Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Magmount 2.4GHz Antenna For Wireless Video Scanning

Hi guys I recently purchased a couple of what the seller calls 'SMA 2.4GHz 9DBI Wireless Wifi WLAN 5 X Range Booster Antenna Extender + Base GT' antennas off eBay. I saw these and thought I'd give them a try for wireless video scanning because they are tuned to 2.4GHz and can't be any worse than the tiny little antenna on my wireless video dongle.

It cost around £1.40 shipped from Hong Kong so no great loss if it's useless. It seems pretty well made with a rubber cap at the top, magmount base at the bottom, a few feet of coax cable and an SMA male connector which screws right into my wireless video dongle.

I'm looking forward to giving this antenna a try sometime soon to see how it performs but at £1.40 who cares!

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Baofeng GT-1 First Impressions

So my Baofeng GT-1 arrived today and I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box. First was the little manual which is in perfect English, German and French plus a small card advertising Baofeng's 'Brand Reimagine' from Baofeng to Pofung. Also in the box was the usual charger, earpiece, antenna, 2 pin to 3 pin adapter plug and of course radio and battery.

The supplier sent me the orange version instead of the yellow version that I ordered but it matches my GT-3 and GT-3TP which is good so no big deal there. The radio is really solid and well built just like it's older brother; the BF-888S. It has orange PTT, monitor and flashlight buttons plus the speaker mic socket is also orange. The belt clip is alot stronger feeling than the BF-888S and the antenna ever so slightly bigger too.

The charger is slightly reworked but like the BF-888S has the LED which drains the radios battery if it is left in there without mains power.

The radio is programmable in CHIRP software using the regular Baofeng programming cable on the BF-888S setting. I think I'll programme this to my local UHF repeaters and the 8 PMR channels for the UK. I plugged the radio in to check what was pre-programmed in and it is on random frequencies from 437.15000 to 469.85000 with a mixture of CTCSS and DCS codes in use (click to enlarge).

RX and TX audio is great, just like the BF-888S and all in all the Pofung GT-1 is a great little radio for £12.

Thanks for reading as always.

73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Frosty Conditions

With all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas period and a busy week at work I've had no time for radio whatsoever. My new Wouxun KG-UV8D is still waiting to be tried and tested and my antennas on my care are well and truly frozen up!

My Christmas break comes in the form of 3 days off this week so I hope to get some radio in at some point!

Thanks for reading as always.

73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Is Coming

Well, yet another Christmas is upon and after panic Saturday on the 20th and manic Monday on the 23rd the shops and supermarkets are absolutely rammed and things won't change until late on Christmas eve! So I decided to do a bit of online shopping and get some treats in for Christmas.

I recently sold about 10 radios on eBay to make a bit of cash and clear out the stuff I wasn't using. Items included a pair of TYT 368S 449MHz handhelds, one of those 70's/80's mobile CB radios for the car that come with a magmount etc. Also sold were a Uniden UBC30XLT scanner and an Alinco DJ-S40C UHF handheld transceiver. As I said, I won't particularly miss these items as they were just not used and are of no particular value to me from a monetary or sentimental point of view.

Wouxun KG-UV8D:

The first radio I bought was the Wouxun KG-UV8D Dual Band 136-174/400-520MHz handheld transceiver with the large colour LCD screen. I've not used Wouxun radios before and have been toying with the idea of getting one of these for a while. There are plenty of features packed into this such as 4 watts power on UHF and 5 watts on VHF. It features a whopping 999 programmable memory channels and full CTCSS and DCS as well as DTMF operation. The KG-UV8D also has duplex cross-band repeat capability, so you can operate the radio in full cross-band mode where you transmit on one band while you receive on the other simultaneously. You can also receive two signals at the same time on either band.

The KG-UV8D has the same other features as most of the Chinese handhelds out there such as channel name display, dual standby, 76-108Mhz FM radio, DTMF encoding, SOS function, low voltage voice prompt, VOX for hands-free operation, stopwatch and a flashlight. The radio is powered by 7.4v 1700mAh Li-Ion battery pack.

Baofeng/Pofung GT-5:

The next radio I bought was the new Baofeng/Pofung GT-5 VHF/UHF 136-174/400-520MHz Dual-PTT Dual-Standby 2-way Radio. This is basically the Baofeng UV-82 family of radios in a new casing with slightly different buttons etc. There is no real difference between the two but I've been looking at getting a UV-82 for a while to give it a try and now the GT-5 is out it makes sense to go for that model.

Receive and transmit are better on this radio and it features a better antenna compared to the useless stock antenna on the Baofeng UV-5R. I chose this radio to try out the dual PTT key which would be very useful when the radio is in dual standby mode. Obviously the PTT allows you to select which frequency you transmit on. The extra 1 Watt of power on both bands (5/4 Watts instead of 4/3 Watts) is also a slight advantage.

Baofeng/Pofung GT-1:

Next was the Baofeng/Pofung GT-1 UHF 400-470MHz. I'm assuming a BF-888s in a new casing but nevertheless a great remodel of an already great radio. I've always been a fan of the BF-888's which you can pick up for as little as £12. It does simplex, repeaters, has CTCSS/DCS and decent audio. Better still it works with the UV-5R accessories. I've bought a pair of Baofeng/Pofung GT-1's for £25 with a free earpiece and I'll be made up if they're just as good as the BF-888s.

It has all the same features that the BF-888s has but seems slimmer, a little more professional looking and comes with either and Orange, Yellow or Green fluorescent PTT, monitor button and speaker mic guard. I chose the yellow but as I type this I wish I'd chosen orange to match my Baofeng GT-3! Ah well it'll match the GT-5 instead.

Baofeng GT-3TP:

Lastly was the Baofeng GT-3TP which is the new triple power dual band handheld from Baofeng but I've posted about this in my previous entry.

So some great radios coming for Christmas and the new year. I'm looking forward to trying them all out in terms of testing and also everyday use on repeaters and for recreation when the weather is better and camping season is here. I'm sure I'll get round to posting my findings on here soon. 

Thanks for reading as always.

73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Switching to the Baofeng GT-3TP

Hi guys, a while back I posted about making the move from the Baofeng UV-5R to the Baofeng GT-3 as my main handheld radio (click here to read). Well after much anticipation Baofeng have released their new Baofeng GT-3TP which apparently features 8 watts output power.

Now, like everybody else I was skeptical about whether this is actually true and I've found the answer. It is true depending on what frequency you use according to the eBay seller who has included a measure of power on a number of frequencies:

140-145MHz - 8.0 Watts
150.325MHz - 6.9 Watts
430.125MHz - 6.5 Watts
435.225MHz - 6.3 Watts
440.325MHz - 6.3 Watts

It looks like it'll perform best on 2m which is ok. The results for 70cm/PMR are a little disappointing and the extra 1 watt won't make the slight bit of difference. Anyway I bought one of these on eBay tonight after selling a few old radios. Firstly to make my GT-3 a pair and secondly to see if there is any difference in performance with a little extra power.

The radio comes supplied with all the usual peripherals and is coming from Hong Kong so it probably won't be here until the 2nd week in January. When it comes I'll be sure to post my findings!

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

RTL SDR Problem/Caution

I'm a huge fan of SDR after discovering it around 6 months ago and these £6 RTL SDR dongles that are all over eBay at the moment are a great way to get started. They're a great value SDR dongle that coupled with SDR# in my opinion is a very powerful tool and since then my scanners have sat switched off in my shack.

I decided recently that I'd get a second SDR dongle from eBay so I could run one on my PC for pager and digital decoding and the other on my laptop for analogue VHF and UHF monitoring. So I got onto eBay and bought the absolute cheapest one I could find. It came in about a week and was identical to my existing dongle right down to the packaging. Happy days! Or so I thought.

I plugged the dongle into the laptop and decided to give it a test to check everything was ok but when I clicked play in SDR# I received an error message saying cannot access RTL devicde. So I decided to reinstall all software/drivers etc and try again but the same message kept appearing. The exact same happened on my desktop PC too.

So I decided to do some searching around on Google and all results pointed to software issues but there was no difference between the dongles and all my software was correct. I plugged my old dongle back in and received no signals which worried me a bit as I use my SDR all the time. After racking my brains for 30 minutes I noticed the faulty dongle had knocked my RF gain to 0Db!

I gave it up as a bad job and decided to take the dongle apart to see if there was any difference in hardware inside that could be causing the fault and saw that the board inside seemed corroded! Now, I'm no electrical expert so it could be that either the board inside had fried when I plugged the dongle in, or the unit has been exposed to moisture but the pictures below show the damage that is causing the fault.

The soldering on the board seems to be of a very low standard too which makes me think that some manufacturer in China is cloning these boards for various eBay sellers to distribute onwards in bulk hence the poor quality. Who knows!

Anyhow, the dongle was only £6 and I received a full refund after contacting the seller so no harm done really but just a word of warning when buying these dongles on eBay or anywhere else. Sometimes the cheapest one isn't always the best one. Go for a dongle that's around £8-£10 and save the hassle.

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2.4GHz Wireless Video Scanning Update

I posted a few weeks ago that planned on having a go at some wireless video scanning for the 2.4GHz wireless security cameras and that the dongle I bought was pretty much useless due to the software being awful. After that I lost interest in the idea due to that reason but I've made some progress this week.

So after a lot of moaning and complaining to the eBay seller, and alot of fobbing off by the eBay seller, I managed to get them to send me a replacement with better software. Don't get me wrong it was an absolute nightmare to install and get running again but once I sorted it all out, I was impressed!

I don't yet have the palm monitor so I'm making do with the dongle for now, so I plugged it into the laptop and put the laptop in the passenger seat of my car and drove round my local area. I went through a small shopping village and came up with nothing so I decided to head home but when I got onto my estate I found a fair few camera's on houses and made a few recordings. The button on the top below the LED is what toggles the channel change. Unfortunately there is no way to tell which channel you're on. The recording is easy to do in the supplied software. All you do is click start and stop. The software allows you to edit video and transfer to a data disc or DVD but all I needed was the MPEG files. You can watch my findings in the video below.

All in all I'm very pleased with the results and can't wait to get back out in the daytime and scan for more. For info on how to do this, Google search and YouTube are full of info on where to get started. The 2.4GHz frequencies are 2414MHz, 2432MHz, 2450MHz and 2468MHz.

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK.

Please note, this equipment is available all over eBay and it is up to you to be responsible by not putting anyone or anything at risk by scanning or sharing wireless video. Please also note that any clip I show is for demonstration purposes only and does not contain anyone's face, address, name, street name or vehicle license plate.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Motorola 4500X Hand Portable Phone

It's really easy to forget just how awful, and large mobile phones used to be and one look at the Motorola 4500X serves as a reminder that mobile phones were once something that you really didn't want to carry around unless you had to.

I picked this model up on eBay for around £25 if my memory serves me. It came in great condition with a mains power supply and car power supply, antenna and its own Motorola carrying bag. Dating from the late 1980s, the 4500X weighs in at a whopping 3.5kg and is basically a handset connected to a heavy box containing the battery and electronics via a cable. The unit measures 260mm long by 118mm wide by 175mm tall (270mm if you count the antenna). This type of phone was known as a hand portable and it was just one step up from a car phone. The handset itself has a basic set of numeric buttons and some function keys, with a very simple LED display for output. There are no letters on the keys, because at the time of release, text messaging had yet been developed.


Unfortunately the phone operated on the now obsolete ETACS system. Total Access Communication System (TACS) and ETACS are mostly-obsolete variants of Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) which was announced as the choice for the first two UK national cellular systems in Feb 1983, less than a year after the UK government announced the T&Cs for the two competing mobile phone networks in June 1982.

TACS cellular phones were used in Europe and other countries (including the UK, Italy & Ireland. TACS was also used in Japan under the name Japanese Total Access Communication (JTAC). It was also used in Hong Kong. ETACS was an extended version of TACS with more channels.

TACS and ETACS are now obsolete in Europe, having been replaced by the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) system. In the United Kingdom, the last ETACS service operated by Vodafone was discontinued on 31 May 2001, after sixteen years of service. The competing service in the UK operated by Cellnet (latterly BTCellnet) was closed on Sunday 1 October 2000. Eircell (now Vodafone Ireland) closed its TACS network on 26 January 2001.


I love these old phones and they provide an interesting look at the not so distant past where they were the new high tech thing to have. Obviously a long way away from the iPhone 6!

I have a few old mobile phones which I'll blog when I get chance so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Heaton Park BT Tower

I've always had a bit of a fascination for radio towers, masts and transmitter sites and some have an interesting history. Some of my favourite types are the old British Telecom Chilterns type towers that were built around the 1960's. They are telecommunication towers built of reinforced concrete with around four platforms at the top that are used to attach point to point microwave transmission drums and a whole array of other antennas.

Heaton Park BT Tower is a Chilterns type concrete tower close to the banks of Heaton Park Reservoir, at Heaton Park, Manchester. Heaton Park tower is one of the few British towers built of reinforced concrete, and one of seven BT towers of this particular design which are all significant local landmarks and cultural icons. Heaton Park is notable because it provided a large portion of the trunk comms capacity into Manchester.

There is little information on the internet about this particular tower but it is likely to have been constructed as part of the British Cold War "Backbone" radio communications network designed to provide the UK and NATO with survivable communications in the event of nuclear war. It would have relayed signals from Sutton Common tower in Macclesfield to the south and Tinshill tower in Leeds to the north.

BT owns at least 200 radio masts and towers in Britain. Of these, twelve are reinforced concrete towers. The rest are of steel lattice construction. Seven of the twelve are all Chiltern type towers named after the first one which was built at Stokenchurch on the Chiltern Hills. They are identical except for their heights, which vary considerably. 

The others are located at Stokenchurch in Buckinghamshire, Charwelton in Northamptonshire, Pye Green at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, Sutton Common near Macclesfield in Cheshire, Tinshill, in the Cookridge area of Leeds and Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire.

In common with most of these sites, BT have removed the original horn antennas and replaced them with more compact dishes. The ones on the Heaton Park tower look quite new and I noticed some old dishes dumped in a pile at the base.

There was another antenna tower close by with 3 small and 3 larger vertical omni directional antennas on it, I have no idea what it is for but I'd guess the larger, white antennas are possibly Police Airwave antennas. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The BT tower is bare compared to how it used to look due to most of the microwave backbone network now using fiber. It still stands as a relic of a Britain where radio communication was in its heyday.

If you haven't been to Heaton Park, it is definitely worth a visit and there is plenty to do there. It made for a nice walk this afternoon for a couple of hours with plenty of wildlife around and of course this awesome BT tower.

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.
Manchester, UK.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

2.4gHz Wireless Video Scanning.

So I've been looking at a lot of videos on Youtube about wireless video scanning or 'Wi-Vi' scanning. There's not a great deal of videos on there but there's enough to get me interested. There are a couple of methods that I've started to look at and hope to get some good results from them.

The first device is a 2.4GHz wireless security/baby palm monitor LCD receiver which covers the 4 channels that all wireless cameras operate on. Pretty simple to use by the looks of things. It has a composite AV output so the receiver can be connected directly to a DVR to enable recording as well as volume, on/off switch and power adapter port.

There are 2 holes on the top and one on the front which I plan to modify to enable me to connect an external antenna to it as opposed to the internal one which I'm guessing is a wire soldered to the antenna pad on the circuit board inside. There are larger 2.4ghz WiFi aerials on eBay for a couple of pounds which should work well. One Youtuber has made a pretty cool biquad antenna attached to his which seems to deliver good results when walking down the street scanning.

It has a handy little stand on the back which I'll use to somehow attach to the dash of my car so I can scan for wireless video while driving around. There is a video of this exact unit in operation Youtube and the quality seems pretty good so as soon as the seller has them back in stock I'll snap one up and give it a try. Of course I'll post my results as and when.


This handheld device will act as a great portable wireless video scanner for all 4 channels. All for about £35 shipped. Photos courtesy of DX.com. No copyright intended.

The second device is a 2.4gHz USB 2.0 wireless dongle which plugs into a USB port and allows you to view CCTV footage. I bought one last week off eBay for about £8 shipped so not expensive however the software supplied is completely useless and just does not work. Or at leas not on Windows 7 64bit which is on my PC and laptop. I managed to scout the internet and get a driver so the computer actually recognizes the dongle, some other drivers to make it run on Windows 7 64bit and another peice of software called Yawcam to actually view the singals that the dongle draws in.

The antenna on the side unscrews from an SMA female connector on the board inside so this will allow me to attach a larger, better quality antenna. There is a video out port on the side too and the dongle comes with an audio video cable to allow connection to a TV, monitor or DVR for recording.

So all in all a bit of a disappointing start and of course it is a more fixed way of viewing wireless video unless you fancy walking or driving around with a laptop. I do plan to get a Windows tablet after Christmas so I'll connect it up with a USB cable and look to put the software on the tablet somehow and use it portable. That is unless I manage to locate the palm device first.

From what I've already seen online I'd recommend the palm device to anyone wanting to snoop in on wireless video transmissions but the dongle is a bit too much trouble and I'd probably not recommend buying one. Stay tuned for updates!
Do you have either of these? Or have you tried your hand at wireless video scanning? Drop me a comment in the box further down the page and let me know!

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.
Manchester, UK.

Wouxun KG-699E 66-88mhz Transceiver.

So I was browsing eBay as you do and I came across a 66-88mhz handheld transceiver by Wouxun. The KG-699E is something I haven't heard of so far and it looks quite good and would be great for local 4m 70mhz use without the hefty price tag of the likes of the Icom 7100 and the Yaesu FT-847. It has 200 channels and 12.5khz and 25khz steps as well as CTCSS/DCS, 1w and 5w power settings and all the usual features that come with the chinese handhelds.

They are available on eBay for as little as £65 and go up to around £80 depending on the band. The 4m version is more expensive than the regular VHF and UHF models. I found one for £70 with a COM port programming cable which is always handy and allows the user to name the channel programmed into the radio. The package looks like it contains the usual wrist strap, belt clip, drop in charger and ear piece etc but with the naturally longer helical antenna suitable for that band although I'd be tempted to use an external antenna for obvious reasons.

One problem that crops up in reviews is that scanning of memory channels in groups is not supported, so the scan button scans all active channels however this is not the end of the world and is to be expected from such a cheap radio.

All in all it looks like a nice little radio and definitely something I'll think about getting as I've not really seen a newly released radio that covers this band and I'm confident is it the only 4m handheld on the market at the moment. Correct me if I'm wrong. It is definitely a big leap forward from the Philips and Pye radios I've owned and reviewed on the radio finds page that are at least 1ft in length without the 2ft helical attached to it! Build quality looks very good as with all Wouxun radios and it is nice to see the absence of the flash light which in my opinion cheapens the look of the radio.

Do you own one of these radios? Let me know what you think by dropping me a comment in the box on the right. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.
Manchester, UK.

Comparing Baofeng Radios.

There are lots of different models and styles of Baofeng radios on the market these days and it is a hell of a task deciding which one is right for you, which one does what and finding out what the differences are between the various radios. That is all before you throw the numerous counterfeit and unlicensed models into the mix.

Baofeng supply great radios for the price, I've had a few now and have never been disappointed. Sure, you pay for what you get but I personally think you get a whole lot more and these radios are crammed with loads of useful features. Choosing a radio from Bafoeng is complicated as I say but I've put a chart below which I've  borrowed from the Baofeng website (no copyright intended) to help you try and decide. 

Click to enlarge

Certain models are not included as they are either reproductions or clones by other manufacturers under license such as the UV-82L or UV-89. Hope it helps you when choosing your new Baofeng radio.

Note, some other radios are not mentioned because vendors have paid to reproduce them but not include any extra features except misleading labels and badges as a marketing ploy. Some examples are the UV-89 and UV-82L which have no difference except labeling when compared to the UV-82. It is best to avoid these vendors as they are misleading and may not sell radios at the same quality as official Baofeng dealers.

Of course there is the BF-888s. I have a pair of these and they're about £12 new on eBay and I can't fault them either! They are 16 channel programmable radios which fit the regular Baofeng programming lead, microphones, ear pieces and antennas etc. They feature 50 CTCSS / 105 CDCSS codes, VOX function, emergency alarm (useless as it is not transmitted), intelligent charging, battery save, low voltage alert and time out timer. Frequency range is 400-470MHz, power 1 watt on low, 5 watts on high and a 3.7v 1500mAh battery.

These radios are pretty fool proof, easily programmable and quite rugged for a small, cheap handheld. They are ideal to throw in your pocket in a rush and perform well on the air. I've used these on my local repeater with good reports but like with any radio, you get what you pay for.

Lastly there is the Baofeng UV-3R and UV-3R+ model which is a slightly revamped version of the UV-3R. Some people have commented that the RX and TX quality is better than the UV-5R but the lack of a keypad makes it harder to programme. I have a UV-3R first but sold it to buy a UV-5R solely due to the keypad however I'd highly recommend the 3R too!

So Which Is The Best?

It seems even Baofeng can't decide! They have chosen the 3 radios listed below but it depends on what you're looking for. I bought a GT-3 and it has noticeably better RX and TX quality than my UV-5R. I think everybody has their own views and opinions on which radio they prefer.
  • According to Baofeng, the best overall is the UV-82 series because it features the highest quality PCB board, heavy duty casing, most ergonomic case and keypad, a louder 1 watt speaker, and overall better RX and TX than other models. The series includes the only current 220mhz Baofeng; the UV-82X and the only commercial use approved Baofeng UV-82C.
  • The best radio in UV-5R family (third generation) is the BF-F8HP because it is the only tri power radio with 1, 5 and 8 watts of power. It also features the high gain V-85 antenna, the second generation PCB board from the UV-5R, it is compatible with all UV-5R accessories, and expanded frequency range.
  • The most economical radio according to Baofeng is the BF-F8+ because it is the cheapest variant from the chart above (does not include the BF-888S or the UV-3R. It also features the second generation PCB board from the UV-5R andis compatible with all UV-5R accessories.
Hope this all helps when choosing what to buy.

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK.

Switching to the Baofeng GT-3.

So I decided to make the switch from the Baofeng UV-5R to the Baofeng GT-3 as my main dual band transceiver. I got an old marine handheld transceiver on eBay for about £6 as spares and repairs. Low and behold it just needed AA batteries and it works a treat. So I've just sold it for £40, which is the price of a Baofeng GT-3 with secondary antenna, speaker mic and car charger so I used the money to purchase one.

It should be here this week so I'll put up a review. Sorry for the lack of updates, I've been back at work after a couple of weeks holiday. I'll do my best to get a review up of the GT-3, a showing of the marine handheld and some other Motorola bits and peices.

Stay tuned!

As always, thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.
Manchester, UK.

RSGB 144mhz UKAC | Tuesday 7th October 2014.

I met with a friend of mine Roydan (M0LEX) to watch him take part in the RSGB 144mhz UKAC. This is a 2m USB DX contest in which radio amateurs up and down the United Kingdom and beyond attmept to work as much of the country as possible in two and a half hours.

These contests are timed to co-incide with the last two hours of a number of European activity contests, with an extra half hour at the end to encourage intra UK activity. They take place on Tuesdays from 2000-2230 local time with 144 MHz on the 1st Tuesday of the month. The country is divided up into IO squares with area codes in each square. We were in IO83.

I've never taken part in anything like this before hence coming along with Roydan to see what it was all about. We drove to a hill between Bury and Rochdale in Greater Manchester that overlooks most of Manchester and beyond. Winter Hill Arquiva transmitter site was clearly visible to the west and Croker Hill BT tower outside Macclesfield was visible to the south east. Beetham Tower in Manchester city centre sat directly to the south of our position. The weather was damp and freezing cold now Autumn is here but at least the rain that had hung around all day had now completely disappeared which made setting up Roydan's mast and antenna much easier.

When the antenna was set up on a drive on mast, we turned on and tuned in to the 2m band and had a listen round. It didn't take long for the band to come alive with operators up and down the country. It was nice to see so much activity on there and we both agreed that it restored our faith that the hobby is very much alive.

Throughout the two and a half hours Roydan managed to work exactly 100 stations. Lift conditions weren't great tonight and we struggled to make the grid squares in the far south east coast of England and the north of Scotland but we managed one Irish station. I heard a few familiar call signs from the Manchester area and many more from all over the UK but nothing from Europe tonight. I think Roydan managed 13 squares tonight.

I managed to take a few pictures of the view from the top of the hill. The panoramic photo above shows one third of the view and you can see Winter Hill mast on the right. Taken with a 15 second exposure on my tripod. All in all a great night with plenty of activity. I look forward to the next time and also giving it a go myself! Thanks Roydan!

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.
Manchester, UK.