25 Dec 2011

Merry Christmas!

Right, we’re all off to eat our own body weight – and possibly someone else’s – in cheese, turkey and purple Quality Streets.

Thank you all for your support, comments, clicks and heated debates here on EI5IX.net in 2011. It’s been another fine year, and you’ve all played your part.

Christmas is the time of year to spread the message of love, harmony and peace. Of course it is a time to get showered with gifts and wishes, but in the midst of all the commercialism, we should not forget the real spirit of the Christmas. Here's a message from known man that reminds us that Christmas is not only about fun and gifts, but of love and generosity.

"What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace."
Agnes M. Pharo


So one last thing before I go: A festive message to everyone from EI5IX, EI9JA and the rest of my family.

The year-end brings no greater pleasure than the opportunity to express to you season's greetings and good wishes so with that I would like to take this opportunity to wish you health, comfort, and prosperity this holiday season an may all your wishes come true!

Merry Christmas to one and all. Best 73's

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22 Dec 2011

Ofcom - 3400 MHz licence exemption

The UK regulator Ofcom has published regulations that permit the use of a range of new devices on a licence-exempt basis.

These include the use of personal locator beacons on land; wireless road safety systems; wireless access terminals in the 3400 to 3800 MHz band; mobile satellite services operating in the 2 GHz band; and mobile terminals connecting to the 2012 London Games Tetra Network.

Read the statement at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/
licence-exemption-candidates-11/statement


PDF at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/
licence-exemption/statement/statement.pdf



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18 Dec 2011

"A Desperate Situation" All you need is Propagation!

Wow... What a morning for DX!! 40M and 20M alive with DX... I can't believe how good propagation was. I have just set up over here in North West London under my Call M/EI5IX and here in my apartment I use a simple setup with a very simple antenna thrown off the Balcony using 50 watts from an Icom IC-706MK2G and I had the pleasure working into USA, (N5CYK) Canada (VE1LD) and Australia (VK3VCE) just to name a few from the log last night and this morning.

The first antenna I set up here to test if I could receive anything in my new QTH was a very simple antenna to construct, just mobile magnet base which was sitting on top of the Dust Bin with Pl plug connected to a 47ft long wire thrown off the balcony onto the ground. I had the pleasure of working many European and Middle Eastern stations on Friday evening going into Saturday morning. But this was not enough... ;) I knew that the propagation was getting better SO a desperate situation leads to desperate ideas...

As soon as I recognised that signals were getting a lot stronger on the bands on a simple receiving loop I decided to construct a Delta loop for 40M and 20M with an Ugly Balun which was 21ft of coax wrapped around a water bottle. The reason for a Loop as comparsion to a Inverted V or a Dipole was the Low Level of noise received on a Delta Loop. Living in a City has its horrible limitations so with that I got to say to every fellow amateur out there...

"EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE OR OWN SOME SORT OF A DELTA LOOP"

I have some photos of the structure of this simple antenna home-made of course with just items you would normally find in any amateur radio enthusiast box/home "wire, open feeder, sweeping brush handles, a scarf and coax / 2 PL plugs" simple setup and were on air.

I have had so much fun working DX on this antenna with fantastic reports ( 58 into Australia at 09:10UTC) Even for such limited space and resources I am now looking of ways to get this antenna a permanent structure here at my London QTH.

Here are some of the photos of the Crazy Delta loop I constructed.







The ugly Balun and the coax feeder.








One leg of the antenna.






The Right Leg of antenna held by a brush.







View of the coax feeder.








The Famous Ugly Balun.







And of course the famous Dust Bin now with a 2M / 70CM antenna on Top.


You get the Idea... I will say it's not a permanent fixture at the moment but this "Mess" as my flat mate likes to call it has got me back on air.

I hope to work you soon on the bands under M/EI5IX... Best 73's


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12 Dec 2011

Radio Propagation : Space Weather : Sunspot Cycle Information

http://sunspotwatch.com/

Check this website out, It's a live reference resource site for solar and geomagnetic data and images.  :-)


8 Dec 2011

Geo-engineering the Climate

I came across this article online and thought I should share it with our fellow Ham Radio enthusiasts! The Weather can play a massive part on our fantastic hobby, what happens when the world around us starts messing with the weather where do we stand?

This article is by Nick Prebble; On the back of news that revealed November 2011 was the second warmest November since records began, questions are being thrown up again about global warming; its impacts and what, if anything, can be done to mitigate its effects. An obvious answer is to cut emissions of greenhouse gases around the world, but this is easier said than done in today’s highly developed and industrial planet. As a result, there has been significant research into “Geo-engineering” to reduce, mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The two methods of this “Geo-engineering” are Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) and Solar Radiation Management (SRM). Whilst both methods have considerable strengths; their effectiveness, timescale of use, ease of implementation and level of control must be called into question before large sums of money are spent developing them.

CDR methods involve the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and directly combat the problem of global warming by reducing the “greenhouse” effect. Land-based methods include the use of artificial trees that remove more carbon dioxide than natural trees, the replanting of crops and vegetation and using a special “biochar” that creates a carbon sink on land. There are also ocean-based methods, such as fertilizing surface waters with chemicals to increase their intake of carbon dioxide.

SRM methods on the other hand involve directly reducing the incoming solar radiation from the sun. One such way is to make the earth more reflective (increasing the albedo) by painting roofs white, growing highly reflective crops and placing giant mirrors on the earth’s surface. Since more radiation is reflected back into space, less is trapped in the atmosphere thus reducing the warming effect. Another method is to divert incoming solar radiation by placing sunshades in space – directly cooling the planet.

From a general perspective, CDR methods of geo-engineering have the advantage over SRM methods in directly addressing the root cause of global warming: by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Therefore since SRM methods still allow the build-up of carbon in the atmosphere, there will be a real problem if they suddenly cease to work. On the other hand, SRM methods are far more effective due to being able to cool the atmosphere much more quickly after deployment, which is a major advantage when faced with an ever-warming planet.

Both SRM and CDR methods therefore could be undertaken adjacently to maximise the effectiveness of reducing the effects of global warming. Current research into geo-engineering is continually suggesting new and innovative ways to tackle the problem of climate change and in the near future we could see many of the methods being implemented.

What's the future of our Propagation one would ask?


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5 Dec 2011

IRTS 80th Anniversary

IRTS will be celebrating its 80th anniversary next year. Details of a worldwide contest "CQIR" to take place on Saint Patrick's Day, Saturday 17th March 2012
have just been announced.

Full rules and information
are available at www.irts.ie/cqir or by email to cqir@irts.ie




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Marconi Auction

A two day auction of Marconi memorabilia will take
place at the D4 Berkeley Hotel in Dublin Ireland on December 13th
and 14th 2011. Among the interesting items will be two
lengths of the original Marconi-code ticker tape, measuring 24inches and 19inches framed.


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Satellite AO-51

Satellite AO-51 has ceased transmission and is not
responding to commands. The last telemetry data indicated that the third of six batteries was
approaching failure to short, and observations indicate the voltage from three cells is insufficient to power the UHF transmitters. Initial tests with the S band
transmitter were also not positive, although more
attempts are in order. We have tried leaving the satellite in an expected state where if voltages climb high enough, the 435.150 transmitter may possibly be
heard, stated Drew KO4MA AMSAT-NA VP Operations.


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29 Nov 2011

Mayo Radio Rally

The annual Mayo Rally took place in Castlebar on Sunday
The 20th of November. There was a great attendance of traders and punters on the day, with plenty of buying, selling and eyeball QSOs taking place throughout the day.

On Saturday night, ahead of the rally itself, Mayo Radio Experimenters Network, the rally organisers, had arranged presentations on Amateur Television and on
Logbook of the World.

Pat EI2HX gave an excellent
introduction to Amateur Television, showing some of
his collection of antennas, transmitters, receivers and
connectors. For those in the audience more used to
working with equipment designed for Kilohertz or
Megahertz frequencies, the "Gigahertz" hardware Pat
works with seems almost exotic, but really an interesting part of the hobby.

Dave EI9FBB, who is not long back from DXpeditioning
with the T32C group on Kiritimati, explained the in's
and out's of the ARRL's Logbook of the World - an online
alternative to paper QSL cards for those working towards a DXCC award.

Dave outlined the steps involved
in setting up and maintaining a Logbook of the World
account and also covered the security measures in place
to ensure the integrity of the system.

We also noted that Dave EI9FBB, our local DXCC card checker, was kept very busy throughout the Rally.

There was a fantastic attendance to the Radio Rally in the West of Ireland, I even got to meet some old friends who I have not spoke too or even seen in a long time and I even got to meet a few new Amateur's who I'd like to take this opportunity in congratulating all new comers to our fantastic hobby.

For anyone interested in joining a very active Amateur Radio Club, check out this club here in the west of Ireland "The Mayo Radio Experimenters Network" based here in the County of Mayo, check them out here on EI7MRE for up to date information.



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New TV Repeater in Ireland

South Dublin Radio Club is in the process of installing
a new television repeater with coverage over the greater Dublin area.

The repeater, which is located on the three rock mountain, will transmit on 2390Mhz and receive signal in on 1249Mhz. While not on the air yet, initial tests have proved sucessful with perfect pictures received 60 miles away at the EI2ATR Cavan repeater site.

The repeater will be linked by radio to the existing TV repeater system currently operating in
Co Cavan, This repeater currently transmits on 1276.5Mhz, 2370 Mhz and 10.040Mhz and gives good coverage of Cavan/Louth/Meath Area.



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RTE

RTE may charge licence-fee payers for access to certain
parts of its online operations, it has been revealed.
The broadcaster is looking at ways to increase its
revenue from its online and digital business. No firm
decisions have yet been made.




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Ham Radio on the Increase

There are over 700,314 ham radio licence holders in
the United States, according to the FCC. There has
been an increase of over 40,000 ham radio licences in
the last five years alone. The ARRL refers to this era
as the "golden years"

According to Allen Pitts of the
ARRL, he reckons that the USA has had over 20-25,000
new hams per year.

Great to hear more people are getting involved in this fantastic hobbie.




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20 Nov 2011

Mayo Radio Rally

The annual Mayo Radio Rally took place in Castlebar on Sunday the 20th of November. There was a fantastic attendance of traders and punters on the day, with plenty of buying, selling
Including eyeball QSOs taking place. We also noted that Dave
EI9FBB, our local DXCC card checker, was kept busy.

On the Saturday night, ahead of the rally itself, Mayo
Radio Experimenters Network, the rally organisers, had
arranged presentations on Amateur Television and on
Logbook of the World. Pat EI2HX gave us an excellent introduction to Amateur Television, showing us some of his collection of antennas, transmitters, receivers and connectors. For those in the audience more used to working with equipment designed for Kilohertz or Megahertz frequencies, the "Gigahertz" hardware Pat works with seems almost exotic.

Dave EI9FBB, who is not long back from DXpeditioning
with the T32C group on Kiritimati, explained the ins
and outs of the ARRL's Logbook of the World - an online
alternative to paper QSL cards for those working towards a DXCC award. Dave outlined the steps involved in setting up and maintaining a Logbook of the World account and also covered the security measures in place
to ensure the integrity of the system.




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18 Nov 2011

Space Station Active on 70 cm Packet


The Amateur Radio station located in the Columbus module aboard the International Space Station is now active on AX.25 packet radio at 437.550 MHz.

To utilize the the packet system, operators need to set their TNC UNPROTO paths to ARISS for digipeating, or they can connect to the packet BBS using the call sign RS0ISS-1. The packet beacon is set to transmit at 2 minute intervals.

Click here to see the current position of the space station in real time. You can also obtain pass predictions online from AMSAT-NA.

Story courtesy of Trevor Hawkins, M5AKA


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ARISSAT-1 May De-Orbit in April 2012:

eHam.net News -- According to predictions satellite is due to re-enter Earth's atmosphere in early April 2012. Launched from the International Space Station on August 8, the satellite is traveling in a low orbit and is steadily losing altitude. The rate of orbital decay may be accelerated by increasing atmospheric density caused by increased solar
activity. With that factor in mind, some ARISSat-1 decay predictions
suggest re-entry as early as February 1.

This is from The ARRL Letter on November 17, 2011
Website: http://www.arrl.org/


ARISSAT-1 May De-Orbit in April 2012:
According to predictions http://www.ne.jp/asahi/hamradio/je9pel/arissat5.htm from Mineo Wakita, JE9PEL, the ARISSat-1 http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/index.php satellite is due to re-enter Earth's atmosphere in early April 2012. Launched from the International Space Station on August 8, the satellite is traveling in a low orbit and is steadily losing altitude. The rate of orbital decay may be accelerated by increasing atmospheric density caused by increased solar activity. With that factor in mind, some ARISSat-1 decay predictions suggest re-entry as early as February 1. ARISSat-1 remains quite active, sending voice messages, digital telemetry and Slow Scan TV images. Amateurs have also been able to enjoy contacts through ARISSat-1's linear transponder despite the fact that the UHF antenna was apparently damaged prior to (or during) deployment. Last month, AMSAT-NA announced a competition http://www.arrl.org/news/arissat-1-team-announces-morse-code-contest to see who can record the last bits of telemetry as ARISSat-1 makes its final plunge. To decode the CW or BPSK telemetry you must use the ARISSATTLM software http://www.arissat1.org/v3/ for Windows or Mac OS. The CW signal is transmitted at 145.919 MHz and the BPSK signal appears at 145.920 MHz, plus or minus Doppler.

Source:

The ARRL Letter




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Longer Lasting Lithium-ion Batteries

Scientists boost battery strength with small holes.
Batteries for phones and laptops could soon recharge ten times faster and hold a charge ten times larger than current technology allows.

Scientists at Northwestern University in the US have changed the materials in lithium-ion batteries to boost their abilities. One change involves poking millions of minuscule holes in the battery.

Batteries built using the novel technique could be in the shops within five years, estimate the scientists.


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RMS Titanic

RMS Titanic, the world’s largest passenger ship at the time, sank on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, following a collision with an iceberg, at approximately 0245 on the morning of April 15th 1912.

1,517 people lost their lives in the tragedy.

The 100th anniversary of the sinking will be marked by several special event stations at ports associated with the ships maiden voyage.

These include Belfast, Southampton, Cherbourg, Cobh, Cape Race, VO1MCE and a maritime mobile station, VE0MGY, at the site of the sinking.

The call sign in Ireland EI100T has been issued for the year 2012 and will operate in co-operation with the Cobh Titanic 100 Committee.

The main events will happen over the weekend of April 13/14th 2012 and EI100T will also be operated regularly throughout the year.

A special award will be announced before the end of December in conjunction with the other special event locations.

Enquiries and QSLs to EI4HQ QTHR.




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Mystery of the Lunar Ionosphere

How can a world without air have an ionosphere?
Somehow the Moon has done it. Lunar researchers have been struggling with the mystery for years, and they may have finally found a solution.

Read the full NASA story here:

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/14nov_lunarionosphere/



A video version of this story is available, watch ScienceCasts:
Mystery of the Lunar Ionosphere

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zSrP4MacFE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Thanks to Ken Eaton GW1FKY for spotting this item.


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16 Nov 2011

Mayo Radio Experimenters Network Radio Rally

The MREN Rally will be held on November 20th this year at its now established venue of The Welcome Inn Hotel in Castlebar, County Mayo. All the usual traders attending and as always it promises to be a very enjoyable rally. An opportunity to meet old and new friends. Come and join us the Doors open at 11am.


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4 Nov 2011

Mayo Radio Experimenters Radio Rally

The Mayo Radio Experimenters are holding their annual Radio Rally on Sunday 20th November at their usual location in the Welcome Inn Hotel, Castlebar, Co Mayo where the doors will open at 11.00am.

This is one of the premier events on the Irish radio scene each year and as well as the usual extensive range of traders, club stands, demonstrations and extensive catering facilities, the club is proud to announce even more reasons to attend this year Rally.

On Saturday evening, 19th of November we are lucky to have two of Ireland’s most experienced amateurs enthusiasts, who will talk on their respective topics:
Commencing at 7.00pm Pat Fitzpatrick EI2HX will give a talk and demonstration on amateur television (ATV).
Pat has extensive experience and many of you will be aware of his articles in Echo Ireland and qrz.com. This is a unique opportunity to explore this aspect of the hobby and Pat will allow time to answer any queries or comments you may have.

At 9.00pm Dave Deane EI9FBB will give a talk on the ARRL DXCC Program and also on the Logbook of the World system. Dave is an accomplished DX,er and is the only Irish based QSL card checker for the ARRL DXCC programme. Dave took part in the recent T32C dxpedition and will hopefully share some of his experiences on this and other expeditions. Dave will also be present on the IRTS stand on Sunday to check DXCC cards. This is an efficient and practical way to ensure your cards are authenticated so, doesn’t forget to bring any DXCC cards you have for verification.

It is expected the lecture programme will be well attended and the club has arranged some very attractive packages with the Welcome Inn Hotel, Castlebar to enable overnight stays at affordable prices.
There are full details of the hotel packages, the lecture programme and the latest information on the Radio Rally on the club website ‐ www.ei7mre.org or you can contact Padraic Baynes, EI9JA rally director and organiser on his mobile +353 87 695 7154 or e-mail – pbaynes1@eircom.net for any information about the rally.

For overnight booking/information and details contact the Welcome Inn Hotel direct on: +353 949 022288.




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1 Nov 2011

Mayo Radio Experimenters Network


The Mayo Chairperson calls for radio enthusiasts to join
their local club.

Jimmy Kelly, EI2GCB, was re-elected Chairperson of the
Mayo Radio Experimenters, at their recent AGM. This is
Jimmys third consecutive year, and, under the club
rues, he will have to step aside at next year's AGM,
because of the three year rule. Adrian Healy, EI2HAB,
was returned as Treasurer and selected for the first
time as IRTS Club Rep. The other officers elected
were: Newsletter Editor; John Corless, EI7IQ, PRO
David Hatfield, EI3ECB, Rally Director; Padraic
Baynes, EI9JA, and QSL Manager; Brendan Minish,
EI6IZ. Addressing the meeting, the Chairperson Jimmy
Kelly, EI2GCB, said the club continues to have a
strong and vibrant membership with well attended
monthly meetings and is financially solid. He
congratulated Adrian Healy on his success in the July
theory examination. He said that everyone interested
in the hobby should join their local club; the
availability of theory classes being one of the many
benefits of membership. The club performs well in
contests, he said, including winning the portable
section of the IRTS 80mts. Counties Contest. He noted
that MREN took part in the Lighthouses on the Air
event for the first time this year, which proved a
very enjoyable event. He added that the club was
delighted to support the scouting event, JOTA, again
this year. He thanked members who called in to the
club callsign, EIMRE/P, which is used in these events.
The club organised a number of publicity and promotion
events over the summer on an experimental basis. These
were public events and he reported limited success,
adding that while they were very worthwhile
endeavours, the events themselves would need tweaking
for next year. The chairperson reminded the meeting
that the Rally would be held on November 20th this
year at it now established venue of The Welcome Inn
Hotel in Castlebar. He thanked the management and
staff of the hotel for their continued support of the
club. Jimmy also congratulated John Browne, EI7FAB,
winner of the MREN annual activity, with half a point
margin over Dominic Curtin, EI9JS, in the closest-run
club event ever. The annual activity is decided by a
cumulative tally of scores recorded in the twelve
monthly competitions held by the club for its members.

He concluded his report by thanking his fellow
officers and all the members for their attendance at
club meetings and events and their support over the
year past.

The Connor Shield (for outstanding service to hobby,)
was won jointly by Jimmy Kelly, EI2GCB and Dominic
Curtin, EI9JS and the Wishing Well Shield (for
outstanding service to the club) was won by Padraic
Baynes, EI9JA






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New TV Repeater in Ireland

South Dublin Radio Club is in the process of installing a new television repeater with coverage over the greater Dublin area.

The repeater, which is located on
the three rock mountain, will transmit on 2390Mhz and
receive signal in on 1249Mhz. While not on the air yet, initial tests have proved sucessful with perfect pictures received 60 miles away at the EI2ATR Cavan
repeater site. The repeater will be linked by radio to the existing TV repeater system currently operating in Co Cavan, This repeater currently transmits on
1276.5Mhz, 2370 Mhz and 10.040Mhz and gives good
coverage of Cavan/Louth/Meath Area.

Looking forward to trying some experiments through this repeater when it's up on air.


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25 Oct 2011

Some Satellite News

AMSAT to celebrate 50 years in space at symposium

The AMSAT-NA 2011 Space Symposium will be held on
Friday, November 4-6 in San Jose, California. This
year's Symposium coincides with the celebration of the
50th anniversary of OSCAR 1, the first Amateur Radio
satellite.



30th anniversary of UoSAT-1 (OSCAR-9)

On October 6, 1981 the United Kingdom's first Amateur
Radio Satellite UoSAT-OSCAR-9 was launched. Surrey
Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) celebrated the 30th
anniversary of the launch of Surrey's first satellite,
UoSAT-1. Launched into orbit on 6th October 1981,
UoSAT-1 was designed and built by a team from the
University of Surrey led by SSTL founder Sir Martin
Sweeting, G3YJO.


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CEPT proposes frequency allocation for amateur radio

A small allocation of about 15 kHz in parts of the 500
kHz band to the amateur radio service on a secondary
basis - this proposal has been made by a project team
of about 50 representatives of European governments
and other stakeholders in preparation for the next
World Radiocommunication Conference WRC12. They
followed an invitation of the Federal Network Agency
in Germany and met by the end of September in Mainz.
The discussion led to a compromise in the size of the
amateur radio band, namely 480 kHz - 472 kHz, with a
maximum power of 5 W EIRP.




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26 Sep 2011

Tiree Expedition (MS0WRC)

For the 8th year running members of the Workington
Radio Club from West Cumbria are planning to visit the
Hebridean Islands off the West Coast of Scotland. This
year they will be joined once more by members of the
Sands contest group from Morecambe in Lancashire and
Brendan (EI6IZ).

The team of 11 operators will travel to the Island of
Tiree (EU-008) on the 1st October and operate
throughout the following week from their base in Caoles
on the North East coast of the Island.



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RSGB Convention


The RSGB convention takes place this year on October
7th, 8th and 9th. Full details from
www.rsgb.org/rsgbconvention


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NASA's UARS re-enters Earth's atmosphere

From Southgate Amateur Radio News;
NASA's decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. Sept. 24, 20 years and nine days after its launch on a 14-year mission that produced some of the first long-term records of chemicals in the atmosphere.

The precise re-entry time and location of debris impacts have not been determined. During the re-entry period, the satellite passed from the east coast of Africa over the Indian Ocean, then the Pacific Ocean, then across northern Canada, then across the northern Atlantic Ocean, to a point over West Africa. The vast majority of the orbital transit was over water, with some flight over northern Canada and West Africa.

Six years after the end of its productive scientific life, UARS broke into pieces during re-entry, and most of it up burned in the atmosphere. Data indicates the satellite likely broke apart and landed in the Pacific Ocean far off the U.S. coast.

Twenty-six satellite components, weighing a total of about 1,200 pounds, could have survived the fiery re-entry and reach the surface of Earth.

However, NASA is not aware of any reports of injury or property damage.

The Operations Center for JFCC-Space, the Joint Functional Component Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., which works around the clock detecting, identifying and tracking all man-made objects in Earth orbit, tracked the movements of UARS through the satellite's final orbits and provided confirmation of re-entry.

"We extend our appreciation to the Joint Space Operations Center for monitoring UARS not only this past week but also throughout its entire 20 years on orbit," said Nick Johnson, NASA's chief scientist for orbital debris, at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "This was not an easy re-entry to predict because of the natural forces acting on the satellite as its orbit decayed. Space-faring nations around the world also were monitoring the satellite's descent in the last two hours and all the predictions were well within the range estimated by JSpOC."

UARS was launched Sept. 12, 1991, aboard space shuttle mission STS-48 and deployed on Sept. 15, 1991. It was the first multi-instrumented satellite to observe numerous chemical components of the atmosphere for better understanding of photochemistry. UARS data marked the beginning of many long-term records for key chemicals in the atmosphere. The satellite also provided key data on the amount of light that comes from the sun at ultraviolet and visible wavelengths.

UARS ceased its scientific life in 2005.

Because of the satellite's orbit, any surviving components of UARS should have landed within a zone between 57 degrees north latitude and 57 degrees south latitude. It is impossible to pinpoint just where in that zone the debris landed, but NASA estimates the debris footprint to be about 500 miles long.

For more information about UARS, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/uars





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5 MHz Newsletter now online

A new Newsletter has been launched to support the
growing number of 5 MHz operating permissions globally
- it's the 5MHz Newsletter. Edited by Paul Gaskell,
G4MWO, one of the original RSGB 5 MHz team, it aims to
be both an accurate information source of news about 5
Mhz and a platform for exchange of ideas, be they
theoretical, operational, constructional or just
general comments about the band. You can freely access
the 5 MHz Newsletter from Google Documents at
http://tinyurl.com/6fkhcmf



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Jelly Batteries

A new polymer jelly could be the next big step forward
for lithium batteries. The jelly replaces the volatile
and hazardous liquid electrolyte currently used in most
lithium batteries. Researchers from the University of
Leeds hope their development leads to smaller, cheaper
and safer gadgets. Once on the market, the lithium
jelly batteries could allow lighter laptop computers,
and more efficient electric cars.
_________________________


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Mayo Radio Experimenters Network

The Mayo Radio Experimenters, using the call sign
EI7MRE/P, activated the Blacksod lighthouse, IE0008,
which is sited on the north west coast of Mayo, on
Sunday August 21st for the International
Lighthouse/Lightships On The Air event. This was the
first time that this lighthouse was activated for the
occasion and the first lighthouse the club has
activated. Approximately 250 contacts were made into 22
countries and 6 UK and Dutch lighthouses were worked.
Best DX was Japan, Indonesia and Phillipeens. North
America was prominent too with limited openings to
South America. The bulk of the contacts were with
stations in Germany and Italy.

Plans are well underway for the 2011 Mayo Rally will be
held on Sunday Nov 20th in The Welcome Inn Hotel,
Castlebar. The Rally Director is Padraic Baynes, EI9JA.
More details about the club and its events can be found
on the web at www.ei7mre.org

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone - 73's DE EI5IX

1 Sep 2011

NASA Moon Mission in Final Preparations for September Launch


NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL)
mission to study the moon is in final launch
preparations for a scheduled Sept. 8 launch from Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

GRAIL's twin spacecraft are tasked for a nine-month
mission to explore Earth's nearest neighbor in
unprecedented detail. They will determine the structure
of the lunar interior from crust to core and advance
our understanding of the thermal evolution of the moon.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone - 73's DE EI5IX

25 Aug 2011

Increased Power for Contests

Following representations from IRTS, ComReg has agreed
to allow increased power to all licensed amateurs for a
specific list of the major HF and VHF/UHF contests. On
HF, 1500 watts can be used and on VHF 1000 watts for
the duration of the contests concerned. Through an
error the 28 MHz band was omitted from the multiband
contests. This will be taken up with ComReg The list of
contests and other details can be found on the ComReg
website under Radio Spectrum Licensing Licence Types
Radio Amateurs. The society is grateful to ComReg for
granting this additional facility to radio amateurs
generally.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone - 73's DE EI5IX

Two Metres Counties Contest

This contest, which takes place on Sunday next, 28th
August, from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm local time, provides a
great opportunity to liven up the two metre band. The
32 counties in EI and GI are multipliers, so the rarer
counties will be in great demand.

Both SSB and FM can be used and a station may be worked
on both modes. The contest rules specify that after any
QSO in which you are called by another station, you
must QSY to another channel (FM), or by at least 3 kHz
(SSB), before soliciting another QSO; when you respond
to a CQ or QRZ from another station, you then have the
right to that frequency for a single additional QSO
before QSYing. See www.irts.ie/contests for more
details about this and other IRTS contests.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone - 73's DE EI5IX

15 Aug 2011

ARISSat-1


ARISSat-1 low duty cycle mode

The new Amateur Radio satellite ARISSat-1 has been switching into low duty cycle mode, even while in full sun, which has suprised some observers.

When the satellite is in darkness, in order to conserve battery power, it switches into a low duty cycle mode (also known as low power mode) where it transmits for 40 seconds and then shut down for 2 minutes. On Thursday, August 11, a number of Radio Amateurs reported that ARISSat-1 was in low duty cycle mode when the satellite appeared to be fully illuminated by the sun.

On the AMSAT bulletin board Tony AA2TX, ARISSat SDX software and hardware developer. provided an explanation, he wrote:

My analysis indicates that at certain "bad" sun angles, the solar panels may not provide enough power to run the satellite even in full sun.

The power from the panels can actually drop to as low as 2.5 watts at really bad angles but the satellite needs around 8 watts average to run in high power mode. This means that the satellite would have to draw current from the battery to run in high power mode even though it is in the sun.

This discharge would reduce the life of the battery so to minimize the damage and prolong the life of the satellite, it will switch itself to low power mode under these conditions.

I don't know for sure if this is what is happening but this condition is within the predicted nominal operation of the satellite.



ARISSat-1 Reception Certificates (for voice and Slow Scan TV reports)
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/august2011/
arissat_1_reception_certificates.htm

Free Slow Scan TV Software MMSSTV uses your PCs Soundcard
http://mmhamsoft.amateur-radio.ca/

The IZ8BLY Vox Recoder software enables you to record ARISSat-1 on 145.950 MHz FM while you're at work or asleep
http://antoninoporcino.xoom.it/VoxRecorder/

Online Satellite Pass Predictions, select ARISSat-1
http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/predict/

ARISSat-1 Website
http://www.arissat.org/

AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB)
http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/maillist/



AMSAT-UK publishes a colour A4 newsletter, OSCAR News, which is full of Amateur Satellite information.




On another note I heard about this on Southgate Amateur Radio News, the ARISSat-1 telemetry being received in Sudan.

Nader ST2NH in Khartoum, Sudan, has posted a video showing reception of the ARISSat-1 BPSK telemetry beacon on 145.920 MHz USB.

The YouTube description reads:
A 6mins movie clip shows a received ARISSat-1 CW and BPSK1000 Telemetry data

Rig is IC-910.
Doppler correction software is HRD.
Antenna is 6 Elements Yagi.

ARISSatTLM is software to be used in conjunction with your computer soundcard to demodulate, decode and display the CW and BPSK-1000 signals.

Watch A 6mins movie clip shows a received ARISSat-1 Telemetry.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgovjj210Q8&feature=youtube_gdata_player


Download the Windows and Mac versions of the ARISSatTLM free ground station soundcard demodulator and display software:
http://www.arissattlm.org/





- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone - 73's DE EI5IX

12 Aug 2011

Amateur Radio satellite ARISSat-1 deployed

The Amateur Radio satellite ARISSat-1 has been deployed
from the ISS during EVA-29 on Wednesday, August 3.
First signals have been received by JR8LWY reporting
copy of the telemetry beacon as the satellite passed
over Japan. Full operational capability of
ARISSat-1/KEDR is still under evaluation pending
performance evaluation of the UHF antenna. This amateur
satellite is one of the most dynamic amateur satellites
ever deployed in space and provides us with unique
opportunities to conduct amateur radio experiments.
Please submit your reception signal reports on amsat-bb
and via the mission's e-mail boxes on
http://www.amsat.org.



____


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone - 73's DE EI5IX

7 Aug 2011

News Update

IRTS 2 Metres Counties Contest

The IRTS 2m Counties Contest will take place Sunday
28th August 2011. The closing date for the submission of the log to the contest manager is 27th
September 2011.

Introduction to Amateur Radio

The Mayo Radio Experimenters Network are holding a
series of practical hands on open days throughout the
summer months. The events will start at 13.00 approx
(weather permitting) and will take place on the
following dates:

Sunday August 14th

Sunday September 11th

Anyone with an interest in radio related matters,
who would like to have the opportunity to
participate or observe the operation of an amateur
radio station, or meet club members, will receive a
warm welcome. Whatever you’re level of interest, the
club will be pleased to help in taking your interest
further, be it a complete novice, shortwave listener
or formal assistance in progressing to a full
amateur radio licence.

The location for all events will be the car park at the
Halfway House on the Castlebar to Westport Road. If you
would like further details please contact: Padraic
Baynes EI9JA on +353 87 695 7154 (email
pbaynes1/at/eircom/dot/net) , email David Hatfield
EI3ECB on ei3ecb/at/gmail/dot/com or text or phone the
club mobile phone number +353 86 208 9777

Limerick 2M Repeater QRV again.

The Limerick 2M repeater on 145.725 is now QRV again
after being off the air due to vandalism at the
repeater site. Limerick Radio Club are grateful for the
many generous donations received from around the
country, which have gone towards installation of a new
security door. A new run of Hardline has also been
installed from the hut to the mast.


Astronomers Find Largest, Most Distant Reservoir of
Water


Two teams of astronomers have discovered the largest
and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the
universe. The water, equivalent to 140 trillion times
all the water in the world's ocean, surrounds a huge,
feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12
billion light-years away. (Source:www.nasa.gov)


NASA's WISE Mission Finds First Trojan Asteroid Sharing
Earth's Orbit


Astronomers studying observations taken by NASA's
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission have
discovered the first known "Trojan" asteroid orbiting
the sun along with Earth. Scientists had predicted
Earth should have Trojans, but they have been difficult
to find because they are relatively small and appear
near the sun from Earth's point of view. (Source:
www.nasa.gov)





- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone - 73's DE EI5IX

25 Jul 2011

News From The IRTS

IRTS 2 Metres Counties Contest
The IRTS 2m Counties Contest will take place Sunday
28th August 2011. The closing date for the
submission of the log to the contest manager is 27th
September 2011.
______________________________________________
IRTS SSB Field Day
The IRTS SSB Field Day takes place Saturday 3rd
September and Sunday 4th September 2011. The closing
date for the submission of the log is October 4th 2011.
______________________________________________
GI HF Conference
The West Tyrone Amateur Radio Club (WTARC) Omagh are
holding a HF Conference on Saturday 20th August 2011.
This Conference comes following the very successful
DigiCon 09 Conference back in September 2009.
A range of speakers from around GI, EI and G will be in
attendance to share their various perspectives on
aspects of HF operation. There will also be in
attendance Traders such as, Tyrone Amateur Electronics
(TAE) and JBT (Jim Bob) along with exhibits from the
RSGB and the IRTS.
The Event is supported by Practical Wireless, TAE, JBT,
IRTS and RSGB. So come along for what will be a Fun Day
Out for all the family. The town of Omagh has a range
of top class shopping along with a wide range of other
tourist attractions
http://www.omagh.gov.uk/culture_leisure_and_tourism/
We look forward to seeing you there. For details of the
Venue etc go to http://wtarc.co.uk/GIHFConference.aspx
______________________________________________
London 2012’s critical communications ready for service
Airwave, the leading provider of critical voice and
data communications to public service organisations in
the UK, has announced that the private mobile radio
(PMR) service infrastructure for the London 2012
Olympic and Paralympic Games is ready for service. The
PMR network, named Apollo, will provide voice
communications for over 18,000 staff and volunteers
from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and
Paralympic Games (LOCOG) during the 2012 Games. Apollo
has been purpose-built to provide mobile radio to all
London 2012 competition venues from the Olympic Park
itself to sites across the country from Glasgow and
Manchester to Coventry and Weymouth. The stand-alone
network is now ready for operation and will be used by
Games staff and volunteers, from stewards and security
personnel to anti-doping officials, from now until
December 2012. ( Source:southgatearc.org)
______________________________________________
RSGB Amateur Radio survey released
The results of the RSGB Amateur Radio survey are now
available. It shows the Amateur population is
continuing to age with a typical RSGB member now being
about 65. The survey also shows that just 1.97% are
women and only 0.88% classify themselves as being from
an ethnic group other than White or White British a
figure closer to 13% might have been expected.
(Source:Southgatearc.org)
______________________________________________

Space shuttle Atlantis: Highlights of the final mission

Space shuttle Atlantis: Highlights of the final mission

The space shuttle Atlantis has landed back on Earth, ending the shuttle programme's last-ever mission.



The spacecraft touched down at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on Thursday, bringing an end to America's 30-year shuttle programme.



The crew of commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim spent almost 13 days in space.



BBC News draws together some of the highlights of the shuttle's historic final journey.

17 Apr 2011

An Astronaut and a Robot seen from Earth

Ralf Vandebergh has made available a remarkable picture he took showing Astronaut Steve Bowen and the Robot Dextre on the ISS.



The picture and description can be seen at


http://www.startje.be//vieuw.php?qid=375025

BBC World Service is 'all-important'

Richard Ottaway, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, explains the value of the World Service to the UK



The interview was broadcast on the Radio 4 Today show on Wednesday, April 13 and you can hear it at


http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9456000/9456338.stm



BBC World Service 'should not be cut'


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13049816

Ofcom to Issue Special Temporary Call Signs for Royal Wedding

If you are a prefix hunter -- or you just get caught up in the pageantry that a Royal Wedding can bring -- then take note: Ofcom, at the request of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), will issue special temporary call signs that British amateurs may use from April 29 through May 9, 2011, commemorating the marriage of HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton. Amateurs in the United Kingdom who choose to apply for these special call signs will be using GR, MR and 2R prefixes during this time to commemorate the wedding.

14 Apr 2011

International Marconi Day

International Marconi Day takes place this year on Saturday 30th April. In Irelands capital city Dublin The Howth Martello Radio Group will be participating once again as an award station using the call-sign EI0MAR.


This is not a contest but there are several nice awards available for working the officially listed stations, each of which has an historic connection with Marconi. The event is organised by the Cornish Amateur Radio Club. For more information please visit the club's website http://crac.g4usb.net/cracblog/


EI0MAR operates from the Martello Tower overlooking the East Pier in Howth. The tower now houses a vintage radio museum. In 1905 the British Post Office carried out wireless telegraphy experiments at the tower in Howth using Marconi equipment.


Visitors are always welcome at the museum and the group hopes to see many visitors during the IMG event in April. The HMRG's website is http://www.ei0mar.org/ where a free information booklet in PDF format can be downloaded.

Up-Coming IRTS Contests

1. 2m Counties Contest Monday April 25th 2011.
From 2pm till 4pm. Log to be submitted by May 25th.


2. CW Field Day Sat 4th/ Sun 5th June 2011.
Log to be submitted by June 5th.

Calling all active VHF and Higher operators, we are

trying to get the 2010 Squares table finalized on

http://www.irts.ie/. So can anyone that was

active on the VHF bands last year please send your

Square totals or your log to EI2GLB@hotmail.com and he can work it out for you.


To see the squares table please go to http://www.irts.ie/cgi/vhf.cgi

UK Coast Guard Frequency Changes

Two UK Coastguard stations have moved frequency to below 2MHz from April 4th. These changes will be to HMCG MF transmitting frequencies: MRCC Humber - TX on 2226 KHz changed to 1925 KHz MRCC Falmouth - TX on 2226 KHz changed to 1880 KHz

15 Mar 2011

World Radio Communication Conference Amateur Radio

World Radio communication Conference Amateur Radio has moved a step closer to a medium frequency (MF)allocation below the AM broadcast band. During the first week of the Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM)for the 2012 World Radio Communication Conference(WRC-12) of the International Telecommunication Union(ITU), held in Geneva February 14-25, delegates completed the drafting of nine pages of analysis of the technical and regulatory issues related to WRC-12 Agenda Item 1.23: consideration of a possible secondary allocation to the Amateur Service of about 15 kHz somewhere between 415 and 526.5 kHz. What is now called Method A envisions an allocation of up to 15 kHz between 472 and 487 kHz. Method B calls for allocations of 461-469 kHz and 471-478 kHz.

Look forward to more developments on this!! Stay Tuned

Mayo Radio Experimenters Club

John Browne, EI7FAB, won the 2010 Mayo RadioExperimenters annual club activity competition. The annual event consists of twelve monthly competitions with accumulator points going to the annual award. John won four of the monthly competitions, and had half a point to spare over Dominic Curtin, EI9JS in the annual table. All the monthly competitions are for on air activity and range from working Locator squares, DXCC countries, a novelty alpha-numeric gridand a month devoted to listening. John McAndrew,EI3JM, (third,) Padraic Baynes, EI9JA, (fourth,) and Jimmy Kelly EI2GCB, make up the top five in the competition. The club uniquely transmits the IRTS and local news on Sunday evenings simultaneously on four VHF bands - 6mts, 4mts, 2 mts and 70cms and the club is very active on these bands locally. The news simulcast originally presented technical challenges,but these have been overcome thanks to the guidance of Dominic Curtin, EI9JS.

Mayo Radio Experimenters publishes a monthly newsletter for members and this is currently edited by John Corless, EI7IQ. He took over form David Hatfield,EI3ECB last summer.
At the recent AGM, Jimmy Kelly, EI2GCB was re-elected Chairperson, and the club’s two prestigious awards for contribution to the club and to the hobby went to Padraic Baynes, EI9JA and Dominic Curtin, EI9JS.

The club plans a monthly activity day where SWLs and the public will be invited to explore the hobby with portable set-ups at different locations on one Sunday per month from April to September.
The club is active in all IRTS competitions using the club call, EI7MRE and individual members take part inmany international contests.The club won the January 80mts counties contest again this year. John Walsh, EI5GHB was well placed in this contest also. Another member, Brendan Minish, EI6IZ, is one of the best CW contesters in Europe.
Theory classes are ongoing within the club under the guidance of John Corless, EI7IQ. The club meets on thefirst Wednesday of each month in The Welcome Inn Hotel, Castlebar Co.Mayo at 9.30pm local time. Visiting amateurs or curious radio enthusiasts are most welcome to come along.

14 Jan 2011

New antenna company launches

New company, Antenna Engineering has recently started trading through their online shop, which is an exciting undertaking for recent graduate Henry and his father, Chris (G4AMN), who has over 40 years experience in the industry and as a amateur radio enthusiast.

Sheffield Hallam Engineering Graduate (2009), Henry Wainwright, has started his own company manufacturing amateur radio equipment with the support of the University’s Graduate Entrepreneurship Scheme (GRADE).

The company, Antenna Engineering (based in Leicestershire & South Yorkshire), has a comprehensive range of amateur radio antenna equipment ranging from mono-band single element verticals to multi-element phased arrays.

Antenna Engineering produces a high performance range of vertical antennas for the serious DX enthusiast.

More information on all of Antenna Engineering’s products can be found at www.antennaengineering.co.uk.

12 Jan 2011

DX News

The first major expedition of 2011 was due to start on 5th January. This was the multinational team signing DX0DX from the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
Due to various problems the start date has had to be moved several days but hopefully the expedition is now on the air. A total of over 30 amateurs will take partin the operation which is scheduled to last until early next month.

As well as being a rare one for your DXCC thisexpedition also counts as AS-051 for your IOTA Award.QSL manager will be N2OO

Andrew G7COD is back in the Maldive Islands and QRV as8Q7AK. He will be there till 16th January and QSLs govia his home call.

Seth SM0XBI will be in Dominica in the Caribbean untilmid-March. Look for him operating his J79XBI callsign.

VE6LB will be in the United Arab Emirates until 8thFebruary and will be QRV as A6/VE6LB from Dubai. He will be running 100 watts to a G5RV.

The ‘DX Magazine’ carried out a survey of the‘most wanted’ DXCC entities last autumn and the results have just been published. The top 10 most wanted DXCC are as follows:

1. North Korea
2. Navassa
3. Bouvet
4. Yemen
5. Heard Island
6. Amsterdam Island
7. Marion Island
8. South Sandwich Islands
9. Crozet
10. Scarborough Reef

IRTS Counties Contest

The 80 metres EI/GI counties contest on Monday last was well supported, with almost all counties on the air at some stage during the 3 hour event. Our correspondents report that some counties - in particular Wexford andTyrone - represented "rare DX" on the day, so stations from these and other rare counties would have been ingreat demand.
Although the majority of stations heard were from EIand GI, there was also a good level of support from mainland Britain. As daylight receded, some continental European stations began to take an interest in the contest.
As can be expected, operators had to contend with high noise levels most of the time. This encouraged some ofthe participants to switch to CW for extended periods:there seemed to be more CW activity this year than inprevious years, especially during the final hour. In particular quite a few mainland British stations were heard looking for CW contacts.
The deadline for logs is 2nd February, logs should besent to contestmanager /at/ irts.ie as soon as possible.

2 Jan 2011

Ham Radio Nation

CHECK THIS OUT......

A place where you can find other users that all share a common interest Amateur Radio. Invite your friends, find new friends or find some of your past contacts. You can upload pictures of your radios and shack if you like or just check out others shacks, share your logs and contacts with others and compair your DX contacts and allot more.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011

Hi Everyone, Apologies for not been too active on my blog throughout 2010 but one of my New Years resolutions is to become more active on Amateur Radio and also give as much information as I can here on my blog!!!

So here we are 2011, here we go for another one of these things us humans call a new year, just another chance for us to get it right :-)

So an update whats going on in my planet, I'm still living in London in the UK working within the broadcast industry and don't get much time to be on Radio at all these days, but good news I'm getting a new radio soon, something for VHF / UHF so I should be more active on 6m, 4m, 2m, 70cm and ill even give 23cm a shot.
This will be a change for me as I only used VHF and UHF before for local repeaters and local simplex contacts and maybe the odd DX contest or opening on 6 meters but times have changed due to the environment I now live in. You wont get away with a 4 square for 80 meters in Central London and even if you did you probably would have to decipher a G3 station up the road out of S9 +30 db of noise.... No not nice :-) So with that VHF & UHF are my new bands.

I must say I am also really enjoying my time on EchoLink these days and the IPhone application is absolutely fantastic as I can now link to a local end in Castlebar, Co.Mayo in the West of Ireland EI7CRG-L - From there I can now talk to my Dad EI9JA and some of my friends at home in the west of Ireland, EI9JS, EI2GCB, EI6IZ, EI7IX, EI3IX, EI7FAB, EI4GHB EI5CYB, EI3GYB, EI7IQ just name a few. This is fantastic technology and I think its great for the future of Amateur Radio, the more accessible amateur radio is or even the more user friendly it is to people, will make the hobby more interesting and will generate more people who want to get involved in our fantastic hobby during this Internet / social networking era.

Anyway here's to a New Year and I hope the best of 2010 is the Worst of 2011 for one and all!!!

73's for the moment...