2m Activity   November 29th, 2015

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The Thurrock Amateur Radio Club here in Essex, yesterday arranged an afternoon activity period on 2m FM. This is a great idea and perhaps underlines the need to promote more activity on 2m.

Time and time again we hear from customers how disappointed they are with the low level of activity on 2m. When you take into account the number of 2m radios sold each year and the number of repeaters up and down the country, it would be reasonable to expect the band to be very active. Yet some would say that there is less activity now on this band than 20 years ago.

Of course there are some areas where activity is not apparent to the casual listener. This includes EME and various other data modes. But you cannot fail to notice how much activity increases as soon as there is an uplift in conditions. These “openings” are now very predictable and enthusiasts simply need to monitor the appropriate web services to get alerts. Maybe it is this that has reduced activity. In the past, the only way to check conditions was to call CQ and to listen regularly. Today all you need do is switch on your PC to check conditions!

Peter G3OJV

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The Icom IC-7851 is probably the best performing radio currently available to ham radio operators, and has attracted a lot af attention even from those who cannot afford or justify the outlay.

It is a big investment and customers need confidence in who they decide to buy from. Well customers certainly seem to have been voting on their feet at W&S. We have sold more than any other dealer in recent months.

If you are thinking of trading up to the IC-7851 then get in touch with Justin G0KSC who will be happy to talk to you about this radio and, if needed, arrange a demonstration.

Peter G3OJV

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Yesterday we arranged a demonstration of SDR for some visiting hams. As usual, Justin, G0KSC took charge of this, he being an SDR convert of some years.

Justin has spent a great deal of time in creating the UK’s largest and best equipped ham radio demonstration facility here at Hockley. A facility where you can try out the equipment on antennas systems that are some of the best in the world. That’s the only true way to compare equipment. And that is why more and more customers are making the trip down to Hockley.

If you are thinking of coming either as and individual or as a group, then please give Justin a call and we will make sure that you receive the very best attention. There is free car parking and if you plan to spend some time with us, apart from the free coffee and tea, there are also restaurants within a few yards of us.

In the picture above you can see three new owners of FlexRAdio systems, and if you look carefully you may recognise the well known TV weather man!

Peter Waters G3OJV

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Above are two Antennas that are labelled as Diamond SG-7900. One is genuine and the other is a fake. The first thing you notice is that one package is shorter than the other. The short one is the fake one.

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The next thing that you notice is the the Diamond label is not in the same position.

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Above you can see that the fake has no barcode or yellow label.

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Now we get to the critical bits. As you can see, the dimensions are totally different and we are talking VHF and UHF so that difference is actually very large in terms of performance and resonance.

There are other mechanical differences that will not reproduce in the photo. The thread on the base is inferior and the pin that holds the antenna hinge in place is extremely poor and will never last!

This fake antenna was purchased on eBay. But there are others in circulation. The retail price is usually an indication and really the safest thing to do is to buy direct from us. We are the sole UK appointed UK distributors.

Peter G3OJV

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Here at the UK’s largest and best equipped demonstration facility, we are always happy to arrange live equipment demonstrations. Today we had a group who wanted to purchase SDR transceivers. It is widely recognised that W&S are the place to go, with Justin G0KSC, being our resident expert.

We have live screens hooked up to FlexRadio, Apache Labs and Sun transceivers. We also have the big advantage of having the best antenna system of any dealer in Europe.

All good reasons to come and visit us.

Peter G3OJV

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Today is Black Friday and we are offering 10% discount across the board for the whole weekend. This is great news for our customers, but it seems to be bad news from our one of our competitors.

It seems that one of our competitors has sent out a letter of complaint to all the three major suppliers, Yaesu, Kenwood and Icom. The substance of the complaint is that we are discounting and affecting their business. So who is the dealer that is so upset? Perhaps we will leave you to guess!

In some ways it is laughable that it causes such a reaction. It says much about the Company involved. In fact the Company involved clearly does not want customers to get bargains on Black Friday. That says much about their attitude to customers.

So let’s have a bit of fun. Send us your ideas of who it is and we will see how many of you guess right. We suspect that the majority will guess right.

Peter G3OJV

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BLACK FRIDAY   November 26th, 2015

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This is the Eve of Black Friday. And this has becoming the most important retail date of the year. Well beyond the position once held by the New Year Sales. It’s a time when profit is sacrificed for turnover. Clearly not sustainable for anything other than a short time.

Here at W&S we are joining in the fun and offering great deals right across the complete range of ham radio gear. Unlike some of our competitors, we decided to slash the cost of every single item on our web site. That means that there is something that potentially will appeal to all those in ham radio.

Are there any catches? No! Everything is brand new, and carries the full manufacture’s warranty. The only limitation is that you cannot order multiples of the same product. But you can order as many different items as you like. And orders must be placed on the web and not by phone.

In fact we have gone one step further and extended the Black Friday over the whole weekend right up until midnight on Sunday. That midnight hour really is the cut off point and all prices will revert to the normal price on the chimes of midnight as we trip over from Sunday to Monday. So don’t miss out.

Peter G3OJV.

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W&S Ham Radio Licence Workshop   November 25th, 2015

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Above is a picture of students attending an intermediate licence workshop held in our demonstration centre in Hockley. This was the second part of a two week workshop organised by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society. All students completed the course successfully. This involved building a simple receiver and calibratung a VFO.

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Above is a one to one session involving the calibration of a VFO.

Peter Waters G3OJV

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ICOM Top End Products   November 25th, 2015

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There has been a bit of a gap in this blog, for no other reason than we have been pretty busy with all kinds of changes and a bit of personal holiday thrown in for good measure.

Here at W&S we are seeing more and more “top end” sales of Icom. The introduction of the IC-7851 has created a great deal of interest. In fact we are selling more than any other dealer. You get a lot for your money and it is probably the leading radio for HF operation. It is big and it is heavy, but as soon as you sit in front of it, you get to see why it is so popular.

I have been licensed for 55 years and been in the industry for 43 years. When I sit down in front of a radio it only takes a few minutes to arrive at an initial impression of performance, capability and design. I have spoken to others of similar vintage and all agree that with experience you do have a “feel” for a radio after only a short while of operation. And I can tell you that there have been some that I have not been impressed with and long term use has confirmed the first impressions!

Here at W&S, we are fortunate in that we have the best antenna system of any dealer in the UK. All the designs and manufacturer was carries out by G0KSC. So we can get some pretty hefty signals into the front end. And of course, we have a wide range of radios that we can use as comparisons. Oh, and by the way, G0KSC now works from here at Hockley, because his production has now been transferred into our building. So if you are passing, pop in and have a chat with Justin.

Another facility we offer is the ability to allow customers to sit down beside any radio and use it on the air, no matter what price bracket you are looking at. How many dealers can sit you in front of an IC-7700 or a IC-7851?

Peter G3OJV.

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