Sunday, December 25, 2016

Vlog #003 & Merry Christmas!

Wishing all my YouTube and Blog followers a very Merry Christmas! I have lots more coming for the New Year including radio reviews, range tests, drone videos and much more so stay tuned! Have a peaceful Christmas.


73, de
Lewis
M3HHY

Sunday, November 6, 2016

My good mate Andy and I did a little experiment last week. I'll let his fantastic video do the talking. Check out the rest of his videos too!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Paul G7LNK shows us a fantastic review and range test of the WLN KD-C1. A great value for money radio. Thanks Paul.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Making Cheap Radio Chargers Safe

My good friend James Fletcher 2E0KBA shows how to make dangerous Chinese radio chargers safe by rewiring them with double insulated flex.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Baofeng DM-5R - Part 2 - Out Of The Box Compatibility

Part 2 - Out Of The Box Compatibility.

I need to programme this via cable and software to see what's going on here.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Leixen VV-898E Review By Paul G7LNK

Cracking review by Paul, G7LNK of the Leixen VV-898E dual band mobile transceiver.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Airborne Crossband Repeat Experiment

This week me and a friend got together out of boredom and decided we'd try airborne crossband repeat. What the hell is that I hear you ask! Well we simply attached a Wouxun KG-UV8D handheld to a DJI Phantom 3 drone and sent it up. The Wouxun was in crossband repeat mode with a UHF frequency on the A VFO and a VHF frequency on the B VFO. We each had a Baofeng GT-3 handheld, one on VHF and one on UHF and spoke to eachother crossband through the Wouxun.


I attached the Wouxun in a holster to the skids of my DJI Phantom with cable ties and to my surprise it held steady and didn't really affect the flying characteristics of the drone although the battery didn't last as long due to the added weight.

The Wouxun was set to low power (around 2w) and I put on a stubby antenna to limit the intereference it may have possibly caused the drone. Luckily it didn't cause any interference.



With everything set, we sent the drone up and followed it up with another one for some air to air shots which look quite impressive in the video. We didn't get as close as we'd like due to quite a strong wind which made it dangerous to approach any further.




I set the drone to 45m and the beauty of DJI Phantoms is that if you let go of the controls, they stay exactly where they are due to GPS. This meant the drone hovered at 45m above my head whilst I operated the radio. The onboard camera allowed me to see the radio and check it hadn't fallen out!




My friend was 6 miles to the north of me and was unreadable when we tried to contact eachother radio to radio. We switched to the frequency the Wouxun was on and received eachother loud and clear. Much to my delight a friend of ours 10 miles to the east also heard us and was kind enough to record some video.

We spoke for just over a minute with no breakup and called it a day. All in all a success and just shows what can be achieved in an emergency situation.

Just some points to note:


  • I'm fully aware of the amateur radio licensing conditions. This was a test that lasted just over a minute and we do not intend to repeat it.
  • I am aware that you probably shouldn't attach stuff to a DJI Phantom.
  • The two Baofeng radios were transmitting simplex only. No duplex, offset, shift or CTCSS.
  • The frequencies we operated on were legal frequencies.
  • I am aware that the same result could have been achieved on a hilltop or with a larger antenna.
  • The 70cm frequencies you see on both radios are on the B VFO as a seperate channel and were not the frequencies we transmitted on. The frequencies you see as numbers are local AllStar links. We were transmitting on the A VFO which were named UHF RPT and VHF RPT.
No comments from radio police please, just enjoy the hobby and experiment as much as possible. 


Thanks for reading,

Lewis
M3HHY

Monday, September 26, 2016

Support Your Repeaters

Support your local repeaters. They're funded by amateurs for amateurs and numbers are declining. UKFMGW to name one will close repeaters if sufficient membership numbers aren't met due to increasing costs involved in running them.

We don't pay a license in the UK anymore so why not donate a small amount to your local group. Once they're gone, they're gone.



Why not join these Facebook groups for GB3MR and GB3HH?

GB3MR
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1641735119478703/

GB3HH
https://www.facebook.com/groups/GB3HH/

Saturday, September 3, 2016

I was sent this for ID this week and it's got people divided. High altitude balloon? Remote control aircraft device that reads back altitude? Aerial survey device? Any ideas? Get in touch!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Stolen Radio On St John's Ambulance Repeater

So Creamfields was held in Warrington in the north west of the UK this weekend and the event was supported by St John's Ambulance. The comms made interesting listening on FM VHF and I listened for a few hours to stories of 13 and 14 year olds overdosing on drugs, young girls passed out drunk, numerous fights and all sorts of chaos which I'm sure eclipsed the whole point of the event for a lot of people who attended.

The highlight for me was when a young girl stole a radio from on the of the St John's crew and started causing havoc on the repeater. Audio is in the video below.

G0BSD Abuse

Some audio of Dave G0BSD being hounded on 2m the other night. I know he's not innocent in all of it but he never instigates the abuse he receives on a daily basis whilst on air. He is targeted when he comes on by keyers, squeakers and whisperers who make personal and vile comments to him about his family. Disgusting. Leave him alone!

Part 1



Part 2



Thanks For Watching


M3HHY

DJI Phantom Antenna Shot

Just a quick shot of my two colinears taken with my DJI Phantom 3 drone.


Baofeng UV-3R Power Test

Sainsonic RST567 Slimline Radio - Unboxing, Review & Programming



Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dangerous Solar USB Power Bank

I bought a cheap USB solar power bank off eBay about 18 months ago to use in emergencies when I need to charge a phone, torch or radio etc. I only paid about £10 and it worked pretty well.


It's been in its case in the shack unused for about 6 months and when I was having a clear out the other day I found that the lipo cells inside had swollen. They had pushed the solar panel off the top of the unit!




Luckily I caught it, these things burn well!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

WLN KD-C1

I received a nice little radio in the post this week in the form of the WLN KD-C1. I saw these on eBay for about £15 and thought I'd pick one up to see what it's like. It is a 16 channel UHF radio with a range of 400-470MHz and is just analogue.

I like the white styling on the radio and it resembles the Hytera PD365 family of radios but without the display, even down to the UHF marking on the small antenna.


The radio has smiliar features and specs to that of the Baofeng BF-888S family of radios:

Frequency Range400-470MHz
Operation Voltage DC3.7V
Channel Capacity 16
Antenna Integrated antenna
Antenna Impedance 50
Dimension 96*55*22mm
Transmitter|
Output power 2W
The maximum deviation ≤±5KHz
Residual radiation <60dB
Current ≤1000mA
Receiver
Sensitivity <0.16μV(12dB SINAD)
Squelch Sensitivity <0.2μV
Intermodulation 50dB
Audio Power ≥300mW
Current ≤100mA
Squelch current 20mA

I opened the small box it came in and was pleasently surprised by the quality of the radio inside. It is very solid and well made and looks like it'd survive a bit of knocking about.


The box contained the following:

1 x WLN KD-C1
1 x Li-ion Battery
1 x Belt Clip
1 x User Manual
1 x Desktop Charger
1 x AC Adapter


The manual is writted in decent english although the radio is so basic I didn't even read it properly. The antenna on the radio is not removable and is very short and stubby but it does work well.
The battery is a small mobile phone type battery that slots into the back of the radio. The charging base fits the radio and a spare battery (not included) and is very small and doesn't take up much space which is nice compared to the bulky chargers most Baofeng radios come with.


The little back plate clips onto the back of the radio to cover the battery compartment. Although the radio is solid and well made, I think the back plate would come off if it was dropped. The knob on the top is purely for powering on and off and changing the volume and doesn't change the channel. There are buttons on the side for changing up or down.


I particularly like the orange accents to the radio. The PTT, channel up and down buttons and the speaker mic and USB port covers are orange rubber and are easy to grip when using the radio. The belt clip for the radio is more of a holster that clips onto your belt allowing the radio to be dropped in. There is no belt clip on the radio itself.


I plugged my standard Baofeng style programming cable into the side of the radio and after downloading the fee programming software from off the internet, I programmed some repeaters and simplex channels into the radio in a flash. The software is so easy to use and completely bug free. Usually when these sorts of radios are released they are a nightmare to programme due to incompatible programming cables, dodgy software and other driver issues. This radio was so easy to programme.


I tested out some repeaters and managed to open repeater 20 miles away from inside the house on that tiny antenna! The audio is loud and clear on both TX and RX too. All in all I'm really pleased with this radio, the slim design, white body and ease of use makes it a nice back pocket radio for monitoring and the odd QSO. 

I'll be testing this from a hilltop very soon so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading,

73 for now.
Lewis, M3HHY

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Transmitter Trail Update

I posted a while back about a group of transmitters around Manchester/Yorkshire that I visited (see the list here). I blogged about a set of transmitters in Ashton, Manchester (here) but managed to somehow lose my pictures from the day!

So I decided to show you in video format instead using the footage from the day:

Part 1 - Holme Moss & Emley Moor.



Part 2 - Primrose Hill, Flixby Ridge/Ainley Top, Vicars Lot, Scapegoat Hill, Moorside Edge, Dog Hill.




Part 3 to follow!


Cheers

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Some Of The HHT's

Writers block lately guys, not a lot to tell you really. Just got back from a week in Lanzarote, I was going to take a Baofeng just incase but I decided not to.

Two things to report, Aquapark Lanzarote use a network of Pofung GT-1's and Rancho Texas in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote use Baofeng BF-888s radios! I noticed them straight away, how sad!

Anyhow, here's a couple of pics of some of my handhelds in their display case. The collection has grown considerably since these were taken, I'll take some new ones sometime.



Normal service will resume soon! Stay tuned.

73, Lewis
M3HHY
Manchester, UK

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Bowstones - GB3MR/GB3MN Repeater Site

Some photos I found from 2014 of the repeater site at Bowtone Gate. Situated at the top of a hill above Lyme Park, these antennas have a fantastic take off across Greater Manchester and beyond. Also on this site are a number of community repeaters serving businesses across Stockport and Manchester as well as organisations such as National Trust. Click to enlarge.



Monday, May 2, 2016

Easy SSTV

I was chatting on 2m to my friend Chris M0OGG this afternoon and we happened to mention SSTV. It's something I've never tried or really even thought about but Chris told me about an app and a peice of software which I could download which would allow me to receive and decode SSTV and also send it too. So I did, and we've been messing around with it this afternoon and got some pretty good results.

CQ SSTV - Apple App Store - £2.79


The app is simply called SSTV and costs £2.79 from the Apple App Store and to receive you simply your phone or iPad next to the speaker of the radio and it'll decode the SSTV and display an image. To send, you simply load a picture onto the app and click transmit. Your phone then plays the encoded signal which you then transmit from the radio by keying the mic next to the phone's speaker. Simple.


We did some experimenting on 144.550 FM and got some ok results. Bearing in mind I was using a Baofeng held up to my phone and Chris was using his radio microphone up to his phone so the audio was sort of 'second hand' and not pure. The images below were what I received from Chris.

Below are the images I sent to Chris, he decoded them with MMSSTV which I'll talk about next. He took pictures of his laptop screen with his phone but you get the idea. I think the quality is slightly better as I was /p up Werneth Low in Hyde.




The app works really well and is easy to use. It provides an great platform on which to get started with SSTV.

MMSSTV - Hamsoft.ca - Free
 


When I got home I downloaded MMSSTV from hamsoft.ca which is a peice of free software for SSTV. It uses the same principles as the app and uses your computers mic to pick up audio from the SSTV signal. You can use an audio jack too but the internal mic on my laptop works just as well.

I tried some more on 2m again but this time on my main shack radio and my full 10w rather than 5. Myself and Chris received eachothers pictures really well! The distance between us is about 10 miles and the signal was FM.

I've been using the Hack Green SDR on 20m (14.230 USB) to receive SSTV from all over the world and decode it using MMSSTV and I must say I'm really impressed! There are some strong signals which create great images. EA4MD was particularly strong on the SDR as was EB5DZC.


So, if you want a cheap and easy way to play with SSTV then download the CQ SSTV app or MMSSTV software. You don't need cables or wires you can just use a handheld and your iPad, iPhone or android phone.

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New Handy - Baofeng GT-3WP

I was browsing around eBay for another Chinese handheld to add to the collection and came across the Bafoeng GT-3WP. Why it has GT-3 in the title I don't know as it bears no resemblance to the GT-3 and the WP stands for waterproof. This intrigued me and after a few Google searches I found some waterproof demonstrations and was pleased to see that is is actually waterproof. Not shower proof like the other Baofeng models are advertised as, actually submersible.

Apparently this radio is IP67 rated. IP stands for 'Ingress Protection'. An IP number is used to specify the environmental protection of enclosures around electronic equipment. These ratings are determined by specific tests. The IP number is composed of two numbers, the first referring to the protection against solid objects and the second against liquids. The higher the number, the better the protection.


First Number

0 - No protection (Sometimes X)
1 - Protected against solid objects up to 50mm3
2 - Protected against solid objects up to 12mm3
3 - Protected against solid objects up to 2.5mm3
4 - Protected against solid objects up to 1mm3
5 - Protected against solid objects up to 1mm3
6 - Totally protected against dust

Second Number

Second Number
0 - No protection (Sometimes X)
1 - Protection against vertically falling drops of water (e.g. condensation)
2 - Protection against direct sprays of water up to 15 degrees from vertical
3 - Protection against direct sprays of water up to 60 degrees from vertical
4 - Protection against water sprayed from all directions - limited ingress permitted
5 - Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions - limited ingress permitted
6 - Protected against low pressure jets of water, limited ingress permitted (e.g. ship deck)
7 - Protected against the effect of immersion between 15cm and 1m
8 - Protected against long periods of immersion under pressure
 
The second thing that attracted me to this radio is the Motorola style screw in mic port. This is used for speaker mics, ear pieces and programming cables. The device slots into a groove on the side of the radio and then screws into place creating a seal between it and the radio.


Of course the downside of that is that the mics and cables I use with my other Baofengs will not work with this radio although it comes with a programming cable so that shouldn't be an issue. I'll get a microphone further down the line as I'm not a fan of the supplied ear pieces.

The unit also slips into a beltclip allowing it to be removed from your belt easily and being able to swivel 360 degrees when in use. This is a first for Baofeing. The A-58 has the above features too.


There's not alot else to report on this radio until it comes. All other features are the same and operationally there should be no difference between this radio and it's cousins the GT-3, UV-5R and UV-82. Looking forward to testing it out though.

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

An International Space Station radio contact was made by Timothy Peake GB1SS with participants at St Richard’s Catholic College, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex using the call sign GB4SRC. The event took place on Monday, April 18 at approximately 14:56 GMT (3:56 pm BST).

The contact was clearly audible on 145.800 MHz FM over Western Europe. I managed to catch him for a brief window here in Manchester on my Baofeng UV-82 on its stock antenna.



Thanks for reading!


73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK. 

54th Norbreck Rally

Myself and Roydan M0LEX went up to the 54th Annual Norbreck Radio Rally at the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool on April 10th and I was pleasently surprised at how busy it was. Lots of traders and stands, lots of visitors too.


In my excitement I forgot to take and photos or video of the inside of the rally so you'll have to make do with some poor screenshots from the little video I did record and use your imagination for the rest.


There were lots of stands there from all the big names such as M&L, Moonraker, W&S, RSGB etc and lots of club and individual stands offering the latest radio technology along with a lot of vintage gear and everything in between. There was also a bring and buy which I thought was a great idea but a lot of the stuff on it was way too overpriced for what it was hence most of it still being there at the end of the day.


This year admission was granted upon showing a yellow wristband which was a first for Blackpool rally. Admission was £5 which I thought was reasonable. The queue was massive which is always great to see. Luckily we managed to get there early and after a full English breakfast we joined the queue very close to the front.


I managed to pick up a couple of things on the day, the first being a portable kit for my Yaesu FT-290R all mode 2m QRP radio. This consisted of a metal case with an antenna adaptor, power adaptor and two power cables. It has a nylon strap and mic holder to allow the user to carry the radio round easily when operating portable. A bargain at £5 and after a clean up with some wipes and a dremel to get rid of some light surface corrosion it looked the part.



I also picked up a Standard C5800 all mode 2m radio too which I cleaned up after the below pictures were taken and it looks great in the shack and works well on SSB. Unfortunately on FM there is an issue with the tone burst. When the PTT is pressed twice in a row it activates the 1750hz tone but there is an intermittent fault which causes the tone to activate. Not too much of an issue as I got this for SSB anyway. £30.



All in all a great day Blackpool Rally and I look forward to next year!

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK.