21 Aug 2017

Eastern European Storms - NOT amateur radio

The last time I checked most of the severe storms were over eastern Europe and Scandinavia. There was nothing over the UK.

Ever since a work colleague suffered a direct strike many years ago I have always been wary of electrical storms. His was a very ordinary house in a very ordinary estate. He certainly was not isolated and on a hill. OK, the chances are low, but I try to minimise my risks.

See https://www.lightningmaps.org/blitzortung/europe/index.php?lang=en

2017: where did it go? - NOT amateur radio

They say as you get older, time appears to go faster. Indeed! It is already well into August and this year seems to have sped by. It is already over 2 months since the longest day and already the nights are drawing in. We'll blink and it will be the shortest day.

I try to enjoy every season, as there is something good about each, although my favourite time is the spring with the promise of longer and warmer days ahead. Still, enjoy the now.


When others are "into" many things, I sit up. One good example is Steve, VE7SL in western Canada. He seems to be keen on many things and reading about what he gets up to is always interesting. He has a keen interest in 630m and lightwaves, both close to my heart. He is "into" lots besides, which is why his blogs are so interesting.

See http://ve7sl.blogspot.co.uk/

End of the Es season?

Today has been much quieter on 10m and 6m, so I think the Es season in the northern hemisphere is coming to its end. There will still be Es openings, but these will be a lot less often. For example, yesterday on 6m FT8 I spotted loads of countries, but today has been quite quiet. On 10m WSPR just a couple of Es spots from Spain.

A photo a day - NOT amateur radio

For several years now I have taken a photo every day as a kind of visual diary. It is quite interesting to look back several years to the day and see what we were doing.
Usually I try to put things we were doing, unless I have gaps. It costs $19.99 a year if you want privacy and extra albums, but otherwise is totally free if you don't mind others looking. Most of my photos are not great artistic works and of little interest to others. Some use this platform as a way of creating great photographic art. I don't 😉 .

See http://365project.org/g3xbm/365

6m FT8 RX

This mode never stops amazing me. Again, after a brief transceive go before breakfast, I have been RX only ever since. Several southern EU stations spotted, presumably by Es plus several Gs.

UPDATE 1920z: Apart from a couple of stations in Sardinia nothing by way of Es on 6m FT8.

10m WSPR TX (500mW)

Although I have been active since about 0730z, no spots as yet.

UPDATE 1048z: a  couple of spots from northern Spain, EA1KV (1304km) received.

Sunspots - Monday August 21st 2017

Solar flux is 85 today (decent) and the sunspot number 44. A=22 and K=2. There is even a chance of some long distance F2 10m openings today, maybe South America on 10m?

20 Aug 2017

Strength of Es signals

One thing that surprises many is just how strong some Es signals can be. For example, my 500mW 10m WSPR beacon was being spotted at +2dB S/N implying that even at microwatt level I could have been spotted. Also, my 10m antenna is a compromise and could be far better.

This is not always the case. Sometimes Es signals can be marginal. With WSPR everyone has a chance. It also works with much weaker signals than SSB or CW.

UK VLF earth-mode test

Jim G7NKS is testing on 8.9kHz with 300W earth-mode:

Hi All
I’m running a VLF test beacon on 8.9kc .  Ground loop electrode system.   35m long
Any spots welcome (if unlikely!) 
with best regards
Dr. Jim Cowburn G7NKS     IO92ub
Biggleswade  UK
Details on QRZ.com