Back on air…

A few months back we had a change around of rooms. The result was that my office / shack moved to an upstairs bedroom. No problem with that in itself. What was an issue, was that all the aerials for my amateur radio activities remained routed to the old shack.

Finally, after a delay that’s been too long, and entirely my fault, I’ve managed to rectify the problem. For a short term fix until I know what plans I have for which bands I want to concentrate on, I’ve simply installed a couple of coax patch cables from the old shack to the new one. It does mean I have to manually decide which aerials to patch through, but at least I’m now back on air.

I suspect it’s likely I may appear in some of the “Tuesday” VHF contests from time to time, and also endeavour to see what I can do on 5MHz.

At least it’s a start!



GB3OA – further updates

Probably easier just to say head over to the web site of the repeater, and take a look around there.

Since coming back on air, activity has been good, the coverage from the new site is certainly more in line with the NOV, and now that the internet linking is back on too, there are plenty of opportunities to work stations all over the world from just a handheld in and around Southport.

Have fun to all those licensed who are near enough to be able to access it!


GB3OA Back on air.

After a prolonged absence, GB3OA is back on air, this time from its new site.

I’m in the process of re-working a new website for it, please keep an eye on for now, the aim is not only to port a lot of the content from the old site, but also to keep the new site up to date with the latest news on the repeater.

For the minute, it’s only been turned back on and some quick checks run, the intention is to do a full check up in a few days once it’s bedded in. For now at least, the internet linking will remain off.

Mark, G4EID.

VHF contest aerials

Finally getting round to sorting some aerials for the Tuesday night contests. Horizontal dipoles going on the mast (hopefully this weekend) for 6M, 2M and 70cm. All fed from one feeder and a mast mounted triplexer.

Some may ask why not beams? Well for all round “general” work I’ll take the trade of being able to avoid the hassle of beam turning in favour of just being able to work what I can hear. Who knows, in the future, maybe I’ll have some beams too.

For now though I just want to get on as easily as I can and rack some points up!


GB3OA repeater moving….

Just a quick heads up for all the local radio amateurs that listen to or use Southport’s repeater GB3OA.

For some months now, it’s been planned to move the repeater to a new site. After some issues along the way, that move is about to start. Tomorrow (Thursday 28th February), the repeater will be taken off air for some maintenance, to ensure that when it’s moved, it’s been checked out and given a clean bill of health before it’s installed at its new location.

I hope to have it back on air sooner rather than later, but will keep everyone up to date regarding progress.

Some may have noticed that over recent months the performance of the repeater hasn’t been great, I suspect it’s due to an excessive level of noise around the input frequency at the current site. From what I can tell, the noise at the new site is far less, so we’ll just have to hope that the situation improves once its moved. The new site is fairly close to the existing one, so there shouldn’t be any significant change in the coverage.


5MHz (60m and all that…)

Many years ago, when I was a keen shortwave listener, 60m was one of, if not *the* favourite band of mine.

That’s because there was always something to listen to, day or night. For sure, the more exotic ‘DX’ was to be had during darkness, fond memories indeed of listening to Radio Sutatenza just above the 5MHz time signal. But as dusk approached, lots coming in from the farthermost points of the the USSR, Radio Tashkent springs to mind as a station that could always be heard! Also, although harder to pick out against all the QRN were stations from Africa. These were usually all domestic services since due to the distances to be covered, medium wave was a none starter.

So, to the present. I decided to turn my FT-817 on last night, hooked it up to a D2T aerial (granted not my best ever purchase) and took a listen. All those years ago, a copy of WRTH (World Radio and TV Handbook) was essential, I guess a copy would still be just as useful, but here are so many wonderful online resources now all you have to do is type in the frequency of where you’re listening and up comes a list of possibilities. If your luck is in, you can then stream the stations output on the Internet to check its the same as what you’re listening too! Makes the process of station identifying so much easier!

I managed to log several PBS outlets from China, Voice of America and this morning Radio Rebelde from Cuba. I even took a recording, available here :-

Not bad for starters.

So much for the commercial side, I’ll keep up with that since I find it fascinating, but it got me thinking of the amateur allocation. After a quick read up, I’ve now applied for my NOV from Ofcom, hopefully it shouldn’t take long. All the spot frequencies are now plumbed in, and this morning I’ve heard several QSO (all G stations) and two of the three UK beacons, GB3RAL and GB3WES, hopefully should get the Orkney one before too long.

Now to start planning some NVIS aerials 🙂 All great fun!