Wednesday, 22nd March, 2023

March has nearly gone too.

I thought the world of film photography and development was full of options and choices. I feel it is dwarfed by the options and choices in amateur radio. I think they both have a similar type of magic though. Film, when you see that picture develop; radio, when you hear that voice (or morse or digital mode).

I did order some coax, cables and other bits and pieces. I’ve changed antenna design in my head about six times and still don’t know exactly what I’m going to do. Part of it is about experimenting with different designs within the limits of your garden. I think I want to start with something subtle in the garden. Maybe just a run along the wall or on the side of the house, before I start trying to string things up in the air. It’s unfortunate I don’t have a convenient tree at the bottom of the garden, as that would be the obvious choice and likely an antenna that most wouldn’t even notice. Watching videos of people doing things and it seems just about anything can work. The other tricky part is getting the coax cable into the house so that I connect it to the transceiver. Probably to start it’ll just be through a window or door, but long term it would be nice to have it piped to the office, or at least garage.

Speaking of transceiver, no idea what I’m getting there. Mostly don’t want to spend too much just yet. Every evening a friend and I have been talking about what to get and what antenna to setup and we end the evening having read a thousand websites and watched a thousand videos and feel exhausted from it. Occasionally going “maybe let’s just not bother”. The trouble is, there doesn’t seem to be much in the £300 price range. There are some older models out there but seems so hit and miss. All ebay listings are “for parts or not working” as it seems the common scam is to buy one, rip out or fiddle with the insides, and return as “broken” for ebay to side with the scammer. However, it means there’s no recourse for actual non-functioning radios. I’ve yet to find the UK forum of used gear. So then you go to a dealer but now every 80s radio is £500 minimum. Might as well buy a new one for £650 but now that’s much more than I wanted to spend…!

And so the evening cycle continues.

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