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I was operating on 15m today. Yes the band is still open from time to time and signals have been quite strong, with a marked lack of QRM! It was surprising how many stations were using Heil products.

If you have never used a Heil product in your ham radio station, then you are missing out! The quality of audio is quite outstanding. I have mentioned before how the quality of the average microphone supplied with commercial transceivers, leaves a lot to be desired. It’s a necessary cost cutting exercise because a decent microphone does not come cheaply. But it does make a huge difference to the transmitted signal. It can also provide several dB of increased talk power.

The modern HF SSB transceivers often have EQ adjustment. This permits the owner to adjust his EQ so that the voice and mic. can be optimised. But for this to work really well, you need a decent signal, and that is where the Heil microphone can do a great job. The image above hows the popular headsets. Below is the basic intro to the Pro 7 series.

The Pro 7 offers a feature set that compliments the Heil Sound standard for headset design. Unlike copies of various aviation type headsets, the PRO 7 is not a copy. It brings newtechnologyto the headset industry. The 2″ thick gel foam ear pads provide extreme comfort for extended periods of time while exhibiting passive noise reduction rated at -26dB, ideal for use in high ambient noise environments. Using technology Bob Heil learned from Paul Klipsch back in the early 70’s, the ear cup enclosures were tuned to the free air cone resonance of the speaker cone thus providing very low distortion with maximum voice articulation providing the ultimate sound reproduction for communications. Theexclusive Heil Phase Reversal system (HPR) allows you to acoustically move the signals forward and creates a spatial widening of the sound field. This feature makes it easier to pull a weak signal from a pileup – useful for DxPeditions and contests as well as a stress reliever as your change the phase angle of the program source. A speaker balance control allows preferred level between the speakers.

Peter G3OJV

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Christmas at Waters & Stanton   December 26th, 2015

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Here at Waters and Stanton we are aware that most of you will be enjoying some time off over the Christmas and New Year period. It’s a time when we may look towards updating our station or adding things. And it’s a time when we consider presents, or perhaps treating ourselves. So for the next few days we have discounted all our web prices. Simply go to www.wsplc.com and browse our web. Everything has been reduced. BUT this will only be for a few days, so act now and don’t miss out.

Peter G3OJV.

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ICOM IC-7300   December 23rd, 2015

There are all kinds of rumours flying about concerning the ICOM IC-7300 transceiver. At present not even a sample has reached the UK, or indeed Europe. The latest estimate is for delivery in February, but remember that this is an estimate from within the trade. There are great expectations about this model and if it matches the expectations, it will be a winner. There is no real estimate on the price. Clearly it will be around the £1,000 mark, because that is where it would seem to fit in the market and ICOM will be aware of the FT-991 and its current price.

Peter G3OJV

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National Ham Radio BBQ   December 22nd, 2015

This event will take place on 23rd July and will be a unique event for all the family. It will combine technology with social gathering. Trips for the ladies, lectures for the hams. At the end of the afternoon, there will be a summer BBQ and in the evening, live entertainment. But that is just the outline of the event. There will be much, much more. We will be publishing the full details as they are rolled out, on a special web site devoted to this event. At present we have a static landing page. In the New Year this will be replaced with a live web site. So keep in touch.

Keep in touch here

Peter G3OJV

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500W on 70cms   December 22nd, 2015

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Above, 500W at 70cms on a desk top.

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Justin G0KSC, tests the amplifier at G0PEP

70cms is not a band that I regularly operate on, and apart from 70cms repeater operation, I have very little experience on UHF. This is partly because I don’t have a good QTH for the higher frequencies and so I tend to operate on the HF bands. But in the shop here, we cater for all interests and from time to time, I get to operate on the upper frequencies.

Yestarday we took delivery of a very interesting amplifier from Mocroset in Italy. This is a 500W 70cms linear amplifier. It is very compact and includes a 230V AC power supply, so the whole unit is self-contained. This power level is very high and enthusiasts for this band will no doubgt be interested to take a closer look.

Justin, G0KSC, has munch more experiennce on this band than I have and so he undertook some preliminary tests. What we did not expect was a minor explosion. As the power was increased to around 400W, there was a loud pop, some
smoke and the smell of burning. Not what we expected! On closer inspection we discovered that it was the VSWR meter that had been destroyed! Clearly not capable of handling the power level, even though the manufacturer claimed it would handle 600W at 70cms. I guess that 400W is only a couple of dB away from 600W! However it does go to show just how critical these power levels are and this applies to all frequencies. As soon as you venture into the areas of high power, you have to observe power handling limitations between amplifier and antenna, and all things in between.

In this instance the amplifier was undamaged, a good test in high VSWR handling. And to Justin’s credit, the 70cms antenna array we were using was rated at 5kW so no danger there. If you hear G0PEP on 70cms SSB, give us a call.

Peter G3OJV

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10m and 15m still Active   December 20th, 2015

It is some time since I operated on these two bands, but have spent a bit of time on them recently. This weekend it was good to hear both bands active. OK there were few S9 signals, but there was propagation. Saturday and today proved quite good, mainly because there was a contest running. and this does seem to underline the fact that there is probably propagation and paths open more often than we sometimes realise. Rarely is 10m or 15m dead during a contest. I only use a simple dipole, but of course I benefit from any antenna gain of the guy at the other end. As I have said on previous occasions, we all benefit from big antennas used by the stations we are working.

I know that of the many stations that operate WSPR, paths are often open and it just needs somebody to call CQ!

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80m and 40m from a Small Garden   December 17th, 2015

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There is a new low price on this compact antenna, the W-735. It covers 80m and 40m, and is a high quality item made by Diamond of Japan. There are no capacitors to burn out and it is balun fed and matched for 50 Ohm coax with an SO-239 connection. The overall length is around 70ft – but wait – you don’t need all that space to fit it into your garden. There are two additional installation options. The first is to install it as an inverted V antenna, supported at the centre. The overall length of space taken up would then be reduced to around 60ft. An alternative would be to drop the ends and the overall space could be even less.

So if you want to get onto 40m and 80m, this could well be the answer. £64.95

Peter G3OJV.

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Above, Peter Waters G3OJV in front of our demo IC-7851 and IC-7700.

Here at Waters & Stanton we today have sold another IC-7851. This is a high end radio and we have sold more IC-7851 transceivers in 2015 than all the other UK dealers put together. So why is this?

We are the only UK dealer to be able to offer this transceiver from stock and also have the IC-7700 in stock. We have Justin, G0KSC, acknowledged as one of the most knowledgeable ham operators in the UK and a regular speaker at the RSGB Convention. We also happen to have the best demonstration facilities in Europe.

Customers know that they can speak to experts in whatever field of ham radio area of interest they need to discuss. We are not box shifters and we take an interest in customers after they have made their purchase.

If you have not dealt with us for a while or are a new customer, then give us a call and we will be delighted to talk with you and help you.

Peter G3OJV

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WSDRX-1-MK3 wPhone

Isn’t technology wonderful and exciting. We have been selling the Watson W-SDRX-1 receiver for some time now and we are now onto the Mk III version.

The great news is that this radio will now work with an Android phone. The radio comes with the required lead so that you can tether the radio to your Android phone. With the phone connected up to the W-SDRX-1 Mk III you are set to go and can monitor the radio spectrum from SW right up to UHF. All modes.

This radio is now in stock and ready to ship.

Peter G3OJV

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All in A Day’s work   December 15th, 2015

A couple of readers have asked what happens during a typical day here in Hockley/ So here goes.

At around 8.30am, 15m SSB was lively with good signals coming through via our XR6 Yagi on the roof here in Hockley. It was primarily from Eastern Europe, but good to hear this band offering good signals. 2m also showed a slight lift and we kept the 10 over 10 Yagi pointing east. We can usually work into Germany on most days because we have a good path in this direction. Currently we are using an Icom IC-9100 driving a valve linear to 400W.

Elecraft made a delivery to us which will please those waiting for some kits. It also means we can complete building the outstanding “finished” items needed by customers. We also hod a small delivery of the W-SDRX-1 Mk III SDR receiver. It is still selling well and offering quite amazing performance.

The top range Icom transceivers are still attracting attention and we had a forward order for an IC-7851 and another customer snapped up a second hand IC-7800. In fact there has been a surge of interest in the IC-7800s that are coming onto the market. They are a serious radio at a very attractive price.

More FT-991s came in and went out. This is a major success story for Yaesu and you get a lot for your money. This has resulted in a number of part exchange deals, and it is difficult to keep up with the influx of used gear!

Diamond antenna sales are up, primarily because of the warning that there are lots of counterfeit models around that will probably fall apart eventually/ And these copies just look awful on a network analyser. The only way to be really sure of getting a genuine Diamond antenna is to come to us as the only UK authorised distributor appointed by Diamond of Japan.

Live help is something that we operate on our web site and customers really appreciate this. One of our sales team is usually active on the site to help and advise customers. We often have to do a juggling act between answering phone calls and responding to customer web questions. It keeps us awake!

Oh, and we set off the alarm tamper circuit this afternoon when an antenna boom being moved in the upstairs workshop, struck an sensor!!

And if you want a cheap pair of headphones……..

Peter G3OJV

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