31 March 2016

Gainmaster Half Wave £109 at Knights Electrocom

Looks like Doug Knight is one of the first to have the new Gainmaster Half Wave in stock here in the UK.

Priced at £109 the antenna certainly isn't cheap. Only £20 less than it's big brother, £10 more expensive than the IMAX 2000, and over £40 more expensive than the Antron 99!!!!

Is it worth the price? I guess it depends how well it performs. Afterall a half wave is a half wave is a half wave....!

Gainmaster H/W on Knights Website: CLICK HERE

– Base station antenna, Omnidirectional
– 0.5λ Center feed vertical dipole
– Low radiation angle for excellent DX
– Fiberglass 3 section composite tube

Electrical Data:
– Type: 1/2λ Center feeded vertical dipole
– Frequency range: tunable from 27.2 to 30 MHz
– Gain: 0 dBd, 2.15 dBi
– Bandwidth @ SWR ≤ 2: ≥ 1800 KHz @ 27.2 MHz
– Max. power: 500 Watts (CW) continuous
– Connector: UHF-female, PTFE insulator & gold plated central pin

Mechanical Data:
– Materials: Whip made of white fiberlass three section composite tube, radiator made of copper wire and low loss coax cable, stainless steel hardware, anodized AW6060 aluminium, UV stabilized thermoplastic
– Height (approx.): 5560 mm / 11.2 feet
– Weight (approx.): 2600 gr / 5.7 lb
– Mounting mast: Ø 35-54 mm / Ø 1.4-2.1 in

29 March 2016

HBAB Daily SSB Net

SSB has really taken off in parts of the UK since it's legalisation in 2014 and one of the fastest growing networks is the HBAB (Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire And Buckinghamshire) group net.

Their net can be heard on the mid band (EU Band) daily from 16:00 hours UK time, calling on the UK SSB calling channel 27.275 USB then QSY to their new net frequency 27.295 USB.

So do listen out if you are in the area or if there is some propagation on the band you may hear them anywhere across Europe and beyond. 

Group members can also be found on FaceBook on their new page "CB Radio Europe".

22 March 2016

CB Radio: President McKinley - First Photos

(Click to enlarge photos)

President Electronics USA have posted the above images of the new President McKinley AM/SSB CB Radio on their Facebook page. A nice looking radio for sure, a little basic perhaps for those of you used to more buttons on your SSB radios, but as long as it works and as long as the price is right it should do well!!!! 

A close up of the LCD screen shows separate indicators for MIC GAIN, RF GAIN and S/RF PWR along with three memory channels. There also appears to be a multi segmented area just below HI-CUT which could be used to display text (Maybe a hidden engineering menu there somewhere?)

It will be interesting to see if the radio makes it across the pond to Europe, of course they'd need to add FM and make it Multi Norm. We will wait and see.....


11 March 2016

Albrecht AE5890EU v's President Grant 2

Just a quick comparison between the Albrecht AE5890EU and the President Grant 2 listening to a station in Turkey on SSB this afternoon.

10 March 2016

Foundation Guide To Amateur Radio By VK3YE

Calling CQ

6 March 2016

President Grant 2 (Non-Premium): Amazon Offers

Looking around Amazon I find a couple of dealers who are selling the non-premium Grant 2's at a discount.

MFL Qualtech: £165.95 - LINK

Amazon: £167.43 - LINK

Both sellers offer FREE postage. 

In my mind this is the sort of price they should have been sold at from the start. £200 plus was always too much for this radio which has it's lovers and haters. In low noise environments they perform extremely well but many have reported high noise levels on these radios when operating from home. If you fancy a legal SSB radio and maybe want to use it mobile, this could well be the one for you. 

5 March 2016

PMR446/UHF CB Radio Changes

Ofcom/CEPT proposals in relation to changes to the PMR446 (UHF CB) band could soon result in a 16 channel analogue and up to 32 channel digital UHF allocation. The output power will remain at 500mw and radios will be required to have a fixed antenna. 

Currently 446.000 - 446.100Mhz is allocated to 8 analogue channels with 446.100 - 446.200Mhz allocated to either 8 or 16 digital channels depending on the channel spacing.

The new proposals will allow analogue and digital systems to use the complete allocation of 446.000 - 446.200Mhz.

More Information on the OFCOM website: CLICK HERE

Below you can see the proposed bandplans (Click Images To Enlarge):


Tim Peake On The International Space Station 05/03/2016

Foundation Guide To Amateur Radio By VK3YE

Here we have a couple of excellent informative videos from Peter Parker - VK3YE. 

'Frequencies, Bandplans and Activity'

'Breaking In'

Peter also has a great website with lots of interesting information: CLICK HERE

4 March 2016

Reminder: Tim Peake's Next School Contact!

Tim Peake's next school contact will take place tomorrow - Saturday 5th March - at 10:53 GMT.

3 March 2016

M0DAD: 30,000KM Contact - Pedestrian Mobile!

Video: YouTube/M0DAD

Some more amazing contacts made by David, M0DAD whilst out pedestrian mobile. Including a contact of nearly 30,000KM!!!

'Meet The Breakers'
Steve Saxon Takes Over From Colin The Head!

Video:YouTube/Colin The Head

2 March 2016

Mid Week Net For Ziggy Hudson (02/03/2016)

Following on from the sad news that the well known and loved radio operator Ziggy Hudson has sadly passed away, tonights mid week net in the UK wil be in honour of the man himself. There are in fact several mid week nets active in the UK every Wednesday/Thursday night from about 7pm. They can usually be found in the top half of the EU (Mid) Band and are always on Upper Side Band, so be sure to check them out. 

The exact frequency of the main mid week net is normally posted on the their Facebook page "Midweek DX", just prior to commencement. 

2 Meter Band SSB Contest

Really nice to hear a bit of activity on 2m SSB. I was using a vertical antenna so not the best as the stations taking part are mainly using horizontal beams. At one point I did just hear a station in wales. 

Ziggy Hudson R.I.P.

Sad news this morning with the passing of Ziggy Hudson. A true radio legend and a dear friend to many radio operators.

Ziggy was well know and loved by many in the UK and beyond. 

"Very sad news mate. A friend to many, myself included - Radio legend - gentleman and good guy of the radio world.

-73 Zig

Smokey Jay"

"Stunned!!!!! very very sad news indeed

RIP Ziggy

Craig - SydTheCat"

"Awfully sad news. I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person but he was a true gentleman every time we met on the air.

73 Ziggy

Paul - Morph"

"I'm really shocked and saddened to hear this news!

I had the privilege to meet Ziggy a few times, as well as having many a rag-chew on the radio. He had a great sense of humour and was a genuinely nice person. He will be sorely missed!

RIP and 73s for the last time.

John - John123"                           

Many more comments and tributes can be seen in this thread on the Charlie Tango forum: LINK