Cretan Blog-January 2015

With another trip round the Sun completed, I guess it is that time again to wish you a Happy New Year and all that sort of thing. I trust that you received the new rig from Santa that you wanted and that the local Council approved the 100ft tower application.

This is being cobbled together well before Christmas and long before I collect my next copy of RadComic which will be while I’m in the UK in January.

December RadCom…
As is often the case, my December copy of RadComic arrived some days after sending my usual Blog for upload. This was partly expected as we have had a general strike out here (again) and of course this means no flights, ferries or postal services.

My initial look at Dec RadComic was done on-line and as I have said before, the process is awful. The page you wish to read does not fill the screen or even scroll properly and reading off the laptop is not the same as having a piece of paper in your hand. Because of this, only the Quadcopter toy was mentioned. And sorry people, despite what others have said, it is just a toy and has no place in an Amateur Radio periodical even if it is RadComic. Yes, you can use it to look at your beam when it is atop your tower, but let’s be serious here, how many of us have a beam atop a tower that cannot be lowered to check it out? It is, and always will be, a toy.
Here I must add that the guy who wrote the article did not do his homework as I understand that you must keep the thing in sight at all times and if you intend to use it for any business purpose, taking aerial shots of houses and gardens for your Estate Agency business, or flying it over a certain height then you need a licence from the CAA. [A few days after writing that bit I hear that there have been problems near LHR with these toys flying near landing aircraft.]

The Vertical Dipole Array piece was good but, and this is a big but, the results for all your efforts if you built one would not be very good. Why? Well, as they say in the piece, they were used in situations where they could be fixed on a beach, within feet of salt water which improves their efficiency and take-off angle. The only person I know who could build one and put it to good use down by the sea is Dave, ‘TAZ, on his trips to Cromer but for the rest of us, I’m afraid that the humble dipole or quarter wave vertical will have to do . . .

I know this is now a month out of date, but the list of complete article failures in the Dec issue includes: a brochure review of something called a Whizz Whip. Now, why pay 100 notes for something that you can replace with a cheap QRP ATU and some wire? Companies like Moonraker and Lynchie must be laughing all the way to the bank when they sell one of these.
Why is there a piece about a 3D printer? I thought that RadComic was a radio magazine not something for plastic model-maker brigade. And I mean, buy the printer in kit form and then spend 12 hours putting the thing together and a couple of months to learn about the software, just to make odd shaped bits of plastic? I don’t think so.
The brochure review of the ‘quarter size G5RV’ was another waste of paper as you could make something better for half the asking price. And once again I see that the RSGB are selling advertising space disguised as an article as in the piece by South West Broking. I did not think they could do this . . .
Even the antenna bit was a straight lift from QST plus a few comments from Dobbs.
As seen from outside the UK, the magazine is going downhill fast. I know I call it RadComic, but the whole thing is now becoming one big joke . . .

… and I do wonder what is happening to our hobby when you read letters in the ‘Last Word’ bit about running stations with special calls up the A34. What are these people on?
So, in view of this, when I am in the UK in early January, look for me on 2 meters. My call will be M25/M0/SV0XBN/M

It was good to read on one of the DX News Sheets that the 7 resident Amateurs in the North and South Cook Islands can use a special callsign during 2015. However, the best bit was that because of their limited internet access, none of them use LoTW or eQSL and none do the “UR 599 PSL QSL” type of QSO as they would all rather rag chew. How refreshing!

So, I have made a New Year’s Resolution – and it is that I will try to be nice to the RSGB.
It will be difficult, very difficult, but I will try – honest.
[Ladbrokes say that he won’t last past the March issue – Ed]


Dick. SV0XBN/9

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1 Response to Cretan Blog-January 2015

  1. Missthemse says:

    Happy New Year too.
    I have a question please.
    I use the Astra Sat TV from Germany to receive english telly ITV or BBC or other stations , but sometimes is hard to get BBC three do you know the Astra Signal perhaps? Would be great if you could help. Thank you very much in advance.
    Yr Blog is by the way great.

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