Category: Amateur radio

Stew Perry (Big Stew) Topband Distance Challenge

QSOs made during the 2018 Stew Perry (Big Stew) contest

I go through phases of not sleeping very well and I’m in the middle of one of those right now.  Yesterday evening after a very bad night previously, I went to bed relatively early in the hope that because I was so exhausted, I might actually drop off quickly.  No such luck, two hours later […]

An updated internal and external ADS-B comparison

ADS-B receiver mounted on a rifle cleaning rod

It’s been well over a year since I moved my external ADS-B receiver to the top of my Alimast and it’s been performing very well, regularly sitting in the top five of the UK receivers according to the FlightAware statistics page and in the top ten world wide on the PlaneFinder sharers list.  A good location […]

If you use WSJT-X for FT8/WSPR/JTx etc, you should upgrade to V2.0.0 as soon as possible

WSJT-X version 2.0.0 has been released and everyone who uses this software for any data modes should update as soon as possible.  This new version is NOT compatible with previous versions so everyone is encouraged to upgrade to 2.0.0 as soon as possible. New features in WSJT-X 2.0.0 Compound and nonstandard callsigns are automatically recognized […]

CQ World Wide DX CW 2018

This last weekend was the CQ World Wide DX CW Contest and I decided at short notice that I’d spend some time operating.  I was planning on being out for most of the day on Saturday but had nothing arranged for Sunday which would give me a few hours. I actually managed half an hour […]

Accurate time keeping on an Apple Mac running macOS Mojave

When running data modes such as the very popular FT8, it’s important to keep your computer clock accurate because if it’s more than a couple of seconds out then you won’t be able to decode anyone, they won’t be able to decode you and you won’t make any QSOs.  There are a number of utilities […]

SCC RTTY Championship 2018 – The results

In 2017 I entered and won the 15m section of the SCC RTTY Championship and although I wasn’t available for the full 24 hours of the contest this year, I did make a token entry by operating for around four hours on the Sunday morning. The problem was that on the Sunday, conditions had absolutely […]

Statistics for the third quarter of 2018

A gorgeously lovely summer means I spent less time on the wireless for these three months, making just over 600 QSOs and working only 80 DXCC entities. My data / phone / CW ratio is still about the same as earlier in the year and I’ve picked up three new entities on 160m and two […]

What constitutes “real radio”?

This is a question that’s being asked a lot these days. For me, the answer is fairly simple. If it involves RF leaving my station on a frequency which requires me to have an amateur radio licence to transmit on, then it’s “real radio”.  That is, it’s “Amateur radio”. That includes, HF, VHF, UHF, etc […]

Visiting GB6NT at Walton-on-the-Naze

View of GB6NT from the top of the Naze Tower

A few days ago was the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend and a group of locals under the umbrella of Colchester Radio Amateurs operated a special event station using the callsign GB6NT from the Naze Tower at Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex. This location is very close to me and I visited on both Saturday and Sunday.  On […]

Running my own DX Cluster again

A few years ago I set up a DXCluster using AR-Cluster on my old Mac Mini with Windows XP installed.  It ran for a long time, I had good connections into the network and although it was listed on the DX Cluster info page, nobody ever connected to me.  This was fine, the cluster was […]