Applying for data mode awards (the easy way)

Applying for data mode awards (the easy way)
Recently I discovered a really easy way of applying for the various Digital operating awards, and I thought I’d share it with you all. If you’ve done any PSK or FT8 operating, you may have already earned quite a few, but not even realised it. There are a number of Digital operating clubs that run ...

Activating Southern Britain’s Highest Mountain on Top Band (Pen Y Fan) 4

Activating Southern Britain's Highest Mountain on Top Band (Pen Y Fan)
Having activated Pen Y Fan (GW/SW-001 – 886m ASL – 8 points) four times previously, I was looking for something new to do. My wife was taking part in a Mountain Midnight Marathon again, which runs up southern Britains highest mountain (and then back down), so I’d have a few hours up at the summit ...

2m QRP Contesting in the Sun and DX

2m QRP Contesting in the Sun and DX
On Sunday the 10th of June I took part in the RSGB 2m Backpackers contest. I like this contest because it combines portable operating and QRP, some of my favourite things! I entered the 5B section, which means you’re limited to 5w output and a mast height of 4m above ground. With this restriction I ...

Tropospheric DX on 2m SSB (with video) 1

Tropospheric DX on 2m SSB (with video)
On Tuesday 5th of June I entered the RSGB UKAC 2m SSB contest from the back garden. This is the second time I’ve entered from this QTH and both times I’ve been surprised at what I can hear and work. I knew based on the Hepburn tropo forecast that there was a chance of slight ...

Using the 4m Tring “Parrot” Repeater 2

Using the 4m Tring
Now I’m setup on 4m from the home QTH (see Dual Band 4/6m Moxon Antenna Experiment) I’ve been able to explore a repeater oddity just down the road from me called the “Tring Parrot” in IO91, known officially as GB7FM. First of all it operates on 4m, there’s not too many repeaters on this band ...

Dual Band 4/6m Moxon Antenna Experiment 4

Dual Band 4/6m Moxon Antenna Experiment
I’ve used the SOTABeams SB6 Moxon antenna for a number of years now, it’s a great compact antenna that performs remarkably for its size. Sadly it’s out of production now, but it’s easy enough to create your own. The stock SB6 is a 2 element directional antenna for the 6m band and I’ve made many ...

Designing a satellite station for the home QTH 6

Designing a satellite station for the home QTH
One of my amateur radio targets for 2018 was to get setup to work satellites from my home QTH. I’m making some progress towards this as well, but I realised it’s the first time I’ve really thought about station design. Usually the shack just grows organically and you add to it over time, but wanting ...

Going for Gold with the WAB Award Scheme 8

Going for Gold with the WAB Award Scheme
I’ve been a member of Worked All Britain (WAB) for a number of years, and have been actively collecting “squares” since 2014. For those unaware Worked All Britain is an awards scheme based around working amateurs within the United Kingdom, while collecting squares, which are simply the UK divided up into 10x10km squares. My operating mostly ...

Where have I been? ..and my amateur radio targets for 2018 3

Where have I been? ..and my amateur radio targets for 2018
You may have noticed the blog has been very quiet recently, did I abandon? forget it? misplace it? Well, no, I’ve actually been travelling around the world for the last 3.5 months. Living it up for sure, but not playing any radio. Me and the YL visited New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia and ...

SOTA activation of England’s highest summit: Scafell Pike

SOTA activation of England's highest summit: Scafell Pike
While on holiday in the Lake District with the YL in July, I activated ten SOTA summits. The focus of these walks was not SOTA, but instead all day walking, so brevity and lightweight gear was the order of the day – 2m FM was the natural choice. We chose to do Scafell Pike (G/LD-001 ...