28 Jun 2017

UK bee-eaters? - NOT amateur radio

Climate change is real (someone please tell Donald, but use simple terms) and some European birds are spreading further north. In the 1980s it was little egrets and now there are increasing sightings of cattle egrets. It is possible that the lovely bee-eater will soon be quite common in the UK. The number of sightings is rising and they have bread in the UK in recent years. I've seen them in southern Europe, but never (yet) in the UK. They are stunningly beautiful birds.

There are several different sorts around the world.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-40428787 .

6m and 10m TX again

After a break because of the risk of storm damage, I am currently on 10m WSPR TX (500mW) and 6m JT65 transceive (1W ERP). I am still keeping a watchful eye on the lightning maps and will disconnect everything if I deem the risks are too great.

UPDATE 1544z: Plenty of EU spots on both bands. Maybe I should try 6m WSPR (rather than 6m JT65) tomorrow?

UPDATE 1823z: Interesting that only 7 unique spots on 10m WSPR since I turned on earlier this afternoon and 6 were German! On 6m JT65 I have spotted, and been spotted by, stations all over Europe. I don't think this is just down to the antenna. I think there is more activity on 10m JT65 than 10m WSPR. Maybe I should give 10m JT65 or even JT9 a go tomorrow?

Ely Cathedral - NOT amateur radio

Today we took one of my wife's friends to Ely, about 12 miles from here. We ate at the nearby Almonry, which is also very old. The photo shows the nave leading down to the famous wooden octagon lantern made of wood. The octagon dates back over 600 years.

QRT (for now)

Although the storm risk seems mostly to be well out of the way for now, I have decided to remain QRT on both 10m and 6m. I may review this later. Even when you don't get a direct strike, which is rare, the electric charge build-up can damage things if a storm is nearby.

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

Sunspots and 10m - Wednesday June 28th 2017

Solar flux is 73 today and the sunspot number 17. A=5 and K=2. Very gradually the average sunspot number is declining, although occasionally the solar activity is much higher. As there is a small storm risk, I an not on 10m or 6m.

27 Jun 2017


In the years following WW2, there were plenty of surplus transceivers and receivers around, often in "as new" condition. Also, many built their first TV set using surplus radar gear.

My first real receiver was a DST100 bought from a local garage for £7. It was deaf, but attention by Roger G3CHN soon had it working well. It heard some impressive DX, but weighed a ton.

See https://sites.google.com/site/g3xbmqrp3/hf/dst100

Flete House - NOT amateur radio

In the years after WW2, Flete House, Devon was a nursing home. It is where I was born. These days it has been converted into expensive flats. In theory, I could buy one and die where I was born.

The film "Sense and Sensibility" was filmed, in part, on the Flete estate. In the days when it was a real stately home, it was owned by the Mildmays. The River Erme is one of the most beautiful in Devon. The Flete estate borders the Erme.

See https://www.audleyretirement.co.uk/our-villages/flete-house-retirement-village-modbury-devon

Rain at last - NOT amateur radio

After several weeks of hot, dry weather, today it finally rained.  We have now had sustained rain for several hours. There is a chance my lawn will turn green again. Well, we can hope!

UPDATE 1804z: Rain! The long, dry, spell has ended - it has been dull with heavy rain for most of the afternoon and early evening.

Linnet - NOT amateur radio

For the last few days I have seen this bird about 100m away on a telegraph wire. It has never been close enough to see clearly, but I managed to identify it using the zoom on my wife's camera. It turned out to be a linnet. I think it must have a nest nearby.

Storm risks

At the moment, there are storms in Switzerland, although we have a chance of storms in the UK later. As a precaution I have gone QRT and disconnected everything.

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

UPDATE 1800z: This afternoon we had thunder and lightning as well as rain.