Grid Watch UK

Saturday, 13 March 2021

EMF calculator

For those in the UK worried about the new pending Ofcom ICNIRP EMF rules.

I have found an excellent EMF calculator program from the late VK3UM, infact I would say it is the best I have come across yet.

Well worth a download and a play with:

https://www.vk5dj.com/VK3UM%20EMRCalc%20Ver%207.12%20Install.zip


 

EMR calc V7.12 runs in Windows and is very easy to get up and running, allowing a variation of  most parameters you can think of.

It comes with a preset load of settings, including Freq, PWR, TX loss. Transmission type (CW, SSB, FSK etc). Antenna type Dipole, Vertical even a G5RV! 

Or you can customise it more or less to your own settings.

I have also been informed this will run ok under Linux using Wine.

Good luck!

STOP PRESS:

Useful references: 

RSGB EM Field Exposure 

Ofcom Publication Date: 11 March 2021 Ofcom’s new EMF licence condition ( Draft Version) 

ICNIRP Guidelines 2020

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Snow stopped Transmission.

 This Sunday morning we have had a good dumping of snow over the Midlands area..

 

 

Around 12:00 GMT as I write this, my VHF/UHF array of antennas strapped to the side of the house are well plastered with the white stuff.  

Outside Temperature is Zero Centigrade.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Armbian Linux for Arm processors and Android TV Boxes.

It's always interesting when I write, to see what feedback or help is out there. I encourage you all to write back your thoughts in the comments below.

The recent blog about Linux Mint 20.1 created a stir on amateurradio.com, where my scribbles are relayed over and duplicated. Paul VA3ZC got in touch, and said "Have you tried Armbian? Linux for ARM devices".

So a quick trip down to the link https://www.armbian.com/  Reveals a good download area for hardware which you may like to try it out on. Although the Raspberry Pi is not listed, surely it can't be long before something is ported over.

 I know recently Ubuntu Linux has been ported for the Raspberry Pi. But are there cheaper methods of playing around with Linux and using it to advantage our hobby?

Paul mentioned he uses  an old Android TV Box. I have one of these which I use coupled up to my main TV for watching Youtube on.

 

             This is mine I snatched out from under the TV for demo purposes. 

The advantage of the Android TV box they are cheap! A mini computer all self contained inside a little box. Normally they include a power supply, simple remote, and work straight away out of the box when you plug them into your TV, booting from their internal Android firmware. They are also very simple to get running with Linux (in most cases). Adding a keyboard and mouse, blow the Linux firmware on to an SD card, and  away you go (In theory anyway).


 

 

  As you can see from the above two photo's good connectivity is included.

If you would like a little play around with Linux they have got to be an excellent starting point, and if you don't like it or get get fed up, brick it, or just end up throwing it into the corner of the shack, you haven't lost much.

You buy them from the likes of ebay, just type in Android TVBOX. You need to check first that the processor type is supported before you buy. Here is an example at around £20 UK:

 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Smart-Wifi-TV-Box-Android-Quad-Core-Remote-4K-HD-Media-Player-3D-8GB-Streamers/293698849998?hash=item4461d0ccce:g:dEkAAOSwS41fH-VW

As well as the Armbian website support there are lots of videos on Youtube to a show you how to go about installing Linux.

(Depending on processor type):

Here is one I dug out, there are plenty of others, but it shows you the basics how to go about and get it running with Armbian.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xezRDUCDkg 

Hope that helps! 


Friday, 8 January 2021

Kiwi online SDR G4DYA

The online G4DYA Kiwi SDR receiver is just 9 miles North of my QTH. Situated at Stone, Staffordshire. UK.

It has an excellent range of Amateur bands, and even goes down to LF 136KHz and 472KHz, it also has some good decoders built in to play around with for CW, PSK and even WSPR.

Ideal to test band conditions and your equipment.

Join in the fun here http://kiwisdr.lamont.me.uk:8073/


Linux Mint 20.1 Ulyssa Xfce released.

 

Latest version of Linux Mint released  https://blog.linuxmint.com/ 

I am hopeful there will be a version for Arm processors soon?



Wednesday, 6 January 2021

VAT is the way we are going to collect it.

Already there are moans from buyers, "they have charged me VAT!"

ebay have now rolled into the mix, implementing the 1st January 21 VAT rules for UK buyers, and EU. As  I mentioned at the start of writing this thread, they will nail it at source at the time of purchase:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/listings/default/vat-obligations-eu?id=4650

Where this leaves the likes of Aliexpress, Banggood and individual traders from China and the rest of the world not registered, I guess HMRC rules in Notice 143 will click into place?

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

LCSC Electronics

LCSC has been in my Far East component suppliers list for sometime now.. I was short of a few obscure components so I thought I would give them a whirl.

Website was easy to use, ordering was very quick, straight forward and simple. A small handling charge was added if the order was below a certain value . So I just ordered more components to the list to overcome the charge, the ease of paying by Paypal gave the order some security.


Based in Shenzhen, China, the consignment took no longer than anything else you would order from the far East, and was provided with live tracking as you can see from the package dates and path below:

 

  • delivered - no signature----Inward MC
    14
    2021/01/04 14:29:48
  • inward mc - handheld acceptance----Inward MC
    13
    2021/01/03 10:31:49
  • outward rdc - handheld acceptance----Outward RDC
    12
    2020/12/31 12:07:54
  • delivery to local courier
    11
    2020/12/28 06:00:00
  • Departed from Facility
    10
    2020/12/28 06:00:00
  • Arrived at Sort Facility
    9
    2020/12/27 14:00:00
  • Custom clearance completed
    8
    2020/12/27 08:52:00
  • Arrived at AIRPORT of Destination,clearance in process
    7
    2020/12/26 13:08:00
  • Departed from AIRPORT of Origin
    6
    2020/12/26 09:09:00
  • Arrive at international airport to abroad----QD
    5
    2020/12/24 23:23:07
  • Departed Facility In processing center----Qingdao
    4
    2020/12/23 16:05:51
  • Departed Facility in YT-BT-SZ ----YT-BT-SZ
    3
    2020/12/22 01:29:08
  • Arrived at Sort Facility YT-BT-SZ ----YT-BT-SZ
    2
    2020/12/21 22:46:40
  • Shipment information received
    1
    202

 

I will certainly be using them again in the future!

"Yes it got in with no added VAT or PO charges Hi! :-)"