Saturday, 13 May 2017

Crypto virus how safe is Digital broadcasting?

With IT systems crashed around the world, including the UK's National Health IT systems. How open and vulnerable is digital broadcasting to cyber attacks?

More and more radio stations have recently been pulling the plug on Shortwave, and AM broadcasting, in favour of digital. There has been a big push in the UK to get the public over to DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) or streaming radio via their mobile phones and computers. But, has the case now been made to "keep" a national simulcast AM radio system, like the BBC's Radio 4 Long Wave in the UK, along with global Shortwave radio transmissions for state broadcasting in emergency?

Friday, 24 February 2017

UK speaker source for BITX40 & other QRP projects

If your currently on the BITX40  bandwagon of putting a kit together, or you have just  recently ordered one. You will have soon noticed the kit doesn't come supplied with a speaker, what does one expect for such a good price! But for UK builders that don't like spending their hard earned cash. I have found an abundant source of small 8 ohm speakers from the highstreet discounter Poundworld.

Two speakers including cases for One Pound!!

The speakers are marketed for use with portable stereos, MP3 players, etc. A simple test to see if they were any good, I connected them to a reliable audio source and found although not HI-FI, they are perfectly adequate for use in the BITX Kit, or other QRP constructional projects. 

They come packed in either Black or Silver.

Once unscrewed the back of the case, the speaker simply drops out to reveal a 5.5cm 2" unit.

A quick test on the multimeter revealed the value of 7.6 ohm:

Recently while out shopping I have visited 4 different Poundworld's, one as far North as Southport. All carried a plentyful supply of stock in their electrical area. I am sorry I cannot help my readers from overseas, but the unit is obviously made in China so try your Dollar shops.

Good hunting!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Bargain 2000 Resistor deal.

Not had much time to hunt out components of late, but this seems a very good deal for constructors and QRP engineers.

2000 1/4W, 100 different values, 5% resistors. 20 of each value. £6.55 UK just over $8 US including shipping click down to: Resistor deal.

I have just got in there and ordered a bag full before you all wade in..

Saturday, 28 January 2017

PW makes an appearance at WH Smith

Until recently Practical Wireless was only available on the newsstand at larger branches of WH Smith. Getting hold of a copy proved useless at smaller branches unless you had it reserved in advance, infact I gave up many years ago asking why it wasn't present every month?  In the end I got a local corner newsagent to reserve it for me, I guess he has been grateful of the business ever since.

However could the tide of policy changed it's direction at my local small branch of WH Smith and others? PW is once again available on the shelf, forefront, alongside with it's sister magazine Radiouser.

Practical Wireless is the only independent magazine representing the amateur radio hobby in the UK, it is good to see someone has finally done something to get it back where it belongs, so a new generation can peruse and purchase it along with us old timers.

Friday, 27 January 2017

IO IO it's off Yahoo groups we go!

With all the recent Yahoo data breach furore and various problems at times of access to Yahoo groups, many Amateur Radio groups are turning their backs on Yahoo and moving to a new group service. is the new place where Hams and I guess many others are moving their discussion groups from Yahoo. I was first notified over a month ago that QRPLABS was moving over, I created an account with and sure enough if by magic it apppeared in my new account. Using it has become very easy and straight forward, and I find it doesn't suffer from the access lag that Yahoo groups suffered. Since joining, the BITX20 group has also moved and so have a few others, I expect many others will follow. has a full automated transfer service for groups that wish to transfer over:  I have not used the transfer myself, but all the groups that have moved I am member of that have chosen to move to the new service appear to have gone over smooth, and they popped into my account.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

New link HF Signals added

A new link for Ashhar Farhan's new BITX40 production website, HF signals added to the right hand side column of my blog. Sites that do it for me.

You can guess what I am going to write about next?

Thursday, 3 November 2016

CQ CQ CQ from a beach using a Baofeng

Last week we took our late holiday to North West Wales (GW land), of course I had packed a Baofeng UV-82 at the side of my toothbrush.  Most of the week when we had been around, I had not heard much break the squelch while the rig had been left switched on and left on the table inside our caravan.

Later on in the week getting a bit bored, I decided to take the Baofeng down on the beach.

Our temporary QTH was situated mid way on the Cambrian coast, making it ideal for contacts over to the North (Abersoch and Cricceth area), and to the South of the bay which lies the seaside town of Barmouth.

I must admit after nearly a week of hearing nothing but noise on 2m I wasn't too hopeful of hearing anything.

But the first CQ I put out, straight away an instant reply! MW0RHD came back and give me a 5/5 reporting wind noise on top of my modulation, however we managed to exchange names and QTH's,  he was about 6 miles NW across the bay from me as the crow flies, near the coastal town of Pwllheli, using an Icom from an homebase with an excellent take off towards the South where I was situated.

The sun was begining to set, and so was my battery,  the radio started beeping low and interupted the short QSO. I had left the radio on all week in standby mode with no thought of topping it up on the charger.

What this does prove you might not think there is any one around when the band is so quiet, so do always try a CQ. Always make sure the battery is well topped up, or better still take a spare charged pack and you won't get caught out like I did.