Es Wolt Ein Madchen

Alf, Family, Radio

At last we have had some signs of summer. I have lived in Harlow for more than 20 years. In  all this time I’ve never really explored the area so On Sunday the sun was shining and I decided to take Alfie for a walk along the River Stort. I made my way to Parndon Mill and managed to get parked up. So we set off along the river bank which is mainly an asphelt path, it was quite busy with lots of people on bikes and also walking there dogs or just strolling. As usual Alfie loved wandering off in front all the while looking for a way to get into the water. The Stort is a navigation and the banks are quite steep, but it didn’t take long and Alfie was swimming around. On the way back there was a narrow boat in the lock at Parndon Mill. I stopped for a while and had a chat with the couple whose boat it was. They were a really nice couple who had been living on the boat for about 8 years. It was great chatting to them and it was just nice to wander around and smell the fresh air without any timetable. I am looking forward to getting around Harlow with my camera a bit more over the next year or two.

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left, Alfie running along the riverbank

 

 

 

Radio

Last month saw my best month so far for CW contacts with 42 contacts made.  But we are into a new month and it starts again, this month has been slow starting but I’m sure it will pick up.

I have bought an new beam for 2m and 70cm, I have now built it and can’t wait to get it up and work the UKAC contest. Watch this space. I have been attending the Harlow club again, I am not convinced it’s where I want to be but we’ll see how it goes.

Other News

Life is pretty good at the moment, I am trying a different approach to life and at the age of 54 I seem to be seeing things in a different light. I’m not saying we should expect a different Paul, but lets just say my outlook is changing. Things that used to be important to me are now less so. Lets see how it goes.

The diet is going well and I’m still finding it quite easy to follow, which is half the battle.

 

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A mixed bag really

Cycling, Radio

Three weeks ago in a bid to loose some weight I started the Paleo diet. Having done Atkins a couple of times I had reservations. Three weeks later I find myself 16lbs lighter and not craving anything, I also have not had a drink for three weeks, I am quite upbeat about this because I feel that this diet is manageable with my lifestyle, so watch this space.

Cycling

I got out on the bike today for the first time in a few weeks, I did my 8.5 mile Harlow circuit, and despite having not been on the bike for a few weeks I managed to return a reasonable time. I haven’t done much distance stuff as we are still waiting for some decent weather. I reckon if my current weight loss plan keeps going I should be able to get out on my road bike in about 4-6 weeks time. I have an old friend who wants to go out with me on our bikes, we used to cycle together in the 70’s with Javelin CC. He was a good bloke but extremely competitive and a bit of a know it all, a bit like me. So this is the main reason for my diet and fitness plan.

Radio

It’s been a busy month on the radio and I have 28 contacts in the log so far, and still a few more days to go before the end of the month.

Despite saying I wouldn’t, this week I went back to the Harlow radio club and re-joined, I have my reservations and it didn’t take long for some of the petty bickering to raise it’s head again. I have mixed feelings about re-joining and will see how it goes. What did surprise me was the time that everyone called it a day, by 10pm most of the members had gone home, and by 10:30 they were locking up. There was a time not too long ago that closing time on most Friday’s was after midnight.

Orient

I bought my season ticket last week, it had been reduced by 20% to reflect the fact that they have been relegated to the fourth division. I look forward to the new season and to see what’s left of our once great little team.

Tomorrow is a public holiday in England and I shall be making the most of my day off, by doing whatever the wife orders me to do

 

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72 DXCC’s and growing

Cycling, Orient, Radio

The weather is on the turn and at last I feel like summer is on the way. Work has been up and down of late, but nothing new there I hear you mutter. The less I dwell on this the better for all parties involved.

Radio

Radio keeps getting better and better. Yesterday alone I added 4 new entities to my list. First off I was delighted to a Japanese station, followed very quickly by a Libyan station, some time after I managed a closer station, but nonetheless elusive (for me), Crete. After this excitement (this is what passes as excitement when you’re my age) I went back downstairs for dinner. I went back on the radio and after working a few stations including Ken K3WW, I worked what I thought was another US station which turned out to be the US Virgin Islands. A very good days work. My target this month is 31 stations, it is the tenth of the month and I am already on 23 stations, so I am quite a bit ahead.

Election

This week saw the general election come and go, I have to admit to having an interest in politics, so I followed this closely. It was a result I don’t think anyone foresaw and I think it will be remembered for some time to come. The one thing we have now that we didn’t have at the last election was Twitter, unfortunately the moans and groans are piling up and I think because of the medium it is being listened to, it’s sad really because once again the noisy minority will probably be appeased to shut them up.

Leyton Orient

Well, it happened, my team have been relegated to the 2nd (4th) division. I managed to get to their last home game of the season against Sheffield United, which they managed a 2-2 draw, but it shows that the team are being poorly managed, I won’t go on about it, plenty of people have. Roll on next season!

Cycling

My fitness is slowly coming back and I am enjoying being back on the pushbike.

That’ll do for now.

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Panic in Detroit

Radio

Radio

I have managed to squeeze a fair bit of radio time in over the past couple of weeks. Of note is the fact that after managing a QSO with India earlier in the month, I managed to top that last week with a QSO with a station in Hong Kong! Feeling very happy with two new DX entities, I didn’t think this could be topped, until Friday that is when I managed Cuba, all in all Arpil will go down as a good month, as of this evening I have worked 27 stations on the key this month, I am on target, for once!

Today (Sunday) saw the Cambridge repeater groups rally in Foxton, I haven’t been to this one for a couple of years so I made the effort this morning to go. This is quite a small rally when compared to the old Wood Green rally and Dunstable Downs, but you can still manage to find some gems. I cam away with a new Hi-Mound key and a battery box for when I work portable, a reasonable day in the end.

I tried the key out but it will take some adjusting before I can get used to it.

Not much else to say this week.

 

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These foolish things

Alf, Family, Radio

Well March came in with a bang, we’re not even a third of the way through and I think I have done more so far this month than I normally do in a whole month. The weather has turned and the days are getting longer I think we must be getting close to the equinox now.

My back has sorted itself out and I am thankful for that.

Radio

I managed a station in Chile at the end of last month, that is the farthest I have worked anyone on the key, 7100 miles, I have no issues with the mag loop antenna.

Yesterday I had a dabble on 12 metres, I never used this band too much because although the ATU would tune the G5RV, I suffered really bad RF feedback in the shed, however the Mag loop tunes very easily to 12m and the bonus is that I don’t get any feedback. I saw a couple of US stations come up on the cluster so gave them a go. The first station was in New Mexico which is 5000 miles away, I am used to getting east coast stations but rarely get more than one state across, NM is one state away from the west coast so I was really excited to work Paul. The next station I tried turned out to be in Arkansas, again a few states away from the east coast so again I was really please to notch that one up, thanks Ron.

I have a new wire antenna which I am going to try and get up this week, this will get me back onto the 40m and 6m bands, I’ll let you know how I get on.

Doncaster

Me and Lesley spent the weekend at her parents this weekend and we had a great time. I even managed a Sunday lunchtime beer with Mick and came back home to a proper Sunday roast cooked by the mother in law. Poor Alfie hurt himself while playing with Bengie, he managed to take the skin off a pad on each foot, so he ended up being hardly able to walk. He is a lot better today and I took a chance and took him over the woods today and he seemed to be ok.

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Left: Alfie waiting for the ball to be thrown, Bengie in the background

 

 

 

Ramsgate

This coming weekend I am off to Ramsgate to catch up with a few friends, I have booked myself into a hotel on the seafront. I have a certain amount of trepidation, as I lost touch with some of the guys more than 20 years ago and some of them I don’t remember talking to them, so it could be interesting. I am going to spend a couple of nights down there and am hoping to get a bit of peace and quiet at some stage.

 

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It’ll soon be Christmas

Alf, Boat, Radio

It’s been a busy couple of weekends.

Boat

Last weekend me and the son went up to the boat for the weekend, we even took Alf with us. Alf absolutely loves the boat and is on the go all the time while we are up there, the plus side is that he normally sleeps for two days when we get back home. I had to go to the boat as I needed to top up the anti-freeze, we lost some coolant back in the summer when I had a hose split on us on Barton Broad. We had a good weekend and enjoyed an indian meal cooked on the tiny cooker we have on the boat, I’m always amazed at what we can do with that oven.

It won’t be long before we are covering the boat up for the worst of the winter.

Radio

I am now officially off the committee of the Harlow Radio Club and in January I will no longer be a member for reasons I don’t want to go into here. I may go back again, but not for at least 12 months.

The move back into my loft office has been successful and I am even sleeping better, the thought of all that radio equipment sitting at the bottom of my garden in a wooden structure did worry me. I do have some RF problems in my new shack and I find that 40 and 30 metres give me less problems. I will try some alternative earthing to see if I can alleviate the problem. I had a good day yesterday and managed 6 contacts 2 USA, 3 French and a Swiss station. I am still way off my monthly target but thats not a problem.

 

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Can anybody here me

Radio, Work

Well I ended last week on a high with my contacts made during the 2 metre contest and everything was looking up and I was really looking forward to the 432mhz contest.

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation. more like leave it the last minute and see how it goes. On Tuesday night I went out to the shack in the hope to improve on my 70cm results. I fired up the Icom and listened to see if I could hear anyone warming up in the ten minutes before the contest started. I was surprised to hear no one. 8pm came and scanning through the 70cm band and nothing, I turned the rotator and scanned the band but absolutely nothing, in desperation I tuned to 439.550mhz where a few locals have a net on FM, ah I could hear someone. The only problem was I was only getting around a S3 which for a station less than two miles away was not right. With that, I shut the station down and shuffled off back in doors to consider my options. Suffice it to say M0PHO did not provide an entry for  432UKAC on the 8th April and I am gutted.

The rest of the week flew by my right han man at work was off last week and I have to say he was sorely missed, but I’m hoping he had a well deserved rest.

My radio activity has not been good this week at all, with only two morse stations worked all week and that was from G6UT.

Sunday I took the 70cm beam down to try to get to the bottom of the deafness problem. After a lot of buggering around I managed to get the beam down, and while I was convinced the problem was with the beam itself I thought I’d connect it direct to the radio and get Pat to hold it while I got a radio check from a local ham (M3JHQ). Prior to removal of the antenna I received a signal 4 and he received a signal 2. Connected direct I received S40+ and he received likewise. There for the problem must be in the original feeder.

There is no contest this week so to speak, well only 4m and I am not set up for that, this should give me time to get the antennas sorted.

Walking Alf back from his walk today and I came across some Goldfinches near the back of my house, in all the years I fed the birds I never once saw a Goldfinch visit, its a bind having cats and while I would not harm them I look forward to the day I can start feeding them again.

That’s all for now

 

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