The Frozen North February 24th, 2016
I have just returned from one of my regular trips to the north of Scotland. It’s a different world up there, with lots of mountains and some interesting challenges for those who enjoy the out- doors. Ham radio is very active up in the Highlands but there are some skills that we don’t use down here i the south. One of these is that of bouncing VHF signals of the hills. Many hams are locked in by the surrounding mountains and whilst these can work as very effective reflectors on HF, they tend to be major obstructions to VHF propagation. But rather like EME, two stations pointing at the same mounting can bounce their signals such that short range contacts are possible when there is no line of sight capability.
Unfortunately these mountains, friendly as they are for radio, have proved to be a danger to many climbers. Whilst I was up in this area, there was a major search underway for two missing persons. The regular throb of the helicopter was a reminder of this incident.
On this occasion I did not take any ham gear as operation outside was not possible because of the weather forecast which turned out to true. Not so much cold as high winds and torrential rain. For the very first time I chose to use the overnight train sleeper service from London to Fort William. This proved to be superb, as all the travelling takes place whilst you are asleep. The fact that the train leaves London destined for Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William and then divides up at 4am in the morning, is an interesting logistic exercise. I was not awake to see how it works! However, the same takes place in reverse on the way back when all three south bound trains join up around midnight to form a united convoy pulled by one engine.
10m Activity February 9th, 2016
I have recently been checking 10m for activity because I long suspected that the bands is not always dead solely because of poor propagation. Whenever there is an HF contest there always seeins to be some kind of activity. And beacons are not always a useful guide as I found out at the weekend.
Checked the band at around 10am.The band was dead from end to end. Not a signal to he heard.. I left the K3 running and had the P3 adaptor set to scan between 28.400 and 28.600. It was not long before I spotted a very weak signal. It was just visible in the waterfall trace. Tuning the radio to this frequency I could make out an SSB signal. Within a short time it came out of the noise. It was a VK7. The signal was never strong, but remained perfectly readable at around 6dB above noise.
He was running 100W into a Yagi. Now if I were to rely on beans, I would determine that there was no probation. Beacons generally run low power to “no-gain” antennas. Such a beacon in VK7 would never have risen above the noise level. So I suggest that regular checks of 10m might spring a few surprises. But I strongly recommend you employ a waterfall display!
SUN MB1 SDR Transceiver NEW VIDEO February 6th, 2016
We have just published a new video on this exciting new transceiver. We were the first UK dealer to get delivery and put this radio on the air. We love the performance and already have sold several units to waiting customers. When you are investing this kind of money you need to know that there is advice and backup. Here at W&S we have the expert on hand in the shape of Justin G0KSC. Give us a call and discuss your needs and perhaps a part exchange deal?. But whatever you do, come to us because we are the experts and will hand hold you if needed.
IC-7300 UK Price? February 4th, 2016
The delivery of the new Icom IC-7300 is coming closer and we will have the first shipment. What lots of customers want to know is what the UK price will be? Well that is still not finally decided yet and will probably not be decided until the radios are shipped to the UK. The general opinion is that they will be around about £1K. That probably is about right when you look at the general market in this area. Ultimately it is a price that is a combination of what the market will stand and what the competition is. The best clue at the moment is the Japanese retail price which is YEN 139,000.
In fact the only thing that is certain is that we will match or beat the best price available and certainly offer the best before and after sales service. Well over half of the first shipment is sold so get in touch.
The New MB-1 SDR Transceiver arrives at W&S February 2nd, 2016
Here at W&S we today took delivery of a quantity of the new MB-1 SDR transceivers. What will particularly interest prospective purchasers is the fact that this radio covers 144MHz as well as the HF bands. We hope to publish a video of our first impressions of this radio within the next few days.
Three TS-990s sold on same day by Kenwood’s top UK Dealer February 2nd, 2016
As Kenwood’s top UK dealer, it is not surprising that we get to sell more TS-990s than any other dealer. Our reputation for having the best technical staff gives confidence to those making serious investments in ham radio. In ham radio you are either a”box shifter”( who just hopes the customer never has any technical problems or any questions about setting up and operating) or you are W&S. Members of the Harlow Radio Club soon decided who to place their trust in. The photos above show three members who all decided to buy their TS-990s on the same day from W&S!
If you are thinking about buying serious radios, whether Kenwood or otherwise, do you really want to go to a “box shifter” or would you rather go the the UK’s only serious dealer with antennas galore and fully trained staff who are active hams.