Cretan Blog-August 2015

Greetings again from a very confused Crete where due to all the financial jiggery-pokery that has been going on, we don’t really know if we are coming or going or been and gone.

Still the weather has been nice and mild, 37°C  as I type this, and this makes up for everything..

Latest Car News:
You will be pleased to know that the car was repaired, a new front fitted and the XYLs ‘church damage’ knocked out and all was well. The car had not looked so good in many a year . . .

Then, no more than two weeks later, there was a knock at the door. Mikalis from up the road came to apologise that his pick-up had run forward and hit our nice clean-looking car and as you read this, a new bonnet should be being fitted . . .

On the bright side we have received a cheque from the insurance company for the last lot of damage and as soon as the banks were open, it was paid in. I felt very proud at that moment as I was probably the only person in Greece paying money into a bank account!

On the radio front the new QSLs have arrived and are being shipped out to the deserving. It is quite remarkable how many direct requests I have had for JT65 QSOs.

I have also been having regular skeds with my old school chum Judge, G4KAR down in Sussex. We have been using PSK31 as he is new to the data modes and so far we have been quite lucky with propagation. Not so lucky with the laptops we use however, as both have died halfway through various QSOs!

Still, both times we have managed to complete the contacts with some form of dignity . . .

Have also been playing on 6m, most times when I check the band it is dead of course but on the odd occasion there have been people to work – but not for very long! I put the rig on the other afternoon about 3.30 and worked OE, HA and OK, all with 50 watts CW and my 2 ele fixed beam. Great, apart from the fact that within 15 minutes the band had closed again and there was nothing but noise!

I’m Sorry But – :
I have tried not to keep having a go at RadComic but the August edition really needs commenting on.

Let us start with the front cover. A picture of people playing with some Yaesu rigs at Friedrichshafen. From this I expected an extensive report on the show, after all it is the biggest in Europe and it was their 40th year, but what do we get – not even a full page of a report. The whole text would just fill two columns, no pictures of the whole show so we get no idea of how big it is, how many people there were, instead we get bland reporting and bland pictures. The picture on the BATC chap could easily be left out as there is another in the ‘news’ section on Page 11.

[ For further details/photos of Hamradio 2015 at Friedrichschafen, there’s three posts from Richard G4DDP and John G8DZH on the LEFARS blog starting here Ed]

Some of the technical stuff this time was of interest – the bits about voltage regulation for Honda Generators and the voltage regulator article for QRP rigs were good – pity then the magazine was spoilt by items such as ‘How to make an insurance claim’ or the stupid ‘Hitched to a Ham’ which, if memory recalls, is a straight lift (with modifications) from a QST article some years ago.

Some of the articles show the editor really scraping the bottom of the barrel to fill the magazine. With no Skelton this month, we get a long rambling piece of how a repeater was built including pictures of every little bit that went into it, (yawn, yawn) and then we get a badly written piece about something called ‘The Big Camp’ which not only shows how awful something can be reported on but also how bad the current state of schooling is in the UK when someone thinks that Cornwall is part of South Yorkshire.

The writer of this piece should really do his homework if he writes “It was evident that there was a contest on 40m…” If the writer is the ‘Yoof Coordinator’, as stated, then the hobby is doomed.

And the worst bit? If you are newly licensed I would assume that if you wanted to know something about the hobby, or a small part of it, you would ask any Member of the Club or those that taught you.

If you have risen to the Intermediate Licence I would have thought that you would have a better grasp of things and I would have thought that if you could not find out something on t’internet, again you would ask at the Club. Even if the person you asked did not know the answer, they would point you in the right direction and if all else were to fail, you could just ask Marc, the fountain of all knowledge.

You would NOT write to the RSGB Last Word bit in RadComic asking about what frequencies to use for QRP operation – would you? (Page 97) . . . and probably the worst part of the whole thing is that the stupid RSGB editor published the letter, complete with answer, instead of quietly writing back to the guy and not showing him up in front of most of the UK Amateur population.

Just while on the subject of the intermediate licence, I see in the small ads that a 2E0, now SK, owned a 1.3Kw amplifier. So much for keeping the power down to 50 watts as he was meant to then . . .

I also saw an advert for something with:  ”… Friendly AMS”. I guess that is better than unfriendly AMS but what the hell is it?

Financial Dilemma:
At the time of writing (30th July) the current Lotto Jackpot out here is 9.6 million Euros.

Great – except that if you win it you cannot take it out of the country and if the Capital Controls remain, if you withdraw your 60 Euro limit each day, your winnings will last round about 438 Years.


Dick. SV9RPE.

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