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Turned out ok after all. Seems a worn clip was allowing the petrol feed to slip and leak. One new clip, a light bulb and MOT. 80 quid. I can live with that. Mind you, with the warnings of bearing play on two wheels etc that will probably have to be fixed next time. We’re talking about 400 quid. Flamin’ car is only worth 500. Bugger that for a game of soldiers!..Oh well, at least I can relax for now.

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By g0hdi
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‘Never rains’ as they say..After I fixed the gear lever falling through the floor problem and the over-running wipers I thought the motor would sale through the MOT. Would you Adam it, now they’ve found a fuel leak. Bugger!.  They’re trying to pin down the cause now. Going to give me a bell..Either feed or tank, not sure which yet.  Apart from that, only a stop bulb gone.   Mind you next year is guaranteed to be heavy if they rectify the warnings I’ve just seen on the paperwork. Couple of bearings with play and other odds and sods.  Last MOT this year I think. It’s the knackers yard for you Atoz baby!

By g0hdi
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Oh well!, just going to have to admit my computer, or should I say my warn out copy of XP is passed it Damn thing is freezing even without squirting rf all over the scenery.  I’ve tried installing Linux, but even though I can use an ISO on my net book ok, this stupid machine starts to install then gives up.  Anyway, I can’t see me getting jt65 or wspr working on Linux so all academic I suppose. SDR Console is Windows only, so is most other software like mmsstv and multipsk so just clutching at straws taking the Linux route I guess.

Yet again back to swl’ing.  400 quid would get me a capable lap top for tx’ing, but that’s out of reach for the moment.  Just hope Murphies Law doesn’t mean a hefty MOT bill this morning.  Cost me 370 last year, but I can’t see anything they could fail this time.  Been underneath myself and nothing falling off hi..

By g0hdi
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Have to be switched on with this mode.  Convention used to have it that after swapping sig reports with a cq’ing station, he would finish with RRR. Not any more it seems. Take this example. Image

R+TU 73.  Quite often the other station will use the free text option. That can throw you as remember you only have a few seconds to respond before the prog goes into receive mode again.  Sometimes  the other station will keep repeating my report. I assume from that that he didn’t receive my last over, so I send his again.  Usually works out in the end. All good fun.  Playing with jt65-hf at the moment, might have another go at wspr later. SSTV is dead again so far today *sigh*

By g0hdi
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Odd really! from the screenshot of wspr activity you’d think I would have at least a few stations coming in.  Yet moving a few khz down to jt65-hf for 10 minutes and they are registering no problem..And I haven’t retuned the loop accordingly either.  Shows the jt65-hf prog is more sensitive I guess (Notice the signals on waterfall are hardly discernible yet I still manage to decode). The one I’m using is HB9XQX’s version. Notice the white font on lilac entry with qso b4?. The prog checks my log automatically to see if I’ve worked the cq’ing station (B4). If not it turns black font on lilac and I get an audible warning. Cool!. Another cool feature is the prog automatically checks/updates my time with Time Nist Gov for instance. Other server options are available.

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By g0hdi
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Thought I’d have another bash at persuading my computer to stay awake long enough to squirt some rf digi. Not sure whether to settle for wspr or jt65, so left wspr running for the last hour, resulting in these stations receiving me on 10 watts.  Could get away with 5w I guess. Anyway surprised to see Wake Island (WA2YUN) on the map. Sounds exotic to me anyway. One way traffic though as I’m not decoding any stations. 

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By g0hdi
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Stone me!, that was a hellover long transmit someone just made. Must have been sending the dead sea scrolls I reckon hi. Don’t see the point really.  Much quicker and more chance of having it received by using analogue.  I didn’t receive a thing, so pity he/she didn’t whack out a hybrid for good measure. 

By g0hdi
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I seem to be picking up EasyPal better using the IC-718 and mag loop tuned to 7.058 with my analyzer, as opposed to the Funcube dongle and 60 ft long wire. As I’m not using the loop to tx I suppose it’s getting some use this way. I’ll leave it at that for the time being.  If I can afford a new computer before I turn my toes up I’ll have another go at tx’ing hi..

By g0hdi
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Had a reshuffle of the bench. The main screen was giving me a stiff neck as I had to look through the bottom of my bi-focal glasses to focus.  I’ve now moved the screen to table top level, so ok now.  One addition is the Watson weather center, which I’m well pleased with. It uploads direct to Weather Underground by wifi so shutting the computer and rest of shack down doesn’t affect it.  I’ve dispensed with the digital audio recorder but left the mixer so I can use phones or speakers with the Satellit 750.  Bit overkill, but I can’t be bothered to keep re routing audio leads.  Half the time I lose track of what goes where, so ‘if it aint broke’ etc..

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By g0hdi
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Jolly quiet today on hf. No analogue sstv received all day, and not a peep out of 7.058 from the guy who has normally permanent residence (EasyPal freq). 

By g0hdi
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The dreaded gremlins have struck again *sigh*.. Mid jt65 qso this morning the computer froze. Thought I’d got over that problem since changing to the magnetic loop (Put it down to rf in the shack before).  Over a hundred qso’s on the loop with no problem, now the retard computer is playing up again..For some reason lately I have to keep cleaning the Windows registry too, so anyway once again we’re back to shortwave listening on hf.  I don’t think I’ll ever be hassle free until I get a new computer.  Can’t keep re-installing Windows as I’ve just about flogged my old XP disc to death… Only wish I could get Linux versions of the software I need, then I would definitely elbow Windows for good.

Apart from the bad news I’m pleased to say I’m chuffed to bits with my new weather station (Watson W-8681-Pro) I’ve dispensed with my old weather page and linked to Weather Underground where my new station uploads data  by wi-fi.  Better idea as I can leave it running 24/7.  Used to have gaps in my uploads due to computer/shack closure at night and during shopping trips..

By g0hdi
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Still quite amazed how well my indoor loop is doing. Made to the States again this morning with KD4YDD in Georgia.Image
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By g0hdi
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Thought I’d have bash at making a mag loop so I might get back into digi transmission again. Had all the bits handy, just too damn lazy in the past to make one. Anyway I finally got my finger out and the result can be seen below.  Hanging up in my lean-to as it’s not waterproof of course. Tuned loop (3 feet across) is 10 mil copper tube. Capacitor nicked from an old atu (don’t know the value). Driven loop 50 centimetres circumference (1/5 th of main loop) Tuned with analyzer to 14.076 mhz (jt65-hf)  Very sharp tuning.  Will also tune to 40 metres.

Been having a ball with jt65-hf with 10 watts today, as shown below psk reporter screenshot.  Although I have the loop entered in jt65 for uploading to psk reporter, the latter still insists on showing my previous antenna used, ie the Superstick.

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By g0hdi
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Decided to upgrade my 2 metre ant to a Diamond X510N from the basic white stick.  Might have caught a cold re FunCube reception though, as due the Diamond’s low angle of radiation I’m not receiving as many data packets with it.

Funny though, as the NOAA weather sats are booming in.  Also packet from ARISS (see screenshot of this morning’s pass)
Receiving repeaters has improve too. Have heard Wells, Somerset voice announcer loud and clear and other repeaters I could never hear before.  All in all a good buy I think

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Mind you, the night passes of FunCube are down to 60 miliwatts from the daytime’s 300 I believe, so can’t grumble I suppose.

 

By g0hdi
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Been trying a bit of FunCube reception last couple of days.  Pretty simple to set up the ‘Dashboard’ and automatically receive data using the FunCube dongle.  Tuning and doppler shift all taken care of by the software. Cool!.  Data is uploaded automatically to ‘Mission Control’ hi..Here’s a couple of screenshots during reception. Using a basic ‘White Stick’ antenna, but thinking of upgrading as apart from FunCube I fancy a go at ISS packet/voice/sstv too, so a more sensitive ant would help when either bird not exactly overhead..

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(I narrowed the auto tune to the white section, which seemed more relevant)

 

By g0hdi
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Usually I kill the power to the shack overnight, but thought I’d give YaDD (DSC) a shot last night.  I get very few coastal stations show up during the day but plenty of ships, so wondered if I’d have better luck during the night with coastal stations.Here’s a screenshot of all coastal stations received. Some of them received more than once of course.(2.1858 M/hz usb dial..YaDD cursor 1700Hz )

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By g0hdi
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Ah that’s handy, the noise seems to be moving hf.  Now maybe I’m in with a chance of some 2 m/hz DSC

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By g0hdi
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Nice one. Just where I wanted to sit and I get this load of rubbish to contend with.  No idea what it is. Nothing intelligeable, ie data mode etc.  Probably next door throwing stuff about on his power line adaptor or something.  Looks like I’ll have to stick to 8 m/hz. Nice and quiet there.

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By g0hdi
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Just about finished the desk rebuild now, so here’s a couple of screenshots. One of the desk and another showing most of the add-on room. The window in shot is on part of the original outer wall..  The 32 inch tele doubles as my cctv covering to front gate.  The small tele is cctv covering the car port.  The desk is basically set up for shortwave listening as I’m not particularly bothered with transmitting  any more.  Maybe that will change if and when I can afford some suitable new gear.  Main screen in this shot is of YADD (Yet Another DSC Decoder) in action, using the Funcube dongle and SDR Consoleand Akai usb sound card.  Right hand screen showing The Matrix screensaver, but normaly used for monitoring various data pages on the internet (Operating system is Linux Ultimate 3.8).

Left hand screen showing MMSSTV receiving analogue sstv via the DX-394..  2 and 4 metre radio’s are monitoring ham stuff. Antenna’s to suit are comnnected so able to have a qso.. Scanners are monitoring marine band via a discone antenna..Main swl rx is the Satellit 750.  Far left is the mixer which feeds Satellit audi to the woofer (under bench) tweeters on shelf, Heil phones and digital recorder . Recorded audio can be fed back through the mixer to speakers or phones.

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By g0hdi