Dayton Comes to an End July 29th, 2016
The Dayton HamVention has been an event that is known the world over by hams. The biggest ham radio show in the world and probably the longest running also. The annual pilgrimage to the Mid West has been a journey that thousands, maybe millions, of hams have undertaken over the years. But today I heard that the event is no more. This year was the very last time that Dayton was to be the destination to go to. The HARA arena is closed. Many will miss the venue and just as many will probably think otherwise. The arena got its name from the two brothers who owned the site. Their names are Harold and Ralph, hence the derived name.
As far as I know, there has been no decision with regard to a new venue, and I guess this will now be underway. There will also have to be a decision as to the funds that I assume have .been generated and benefitted the local hams and clubs. A similar central location is likely to be high on the list. Probably the one certainty is that the venue will be a lot cleaner and a lot smarter. Beyond that we will have to wait and see
Above is the program of events for tomorrow here in Hockly.
GPS setting SS5 4XD. Simply drive to the end of the road and you have arrived!
Reaching the VHF Limits July 21st, 2016
I understand that 6m was in pretty good form today with openings into the USA as well a nearer locations to the east and south. We are approaching the time when 6m openings will tail off and the band will go into partial hibernation so far as DX is concerned. But the magic of 6m perhaps benefits from this “quiet period” because nobody an be certain when the band will suddenly and briefly awaken from hibernation.
One of the fascinations of VHF and UHF is that there are distance limits. There are barriers that are yet to be broken. On HF, the world can be covered with the tight conditions. But the higher frequencies have limitations that have not yet been exceeded. The first 2m VHF transatlantic crossing has yet to be achieved. A new attempt is underway but many doubt it will ever happen. And that is the attraction. It is not impossible. It just has not been achieved so far. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be achieved at some time in the future. Weak signal communications capability has never been better. Let us hope that if and when it does happen, the evidence will be irrefutable!
National Ham Radio BBQ – This Saturday 23rd July July 20th, 2016
The current issue of SouthGate News carries details of the National Ham Radio BBQ here in Hockley. This takes place as from 11.30am on this coming Saturday, 23rd July. Post Code for venue is SS5 4XD. Just put this in your GPS and drive to the end of the road where the venue is clearly signed. No charge for admittance. There will be licensed bar open as from 4pm and there will b live Jazz in the Bar as from 5pm. So don’t miss this event.
For more information go to www.nationalhamradiobbq.co.uk.
Waters & Stanton Staff Member to give Talk at RSGB Convention July 18th, 2016
We are pleased to announce that Justin Johnson G0KSC, one of our staff members, has been asked to give a talk at the RSGB Convention. Waters & Stanton are pleased that one of their staff members will be at this Convention. I hope that customers visiting the Convention will make a point of catching up with Justin and all the latest news.
Not Good July 17th, 2016
In the past couple of days I have been walking around Derbyshire and doing a bit of portable operation. Conditions have not been good at all. And this seems to be the general trend at the moment on the HF bands. Several times over the past few weeks, particularly in the mornings, I have found that even with our SteppIR beam at the demo station, signals have been hard to come by. This is not good if you want to demonstrate a radio! Of course it won’t always be like this, and I guess it is just one of the challenges of ham radio. I often wonder if, apart from the 11 year cycle, there is a much larger cycle as I am convinced that radio conditions on the HF bands was much better in the 1960 – 1990 period. Totally unscientific and based on memory!
Life on The Edge! July 13th, 2016
Well actually the title should read “life on the Window Ledge!” And above is my ham radio station at the moment.
Yes I am using my good old KX3 running 5W from internal NiMH cells. In some ways it is very basic although there is nothing basic about the KX3 transceiver. It is in faction one of fhe most advanced designs and the performance beats almost any other transfer as regards receiving. I only have a small garden so there is no chance of a large HF array. In practice, most of my operation tends to be portable operation so I am quite at home with QRP. The set up in the photograph is in my conservatory and was set up primarily for testing out various portable antennas. It is in complete contrast to the station we have in the W&S demo area with SteppIR beam and linear amplifier. Yet I get just as much fun working on the “edge” as I do, operating from our demo facility.
For the past week I have been using a short end fed wire no higher than 6ft above the ground. Possibly the worst type of antenna installation you could use. But it works and proves that you can enjoy ham radio with even the most modest of installations. I am not a great fan of end fed wires other than at low power levels. It is far too easy to get an RF burn if the gear is not properly earthed. In my case with the KX3, it most certainly is not earthed other than connected to a counterpoise lying on the grass outside. But this is ham radio as I like it and that is what really matters.
ICOM IC-7300 Transceiver Availability July 13th, 2016
We have just received a small shipment of IC-7300 transceivers. If you are on our waiting list you need to contact us now.
Latest Visitors July 12th, 2016
We never know who is going to walk through the door! We certainly get more than our share of top operators and DX operators. Today we had Mark, M0DXR (left), a great contester and Clive 3B8CW a much wanted DX station. The meeting was not pre arranged, they just happened to turn up at the same time.
ICOM IC-7300 – The Demand Continues July 12th, 2016
The demand for the ICOM IC-7300 continues. I can’t remember the last time that a new transceiver was in such demand. Clearly it has caught everybody out. ICOM are struggling to meet demand and we are having to continually work from a waiting list. But there is another angle to all this.
ICOM have not done anything that other manufacturers could have done. SDR is not new technology and neither are colour touch screens. FlexRadio have been making SDR for years. Elecraft used SDR for their highly successful KX3 and more recently their KX2. Elecraft have produced over 10,000 SDR radios. It is not so much that ICOM have beaten their manufacturing competitors, it is more the fact that they were the first to finally wake up and realise what SDR had to offer. In the meantime both Elecraft and FlexRadio have produced thousands of SDR radios.
The IC-7300 certainly fills the vacuum in the SDR market and ICOM are reaping the benefit of this. The spin off is that competitors are reducing their prices in the hope that this move will bolster falling sales. Again this is good news for customers, particularly as the exchange rate suggests that prices should be going up rather than down. And because of this it is also very sensible to get on the waiting list for your IC-7300. Occasionally we have a cancellation so it is always sensible to give us a call to check on delivery times. The number is 01702 206835.