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Greetings from M0TCF  (Formerly: 2E0TGT/M6TGT)

 


Picture - Yep, Thats' Me!!! On a nice day during the summer (the only nice day) of 2012, when I sat on the wall in front of the house with a Handheld connected to the vertical collinear. The antenna that very shortly afterwards went completely U/S, when I accidently dropped it smiley (Muppet).


Links Worth Following:


http://www.raibc.org.uk
Website of the UK Charity Representing Disabled Amateurs.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RAIBC/
Interactive Forum for Disabled Amateurs.
http://www.redtop-media.com/
Not only does Aubrey sing extremely well (check out the video links) - He also makes up adaptor leads to wire older style radios to modern microphones/headsets! He managed to wire up my previously modified 'Airwave' headset (which has built in DSP and an TX Key) so that it would fit my Yaesu FT757 GX, better still I can also use it with the more modern rigs simply by removing an single adaptor block! All done very quickly and at what I considered a very reasonable price! Very highly recommended.


June 2015 (this update is on top, the rest start in  date order)

Well here we are, two years and 11 months after I first started on my path to a full license and I have in my sweaty mitt a certificate from the Radio Communications Foundation (RCF) confirming that I, Linden J, Allen Esq have passed the UK Radio Amateurs Full License Exam!!!  Its been a long time coming.......... 35 years in the coming to be exact!  I was about 13 years old when I first picked up a copy of the then RAE handbook, nothing after page three made much sense to me back then!

I sat the exam, with another colleague at the Exeter Amateur Radio Society HQ, (at the Moose Club, Spining Path, Central Exeter) on May 1st and then had to wait an excruciating 10 days a  before a nice big brown envelope dropped through the letter box!  I'd pre-warned Sally about the size of the envelope, saying 'that if a small brown envelope arrived that I'd failed, and if a big one arrived then I'd probably passed'............ In the event, I grabbed the mail and went and hid in my office to open the envelope, much to my surpise and pleasure I had indeed passed - chuffed to rock doesn't cover it!

Eventually, after a bit of a battle to get into the Ofcom website, I finally opted for Mike Zero Tango Charlie Foxtrot - all the other letter groups that I wanted including, sadly, 'TGT' had gone or the system wasn't going to let me have.  Later, one of my friends - Baz G4FGE - noted to me that actually TGF was a great c/s selection, esp for use with Morse code, which is my next challenge! 

In one respect I can't help but feel a bit of a fraud!  My knowledge of electronic theory is not very good, and with the exception of a couple of the questions which I know I got right (mainly cos they were foundation level stuff) all the rest of them in that particular section were guesses! Perhaps one could refer to them as 'educated' guesses as I had spent a whole month revising (I got made redundant the previous month).  Without wishing to sound like I'm blowing my own trumpet, I know I nailed the rest of the exam, so perhaps I shouldn't be so hard on myself.  This is just like getting a driving license - now the real learning begins!  I've equipped myself with all the relevant knowledge , now I have put it into practice!

Locally things are going fine, the Club continues to grow, in fact we are in danger of running out of space and are actively seeking new accommodation, without much luck so far!  I've also been nominated and accepted as the Exeter ARS Secretary - a not very onerous job, but a necessary one. There are plans afoot to take the club call sign 'portable' this year for both the Practical Wireless 2m QRP competition (which Baz and I have done for the last two years - we haven't finished last on either occasion either!!) and for a club HF-UHF field day/BBQ/camping trip, so if you hear the c/s 'GX4ARE' please come back to us for a chat - we don't do rubber stamp QSO's if we can really help it :)

I still haven't gotten the radio shack/office/work bench/mess sorted out yet, despite being in here for nearly two years now.  Further Education put a hold on most ham activities, esp studying for a full license, but it was worth it in the end, I now have a BTech2 and am a fully qualified Learning Support Teaching Assistant (currently looking for work), never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would end up working with children nor gain such a high qualification!  (I know, I passed exams etc. whilst in the Army, but in real terms, they count for squat in civi street!).

I still have Hetty (my 650 Silverwing), she's had, probably her last major refurbishment as to all intents and purposes I've retired her now from day to day use.  The VN1500 went, after a complete re-spay - she looked the dogs and was one of the few bikes I actually got more for than I paid!  Initially, I didn't mind to much, but now I really do miss that bike, it was great fun to blast along the motorway and sounded really nice too (obnoxiously loud straight through pipes) but she had to go to pay for college so that's that!  18 months ago I acquired in a raffle, via the good offices of BLESMA, a Yamaha FJR 1300, its flippin' fast - actually ballistic is probably a better description -its way, way to fast for me and its going soon, I'm looking to replace it with a lighter weight more modern cruiser or maybe even a sidecar combo, which appeals to me as I can load it up with a battery and all the radio gear I need plus my camping gear, so you never know, the next time you hear me I might just be 'motorcycle mobile' lol.

As always: In the mean time, if I have the privilege to work your station then thanks - my gear, my station, my location may not be the best, but my appreciation for your time certainly is!


June 2012

Hello Folks,


My name is Linden Allen, (Skip to my mates), and I live in the city of Exeter, in the wonderful county of Devon, which is in the South West of England. I've been interested in radio's ever since I was a little boy, when my granddad let me listen to a SW radio receiver one evening, when I couldn't get to sleep. To be allowed to choose what I wanted to listen to, and when, was for me magical! My grandmother called it the 'wireless' because it was connected to the rest of the world by who knew what???


From then on, every time I visited my grand parents, I would spend hour upon hour sitting quietly, with an ear piece fitted, turning the tuning knob this way and that, placing the radio ariel just so to get the best possible signal - for a 6 year old boy this was brilliant, and for this particular boy nothing could be better - I was in my own world :)


A few year later and 'Citizen's Band Radio' splashed in to the UK - and I was smitten! Now, not only could I listen to the world, but I could talk to him as well!! I spent the next couple of years trying my hardest to get the best out of 'CB' but circumstances were against me and in the end events over took me and I joined the Army. Initially, I'd tried to join the Royal Corps of Signals (being interested in radios) but didn't make the grade! I was offered a place in the the Artillery but turned it down on the advice of a fellow air cadet, so in the end I joined the Infantry and had very little to do with radio's from there on in:)


Snap forward ten years and I was posted to Aldershot in Hampshire (reputedly, then home of the British Army), where I had the opportunity to once again indulge myself with citizens band radio. From a small set-up at first,until finally, through working overtime as the Sgts Mess driver I was able to earn pocket money - (I was married by now)- which enabled me to buy some decent kit; a Hygain 5 wide banded US rig, an 11m beam & vertical 7/8 wave length antenna plus the associated ancillaries to run it all As time passed two things happened, 1: I got really cheesed off with the Muppet operators on the UK CB frequencies , and 2: I met (via the radio) some fellow operators who felt the same way and wanted to take the next step and earn an Amateur Licence.


So we set to, but shortly after we enrolled on a night school course at Guildford tech I was put on standby for a posting to the Balkans, and any chance of passing the then RAE went out of my mind - I had other things to worry about.


A year or so later I was posted to an adventure training team, as a instructor and that’s where it all ends as far as the Army & I were concerned - on the 2nd of June 1995 I was badly injured in a training accident that left me unfit for Military Service - it nearly killed me, and there were days afterwards when I wished it had.


I left the military and put it all behind me, I lived life, enjoyed myself, met (another) girl and settled down. Eventually, the info the doc who treated me back in 95 had imparted to me on discharge from the hospital, came true. Little by little my leg (which they had managed to save despite the accident) began to disintegrate - literally - and I had no option but to go back to the medical services and ask them to take what was left off!
On the 12th of June 2010, just over 15 years after my accident my left lower leg was amputated and with it went a whole heap of pain, bad memories and a part of my life that was wasted.


Its now July 2012, and I've settled into what most folks would call normal life, for the first time in a long, long time I now have what I consider to be a life; I can now walk (yes, I can walk with a prosthetic leg, and 99% of people don't even realise) down the street and look every one in the eye because I have a job, I pay my way and don't take a penny from the 'State'!!! Add to that I now, finally have a Foundation Licence, soon to be an Intermediate - followed at some point by a full!


In the mean time, if I have the privilege to work your station then thanks - my gear, my station, my location may not be the best, but my appreciation for your time certainly is!


As well as Ham Radio, I also enjoy motorcycling, and I'm also a member of RAIBC – 'The Charity representing Radio Amateurs with Disabilities'.


Regards and Respect.


73's 'Skip' M6TGT


Update 1.


Its now mid August 2012 and I've had the opportunity to work a few stations on 2 & 4 meters - I haven't got my HF station up and running yet as I'm still busy building my antenna tower. I've also been very lucky with assistance from members of Exeter Amateur Radio Society, esp G8XQQ John with his seemingly ever lasting patience to answer 'duff' questions on my part :) I've been met with welcomes when ever I've been out on the frequencies and offered lots of good advice. Its a bit of learning curve running your own station, like remembering to check variable PSU voltage outputs BEFORE plugging expensive radios in to it Remembering to reduce the power output to minimum all the time is another good habit to remember (and get into) - that way you don't blow 7 amp PSU's up either (Doh)!


My interests in certain subjects have been piqued - Nick gave a very interesting presentation about data modes at the club meeting last week - its something he and many others seem heavily involved with as part of their commitment to RAYNET - from his description it seems interesting, and some the facilities that come with the programme(s) you need to run are amazing, the cost is a bit prohibitive at the moment,unless you are able to build the gear needed - but then again isn't that always the same old story?? :) The only downer about the whole thing was his description of the average QSO - and his comment that nobody bothered to 'rag chew' using data modes - that raises the question in me; why bother then??? I'm sure its fascinating once you get into it but to me it seems a bit like automated contesting


There's so much to explore in the world of amateur radio, I'm sure I wont ever get 'that; bored - even if I do, there always seems more to learn, experiment with, build, take to bits etc. Sometimes its hard to find the time to pick a microphone up LOL.!!!!


73's 'Skip' M6TGT


Update 2.


November 16th 2012.


So much has happened in the last few months!!! I've gathered together various items of radio equipment and now have what I consider to be a fairly reasonable beginners shack!! Perhaps I've been lucky - or maybe not so?? Life; its all a learning curve!
I've discovered the hard way, that the amateur radio world has its fair share of 'dubious' characters, who are ready & willing to con the unwary newb. Yes, I got caught out once or twice, but I have now allowed my cynical, overly developed Squaddies bullshit detector to rest along side my 'good will to others' in equal proportion! Some where along the line I'd picked up the notion that, some how, amateurs were above that sort of thing. Having said that, there has also been more than one occassion where I have turned up the odd gold nugget, at bean prices, so it all balances its self out in the long run.


The Cushcraft R6000 I scored off ebay for £80 has been a real boon, noisy as buggery at times, but it has allowed me an alternative to the G5RV which is strung between the house and the end of the garden. The R300 multi band vertical (2m/70cm/23cm) isnow sitting on top of a 22 feet high pole at the back of the garden as well, having been moved from the front of the house, its proved to be excellent value, just this evening it allowed me to take advantage of a 2m lift to open up a 'not very local' repeater in Sommerset and enjoy about 3 hours of QSo's with many stns not normally accessable on a day to day basis on that particular band.


Overall, my little stations has performed well above my anticipated expectations, with contacts made, mainly on 20 and 40 meters SSB, into Europe and Canada and the West coast of the USA which makes me wonder if, in that particular direction my tiny signal isn't reaching them long path??? Maryland seems to pop up fairly frequenlty to! Oddly, despite being on the opposite side so does NY City


My latest aqquistion is a Yeasu 6m unit, fairly old, but in almost brand new condition, I probably paid a little over the odds for it, but one never knows until the box arrives! They say 50Mhz is the 'magic' band and I intend to find out!!


The best of news is that I passed the practical part of my intermediate license last Monday, I'm chuffed to bits to have built (with observational guidance only from G# Kerry in Weymouth) a QRP transmitter! We (I) spent a very, very informative Sunday in his workshop, which under his keen eye I built various test rigs and prove some simple, but relevant electronic theory to myself. Having to use a VOM in a vareity of diffent modes, and being asked to prove my answers was most educational! So, having been fully accredited on the practical side, I can now take the written exam and earn myself a 2E0 call sign -from what I gather from the OFCOM website 2E0TGT is still available and if at all possible this is the C/S that I dearly want to have next - I know luck isn't int it, just hard nosed graft!


But take my word for it, being dyslexsic makes things just a tad more difficult than average, esp when it comes to using a scientific calculator to work out formulae. Personally, I'm very proud of what I have achieved so far; as many people over the years have written me off (in one form or another) but I have discovered that if I try hard enough and keep trying no matter what, I can, eventually confound 'their' expectations of me.
As always: In the mean time, if I have the privilege to work your station then thanks - my gear, my station, my location may not be the best, but my appreciation for your time certainly is!


Best Regards & Respect. 73's Linden. M6TGT.


Update 3


January 15th 2013


One very happy bunny smiley!!!! I passed my Intermediate exam last night, scoring 40 out of 45 or 89% if you want to look at it that way - which ever way you look at it I am very pleased with the result, despite being ill for the last few weeks - Christmas & New Year were a total wash out in our house - leaving me with very little in the way of time to revise! My trepidations regarding the mathematical side of things appeared to be completely unfounded as there wasn't that much in the particular paper I sat. Infact, in real terms it seemed that the powers that be seem far more interested in making sure that I (we) fully understand the terms and conditions of our licenses rather than how to construct and calibrate equipment - which is a bit odd, but when you consider that the vast majority of amateurs now buy rather than build their own gear it isn't surprising! To be sure there still are plenty of folks out there who do experiment, modify, build their own gear but it appears to be a shrinking minority saddly. The term black box 'operator' springs to mind!


Having been feeling very out of it recently, I haven't spent much in the way of time in the shack! I had to 'make' myself go in there on Christmas day & New Years Eve just so I could log the QSO's/time lol. The weather hasn't been much cop either, and despite having a gas heater in there it hasn't actually been that appealing :( .


The shack has been updated with the accquisition of a CG3000 remote antenna coupler, the old half size G5RV came down (after a comment from my neighbour) and has been replaced by a randow end fed wire approx 41 feet long, mounted in an inverted 'L'. Information received from Dave Wittering G3URA about the CG3000 now leads me to replace the current length of wire with another approx 103 feet long, which he tells me works even better than the one I have up at the moment!!! So hopefully, with the assistance of a local ariel fitter a post should be up on the apex of the house roof fairly soon; I should then be able to work 80 and 160 meters as well.


The Cushcraft RN6000 that got twisted in the storms at the begining of December is now back in the sky having replaced the ProWhip inverted 'V' that decided to dismantle its self one evening in a bit of a gale - TBH it never was that much cop and is only really suit able for portable QRP ops (good luck) where the take off is uncluttered by things like chain link fences, wooden fences, sheds, buildings and trees! It really is a 'cheap' ariel and the old adage of 'you get what you pay for' rings very true in this case, even when tuned with an auto atu. I mounted it about 16 feet in the air and waterproofed the connections etc. as recommended in the instructions, infact I did everything just as specified and it still collapsed on me (I've never known a cable tie to break before!). It seemed very deaf initially, so various checks to the installation were made, the first discovery I made was that the co-ax I purchased out of desperation from Malins does not fit firmly in the SO239 connectors they sell to go with it, in fact they are about 1mm to big, allowing the plug to freely rotate on the end of the cable, even with the braid folded back! Total and utter garbage!!!! I then purchased a 100m roll of Mil Spec stuff from an internet supplier and re-did the whole job, with better results - at least the radio was receiving signals now. However the ATU seemed to be having one heck of a time tuning it on everything but the 10 Mhz band - not a lot of use to me as I don't do morse or data modes yet!! A quick check with the trusty MFJ analyzer showed a true resonant frequency somewhere around 13.2 Mhz - even less use to me??


Some head scratching later, more measurements and a phonecall to the manufacturers - whom to be fair, had a helpful attitude, but weren't that much help in the long run - it got moved and bunged a little higher in the air. A slight improvement could be detected and the ATU confirmed it, however despite being on a rotator it displayed very little in the way of directional sensitivity - no dips or nulls in incomming signal strengths, rather it seemed to be operating more like a conventional omnidirectional vertical antenna! A possible cause for this has been suggested as the 12 feet high chain link security fence that runs along the rear of the property, which in all fairness wasn't that far from the mounting point, which may have been acting as a reflectorindecision Anyway, as I said, its been ripped down and packed away again in the shack awaiting an outing on one of this years Field Days!


I won't know for another week or so if I have managed to get 2E0TGT as my new c/s - fingers crossed eh! - I've just read this update to my lovely XYL, to make sure it is correct for syntax & spelling, who once I'd finished reading, commented 'What the ### are you on about'? Having not understood about 98% of what I've just written?? (sigh).


As Always: In the mean time, if I have the privilege to work your station then thanks - my gear, my station, my location may not be the best, but my appreciation for your time certainly is!

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Best Regards & Respect.

73's Linden. M6TGT.


200113

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After a few discussions involving bikes that we ride on various nets, I decided to upload a couple of pics of our current machines - this is my Kawasaki VN1500 Drifter, a cracking bike, but a bloody awful colour!!!! At the moment (Jan 2013) she is stripped down to a bare frame and all the (metal) parts have been shot blasted and then powdercoated gloss black. I love the 30's/40's styling - alot more now than I did. Oddly enough, I actually bought the bike with the real intention of radically chopping it, but the amount of attention it draws in its original garb has lead me to leave it just as it is styling wise anyway. The main reason she's currently in bits is so that I can repaint her in something I think is more aesthetically pleasing; in this case gloss black with a single broad stripe and two pinstripes which will flow from the front guard, over the tank and then onto the rear guard. I'll also replicate the 'ovals' on each side of the tank in the same silver - its my take on a 1936 Indian Motorcycle Company paint job, if the guards had been metal I my have thougth about having them chromed, which Indian did back in 1936, lucky for me Kwak made them out of plastic. She normally runs a set of V&H Longshot Pipes, which can only really be described as 'antisocial' (esp by the XYL), but as they don't come up to MoT spec I put the originals back on for the test which was when this photo was taken. Sadly, we will be parting company in a few months, despite having a 'Klicktronic' gear changer, which neither I nor the bike really like as it works approx 8 times out of 10 on average, which for me just isn't good enought! I can ride without it, using the heal and toe gear change, but I never really adapted to it and found myself constantly checking that my prosthetic leg & foot were in the correct position to actually change gear - not a massive problem while crusing along a motorway, but rather more dangerous in town on a damp evening in the rush hour! So after the all my efforts she's going to be either sold or traded in for a Honda DN-01, I'll be sad to see her go in some respects as she's probably the closest thing I'll ever get to owning a Harley, but having said that I really do prefer twin dics at the front end LOL.

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Hmm, theabove shot was taken a 'few' years ago - probably around 2005/6 - thats 'Hetty' my 1983 Honda 650 Silverwing, she's had various incarnations over the years; this particular one is just as Honda intended her to look, except that the original crappy little topbox is missing. I did actualy have one for a while, but as you couldn't even get an open faced skid lid in it I replaced it with a very rare Markland conversion rack and a decent Givi item!
I've had her since 1998, when I paid £1150 pounds for her as a naked SilverWing, since then I've stipped her down and done lots of little things - some improved the riding experience and some didn't. In this particular picture she's wearing the original half fairing that Honda also used on the GL1100 Goldwing (the fairing lowers were different obviously), in her current 2013 guise she's got a period manufactured aftermaket fairing from Rickman with twin 100 Watt headlamps, which are ace but do put a bit of drain on the electrical system. Being a US import bike, she has a few quirks but is still pretty much standard.
Once the VN has gone, I intend to give her just one more renovation, the poor old girl has been off the road for about two years now having reached just about 50000 miles - without I have to say, ever missing a beat!!! She's been totally reliable and I've never once have I had the engine apart in all that time, unbelievable as it may sound. It just goes to prove how well the designers at Honda got it right when they designed the CX500 (of which Hetty is a derivetive). Over the years since I first got here, I've owned a succession of other machines as well (as you do) they've all come and gone - a shed load of CX's among them - but Hetty has remained, a favourite bike with both Sally and I. Once or twice I have thought about selling her, but to be truthful I think if I did I would regret it to the end of my days.
I've always been a little retentive about oil and filter changes on her, going from 5000 miles when I first got her down to 2000 miles in the last 10 years or so and she has repaid me over and over again by taking me and pillions all over Europe for many happy thousands of miles; I've dropped her a couple of times, which has always led to a complete refurb!!!! I think, from memory she's had three punctures, two rear and one front, which was very scary as I was doing about 80mph (er hmph)on the outside lane of a dual carriage way (four lane Express Way) when the front wheel valve blew out - pucker up doesn't half describe it!!!! The only real mechanical breakdown she's ever had occurred during the trip when this photo was actually taken, the 'pull' carb cable broke, well actually the plastic twist grip on the handle bars that the nipple on the end of the cable fits into broke, but with a bit of ingenuity and the loan of probably the worlds worst fake replica Swiss Army Knife (well done Owen) we mananged to fix it on the side of the road in about 20 mins - all the while my mate Huge stood by the side of the road in his dayglo and white skid lid directing traffic; that was until somebody pointed out what he was doing was illegal LOL!
Its the little mishaps and unexpected situations that make a road trip real fun, like the time we were riding ( a group of 12 or so) behind a bus in Holland, when the bus engine let go big style and dumped its sump on the road in front of us OR the white knuckle ride five of us suffered on the way back to our hotel in Gent, after a night out - the Taxi being driven by a nutter of 'ethinic' origin, who completed the whole journey driving with one hand, while yelling into a mobile phone that was rammed in his ear! Never again!! Or walking into the Elephant Treffin in Bavaria, Southern Germany and being greeted by what can only be described as a scene from a post apocalyptical biker film made in Hell - actually, after the inital suprise it turned out to be one of the best rallies I've ever been to; the whole journey was an epic adventure made on/in a home constructed trike that took only 6 weeks to build! My co-pilot (Si Foote) and I travelled 1978 miles on that trip, in 5 days; at an average speed of 49.7 miles per hour. We were chased down hills by psycho truckers, pulled by the Autobahn police (one of whom, if she had smiled her face would've cracked and the other who thought the whole machine was mental, loved it and took photos ,but oddly wouldn't be photographed next to it for some reason). Si and I battled freezing cold, luckily no falling snow, curious eastern Europeans who had never seen anything quite like it before, a gearbox that randomly jammed its self in reverse and an engine that every monrning, half an hour after starting, would always dump a pint of coolant on Si's foot - which of course had to be topped up at the next fuel stop. We met some incredible characters; not least of which was the crew from 'Raptors MCC' Norwich. The list of adventures & mishaps from this trip goes on but it would get boring.Later Dudes :) Linden.


May 2013


Coming up for nearly a year now that I've had an amateur license, and what an interesting time its been!


From small beginnings do radio shacks grow, and mine is no exception. The shack accomodation its self has been vastly improved by the lining and insulation on the walls plus a rather plush, if worn carpet on the floor. The portable gas fire makes all the difference during cold weather! On the equipment side its been a similar picture with upgrades, modifications and additions. I acquired a rather nice desk from ebay at a steal of price, from a rather nice lady living locally. Phill, my buddy, who is into woodwork etc. very kindly made me a folding cover to go over the desk with a piano double folding style lid - excellent for keeping the dust etc. off my precious radio gear!!! As a present to myself (at the insistance of Sally my XYL), I purchased a Yaesu FT450 AT after I passed my intermediate license and it has only very recently taken pride of place on the operating desk! I spent not an inconsiderable amount of time studying the instruction manual before I even unwrapped the rig, so I can get the best of of the it!

The 450 is plumbed into the CG3000 antenna coupler linked to a 103' random wire antenna, and it with this that I have succeeded in recent weeks in working stations in South America, North Africa and on one occassion I even heard a VK3 station booming through with a s9+20 signal! Saddly my 50 watts erp was not enough at that time to break the pile up that seemed to follow him! The installation of some counter poise wiring is next on the list of things to try out, at the same time I'm going check and secure all the current connections to make sure the losses (if any) are kept to a minimum.


I've still got the FT757 and the auto atu, I'm in absolutely now hurry to part company with them, and will perhaps run them mobile/portable. The 757 is currently plugged into the RN6000 that took such a battering over the winter - a check with the analyser yesterday showed the antenna still to be in reasonable resonant tune - and is perfoming very well indeed. Having finally sorted the 450 out, I tuned both radios to the same signal to see what the difference is - tbh not a lot!!! The audio on the 450 was better (which it should be, considering its brand new and has DSP), but it wasn't the massive difference I had expected.... Perhaps these worn old ears of mine are past redemption now and its going to take a lot more to radically change what I can hear??? It might be worth me putting my hearing aides in lol!


I've joined the R.Sigs ARS (mem no 4186), I also enrolled with Worked All Britain (WAB) and then returned my membership pack in disgust at some of the unprecidented and totally unnecessary verbal/written attacks that were directed at foundation license holders, by a senior c/s who should've know very much better! I adhere to the DX Code and treat those who give me their time with decency and respect; I expect them to do the same to me! On the very few occassions I've come across something I don't like then all I've ever done is QSY and leave the operator(s) to it - there are always plenty of other folks to talk to; thats the beauty of amateur radio :)
As always, if I have the pleasure of working your station then many thanks, my gear and setup may not be the best, but my appreciation for your time certainly is!!


Regards & 73's Lin.

 


27 Dec 2013

Still here!! Me too lol :)

Not a massive amount to add from the last 6 months really. I've been persuaded by Sally to move the radio shack into the house - I must admit it didn't take me long to consider it as I've been rather concerned about the equipment getting damp in the shack - despite the cover that Phil so kindly built for the desk. I've only just got around to moving the kit out in the last couple of weeks, just before the Christmas break, but inevitably I've also had yet another bad chest infection with numerous visits to the GP resulting in antibiotics etc. So I haven't really been in much of a mood or the right frame of mind to do much in the way of reorganising my office to accomodate all the gear, not to mention moving/connecting various antennas etc.

The accquisiton of a full licence has been put on hold until September or December 2014 - I want to finish my LS&TA BTECH at college first, after all work pays for hobbies!! In the interim period of time, I've been helping out the local repeater group doing bits of fabrication and installation as well as on-site equipement testing, with luck the new 70cms/Raynet crossband repeater will be up and running some time in the early new year. Pete handed Keith the relevant paperwork the other day, so its down to him to get the application processed. I also bunged my paperwork in to join Raynet - soon I'll be able to 'ponce' around in a dayglo with the best of them - and insured to do so; I/We might even get to take part in a few events or exercises!!!!! Always good for a laugh if nothing else......

I've also decided to take part in the SOTA Scheme - not that fussed in real terms about 'activating' new or unique summits, rather an effort to combine amateur radio, a bit of exercise with a past hobby of mine which was hill walking and mountaineering. Before I lost my leg, I was a very keen walker (you had to be in the infantry) and I reckon it could be just the motivation I need to get out there and get some of this weight off that I've built up over the years of inactivity. Having moved the shack into the house means I can no longer smoke with impunity, and having realised (do'h, at last) its not doing me or my chest any good I have finally after all these years given up! Oddly enough, it hasn't had the dramatic effect on me that I thought it would, perhaps because I've been relaxed and/or due to illness, had an enforced sedentaryness on me as well! Either way I think its about a month or so now since I had a ciggy, maybe a bit less, but having got the blooming things out of my system I deffo don't want them back lol.

Life sure has an odd way of turning........... Just after my last entry I had an email, from my son Ben............. I haven't seen nor heard from him in +15 years - then out of the blue up he pops.... Talk about suprises!!! Initial caution led to curiosity and after that things just got better (in most respects - don't mention one written off motorcycle or the stolen replacement - third time lucky eh). He's turned out to be a most pleasent young chap and his wife is a great girl too! He's not exactly into amateur radio, but did take the foundation handbook away with him when he visited in August. One of the toughest things I've had to do was to take him down to the coach station to send him home, even if he's 26! Its hard to keep smiling when your heart is breaking..................... I've missed him so much over the years and I hid the pain of it even from myself for so long, when it surfaced it hit like a bomb (and I know what they feel like going off!!) Anyway, we're gonna keep in touch from now on and thats the main thing :)

Oddly enough the only major bit of gear I've added to the shack this 6 months is an MFJ manual tuner, the CG3000 is still working fine, but I find it doesn't half swallow power - as much as 50% on some bands, so in an effort to reduce losses, the plan is to change the 103' random wire for a multi-band off centre fed di-pole/longwire system, a nest of VHF/UHF antenna's and a horizontal loop, which, depending on design and configuration could be anything from 120 or so feet long right out to 240 or more if I get it right :) - in theory this should get me onto top band, but who knows what its going to be like when I get there - at the moment its S9+ white noise via the CG AATU!

I've also finally got to grips with ECHO Link, well I say got to grips with it, what I actually did was getting around to down loading it onto my computer and configuring it - not hard to do at all, (I think to many people look for problem, without just giving it a go first........my system needed one very easy tweek and that was it). Anyway from my perspective its just like 'Skype' used to be before they allowed video and conference calls......... Sorry, but not that impressed....... I guess its great when the HF bands go flat and theres not enough skip to raise a passing taxi, but.......... Heck, Phil 2E0PCJ loves it and if your in a bit of a radio black spot (like he is), then its probably the next best thing - I can't see myself calling 'CQ' through it that often, thats all ;) But as they say, its just another facet of Ham Radio, and well all know, far to well that the internet could've killed our hobby stone dead if we hadn't embraced it!

Thats about it for now - If I think of anything else before the new year then I try and add it!

BTW - DON'T QSL ME VIA THE BURO Please!!!!! Either EQSL or Direct ONLY - I do the same!

As always, if I have the pleasure of working your station then many thanks, my gear and setup may not be the best, but my appreciation for your time certainly is!!

Regards & Respect. Lin 2E0TGT

 

 

6199269 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:23:48, 40226 bytes

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