Saturday, 14 November 2015

Kangaroo Island

Back from Tasmania for a few days and went to Kangaroo Island. The island is 20km off Cape Jervis, south of Adelaide.
Two nights in Kingscote allowed us to visit Flinders Chase Wilderness area at the western end of the island and an hour or so from Kingscote.

Admirals arch and the New Zealand fur seals were first.

 Followed by the remarkable rocks

The heritage walk behind the Visitor centre provided both koalas and kangaroos


Saturday, 7 November 2015

And on to Burnie

We hadn't planned to visit Burnie, but as it turned out, we have!
After crossing more mountainous terrain we found ourselves near Devonport. From there we just sort of wandered along the northern coast as far as Boat Harbour Beach. Beautiful white sands.
As we had already booked into a hotel in Burnie, we wondered back here. At dusk we are going to wander over to the Glade and see if there are any platypus around this evening.

Wallabies and wombats

More anon

Here at Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, we are surrounded by wildlife. Wallabies abound (pardon the pun) around our cabin at the Lodge, and wombats roam freely.

Wallaby outside the cabin

As was this guy!

We visited the nearby Devil's Cradle to see the Tasmanian devils and quolls

And no view would be complete without this fellow wondering along the roadside

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Visiting VK7

We have been in VK for several days and are currently in Hobart. VK7MO kindly agreed we could stay at his QTH for a couple of nights and Rex has shown us around his fine city including a trip uo to the very top of Mount Wellington. Although it is now Spring down here it rained heavily yesterday, up on Mount Wellington it had fallen as snow. In consequence  it was extra cold at 1270m!

Yes, that is Hobart down below.........

Rex and I have had long talks about 10 and 24GHz EME and the benefits of portable EME operation at these frequencies.

Tomorrow we will set off for Queenstown and Strachan. The weather promises to be better later this week.

This is one view from Rex' QTH, towards the east and out towards the Tasman peninsula and Port Arthur.


Friday, 23 October 2015

Playing remote

Since upgrading to Win10Pro I was made aware that I could operate two such equipped PCs in remote mode without subscribing to Logmein. I hade never found LMI to be all that easy to use, even after playing with a number of the settings. Screen rendition on my rotator screen was awful. I have cancelld my automatic LMI renewal due shortly.

With W10Pro remote desktop the screen quality is excellent and I can see the individual rotator markings much clearer than before.
All remote functions are working well except the MS HD3000 USB camera. This is an excellent camera, but it won't work over the RD connection. This might be due to the driver from MS not having been upgraded yet or it might be something else I haven't identified! The are known problems with HD3000 on W10

At the moment I am running my SpidRas dish controller over the remote system and monitoring sun noise on my indoor shack TS2000X. 


This evening the St Martin EME expedition TO2EME was consistently in the -23dB range on 23cm. Some of the bigger stations were unbelievably strong on the JT screen! G3LQR was a good (EME) 569


Wednesday, 14 October 2015


Following on from G4SWX's talk on VHF dx over 3000km I was interested to hear from WA1ZMS about the possible, recent, reception of his high power 144.285.5MHz transAtlantic beacon, located in Virginia, by a VHF op in Brazil. Assuming it is genuine and I've heard the phone app recording, but am not 100% convinced, it represents a truly remarkable distance for 144MHz and is certainly well in excess of the 3000km mentioned in John's talk. Even more remarkable is that the path is about 85 degres off the Great Circle!

If genuine then the reception of the ZMS/B beacon by PU2XIZ, and passed on by PY2DS on the phone, PY2DS feels he heard the CW and there is a very valid chance it's a true copy. 
It was possibly tropo enhanced TEP and that is being investigated using modern analysis software.
Part of the beacon sequence is clear on the recording, but not all of it.

I am sure we will hear more about this remarkble claim in due course. AO7 (I think) showed that long distances  were possible on 144MHz but not much has been reported in recent years.

Whilst I feel there are still some questions about the authenticity of this report, if proved true then it should be possible to work some truly long distances on VHF by carefully observing Hepburn and the F5LEN propagation web pages and acting on those that seem to offer good possibilities.


Thursday, 8 October 2015

RSGB Convention

I've spent much of this week getting kits ready to take to the RSGB Convention this weekend. I will only be there on the Saturday this year due to other commitments.
My thanks to G7OCD for producing more assembled Anglian 144MHz transverter boards in time for me to kit them ready for the weekend.
I've also kitted up 8W 144MHz PA short kits, DG8 144MHz masthead preamp short kits and a number of PGA144 low noise preamp kits.
There is no trade facility at the Convention, but if you want my of these kits you can find me either on the UKuG stand or in the VHF lecture stream in the afternoon, especially GM3SEK's talk. The other VHF talks are also very worthwhile attending as is the Microwave beginners talk by Simon. I saw his talk slides at last night's Pye and Pint CambHams get together in Barton.