Grid Watch UK

Wednesday 31 December 2014

Christmas past & those presents

Christmas came and went very quickly this year yet again. I must be getting old these days to feel that I don't enjoy it any longer? No sooner we had done the shopping and all the running around for ourselves and the family, stuffed the turkey, had a few visitors and done a bit of entertaining, we were left with nothing more than a few bones and an empty fridge.

The last of the turkey went in the pot a few days ago and we boiled it up for a nice stew, this was really appreciated as the weather had turned colder here since Boxing day the 26th, we even had some snow! After the stew followed a nice piece of homemade Xmas Cake and a large Scotch keeping one in the spirit of things.

Presents were few this year, I cheekily had asked for the money on purpose because I would like a new wristwatch, when the one I have been looking at for quite sometime comes around in a sale in the New Year at the right price.

However, apart from the analogue meter which I have already purchased from the gift cash pot: (see: ). I did receive a couple of other nice little presents too. A book from the RSGB by Eamon Skelton & Elaine Richards. Building a Transceiver  (I currently do not have permission from the RSGB to reproduce or copy, so I cannot provide a photo of the front cover, hence the link. I am working on this one!).

My other tech present was a nice little DMM in the shape of a probe from Mastech Model MS8211:

First thoughts about this, it comes in a sturdy box with instructions and a certificate, complete with a nice case, a couple of leads for the Com, one with a probe and the other with a croc clip attached. The whole unit has got a nice rugged feel about it.

I am looking forward to reviewing the DMM along with the book further down the Blog.

A Happy New Year to you all!

Tuesday 30 December 2014

LD-5 price!

LNR Precision is now flagging a price of $575 (£380 UK) for its new HF QRP radio the LD-5. I guess this price doesn't include shipping?

Currently it is flagged "Out of stock".!/LD-5/p/39885476/category=10468544

I gave a short mention about this radio back in October:

Plus a link to its manual a few weeks later:

If I was buying this radio here in the UK, I would like to see it supported by a dealer, so I hope you all are reading?

Monday 29 December 2014

Spare pocket money

I have always been a big fan of moving coil multimeters, don't get me wrong the digital DMM is great. But there is something about an old fashioned moving coil meter I have always liked, a bit like the boy who grew up to be a man and still loves steam engines I suppose?

Christmas brought me a couple of envelopes with some money and I was busy browsing late last night, temptation got the better of me:

The MF500B is a full sized bench multimeter (plenty of images available on the web):

DC voltage: 0/ 2.5/ 10/ 50/ 250/ 500/ 2500V
AC Voltage: 0/ 10/ 50/ 250/ 500/ 2500V
DC current :0/ 50uA; 1/ 10/ 100/ 500mA
AC current : 0/ 1/ 10/ 100/ 500mA
Resistance(Ω):  R × 1/  R × 10/  R × 100/  R × 1K/  R × 10KΩ
Audio Level: Audio level -10 ~ +220 dB

The price was the best bit, less than £20 UK ($30 US) including delivery! 

It has got to be a bargain:

Sunday 28 December 2014

More component finds

Some recent component finds I have on order for myself, which you may find useful for your own Amateur projects all prices seem very reasonable:

10 pieces of copper clad board useful for building your QRP projects on, size 10cm x 15cm:

2200 uF 16V electrolytic capacitor x 50 pieces:
Ideal for some decent smoothing on your project supply rails:

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Seasons Greetings

                                               Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

                                                      73's & 88's from G1KQH

Monday 22 December 2014

A little mention

Christmas reading time, Sprat 161 popped through the letterbox in this mornings post. I see Graham (G3MFJ) gave me a little mention about the TDA2003's that I recently had come across, he had decided to grab a batch for G-QRP members sales:

What interests me about this chip, as well as being a high powered 10W audio Amp, plenty of circuits which are available on the web. The TDA2003 has also been used in VLF PA design Amateur projects. From G3XBM:

Also at 73KHz The Heyphone John Hey (G3TDZ):
I emailed John recently about the TDA2003 and  he reckons that they will work at 137KHz depending on manufacture? Time to get testing a few on the end of a signal generator..

Saturday 20 December 2014

Simon's Greyline

Simon Brown (G4ELI) author of SDR-RADIO has recently started writing another program called Greyline for Windows, and is still moving it forward. We are now up to Version1 Build 222.

I wrote about this in early October

Since then the Great Circle map has been given a zoom option, and some minor bugs have been ironed out. I also notice there is now an interface for the Yaesu FT-3000 that has been added, not much reference to this at the moment, and as I do not own this radio I cannot test it out? However, I feel there are great things to come from this program, so it is well worth a download and keeping an eye on its website for future updates:

Not much time?

The month of December has come and nearly gone without any Blog output from me, poor show I hear you all say. Christmas shopping and the family have had the better of me of late, but don't worry I will be back to the keyboard shortly after I have eaten the last leg of the turkey.

There are a few little electronic toys I am hoping for this year, as well as a book. All will be revealed very soon!

73 Steve