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Sunday 25 January 2015

PMR446 gateway update and potential mobile 2m/70cm (including PMR446) installation

So, with my finances now improving a new radio (and a brand-new auto-key circuit) can be sorted out for the PMR446 gateway, as well as something for mobile use on PMR446 as well as 2m and 70cm once I have my amateur license (early March), however my radio time is reduced now as I have since taken up full-time employment.

As you know, the PMR446 gateway has been off air for a while due to very little in the way of power on the existing Intek rig, so a new radio is needed, with a new job comes increased income and a possibility of a suitable radio, however as the auto-key circuit is also, for lack of a better term, kaput, a new one is needed, this will involve a trip to Maplin for the new parts, possibly a radio as they also sell these, though may need to order the radio in advance.

For in-car 2/70 use, a magnetic antenna is all I really need, placed out of the way of the CB antenna as that could upset it, a mobile holder, and, to begin with, a battery eliminator circuit for the Wouxun, otherwise a standard PMR set with a detachable antenna for PMR446 (the pro ones are like this) for use on PMR446, the Wouxun is not type-approved for PMR446 so clearly cannot use that.

So, I should have the PMR446 gateway back up and running in the next week or so

73 de 26CT730

Wednesday 7 January 2015

The War Against PLT... Ofcom propose to finally do something

Today it came to my attention that Ofcom, the regulator of all things TV and radio, plan to propose regulations that will allow them to enforce the use of PLT devices should they cause undue interference (which is a by-product of their operation as they inject RF into mains wiring which is unbalanced and acts as an antenna) to wireless telegraphy.

A consultation is online now at Ofcom's website and I urge everyone reading this to respond, because the more responses there is then Ofcom will be aware of just how bad the situation with PLT really is.

I've driven through a few towns with the CB in the car lately, some of the noise I have heard break the squelch has been similar to the PLT garbage, sat on top of the hill tonight there is no PLT noise whatsoever as I was a distance from the houses (though not from the power lines).

So, are Ofcom going to join the rest of the radio community in the war against PLT? Hopefully, this will be a victory for common sense.

73 de 26CT730

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Midweek nets

I've been aware for some time of some midweek nets running up and down the UK, until now I've not been able to participate in them.

These midweek nets normally take place for a couple of hours on a Wednesday evening, however I do not intend to use the Midland for this, instead I will be using the President Grant 2 running off my sealed lead-acid battery rather than risk discharching the car battery, for simplicity I will be using the antenna on the car rather than the T2LT.

I should be on air from around 6:30pm tomorrow night, static mobile, more than likely at Whashton Road, in the summer months I probably will make the drive up to Tan Hill again for a DX net and maybe the odd midweek net as that would be the best time.

The battery I use for portable operations is now charging, I have programmed specific channels into the memory storage of the Grant 2, though I do not know if it will retain the memory channels or not, I will take along the dummy load and SWR meter just to be safe and make sure everything is working as it should be when I connect the Grant 2 to the car's antenna.

Hope to hear you and talk to you on air tomorrow night

73 de 26CT730

Friday 2 January 2015

Mobile CB install now operational

After spending many hours working on it the CB radio is now installed and working, and surprisingly well.

First off, the radio, it is wired to the fusebox via a spare circuit (Peugeot in their wisdom included pretty much every circuit for every optional accessory the car could have) for +12v DC, for negative it is connected to a handy point in the chassis as the car is negative earth, the radio is on the top of the dashboard above the stereo, as it's the Midland 78+ Multi the mic socket is conveniently on the driver's side.

Secondly, the antenna, this is on my awful magmount which has had it's rubber protector repaired with Sugru, which has not had any negative effects at all, the cable enters via the boot, and is hidden behind most trim panels on the passenger side.

With the power and the antenna all in place it was then time to drive up to Whashton Road car park, my favourite radio playground as it's higher than my flat, to check SWR, the antenna just simply screwed into the magmount, placed behind a sunroof and not adjusted in any other way gave me a reading of 1:1.5 at channel 1 midblock (test was FM), this progressively dropped the further towards the Muppet band I went and stayed very low, all in all a good job well done, so if you want a cheap and affordable means of communications in your Peugeot 106 then CB is your answer.

Needless to say my "1-9 for a rig check" calls went ignored on UK19, there were people on it and I could hear them so they should have been able to hear me, typical 19 hogging morons, now to put it to good use I think.

I put the radio into "E" band (which is 4 watt AM/FM) to listen to any AM traffic on CEPT, fair bit coming in from the states and some SSB transmissions as well in a few areas, I put the radio back to "UK" band (making it FM only again) so I had access to 27/81 and could have a listen on the way back down home, only muppets on 19 tonight.

73 de 26CT730

Thursday 1 January 2015

Mobile CB installation one step closer

First of all I want to wish all my readers a very happy and prosperous New Year, hope to maybe even hear you on the air this year.

Now, as you read in my last post, I had plans to buy a car, I have since bought a car and it's on the road, though this car is fitted with a sunroof meaning the antenna can't go where I want it, and I can't see any obvious way into the headliner to drill a hole for a stud mount so may have to use a magmount temporarily.

I have yet to install the rig, this may well be a weekend job but I may have found a suitable place for it, I just need to sort out the electrical arrangements to the rig, I still want to do a direct power feed to the battery with a relay controlling the supply so the rig is isolated with the ignition off, I don't wish to wire it via the car's fuse box in case this puts noise on the radio from electronics in the car, though there isn't much electronic in that car as it's on an R registration.

So hopefully in the next few weeks I may be heard on FM and AM mobile (but not SSB as I don't want that rig permanently in the car, so perhaps static mobile on that one), also ideal for non-hobby use as I can be in contact with truck drivers and get ahead of any traffic problems.

73 de 26CT730