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Sunday 27 May 2012

Richmond Free Radio Network PMR446 gateway Live stream now online

I am pleased to announce that the PMR446 gateway's live stream is now online (updated 29/05/12 to lower bitrate stream)

A radio was modified to provide the feed for the stream, this was one of my Binatone EK1000 radios, it's antenna was removed, and the antenna housing cut off with a hacksaw blade to accommodate direct connection to the antenna, the centre of the coax cable connected to the hole made vacant by removal of the extremely small and inefficient coil antenna, and the braid of the coax cable to a ground pad next to the antenna hole.  The speaker leads were disconnected and connection to the computer is provided by the cable from a broken pair of headphones, to wire these up I had to break out the sandpaper and remove the coloured enamel from the wires to allow them to be soldered to the speaker terminals.

The antenna is a home made dipole, the making of which appeared to kill my glue gun but fortunately it was cheap, this is held up on the window with blu-tack, the idea of it is to help receive what the gateway does, so if for example I am out and about with a radio, the stream radio and the gateway should pick it up at the same time

Below are photos of the equipment

Binatone EK1000 with coaxial cable, and audio cable going to Creative SoundBlaster Live! 24bit USB
The home made dipole antenna mounted to the window

The stream is available at and  is in operation near enough 24/7, you can also listen live on the move with your mobile phone, if you have an Android phone or tablet just install Winamp, tap on the "SHOUTcast" button, then tap on the "Enter Station Manually" link, then enter "" (this works for Winamp for the PC also), as the stream is not listed in the SHOUTcast directory, it doesn't appear possible to listen via the SHOUTcast app for iOS, but I am working on this one.

Everything that is heard is what is heard by radio users of the gateway in Richmond.  This is what you will hear on your own PMR446 (or Chinese UHF handheld or modified 70cm Amateur radio should you use those on PMR446) when you are in range.


73 de 26CT730

German stations on mid-block

If you have a CB radio, tune in to the mid block (26.965-27.405), as  there are many German stations coming through quite clearly today, I am having a listen myself but I do believe that I may struggle to get back to any of them, owing to the inefficiency of my current antenna, but with the band open like this it is a sign that we could be in for a brilliant summer of radio

I shall be back soon with more


73 de 26CT730

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Radio comms website now online

I am pleased to announce that my radio communications website is now online, it contains a little bit of information on CB, freebanding, PMR446 and the unofficial UHF CB allocation, and a little bit of information on my shack, plus links to my ShackCam and this blog

For more information, visit today Smile


73 de 26CT730

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Possible skip?

Yesterday evening I was flicking through the CB channels, and on midband heard a couple of foreign sounding stations that kept fading in and out, I figured that it was just a bit of sporadic E, or the skip is running.  Given that my antenna is nowhere near the size of the antenna I will be building a little later in the year when finances permit and I am able to gain access to the loft space I was kind of impressed, this is because I was not expecting the antenna to be a great performer on both transmit and receive, but it brought the stations in rather well, even if it was the skip.  It has only been up for nearly a week, I am impressed with the results Smile

I did not attempt to get back to any stations this time as the band went flat before I could do so, perhaps next time if I have time and I hear DXers on air I should give it a go, but nothing is stopping me giving it a go regardless Smile

I shall be back soon with another update


73 de 26CT730

(PS, coming soon is my radio communication website, watch this space)

Thursday 10 May 2012

CB setup partly on air....

I am pleased to announce that my CB setup is now on air, well sort of.  The on-glass antenna I bought as a temporary antenna is working however there are some minor VSWR issues to address.

Last night was the first use of my desk mic and home made speaker, my girlfriend sat in the shack while I went out with the handheld CB, results were good.  Today we tried in opposite places, audio from my speaker was good.

Once I have ironed out the VSWR issues, or got my inverted v antenna up, whichever happens first, I will be found on UK7, but for now I am on midband channel 1.

Those of you viewing the ShackCam will have seen the setup working this morning.

Be back soon with more, and if the skip conditions are right you should hear me on air soon

73 de 26CT730

Monday 7 May 2012

DX day, the conclusion

Today was the day of my DX attempts on both CB and PMR446, it faired something like this:
The calling channel on PMR446 was in use, with a near constant carrier, I was able to call out but if anyone tried to return then I was blotted out by the constant carrier transmission (video to come) so apologies for this, the CB attempt was ultimately rained off, so I abandoned my attempt there.
I took some photos, these are enclosed
Me at the beginning of the PMR446 attempt with the MT-5050

The MT-5050 on Channel 8

Me with the H-520 Plus at the beginning of the ill-fated CB attempt

The H-520 Plus on UK34

I am disappointed but still not put off, another attempt for both is in June so I shall give it a go then
Hope to hear you on air then
73 de 26CT730

PMR446 DX, field update

Due to constant carrier transmissions I am yet to put out a successful CQ call

I have video footage of this to come

73 de 26CT730

Another DX day–Morning before the DXing

Today is another day of DXing, both on PMR446 and CB, between 12pm and 1:30pm I will be calling out on 446.09375 MHz (channel 8) with no CTCSS tone, any contact made on that channel will QSY to another channel for the remainder of the QSO, and between 2pm and 4pm I will be on the CB on my handheld, calling on UK34 and then QSY to any other clear channel when contact is made.

A full report of my day’s attempts will be published here.

It has also come to my attention that content is being stolen from this blog (namely some photographs), and as a result security has been increased here.  All photographs on here are copyrighted to myself and should not be used anywhere else without first seeking permission from me.  For added protection all future photographs will be watermarked before uploading.

I hope to hear many of you on air today

73 de 26CT730

Thursday 3 May 2012

Some unforeseen technical issues with the ShackCam

There have been some unforeseen technical issues with the ShackCam, these should be rectified, if you were viewing it and got a "forbidden" error, please refresh your browser, no one is blocked Apologies for any inconvenience 73 de 26CT730

Tuesday 1 May 2012

New shack cam

I now have a shack cam, this is available on the right of the page, so now you can join me in the shack Smile

On another note I will be out over the Bank Holiday weekend doing some DX work, see a previous post for information on this.  I hope to hear you on air this weekend.