Saturday 13 February 2010

Things are looking up

This week I have not been home early enough from work to check the higher bands, but I have been told on the air and read on the internet that things were picking up, especially in the case of the 15metre band.On Friday I was in the shack a little earlier, in time to catch 15 metres open and managed to work a couple of stations using PSK31, including SV3DCX. Not DX I know but it is some time since I worked anyone on this band. It seems that 24Mhz had also been open as there were still a few weakish signals around at around 1600, however I didn't manage any contacts on that band.
Today I have had a few household chores to do, but I did manage a few QSO's,again on 15 metres so it seems the sunspot cycle is now improving and we should have better conditions ahead. I hope we will see a consistent improvement in the coming months.
A little while ago I mentioned in this blog that I felt the magazine "Practical Wireless" which I believe is the only independent Amateur Radio magazine in the UK was "dumbing itself down". The reason I felt this way was because the magazine was and still is running a series of articles called "What Next". The series has taken the reader step by step on how to turn of and transmit with an FT817 (I Kid you not!), how to attach an antenna to the rig, and how to have a QSO through your local repeater! I felt that the level of these articles was insulting. I am the first to admit that I am not the most technical of people in this hobby but surely if people have obtained their licence they will have at least this level of knowledge?
Anyway at the time I was considering whether to continue to buy the magazine, and, for now at least I have decided to do so.In the March Edition of PW there is a letter from an amateur regarding the "local" QRM many amateurs have in their shacks I don't mean the YL or XYL shouting at you to come out of the shack and get on with your chores! This QRM is from the PCs, monitors and associated power supplies that many if not most amateurs have in the shack. It Seems that Practical Wireless is going to publish an article on this problem and how to solve it. I am looking forward to this as I noted in an earlier blog entry that the PSU for my monitor generates QRM on VHF. I  have also become aware that one of the PCs or peripherals here is generating around S6 of noise on 20 metres.Since I like to use the data modes its not practical to switch the PC off when I am operating so I need to try and trace exactly what is causing the interference.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that many of these "beginners" articles are a waste of space as far as I am concerned, but if you look at some of the questions that get asked in's help forum you would realise that sadly there is a need for them. In the RadCom letters column a few months ago some new licensees were suggesting that the content is too technical.

    It isn't the amateur radio magazines that are dumbing down, it's radio amateurs!