Wednesday, 14th June, 2023

Went round to another ham’s house the other day. I’ve been emailing him for a few months and met in person at the local club but never really spoken very much. Great guy and we talk for ages about things.

He has a huge mast and antenna in his garden and a great setup. Very envious! He pretty much only works CW (morse) nowadays. I watched him work Japan and some other random countries, was very impressive. He has a SteppIR yagi which adjusts its length when changing frequencies, and then a rotator to point it towards the station. All his boxes are all connected up, so everything syncs itself and adjusts automatically. He has his logger connected to the reverse beacon network, which is a group of listening stations around the world who listen to CW and report what they hear. He then sees that clicks on their name and the frequency adjusts, the antenna rotates and he starts dit-dahing away.

Makes me want to learn CW. I did start some website and was copying M and K, but need to establish a routine.

He’s collected all this stuff over 40 years so it’s a long journey.

It wouldn’t be a visit without me wanting to buy things. I’ve ordered an antenna that covers 6m, it also does 2m and 70cms for local chat. So then I’ll need a VHF/UHF radio to use it (and I’ve spied one on a used forum)…plus I might need to get an antenna tuner to make adjustments so it’s in the right part of the 6m band. The fancy tuner is about £400, which isn’t really something I just want to drop down.

I’ve joined a little chat group on Matrix of a few hams. There are a few people there who use QO-100 geostationary satellite and I’m quite keen to build a setup for that. Although I worry that the fun is building and once it’s done then I’ll not use it. Feel like I’ve said this before…

Glorious weather here. 🌞

I regret buying the new server SSDs whenever that was. Totally unnecessary, and to make matters worse, for the same amount you can buy 8TB ones now. I suppose that’s typical.

I remembered about the NanoVNA antenna analyser, it’s only £85 new and can do kHz to GHz measurements. Possibly not as robust as the rig experts but at 25% of the cost it’s hard to ignore. Can get a VHFUHF rig plus nanovna for the same price.

From an eham review “All is not perfect; there is no ‘perfect’ radio as there is no ‘perfect’ girlfriend or ‘perfect’ shotgun.”

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