Sunday 6 February 2011

Morse course for 2011

After a successful course that ran in 2010 and with much interest, Steve Hartley and crew have announced more dates for the Morse code training course.
This year the Morse code course will run from March 30th until Mid June.

Anyone interested in the course will be delighted to know that no knowledge or equipment is required; all you need is a pen, some paper and the enthusiasm to learn the code.

Each week more letters to the mix in a proven method thus increasing your Morse knowledge in a steady fashion. Later in the course as you understand the alphabet and numbers more on air etiquette is explored, and some fun games are played to allow you retain the knowledge you have gained.

At the end of the course candidates can sit the RSGB proficiency test at 5 words per minute or for the more adventurous higher speeds are available.

The lessons and test all take place at the Scout HQ in Bath. Each meeting is held on Thursday evenings at 7PM. For more information please download the poster, and if you feel others will be interested please distribute or print off for your clubs message board.

Thursday 3 February 2011

Noise floor

Well it’s been sometime since I was on the air, but recently I have been experiencing super high amounts of noise.

Mostly on 20m and 17m, I have about +20db of what appears to be mains hum. 40m, and 80m are always rubbish for me here the noise floor is S9 on a good day, so unless I hear a station banging at +20 I just won’t hear it. So thinking logically I have been switching devices off / on and off again, to see if it makes any difference.

Nothing has changed, so I’m inclined to think that either one of my neighbours has purchased a new device, plugged something in or moved something closer to the antenna location. This aside, I was going to make an inspection of the cabling this weekend to make sure nothing has chewed its way through, or even if water has gotten in one of the joints. After all we have had quite a cold snap recently, and if any damp has compromised the connectors or coax then it should be obvious.

But wait.....

At the time of writing, I have switched on the radio and guess what.... its gone! that would now put the noise down to the neighbours I’m guessing. Further investigation is required here, but out of good practice I will go and check the connectors around the antenna, the Choke and the Coax, just to be 100% sure!!