Saturday, 20 August 2016

Bringing new life to my station - SDRPlay & SDRuno

I have decided to explore the world of SDR and my first venture into this arena was with the rather sensibly priced SDRPlay RSP at £127.20 including VAT and delivery.

I have been really pleased so far with my experience and even more so that I have been able to sync the new RX up to my existing FT-1000mp Mark V setup to give me a band scope and additional RX using SDRuno software and the Ominirig connection server to share the CAT data with the radio. 


I have already been asked how I have setup the station so produced this graphic to help explain how I set it up. The PC is nothing amazing and is an old cast off from a family member as I usually am a Mac user and wanted a PC to run some basic software in the shack. 



I have made use of the RX antenna in and out from the FT-1000mp Mark V to split the RX and return it to the main radio and send half to the SDR. OK there are some losses but then they are marginal and can be turned on and off using the RX switch on the front of the Yaesu. It allows a band scope on the SDR and also benefits from the same band pass filters used in the main radio to help the front end cope a little better.

Initially I am happy with my results and the outcome, I am also very happy with the added functions to my aging radio setup. 

I hope to get some videos done once I get to grips with the software to get the most from the performance. So far I have found it very good on weak signals for QRP reception. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

RSGB field day changes 2017




I have been reading September's Radcom this morning and read that there are changes due to RSGB field day contests. I personally would like to see catagories for small stations and short term ops. Say 8 hours and QRP and battery efforts with additional points for the hard time these stations face. Perhaps similar to the catagories used in ARRL field day. 

I am appealing for QRP users who are RSGB members to support my thoughts and see if we can get a section more supportive of the types of operation we do. 

Here is a copy of the email I sent to Steve  White G3ZVW

Dear Steve, (Steve.g3zvw@gmail.com)

I have been reading about changes to field day contesting and would like to offer my input as a keen field day opp who has given up going out and about. 

I would like to suggest provision in both contests for small short term stations rather like the ARRL field day with a score multiplayer for QRP and battery power alone encouraging individuals such as myself to head out into the countryside for 8 hours or so and join in the fun but be recognised by a score multiplier for the additional efforts required for a basic station making contacts. 

It's just a thought but I have thought for some time we need to be working more like the ARRL field day as it seems to encourage a huge number of small scale entries each year without the need for a major camp and team effort. 

I would like you to be able to pass this forward on my behalf having not been consulted because 2015 was a year I decided the current system was "boring" "restrictive" and "lacking imagination " 

I want to see a raft of low power fun style ops going out and being recognised in their own way instead of being bottom of a table that they don't really fit in. 


Regards

Alistair - M0TEF

[edit - I received this reply to my email...]

Hello Alistair

Thank you for taking the time to e-mail. I'm not a member of the contest committee, so I don't have a hand in making the rules, but I'm forwarding your message to the Chair of the HF Contest Committee (G4FAL). [ 
mailto: nick@totterdell.co.uk ]

vy 73

Steve, G3ZVW

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I hope some of you will support and put forward any thoughts you have too.