GEORGE Zero GUIDE DOG ASSOCIATION
Raising awareness of the Guide Dog Association and the excellent work thay do. - Every hour someone goes blind !!!
Hi . and thanks for stopping by
Decided work didn't agree with me so I retired around eight years ago -- well you're only here once - and in May 2008 left Lancashire to move south to Kent - the county lies SW of London and covers an area of over 1400 sq miles or 2255 sq Klms with a coast line of over 350 miles or 565 klms. This is where the ancient Canyiaci people used to live pre Roman times - the garden of england and where Oast houses are found These buildings were used for drying hops prior to making beer but as the drying process has been changed now they have nearly all been turned into private homes ( Example Pictures At the end - unfortunately none is my home as I didn't have enough gold doubloons - starting prices are about 650k GBP ). I moved down here in 2008 and bought a run down cottage ( similar to the houses on T.V. programmes ) and spent 2 1/2 years renovating & extending it. The QTH is on the top of a small hill about 65m above sea level approx 5 klms from the north sea and 65 klms south east of London.
The cottage has 16 Solar Panels generating 4kw of power which makes us self sufficient in electricity during daylight hours and exports the excess to the national grid - it helps with the bills and pleases the tree huggers. Therefore the rig is being powered by the sun during the day - VERY ECO The Solar Panels face South East - 127 deg. Not the best orientation but can't be changed as the cottage is kind of grounded. There is a big increase in generating power when in sunshine which is great as we had to pay for the installation first. We receive 50 pence per Kw generated plus the use of the Kw produced - so a little free electricity. It's estimated that the system pays for it's self over approx 7- 8 years then it's into profit . The payment is index linked and guaranteed for 25 years Yeh !
I live in a village where some houses were built as early as the 16th century so unfortunatly an aerial array wouldn't go down too well. We don't have any shops, pubs or even street lighting - If we go out walking at night we have to take a torch ( spooky ). We do however have an architect designed village hall, a phone box and a 13th century church made from flint.
I have been off air due to work commitments and other things since 1996 and only came back on when the cottage was finished in October 2010 - quite a break.
I use the new FTdx 3k - amazing rig - picked it up in Nov 2012 on the way to the Kempton Rally - and I believe it's the first one in captivity in the U.K. I chose it because it uses the receiver and filters of the 5000 at a more affordable price A couple of operators on Eham have complained about the small panadapter but with not a lot of space on the panel there is a physical limitation but since software upgrades It is fine I have imput the same audio settings into the menu from my FT950 and now the audio out it brilliant - so I don't envisige changing the 3k for a long time. The rig is connect via an A - B cable to the laptop using the radios own built in interface & via a Palstar AT-500 ATU to the aerial - I only use the 100w pep ( 99.99w recurring ) and never run any power -. The antenna is a home made full size Windom Antenna - I miss my Cushcraft A3 tribander since moving but this bit of wire is doing me proud. --- Leaves a G5RV for DEAD - well it would.
I am informed the Carolina Windom was 1st designed and made in Elizabeth City N/Carolina. There are many versions of the Brilliant Windom Antenna and this is the one I chose. - - to the antenna aficionardos the following is probably up a gum tree but I can assure you it works exceptionally well on all bands - not just a couple --- Westflex 103 coax feeder to the base of a tree into a 1:1 balun - home made with FT 240-61 ferite ring - to make it work on 80m & 160 - then 22ft (6170mm ) measuered coax up the tree to a 4:1 current balun purchased from Canada connected to an off set wire of 44' ft (13411 mm ) and a 88' ft (27127mm ) legs. One end is held up by another tree at the bottom of the garden and the longer leg by the cottage chimney - the highest point is about 24' ( 8m ). Just before the wires attach to the top balun they go through their own egg insulator which is attached to the tree each side so as to take the weight of the wires. The wire used is .25 plastic coated multistrand ( bought from a rally ) and the coax feeder needs to be about 80ft ( 24800 mm ) The aerial works on all bands including warc with only a little adjustment of the external atu - the aerial lies in a north east and south west direction decided by the garden layout.
2M is a Yaesu FT857 through a Watson 50 on the chimney - works quite well with the open views to the east, north and west. The rig also doubles as a 40m portable station running off a car battery from a scrap yard, the aerial - coax into a connector block of a straight cut centre fed dipole - 33ft each leg ( 10044mm ) in an inverted V configeration held up in the centre by a fishing pole and tied off via egg insulators to what ever is available.
I am a member of BRATS - Bredhurst Receiving and Transmitting Society G0BRC and enjoy DX hunting, ssb competitions, data dx - PSK31, HELL, ROS & RTTY - unfortunatly my favourite mode AMTOR is no-longer heard on the bands and is Sadly missed, I also partake in local rag chewing on 40m in the evening
I do some volunteer driving taking people on hospital or doctor appointments. I also like sea fishing, photography, cycling and playing my electric guitar > badly
George Zero Good DX-ing Amateur
Remember - If you're not living on the edge you are taking up too much room
Windom Antenna disappearing into the middle tree from the cottage chimney - it then carries on to another tree in the bottom of the garden. Cracking Signal Gromit
Same shot - but should be on a christmas card
Portable station FT857 running off car battery- 40m Home Brew antenna tied to post - Height about 7m - Location Bluebell Hill Between Aylesford Maidstone and Walderslade Approx 200m ASL
I also try a bit of SOTA Portable from Thurnham Castle Ruins JO 01 HH WAB TQ 85 G/SE - 013 about 180m ASL at Detling Hill Kent using my Home Modified TW Antenna TW 2010L making it run on 40m.
Below some local properties around the area
Many old properties in Kent - this is one on Rochester high street > Yes it is right hand down a bit - Part of Rochester Castle in the background. This is the writer Charles Dickens territory.
Crooked cottage in Wingham . a Kent heritage property
Another heritage property in Charing
HIC . Where is my spirit level - another Charing property
Not a joke - below is a genuine shop door in Canterbury, Kent
Below are two examples of Oast Houses
VISITORS since May 2011
THE VERY BEST WISHES -YOU ARE ONLY HERE ONCE - SEE ON THE BAND - HAVE FUN -TU-DIT DIT 73's
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