Posts Tagged “hamr”

Here are a few special events/call-signs I know about for today…

2MT – 3.663 MHz – 0900 to 1600 UTC (Chelmsford ARC)

GB4LZP, GB0WHR, GB2COB – Meirion ARS from Welsh Highland Heritage Railway

Porthmadog & District ARS operating from Marconi site at Nebo Anglesey

Telford ARS operating from Marconi site at Tywyn

GB0MBS – 1700 UTC Friday 29th to 2259 UTC Saturday 30th

Many UK call-signs have the special “R” in their call-signs as well so be sure to catch one or two if you can!

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Have just updated the “Hamr Rallies” page. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Recent experiments carried out by the BBC demonstrate how power-line networking can interfere with FM radio and knock out DAB entirely, but only for those who get a decent data rate.

The new study was commissioned by the BBC and authored by one current and one former BBC engineer. The study examines transmissions coming off PLT kit, but while they were measuring the signal strengths and monitoring the frequencies, the engineers turned on a portable radio to discover if it still worked. They found that it did not. That is a critical issue as the only technical requirement for PLT kit states that it must not prevent other devices “operating as intended”. PLT kit is required to conform to the Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2006, which state that such interference can’t be allowed.

Power-line telecommunication (PLT) involves sending radio signals over mains electrical wiring. Generally the kit consists of two or more oversized plugs with an Ethernet socket in the back. PLT is incredibly easy to use and penetrates walls in a way that Wi-Fi can’t, but those radio signals also leak out of the wiring to fill the house, and neighbourhood, with unwanted interference.
The first PLT systems used frequencies between 2 and 30MHz (confusingly known as High Frequency, HF, despite being way down the dial by today’s standards), and thus only interfered with the kit of radio hams and the like. But the need for speed has pushed some devices into the 50-305MHz band (Very High Frequency, VHF) where FM and DAB like to play, which is when the BBC got interested.

In their tests (33-page PDF/1.9 MB, easier to read than it looks) the two engineers started in a screened room, but then tried the same thing in two typical houses to see if using a pair of PLT devices would interfere with FM and/or DAB reception, and discovered that it did.

The study states: “A distinctive popping or ticking could be heard when the PLT was idling. Once it was busy, there was a continuous ‘tearing’ sound which was at best annoying and at worst made comprehension impossible.” This clearly shows that when PLT was in use portable radio equipment “cannot operate as intended”.

The BBC engineers did find that when the PLT equipment had trouble making a connection โ€“ if it were, for example, on a separate ring main or used in the presence of a compact fluorescent lamp โ€“ it would fall back to the HF band and thus only bother the hams and their ilk. But the engineers noted that when the kit was running at top speed it was able to knock out the DAB reception entirely at one of the houses tested.

DAB is particularly vulnerable to interference as it either works or it doesn’t, with just a small change in signal strength flipping it between the two. FM radio can scale back from stereo to mono when necessary, and can cope with quite a bit of interference before becoming unintelligible โ€“ though listeners may decide to tune out before that happens.

Ofcom still maintains that all the complaints about PLT come from one lobby group, and the problem is only preventing “one man” from pursuing his “hobby”. But if your FM radio dropped back to mono, or acquired a background hiss, would you really think to complain to Ofcom? The engineers discovered both things happening when PLT was in operation, even when an external aerial was being used.

We asked Ofcom if the BBC’s research constituted proof that normal operation was being prevented, but the regulator needs a great deal of confidence before it can take on a criminal case against the manufacturers (as it would be required to do). So, perhaps wisely, Ofcom is still digesting the research and will let us know when it has done so. ยฎ

Thanks to Brian Morrison for pointing us at the research, which was posted by the BBC late last month

(By Bill Ray โ€ข Posted in Wireless, 13th April 2011 12:25 GMT)

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My very good friend, George (W0LMN), has completed his 17m 100 DXCC in only a few months. Click anywhere here for his web-site which will show you an up-to-the-minute live update of his log.

He is now working towards 100 DXCC on 12m!

He is an inspiration to me and other hams who know him ๐Ÿ™‚

Good luck George… cookies are on me!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Maybe. I’d use my PC instead ๐Ÿ˜› (sneaky, they didn’t mention PC in the subject!).

I don’t use any of those things at work anyway so it wouldn’t make any difference if I was at work. As for home, I guess I’d don my “ham radio” hat and get on the bands and work a few DXCC entities ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hmmm. Such an easy question but also a hard one. Personally, as my blog description says, “a YL with a soft spot for Westlife and NASCAR”.

YL – is the term given to all females (young or old) in ham radio.
Westlife – if you know me, then you know who Westlife are. If you don’t, go check my videos on YouTube and FlickR or do a Google search!
NASCAR – again, if you know me you know what the fuss is about! If not, go check out NASCAR and if you’re in the UK and have Premier Sports (Sky 433) check it out!

The point of my blog is to post things that interest me and that I hope will interest others whether specifically looking for something or who just happen to come across my blog.

A little bit of ham radio, a little bit of NASCAR, a little bit of Westlife and a whole mix of other stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

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Message from Toru, JG1EIQ Following freqโ€™s are assigned for emergency QSO’s. Please leave clear. Thank you for your kind help! Ops from JARL & volunteers using- 3520 to 3530, 7025 to 7035, 14090 to 14110, 21190 to21200, 28190 to 28210, 50100, 51000, 14100, 14500, 430100, 433000 kHz. DXped Ops – Please kindly consider QSX freq & RTTY freq

Also from Hltoshi SUGIO JO3PSJ: 3525, 7030, 7043 and 7075.

JA7’s are in the worst hit areas.

Thank you to Toru JG1EIQ, Hltoshi SUGIO JO3PSJ and Christopher SM7WYG!

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This was passed to me by Shirley VK5YL…

“From 1700UTC on 19th (Saturday) Jim, who is the manager of the the repeater station VE3TTT-R, will have the repeater available for YLs to make contact. So, no matter where you are you can make a contact for the Contest. The IRLP number is 2400.

We will be trying for contacts on 15 meters on 21.225MHz at approx. 2200UTC and 2300UTC. I’ll also try scanning 20 meters around 0530UTC just in case anyone is out there.”

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Solar activity has been low for weeks, but a new active region on the far side of the sun appears set to break the spell of quiet. For the past two days it has exploded repeatedly, hurling bright coronal mass ejections into space and sending shock waves billowing through the sun’s atmosphere. Although the region cannot be seen directly from Earth, NASA’s STEREO-B spacecraft, stationed over the sun’s eastern horizon, has a great view. Visit for movies and updates as this region turns toward our planet in the days ahead.

(Thanks to for this!)

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Click here for the Echolink web-site.

Many people I regularly chat to on Twitter have been talking about Echolink. My initial thoughts were, what’s the point… it’s using the Internet – whether you’re doing it via a radio, your computer or the app on your mobile phone. All the people who use it I already talk to on Twitter or Yahoo anyway.

However, there are a few nets I’ve been asked to join so I decided as it’s free why not sign up, it only took a few minutes to register on the web-site (all you need it your call-sign and a valid e-mail address) then you have to scan or photo your radio licence/ticket and upload it to the web-site via the validation link that appears in the e-mail you get after you initially sign up or via the link on the web-site. I uploaded mine and was validated within 8 hours which I thought was pretty amazing, you don’t get that kind of “service” from online shops!

I’ve now got the program downloaded onto my PC and the app on my phone, so I’m all ready to go. I will probably use it more on the phone than the computer, because I don’t have a microphone on my PC only the one with the web-cam and I’m not sure if Echolink will “see” that as a microphone.

Anyone reading the blog, if you use Echolink please leave comments about your thoughts on the software ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

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