Tuesday, 5 September 2017

A visit to Telford Hamfest & the GQRP club

My amateur radio activity has been very much on the back burner during the last few months due to other commitments.

However, rather than cut the lawns, wash the car on a Sunday morning and look forward to a roast beef lunch, sandwiches were a better offering this last weekend. I had arranged to go to the Telford radio rally and maybe pickup a few items. Don't bring back any junk, said my wife! Ugh!



                                        So it was time to get up early dig out the badge.


The Telford radio rally had always been hosted in the centre of Telford town centre for many years, but about 10 years ago it was moved to the Enguity Centre at Coalbrookedale  museum, in the centre of Shropshire where the industrial revolution started.





We arrived quite early and people were certainly up with the larks to get a place in the queue, and maybe grab a bargain? 



This year the rally had teamed up with the GQRP club which had moved it's famous annual QRP convention from Rishworth. Most of the team were there, including George (G3RJV) and Graham (G3MFJ). Bringing along their wealth of experience with the rest of the crew from the hub of the club, giving members free advice, sales, and trying to recruit a few new ones to the fold:



Sadly my snap of the club stand came out blurred and I don't have another replacement, much to my disappointment! If anyone has a photo, please send me a copy and I will edit it in..

However I did purchase the mug to prove my support for the GQRP club.

If you didn't visit the convention you can always join the GQRP club, at £6 for a year's UK membership and not much more for international, it is really an amazing bargain! Including 4 Sprats  (the quarterly magazine of the club) posted to your home! Sprat is packed with designs, QRP circuits, membership news etc. Edited by George Dobbs since the formation of the club in 1974. How can many say they have done a job like that for over 40 years, again amazing!


                                                            Join the GQRP club here.








 
The RSGB had also popped along to offer their helpful sales team with some exciting new publications to read.










Even though I didn't buy much this year it proved to be a very good social event, meeting up with quite a few other Amateurs who share the same interest which I know from around the country.We all picked up a few ideas, hints and tips, and learning news which we wouldn't of heard of online.





The rally was well supported by an excellent showing of folk, quite a few good traders had also showed up for the event. But, I can't help feeling that the Internet has taken over many aspects of the supply of components for our hobby, which are now available very quick and cheap from our friends in the far East.




It was time to have a look outside at a few traders that had setup shop, and grab a cuppa before returning back home late afternoon.




Maybe see you there next year, or you never know where I am going to pop up next!







Saturday, 13 May 2017

Crypto virus how safe is Digital broadcasting?

With IT systems crashed around the world, including the UK's National Health IT systems. How open and vulnerable is digital broadcasting to cyber attacks?





More and more radio stations have recently been pulling the plug on Shortwave, and AM broadcasting, in favour of digital. There has been a big push in the UK to get the public over to DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) or streaming radio via their mobile phones and computers. But, has the case now been made to "keep" a national simulcast AM radio system, like the BBC's Radio 4 Long Wave in the UK, along with global Shortwave radio transmissions for state broadcasting in emergency?

Friday, 24 February 2017

UK speaker source for BITX40 & other QRP projects

If your currently on the BITX40  bandwagon of putting a kit together, or you have just  recently ordered one. You will have soon noticed the kit doesn't come supplied with a speaker, what does one expect for such a good price! But for UK builders that don't like spending their hard earned cash. I have found an abundant source of small 8 ohm speakers from the highstreet discounter Poundworld.

Two speakers including cases for One Pound!!

The speakers are marketed for use with portable stereos, MP3 players, etc. A simple test to see if they were any good, I connected them to a reliable audio source and found although not HI-FI, they are perfectly adequate for use in the BITX Kit, or other QRP constructional projects. 




They come packed in either Black or Silver.


Once unscrewed the back of the case, the speaker simply drops out to reveal a 5.5cm 2" unit.





A quick test on the multimeter revealed the value of 7.6 ohm:



Recently while out shopping I have visited 4 different Poundworld's, one as far North as Southport. All carried a plentyful supply of stock in their electrical area. I am sorry I cannot help my readers from overseas, but the unit is obviously made in China so try your Dollar shops.


Good hunting!
















Thursday, 2 February 2017

Bargain 2000 Resistor deal.

Not had much time to hunt out components of late, but this seems a very good deal for constructors and QRP engineers.

2000 1/4W, 100 different values, 5% resistors. 20 of each value. £6.55 UK just over $8 US including shipping click down to: Resistor deal.

I have just got in there and ordered a bag full before you all wade in..


Saturday, 28 January 2017

PW makes an appearance at WH Smith

Until recently Practical Wireless was only available on the newsstand at larger branches of WH Smith. Getting hold of a copy proved useless at smaller branches unless you had it reserved in advance, infact I gave up many years ago asking why it wasn't present every month?  In the end I got a local corner newsagent to reserve it for me, I guess he has been grateful of the business ever since.




However could the tide of policy changed it's direction at my local small branch of WH Smith and others? PW is once again available on the shelf, forefront, alongside with it's sister magazine Radiouser.

Practical Wireless is the only independent magazine representing the amateur radio hobby in the UK, it is good to see someone has finally done something to get it back where it belongs, so a new generation can peruse and purchase it along with us old timers.

Friday, 27 January 2017

IO IO it's off Yahoo groups we go!

With all the recent Yahoo data breach furore and various problems at times of access to Yahoo groups, many Amateur Radio groups are turning their backs on Yahoo and moving to a new group service.

Groups.io is the new place where Hams and I guess many others are moving their discussion groups from Yahoo. I was first notified over a month ago that QRPLABS was moving over, I created an account with groups.io and sure enough if by magic it apppeared in my new groups.io account. Using it has become very easy and straight forward, and I find it doesn't suffer from the access lag that Yahoo groups suffered. Since joining, the BITX20 group has also moved and so have a few others, I expect many others will follow.   

Groups.io has a full automated transfer service for groups that wish to transfer over:https://groups.io/static/transfer  I have not used the transfer myself, but all the groups that have moved I am member of that have chosen to move to the new service appear to have gone over smooth, and they popped into my group.io account.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

New link HF Signals added

A new link for Ashhar Farhan's new BITX40 production website, HF signals added to the right hand side column of my blog. Sites that do it for me.


You can guess what I am going to write about next?