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Saturday 25 January 2014


I have not been able to update this in a while as I have been very busy, not been able to get on air much either but that should be set to change.

The CB gateway is now operational part-time, I managed to get an antenna up in the loft, an "excalibur" antenna which is the smallest antenna I could find and the only one that would fit in there, though still had some SWR issues so have had to use a matcher as a stop-gap, but I can hear it on a handheld at least two miles away on it's rubber duck antenna so it must be getting out fine, it's times of operation, though not totally set in stone, are 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday, it may not operate on Sundays, and we're almost into week three with it.

I have yet to achieve my Amateur radio foundation license but I hope to get that this year if all works out well, and GB3IR, the local 2m repeater, is still operating, something I sometimes listen to either on my Wouxun handheld or the RTLSDR though that is currently purposed for something else right now.

Once I got the RTLSDR going properly I was able to receive APRS, pagers (which surprised me), ADS-B at 1090MHz, GSM phones (though for obvious reasons I was not able to decode them), the television band (which is solely occupied by DVB-T and DVB-T2 transmissions), some VHF business band transmissions, PMR446 (including the Richmond PMR446 FRN gateway which of course is in the same room), the broadcast band, the airband, and a radio controller for a novelty inflatable robot that operates somewhere in 49MHz (I think) and interestingly using AM to carry both voice and it's data packets to control the toy it goes with, I was not successful in receiving any CB traffic though the tuner can tune down there, even to 27.555MHz.

I have also put together a salt water dummy load from instructions I found on the Internet as I had all the parts required and it works reasonably well, not perfect but I only need it to dump RF into if there is no antenna rather than test power output which is what my manufactured dummy load is for.

I also discovered another issue with radio's public enemy number one, PLT adaptors, it has been found that these things not only wipe out radio spectrum but they also have the potential to connect to other houses in the same street, there's evidence on the Internet of this where BT Internet customers have found their connection suddenly change to TalkTalk, which without the PLT devices is not possible because the BT Home Hub cannot authenticate to TalkTalk's systems, so a massive security hole there, perhaps less of these things will be in operation now for fear of other people connecting to them and "stealing" internet.

I'll try and update more often and I should be back on the air properly soon

73 de 26CT730

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