Cretan Blog-April 2013

Greetings again from a Crete that is getting warmer by the day, which is all very pleasing (but windy – see later). With your Easter some weeks before ours, a number of hotels and Tavernas are getting ready for the first influx of visitors, although it will not be until the latter part of April that things will really get going.

Can I just return to March RadComic for a moment? The report by the HF Manager (Page 67) goes on about PSK31 still being used below 7.040 on 40m. [also mentioned in my May 2012 Blog ]. A look at the waterfall the other evening showed traces of nearly every country in Europe including G, all working away below 7.040. Somehow I don’t think that ‘special foot notes’ added to the RSGB band plan are solving the problem!

So, you work someone on PSK (even below 7.040) and at the end of the QSO they say that they only QSL via eQSL. I say that I don’t and only QSL via the Buro or direct. The QSO ends and we still part company as friends and I make a note in the log and carry on.

12 months later a bunch of QSLs arrive from the Buro and there amongst them is a card from this chap who said he only deals with eQSL and on the card, in large print, are the words Pse QSL via Buro!

I looked at that site where you can see if you have any of these eQSL things waiting for you and lo and behold, despite me saying I do not use the system, he had sent me one of these electronic things. A look at the total said that I had approaching 1,350 of these ‘cards’.

Why do people send this stuff even though you say you do not use the system, and also in my case, don’t even understand it?

I have been using the SW9FF call in a few contests recently. On CW about 10% of the people I call ask me which country I am from – I just send ‘same as SV9’ and they all seem quite happy. On RTTY, those who are connected full-time to the Interweb thing, always come back with “SW9FF GM Richard UR 599 etc etc “, this because on it says my name is Richard and they pick up my name from this. I am thinking of changing my name on just before contests to something like Zygote, just for the fun of it!

Just a small reminder here that it is World Amateur Radio Day on Thursday 18th April. The Polish RSGB equivalent, QTC, usually offer an award for having 20 QSOs on that day and it is free if applying via email. A good excuse to skip work for a day get on the bands.

WX: We have been having some pleasant warm weather of late but the downside to this has been the wind and on the 21st we were forecast Force 8 winds for most of the day. If they forecast Force 10, I usually take the fishing poles down so I did not bother. During the day the wind did seem somewhat stronger so imagine our surprise when on the national weather forecast in the evening it said that just down the road in Aghios they had winds speeds of 113km/h, Force 11!

All my poles survived but the far end of the long wire came detached but was an easy fix.The more southerly Jet Stream is playing havoc here as well . . .

I know you think I keep having a go at RadComic but they make it so easy. Take a look at the April edition that arrived recently. Not only is The Last Word full of notices announcing special event calls that are also reported on other pages [Gordano ARC in the letters and on page 46, and on page 87 ], but the RSGB are now allowing funeral directors to advertise! [Page 90] I know the average age of Radio Amateurs in the country is advancing but is there any need to remind them that soon they will soon become a Silent Key?

Once again we have an equipment review that could have been written by the supplier as the accompanying advert used all the quotes from the ‘review’. This is not right. The review should be done independently and reported without the manufacturers, or retailers, knowledge.

I would like to win the brand new FT-897D from W&S as they say that the latest model runs nearly 2 KW [Page 4  but could do without a review of a book on ‘Flying Saucers’. Why does the RSGB stock such rubbish?

The obituary for Pat Hawker, G3VA, was lamentable. To cover his life in about two thirds of a page is unforgivable. It did not help having that stupid ‘story’ taking up a quarter of the page either.

I am not too sure now about delivery of the new Icom IC-7100. W&S say it is ‘Just about to arrive’ while Lynchie says it is ‘Due later in the year’. You pay your money etc. I know I am not into programming rigs and know nothing about it (or why you do it) but in the W&S advert for something called ADMS programming software, it shows a 3.5” floppy. Now, when was the last time you saw a pc or laptop with a slot for a 3.5” floppy in the front, and who uses them now? (John, G3WFM, need not answer this question!)

Now, I know what you are thinking – has he found anything good in the latest edition?

Well, the answer is YES! In the ‘Getting Started In Datamodes’, Andy Talbot does NOT mention HRD! [Maybe he has finally seen the light!] He recommends to starting with Digipan and Fldigi, both used by yours truly.

I was hoping to have a proper look at the new RSGB web site thing before uploading but I see that the ‘launch’ has been postponed again. I took a look at the Beta version again but cannot find any access to the Members area. If you click on the RadCom cover, up pops a box to say that you must sign in with your call and Membership number as usual – however, you have already done this to get into looking at the Beta version in the first place so I left the site feeling a bit confused but will dabble again when it is finally up and running.

I still think that it looks better as it fills the screen but has a real ‘dumbed down’ feel about it.

I should be on 21Mh/z on 18th if anyone fancies a ‘proper’ QSO with Names, QTHs and a keyboard to keyboard chat, or, if you are feeling really daring, I will wind up the keyer to about 16 WPM and use some Carrier Wave!


Dick. SV0XBN/9

Update 3rd April 2013  – Special Call J49C

A quick update. The local Radio Club have been issued with the call J49C for the next three months. This is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Crete becoming part of Greece.

The call will be used by lots of people at different times, so you may even hear the call on SSB and CW on the same band at the same time.

I will be using the call on PSK on Thursday 18th April, World Amateur Radio Day, on 15m from around 06.00 GMT, probably 20m in the afternoon and during the evening I should be on 40m.

QSL will be via SV9COL and details are on



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