Hello again es good to see some of you at the Christmas Bash last month and at the excellent Club Meeting on the previous Friday when we had a really interesting talk by Stan, G4OAV, about ‘Secret WW2 Wireless Interception and Direction Finding Stations’ in WW2.His talk was really well prepared and I guess I am not the only one who could have listened for another two hours or more.
At the Christmas Bash I talked a lot to Dave, M0TAZ. Dave and I differ on many things because I am an old fart who is not up to speed on the latest things while Dave seems up to date with everything. Dave put up with my ‘out-of-touch fuddy duddy G3 thinking’ and I know we do not see eye to eye on several things but it was nice to be able to listen to someone who not only knows about all the newer happenings in the hobby and gets his views across calmly and distinctly . . .
I did not make the Robin Hood on the Sunday evening as when I got there and opened the door, the owners Wolf saw me and thought that lunch had arrived, so I left post haste.
As an aside, I do not think it is allowed to have an animal in the area where food is served. I shall enquire . . .
Overall, my trip over went very well (apart from the Wolf) and I got to see most of the people I wanted to see and visited a couple of Emporia. The only thing I would say is that for most of my time in the UK the temperature was below zero. I am not used to this and driving to Heathrow in the snow just emphasised the fact.
Mind you, to return to a temperature of 17°C was very pleasant . . .
While at Heathrow and on my return flights, I now realise what the i stands for in all these ipads, ipods or iphones that I see everywhere. The i stands for idiot. It would seem that these people cannot exist without waving a finger up and down a screen. Err – why?
Contest Call – Part 1: I received notification that I now have the contest call: SW9F and can use this throughout the year. I will use it mostly in RTTY events as, on CW, I cannot hear a call, type it into a keyboard, and send a reply in the usually demanded 35 milliseconds. It takes me nearly 5 minutes to find the correct letters on the keyboard when trying to enter a call, real hunt & peek typing . . .
[The above was written on the 7th of January after I received official notification from the Authorities in Athens.]
Contest Call – Part 2: On Friday 11th of January I was driving up the A10 towards Brookfield Farm when the phone rang. It was George, the Official in Aghios who helped me apply for the contest call. He said that I must NOT use the call under any circumstances as it has been reserved for a repeater here on Crete. I was to pop in and see him when I returned and we would sort it out.
We ended the call and I drive on.
I am approaching Cheshunt when the phone goes again. It is George again and he says that if I can tell him the call I want now, he will organise it while I am in the UK.
He says that I must have two suffixes so I go for SW9FF and, true to his word, when I returned he had everything sorted.
I first used the call in the BARTG Sprint contest. Had a few QSOs on the Saturday afternoon and was a multiplier for a few. Could not spend for than a couple of hours at it as we had to go out but it was fun to use the call for the first time. The calls next outing will be in the Greek Triathlon Contest on 2nd Feb. Eight hours of RTTY, eight hours of SSB and then eight hours of CW. I may enter the RTTY section for a while and the CW bit for a couple of hours and see how we get on seeing as, not only am I a multiplier but also count as 4, 5 or 6 points depending on who works me.
This not a boast but I have two mobile phones, one Greek one and a UK one. Both are very simple phones with no cameras, radios or other hidden devices, just phones. I guess that, like me, you detest getting rubbish sales texts on your mobile. I get them from Orange on my UK phone. The problem is that Orange cannot tell the time. They send me a nice text saying that it is only going to cost me several hundred pounds a minute to phone the UK from Greece, where they obviously know I am, so why do they send me a sales text at 1 o’clock in the morning Greek time?
They must know that Greek time is different from UK time, mustn’t they? Or are they really that stupid?
I vote for the latter . . .
For some years now the authorities in Athens and other major cities are being plagued by pirate FM stations. There are the usual national BBC-type stations and a lot of legal commercial ones but a plethora of illegal QRM. About three years ago, the authorities went up to the hills around Athens where all the masts are situated, climbed some of the masts and, with a large pair of cutters and a chain saw, proceeded to cut chunks out of lengths of coax!
They closed down some illegal stations but also chopped the feeders to some legal ones as well. The legal stations jumped up and down about this and so after some ‘discussions’ and a Government decree, all radio masts/and or antennas must have a fixed sign attached saying which station everything belongs to. Then some jolly Government official, obviously wanting to keep his job, suggested that this ruling be extended to ALL radio masts and aerials.
You can guess the rest – we now all have to have an aluminium sign fixed to our mast or antenna feeder. Failure to fix this plate will result in a €10,000 fine! Mine is pictured below prior to fixing on the solar panel which supports the auto-ATU. The fact that my middle name is incorrect does not seem to worry anyone.
Question: Why do the RSGB continue to publish drawings that are too small to make sense of? I refer to the plan of an aerial installation in the ‘Sports Radio’ Contesting article. The article describes the aerial set up in a small garden and is quite informative but, and it’s a big but – there is no mention of the aerial length or the size of the chaps garden. It is not until you look on the RSGB website, find the page and enlarge it 800%, yes, 800%, that you can see the size of anything.
Seen the new RSGB web site? Hmmm. Yes it now fills the screen but it looks really dumbed down. I have not had chance to look at it fully yet but was not impressed with the bits I did see. I also read that the RSGB IT budget is higher than expected and more will be needed to incorporate the IOTA stuff. As I have said before, ‘Why can’t the IOTA mob pay for their own bloody IT system?’ They can afford it.
If you have been – thanks for listening.