse Code tutor! Normally you’d expect a Morse Code tutor to make noises and you’d be expected to interpret them but if you turn the teaching around you can have the tutor give you a character and have it check that you know the associated Morse Code pattern! The display is perfect for displaying a random character and the two buttons can be used to indicate the di / dah pattern.

It can be seen here.

The code can be found here.


November 21st, 2016

My expanding mug collection.


November 14th, 2016

Another successful contact on the HeathKit HW-7. Since the last blog mentioning this radio I've built a small box containing a speaker and a simple LM-386 amplifier. It's far better than a pair of Hi-Z headphones.

And a QSL card to go with it!


November 5th, 2016

Took part in the RSGB VHF CW Marconi Contest. I didn't come last this year...I came joint last with 13 points!

October 3rd, 2016

Not been to active on the web site updating front but I have been out and about playing radio. My latest toy is the Micro Mountaineer and I'm very pleased with it. It's first outing landed a 500Km QSO from here to Germany. Beats the pants off a Pixie!

Even has QSL cards to confirm contacts!


June 8th, 2016

I've cleaned up the Heathkit HW-7 and it now looks a lot better.

Does it work? One problem with the HW-7 is the expectation of a Hi-Z speaker or headphones - neither of which I have. To overcome this I made use of a small LM 386 based amplifier; the audio is not brilliant but it did allow me to hear stations on the bands.

In use the Receiver Preselector is very sensitive and adjustment can be tricky but when set correctly CW stations can easily be heard. To transmit you need to hold down the Morse key and adjust the Tuning for maximum relative power.

I did actually manage a 40m QSO with OS101AB! Jean gave me a report of 599!


June 6th, 2016

Became a member of the Heathkit owners club! I now own a Heathkit HW-7, 1970s 2 watt direct conversion CW txcvr for 40/20/15 metres. It's going to be a project to clean it up and get it back on air!


May 23rd, 2016

Became a member of the Vibroplex owners club! I now own a Vibroplex Standard Iambic Paddle. It was previously owned by Mrs J.A. Last G0DID who was a keen member of the Royal Navy Amatuer Radio Society. It is paddle number 55266 which, according to VibroplexCollector.net, dates it to around 1986.

It's rather heavy and weighs in at 1.256 kg (2 lb 12 1/4 oz).


May 20th, 2016

Joined the STMSTA-1 Remote Missions Operations Center.


May 15th, 2016

Today was "Mills On The Air Day" and FDARS activated Woodbridge Tide Mill as GB2WTM. Mike, Iain and I setup a doublet and we mainly worked 40M. The band was dead. Looking at the Reverse Beacon Network it shows that we were getting out but it was very difficult to work any stations.

I did manage to work: DL4KCA, G3XVL, HA0IS, DL4TO/P, HB9APJ, DJ1DD, DL2HVM, and OE5WLL!

This is me trying to remember the callsign of the station currently being worked!

Logs for the day.


May 10th, 2016

Finally I have my own QSL cards! Front...

...back...


April 16th, 2016

Again pictures from the ISS but this time as part of an experiment being carried out by the Moscow Aviation Institute.


April 15th, 2016

Very please with my latest QSL card that arrived in the post this morning. The round postage stamp is very interesting too!

Not bad on 12 Watts!


April 14th, 2016

Latest pictures from the ISS. Not brilliant not I managed to get something.


April 11th, 2016

This is what I call an award!


March 13th, 2016

I worked my first /MM (maritime Mobile)! G0HUZ/MM was aboard the Saga Pearl 2 off the coast of Mauritania heading towards EA8 - Canary Islands.


March 12th, 2016

How much fun can you have with a hand full of discrete components? Below is the XBM80-2 (Rev E) experimental 80m CW transceiver built on PCB board and today was test day! I hooked it up to my portable 80m dipole, added power and a Morse key and off I went!

The audio on receive was quite low but I managed to have a successful QSO with Chris, G3XVL in Ipswich some 4.5 miles away! He gave me a report of 599, not bad on 120mw. If you'd like to listen to the sounds quality then click here.

For more details on the transceiver check out Roger G3XBM's Amateur Radio Pages.


February 19th, 2016

The Datong D70 Morse Tutor was a classic in its time and I'm sure that many people have used one to learn Morse code. That being said, I don't consider a second hand one to be worth £82.

If you'd like to build something similar click here.

Update March 24th, 2016 - One has just sold on ebay for £97!

Sales summary to date!

April 13th, 2016 £56.00
April 10th, 2016 £51.00
March 24th, 2016 £97.00
February 19th, 2016 £82.00

February 13th, 2016

Built a sub £2 touch paddle. See here.


February 2nd, 2016

I took part in the SOS Radio Week for the first time this year. The purpose of the event is to help raise funds and awareness of the RNLI. I even managed to obtain a certificate!


January 13th, 2016

Peter Best G8BLS funeral.


January 10th, 2016

Installed GPredict today to look at satellites going around the Earth. The first amateur satellite going over was FO-29 and out of interest I had a listen to the 70cm downlink and there was R3MW calling CQ in CW.

I may just have to make one of these to try operatibe though one of these beasts.


January 1st, 2016

A good way to start the new year with a new Regional Secondary Locator - GK0PNM.