The Old Boy has gone Mad

A post on Knights QRSS by Martin G4FUI reminded me to have a listen for the Quadrantids Meteor Shower in the next few days. He will be monitoring the signal from the GRAVES Radar installation on 143.450MHz in France, some 1000km away for reflections. He has a Grabber on line which shows the signals at his QTH.

I thought that rather than transmitting and listening for signals it would be nice to give this a try. Well it would be nice to have a Grabber on line too, so that I can monitor in the lounge at all times.
In a couple of months setting up a Grabber may seem a bit of a task, after my recent burst of activity it is a doddle, all-right just one more then.

So that’s VLF,LF,HF,VHF and UHF Grabbers I can run at the same time if needed.

For the new one click on the Screen Grab below.


As the UK SPAM group find it is an ideal use for 3D Grabs from SpectrumLab too.

Wind Turbines

My neighbour has a smaller Wind Generator which he uses on his smaller Campingcar, he purchased it shortly after I bought mine.
Talking to him the other day we both agreed that the wind doesn’t blow like it used to. Yes we get extremes like today’s gales but in the UK the wind used to blow on most days with enough speed to generate usable power, at the coast this is still more the case but here in land we seem to have a noticeable change.

Then we got on to the Wind Turbines that feed the Grid. Are these noticing the change, hang on are they causing it, if they take power from the wind they must attenuate it. Starting at the coast do they gobble a bit leaving less for the next ones down wind.

A Crazy, Crazy Project

My Aerogen 3 Wind Generator used to clamp onto my old Hymer Campingcar with no worries, it had a steel frame. Having gone modern now with modern construction I dare not fix it on, I am sure a gale would take the rear out in one piece.

So I put the Generator between the houses, quite low just to see how it performs. I wrote an article for MMM Magazine about Green Power and said “Urban sites produce poor results as the wind is fickle due to shelter and deflection from the buildings”. So that is where the first bit of crazy comes in. We do however get some strong prevailing winds from the West with little to stop them, this gets funnelled between the houses. The Generator is quite low but only chimney top mounting would get it in the clear.

It is spinning quite fast today in this picture.


I didn’t put a regulator or a battery on it just a 10Amp load, a bit dull and uninteresting that, so I changed to a halogen bulb when the wind speed was low. Yes low but fickle, there was no light output, dull red glow, nice bright light and phut all in 2 minutes.

No good for 12 Volt Conservatory lighting then;)

What about crazy project part two. Heat the Conservatory using one of those ridiculous Car Heaters they still sell, I have been given two which had never been used since purchase by users who didn’t realise that their battery would be flat pretty rapidly if they tried to use them on a cold morning.
The fickle wind even from the West when the forecast says Gales either makes no difference to the Heating Element temperature, a just detectable lift above cold with not enough Voltage to rotate the Fan, a slight rattle from a slowly turning Fan and two or three second bursts of full Fan speed and heat output.

I don’t think it will save a lot on heating bills. Equally I don’t think the sporadic winds would provide a useful charge for a battery, not “in a urban environment”. I may as well put it up for sale to a Yachtsman.

Letter from America

A nice visual report arrived by e-mail yesterday from Ray W2XC, he was pleased to be seeing my 200mW 28MHz MEPT on WSPR regularly and I was pleased to see his screen shot.

Now this is not exceptional, what I do find odd is the lack of reports from QRSS stations and Grabbers of the same 200mW TX when it sends QRSS. The contrast is daily reports from America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia on WSPR, zero reports for years on end from anywhere for QRSS.


OK so most activity is on 10MHz, but stations and Grabbers do go on to 28MHz regularly, QRSS needs to be strong enough to be visible but just look at the waterfall display of my signal on the screen shot, (2nd signal up in the second column from the right), on the scrotty little non optimised display which is no more than an indicator for WSPR stations.

Still patiently awaiting a QRSS report.

I have had a visitor

There are so many blogs and chat sites these days, some get noticed some just don’t seem to. I find none like the community for getting hits. I am not into building lists of friends and followers, I come and go so could never keep track. I do welcome friends though but if you get ignored its because I am too busy with other things.

I joined another group yesterday, CQfriends, today I find I have had a visitor. My page contains links to here and some more of my web presence, if someone is looking for say my new HF Grabber its handy to have some links to get it known.

I have kept the corporate image, it doesn’t look outdated to me yet and its KISS.

Click on the picture below and see if the number of visitors have gone above 1.


CQfriends – ham amateur radio – callsign G3ZJO

Got an invite yesterday to join CQfriends. There are some things I won’t use but it’s another web presence, and another site building method, a real pain actually compared to writing and uploading html, particularly when it threw a glitch and instead of saving the latest page version it deleted the changes and logged me off, over and over again. It is fairly new and some glitches are known to the originators.

You will find me here:-

CQfriends – ham amateur radio – callsign G3ZJO

EDIT 27/12/11
So why did I accept an invitation for yet more web presence, well I don’t think you can have too much, today I searched for the url of very well know LF Grabber, even using exact search terms it took ages and caused lots of frustration, finally I used a link to another station which carried a link to the Grabber.
I don’t think I cause that frustration and I don’t want to.

So while I am at it…. I poked some 136kHz Views in my VLF Grabber when I wanted to display some. Not very tidy, when not on air they show as blanks, why not also program an LF Grabber? No problem.

It is here :- G3ZJO LF Grabber

The Amateur also Known as

A thought came to me today when Googling a call sign,Google isn’t like us, for years Amateurs have abbreviated our calls, in Ham circles I am likely to be refereed to as ZJO, 3ZJO, as well as oy you, and that miserable old B.
Maybe if we used the abbreviations on line they could get recognised by search engines. Of course there are other ZJO’s G8ZJO was one I used to see at times, not lately.