Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Amateur Radio its that time of year.

                              Christmas Radio time

This year I have not had a lot of radio time!, its my favourite hobby and I tend to do something Amateur radio every day but sometimes time just gets away from you and there's nothing you can do about it.

I am still trying to learn Morse Code trying being the key word here as it just not going as well as I had hoped but not being one to give up I will keep on trying.

Christmas this year has been good for me as I received two new radios as gifts one was the great Yaesu VX7 handheld a great tri-band radio and the other a neat little dual band Baofeng UV5R a really surprising little dual band radio which has great audio and is very good despite its very cheap price.

Both of these radios have kept me quite busy with programming and even though I am now using software for both of them they have had me scratching my head quite a few times.

The build quality on the UV5R while not as good as the Yaesu is still very good for a budget priced radio and I really have no complaints in fact  the whole Baofeng package is very good.

I am really looking forward to some great contacts with these two great radios in the near future.

2013 what a year!

                      Pleased to see the back of that one! or am I?

2013 got off to a dreadfull start with me suffering a double brain hemorrhage once in early January and again in early February. The stress and worry that we suffered as a family was pretty intense for quite a while and the healing process is still ongoing.
We have been through a lot but we are making good progress to putting this behind us. I am over the treatments and I am waiting for the all clear in May 2015 ,I am still working hard to recover from the weakness that I suffered in my left side and even though its slow going I really feel that I am making progress.
We have pulled together as a family and we have had some great support from all of our friends ,I really feel that things are getting back to something like normal and I am once again enjoying my hobbies of amateur radio and keeping Tarantula spiders.

December 2013 was a great time for us as a family and we all gathered at a cottage in Brecon for a family Christmas ,we spent all of Christmas week in the cottage and had a really good time, lots of food ,drink and fun including nerf wars which broke out on most days. This was probably down to me as I provided 6 of us with a nerf gun and ammo as a small christmas gift.

As you can imagine it really didn't take a lot for the fragile Nerf truces to be broken and all out Nerf war began, again!

 I was of course pretty sure that this was going to happen and as the supplier of the weapons it was only fair that I somehow gave myself an advantage. My wife who also realised that I may be at a disadvantage to the other younger members of the family upgraded my Nerf gun to one of these,
  This of course evened things up a little and it wasn't long before the wirrrrr of the motor sent everyone running for cover.

Great fun and lots of laughing which all added up to a great Christmas week in Brecon.


Thursday, 21 November 2013

Yaesu VX7r Tri-Band Hand held Radio

I first had a Yaesu VX7 back in 2007 when I first had my Amateur radio licence and as I had good repeaters within range of my qth it was a good first choice portable radio.

I had many many contacts with this radio over the next few years and in 2009 I gained my next licence and decided to sell my Yaesu VX7 in order to help fund a HF rig a Yaesu 450D
 In 2011 I gained my advanced licence and concentrated on HF.

As a lot of amateur radio users will agree we often buy and sell radio equipment to help us with our next bit of kit that we are after but sometimes with hindsight we regret selling something, in my case it was my Yaesu VX7.
Now it was not a instant regret in fact it was this year 2013 that I really thought about it and it was only when my wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas that I came back to a Yaesu VX7. I have just ordered a new Yaesu VX7 from @WSPLC Waters and Stanton I have purchased most of my radio gear from here and I have always been happy with the service so I am really looking forward to this radio arriving.

If it has taught me anything it is that I need to give more thought to the radio gear that I plan on selling in the future, I think that this radio will be the final piece in my equipment jigsaw and I now have most bands and modes that I operate on covered.
I must remember that hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Its time to move on!

So 2013 started off as a bad year but it is really time to put that all behind me and move on.I am improving all the time. My recent appointment with the consultant at Frenchay hospital was another real positive as I am no longer on any medication and all concerned are happy that my physical mobility will improve given time  I still have daily self motivated physio which is helping with my walking and balance.No one in the medical world  wants to see me for another year and the tests to see how my AVM laser treatment has worked are not due until May 2015. The sun is shining  most days and its time to put this behind me and move on and get back to the things I really enjoy like hiking on Dartmoor and traveling with my wonderful wife.

For the first time I understand that patience, with a injury like an AVM is an absolute must, frustration must be kept in check as it does no good to be frustrated or impatient and a positive attitude can help to improve things a lot.
I never thought it would be possible but I am back in the gym although I cannot push too hard just being able to gym again is a real boost to my moral and clearly shows me that its all going the right way.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Ham radio operating from Exmoor

This week 12th/19th July 2013 I am hoping to operate the week portable from Exmoor QTH locator : IO81AC on ssb using the special call MV0GYY in celebration of the RSGB’s Centenary year.

                                I look forward to meeting you on the bands.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

What a journey

Our Journey all started on January 4th 2013 the rest of the details are in my blog below, so I wont go into detail again. But the hospital bit is coming to an end.On Thursday 28th March I get discharged from Frenchay  B.I.RUand hopefully put that chapter behind me.I am really excited by this and I am so looking forward to going home. Its very difficult to describe the elation at being discharged. I have done everything they asked of me and really feel that Thursday afternoon is my reward for completing my tasks and physio sessions.
I am not completely finished with hospitals as soon I will be attending http://www.gammaknife.org.uk/web/WhatIsGammaKnife.htm for some extra but vital treatment, this may take awhile and numerous visits to Sheffield to complete but it will all be as a outpatient.
I cannot thank the staff at Frenchay and BIRU enough as they have been so supportive and they have worked hard to try and correct the damage caused. I have to say that the team has succeeded with most of the problems, although I will need to continue with instructed physio when I get home.

Friday, 15 March 2013

injury update.

just after the operation

Just a quick update to explain why I have not been on the air or in my shack the last 8 weeks or so.

On January the 4th 2013 I suffered a brain haemorrhage and was admitted to Frenchay hospital in Bristol. On the 3rd of February 2013 suffered a second bleed and thanks to the superb care of the neuro team I am now coming out the other side. I have suffered some weakness in my left arm and leg and I am currently in hospital Monday to Friday as an inpatient working hard with the physio team to try and get me walking independently and so far things are going well.
I am due to attend a hospital in Sheffield in the future to have laser surgery to remove the blood vessels causing the bleed, the bleed has been emobilised with glue? and a platinum coil was fitted this is to stabilise things until I get the laser surgery.
I am allowed home to my family at weekends which is great and I am expecting a discharge from hospital in the near future
This weekend 16th/17thMarch 2013 I am hoping to operate for the first time since Christmas on my weekend at home, I look forward to meeting you on the bands

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Amateur radio Christmas time.

Yaesu 450D

I know that  many of my Twitter followers are not Amateur Radio users (a lot are) but I am hoping that this blog will give a brief insight to this fun and interesting hobby. I have added many links to cover some of the terms used to describe various radio acronyms.

Its Christmas, or rather it was as it is now all over and done for another year. As I write this on the 2nd January 2013 I can happily look back on a great amateur radio year.

 I had great success with the special NOV for the Queens Jubilee and also the Olympics and between both of them I managed almost 200 contacts. This was the first time that I had applied for a special event and I was amazed at how popular you become when you have a special call sign.

The NOV (notice of variation) was requested from Ofcom through the RSGB, of which I  am a member.

As someone who likes to get special event station contacts it was great to be on the other end. I also provided event QSL cards (paper) to every contact that wanted one and had a card uploaded to Eqsl for the online users.
I am a big fan of QSL cards and really enjoy the sending and receiving of them, I often spend time checking out the location and profiles of the operators I contact and this gives me a great insight into the people I am communicating with. It really does make it a little more personal.
Yaesu 817ND

If anyone has checked my station out on http://www.qrz.com/db/M0GYY you will see that my operating conditions are far from perfect. No twenty meter towers or tall trees for me, but my basic set up works as well as I can expect from my location.

I also operated QRP from Exmoor on a number of occasions and again had some great contacts on SSB  using 5w and a home made fishing pole antenna. Its really interesting how many great contacts you can get using low power and basic antennas.

Then the final month of the year arrived and I was fortunate enough to have a few days off over Christmas. I operated most mornings from the 25th December to the 1st January for 3 or 4 hours on  SSB but mostly PSK31 modes.
I have as already mentioned below that I have been using a new antenna and it has proven to be very good.

I had some great contacts including two new countries in Paraguay and Turkey and two great contacts in Asiatic Russia. Over the Christmas period I managed 120 contacts which was superb. I operated on 15,17,20,30,40 and 80 meters and had great fun meeting all the new radio contacts from around the world.

The whole year has been one of learning about amateur radio, how antennas work, radio signals and best operating times. Learning to adjust and adapt to different conditions and getting that rare QSO or that new country. This year has been a lot of fun, lets hope the conditions keep improving in 2013 and many new contacts will arrive at my antenna.

Mike Zero Golf Yankee Yankee