May 24, 2024

BlueTooth for Radios?

BlueToothWas thinking a couple of days ago, (but forgot about until now) that what would be great for Amateur (or even CB, PMR, etc) Radio is a BlueTooth headset.

It would have to consist of 2 parts one to fit Radio (so you could leave in bag, on desk) and the other bit being the Headset. This might be inpractical as there can be various types of connections to radios, but the headset could be universal across the range.

As you can see from the photo my radio's cable from the loft is a bit short, but at weekend should be getting some cable, as I think the Bluetooth will be out for 2 reasons (money and availability).

Posted by Gadget17 at 11:08 PM | Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2024

Busy Weekend for Me

What a weekend I have just had, and feel I need to go to work to relax from it. Spent most of Saturday mowing the Front & Back lawns. It took quite a while as was more like a Jungle than a lawn. I believe I found some new species of Flora and Forna. Unfortunately the Back lawn was so bad that I have to finish next weekend but over half is done.

It was also my Mum's birthday, but I have a slight cash-flow problem. Luckily at end of month is PayDay and my sister also has to get her something, so we will mostly likely combine our money.

With regard to my Radio, I made my first HF radio contact on my Kenwood TS50 radio. Was with a guy in Epsom just down the road from my location but further than I have made with my Handheld.

I have also set up my 2m SlimJim antenna, so that is usable, but need to purchase more Co-ax so I can put up outside.

My uncle on Friday has sent me a Computer-Radio (Kenwood TS50) interface and 80m traps for my G5RV jnr. I made an elementry mistake when I installed the interface though. I used the basic settings with checking they were right, and for most of weekend I had 1 digit wrong and wasn't working properly. Thankfully it is now!

Posted by Gadget17 at 10:15 PM | 2024 Entries , Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 11, 2024

Quiz Night

Took part in a weekly Quiz that takes place on eQSO Blind_Ops room tonight for first time. The questions were interesting.

1. What is a Chow?

2. How many stomachs does a cow have?

3. Which Famous Explorer was murdered in Hawaii?

4. What are the 4 tastes a human has?

For answers click Continue "Quiz Night"

1. Dog

2. 4

3. Captain James Cook

4. Sweet, Sour, Bitter, and Salty

But one point of contention is that in some circles they say there are five human tastes. Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Salty and Umami

Posted by Gadget17 at 09:57 PM | Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 03, 2024


I Got It. The License arrived today.

Posted by Gadget17 at 02:38 PM | Radio | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 27, 2024

Requested Call-Sign

OK, I can't keep it in any longer.

When I sent off my Paperwork for my Foundation Amateur Radio License, it asked which Call-Sign you wanted. After a phone call my first choice had gone, but the second I put on the application was (and still is) available.

And the one I requested is M3TZO or Mike, Three, Tango, Zulu, Oscar.

The ones that used letters from my nickname had gone, but after trying to think of words that had 5 letters starting with ME, I then decided on 3 letters that didn't have acronyms with it.

Hopefully I will get it! :)

On another Radio point, I have on Friday installed my 52ft (2x26ft) G5RV antenna in my loft. Took an hour or 2 of crawling around but is up an running. All I need now is my grounding wire.

Posted by Gadget17 at 01:12 AM | Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 24, 2024

QSL Card

Have started work on my QSL card. It's a kind of postcard you send to other Amateur Radio operators when you have made a contact. Click continue to view a lower resolution version of the image.

I used an old Black and White map of Sutton in the 1800's and Photoshoped it to add the Colour and a Texture to give an old feel. At the moment I cannot add my Call-Sign as I still don't have one, but hopefully soon.

If you are wondering, my house is where the fields are in top right corner.

Posted by Gadget17 at 01:33 PM | Radio | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 14, 2024

Icom OPC-478 Connector

Info for this Connector was obtained from ICOM CI-V Hardware Page

Here are some images of the OPC478 connector someone is making for me.

Icom OPC-478 Interface.

The ICOM design for the OPC-478 interface is a simple transistor circuit used for cloning. The version by Chris VK3JEG gives equivalents for the transistor and diode parts. That version is the one commonly found on the internet. However the one from ICOM Japan's site has a few modifications. I have added the transistor and diode equivalences from VK3JEG's copy of the earlier version of the interface. WA0SXV has some reservations that this design might not properly implement the RS-232 protocol.

Posted by Gadget17 at 02:08 PM | Radio | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 06, 2024

Morse Assessment Passed

Last night I had my Morse Code assessment and have passed. Luckily was an assessment as I don't think I would have passed if was a test. Now just have to get through the exam on the 17th March.

in Morse code is:

.-.. .- ... - /  -. .. --. .... - /  .. /  .... .- -.. /  -- -.-- /  -- --- .-. ... . /  -.-. --- -.. . /  .- ... ... . ... ... -- . -. - /  .- -. -.. /  .... .- ...- . /  .--. .- ... ... . -.. .-.-.- /  .-.. ..- -.-. -.- .. .-.. -.-- /  .-- .- ... /  .- -. /  .- ... ... . ... ... -- . -. - /  .- ... /  .. /  -.. --- -. .----. - /  - .... .. -. -.- /  .. /  .-- --- ..- .-.. -.. /  .... .- ...- . /  .--. .- ... ... . -.. /  .. ..-. /  .-- .- ... /  .- /  - . ... - .-.-.- /  -. --- .-- /  .--- ..- ... - /  .... .- ...- . /  - --- /  --. . - /  - .... .-. --- ..- --. .... /  - .... . /  . -..- .- -- /  --- -. /  - .... . /  .---- --... - .... /  -- .- .-. -.-. .... .-.-.- 

Morse was Translated Here

Posted by Gadget17 at 08:32 AM | Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 05, 2024

Happy Birthday UO-11

OSCAR-11 Celebrates 20 years in Space

I have reached a milestone which I think is impressive as my first QSL card (or eQSL) that I have received on my own. (Special thanks again to Maurice, David and Matthew at the Whitton ARG for first QSL card with assistance).

I had read on the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain web site a news item called "UO-11 Satellite Celebrates its 20th Anniversary in Space".

Interested by the headline I headed over to the AMSAT web page link on the news page. After a bit of reading I found out a QSL card was on offer to anyone who heard the UoSAT-Oscar-11, (also known as UOSAT-2 and UO-11) in March 2024 to celebrate it's birthday and it could be picked up on a Handheld radio.

Intrigued I was up early on 1st March and used a Satellite Tracking program which said would be overhead at just before 5am. At 4:58 on the specified frequency, I heard it. Was just some beeps to me, but after was out of range I heard nothing else on that channel.

I filled in the UO-11 page in the hope I had heard it and today I received a link to collect my QSL card. You may notice on the card I am referred to as SWL1. An SWL is a Short Wave Listener. They are people who listen to Amateur, Air-band, etc. but don't transmit either because they enjoy listening only or are unlicensed as in my case. What I loved was I am SWL1 so was the first person without a callsign to hear the Satellite.

Posted by Gadget17 at 05:50 AM | Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 04, 2024

Amateur Radio Exam Date Set

On Wednesday 17th March 2024(St. Patricks Day and no doubt I shall have a few Guinness'), I will be taking my Foundation Amateur Radio license exam. I am sure I will pass.

Nowadays you can choose the last 3 letters of the callsign if available but will start M3. I was thinking that some of the following would be possible good selections:-
• GAD (As in Gadget17)
• GIB (From Surname)
• PDG (Initials)
• JCP or DWP (from Work not great selections)
• NOK (As in Nokia)
• AAS (As in All About Symbian)

I am sure others will be thought of in the time until the exam, but I can't think of anymore right now. On Saturday 20th March 2024, I shall be flying off to Nice France (with EasyJet to visit my Uncle briefly to collect an Amateur Radio HF transceiver. It's a Kenwood TS-50

Here is what Kenwood say about the Radio:- TS-50S: Mount it in a vehicle, take it on a DX-pedition or use it as a permanent base station transceiver and you'll see that the compact TS-50S packs a hefty punch. The easy to use menu system adds flexibility and the powerful cooling fan with heat sink ensures stable operation in any situation. Features: 160M TO 10M Amateur band operation with 500kHz to 30MHz general coverage receiver, DDS (Direct Digital Synthesizer) with fuzzy control, 100 Memory channels, Switchable AGC circuit (SLOW/FAST), IF shift, Noise blanker (pulse), Dual VFOs (A & B), and Outstanding performance



Antenna Impedance 50 ohms
Dimensions (W x H x D) 7-1/16 x 2-3/8 x 9-3/16 in (179 x 60 x 233 mm)
Frequency Stability less than ±10x10-6, less than ±0.5x10-6 with SO-2
Memory Channels 100
Mode A1A (CW), J3E (SSB), A3E (AM), F3E (FM)
Operating Temperature Range -20° - 60°C
Power Consumption Receive 1.45A
Power Consumption Transmit 20.5A
Power Requirement 13.8V DC ±15%
Weight (approx.) 6.4lbs (2.9kg)


Carrier Suppression more than 40dB
Frequency Range 10m band 28.0 - 29.7MHz
Frequency Range 12m band 24.89 - 24.99MHz
Frequency Range 15m band 21.0 - 21.45MHz
Frequency Range 17m band 18.068 - 18.168MHz
Frequency Range 20m band 14.0 - 14.35MHz
Frequency Range 30m band 10.1 - 10.15MHz
Frequency Range 40m band 7.0 - 7.3MHz
Frequency Range 80m band 3.5 - 4.0MHz
Frequency Range 160m band 1.8 - 2.0MHz
Frequency response 400 - 2600Hz (less than -10dB)
Maximum Frequency Deviation ± 5kHz
Microphone Impedance 600 ohms
Modulation AM Low Level modulation
Modulation FM Reactance modulation
Modulation SSB Balanced modulation
Output Power AM 25W
Output Power SSB, CW, FSK, FM 100W
Spurious Radiation less than -50dB
Unwanted Sideband Suppression more than 40dB
Posted by Gadget17 at 06:39 AM | Radio | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 26, 2024

No South London Repeater

Have just found out that there was an Amateur Radio repeater in South London, but was closed down recently due to high cost of running at Crystal Palace. The Repeater "GB3SL" was one of 4 in London, but is the only one offline.

Luckily I can pick up the one in West London, but would be nice if GB3SL did make a comeback. Who know this post may trigger some interest.

Posted by Gadget17 at 12:45 AM | Radio | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 19, 2024

Morse Code Alphabet Table

Click Continue to view Table of the Morse Code Alphabet. I put here so I knew I could always find it. Each letter also had a midi sound which is at 5wpm.
• -
- • • •
- • - •
- • •
• • -•
- - •
• • • •
• •
• - - -
- • -
• - • •
- -
- •
- - -
• - - •
- - • -
• - •
• • •
• • -
• • • -
• - -
– • • -
- • - -
- - • •

Posted by Gadget17 at 03:51 AM | Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 08, 2024

I'm Learning Morse Code

As you may (or may not) have read earlier in my blog, I have started an Amateur Radio Foundation License course. As part of it there is a Morse Assessment which so far scares the bejesus out of me, so I looked at Morse pages for help.

Most of the links contain software for Mac or PC which meant I could only use on one or other of my Machine. But the link I liked was the A beginners' course in Morse which you can run from your browser or download package to run locally. There is also a French (Franηais) version.

So far though I am still on day one, but am getting more confident with those letters (A, E, R, N, T, I).

Posted by Gadget17 at 04:00 PM | Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 07, 2024

Foundation Training

CQ CQ CQ Gadget17 has made his first radio message at the WARG. As we were with the trainer it was to practice the initial call. I also got my first QSL card.

During the evening there were only 2 of us training (the other guy works as a pilot for a major airline). We practiced some radio etiquette on PMR radio's, setting up a radio (to a power supply, antenna amplifier, antenna, and mic).

We then had a break from the training while club members discussed an event they will be marshalling in April.

Then we got to use a big Icom radio in which we were shown how to tune an ATU (Antenna Tuning Unit) on SSB (Single Side Band) then tuning the radio itself. Was a revelation when I got a hit on someone broadcasting and managed to (with some help) get the person's Amateur License call-sign.

The only downside with WARG is that it's quite a distance from Sutton. I had to get a bus and 2 trains to Whitton. I must say though that the club seems a friendly affair and it's a shame will only be able to go there due to distance for the Foundation License training.


Posted by Gadget17 at 01:01 AM | Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 06, 2024

Foundation License Here I Come

After sending numerous e-mails to Amateur Radio Clubs I have finally had 2 come back offering courses. After confirming my details to both, I have finally got a start date and amazingly it's tomorrow.

The Whitton Amateur Radio Group is a fair distance away, but I think will be worth it as my local Radio club (The Sutton And Cheam Radio Society) cannot offer the course.

I have been swotting up by reading my Foundation Licence - Now (See Bottom of Page), and shall take to work to swot up some more.

Posted by Gadget17 at 01:12 AM | Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 11, 2024

Morse Code Software

Was chatting in the Mobitopia chat room earlier today and I mentioned the fact I am aiming to do and get an Amateur Radio license.

For part of the Amateur License there is a Morse Code part. What I want is a program for my phone so I can practise Morse Code.

Some of the features could include:-
• Left/Right soft keys for Dots and Dashes (Dits and Dahs)
• Alternative text input (i.e. for Txt Msgs)
• Game mode to practice letters with increasing difficulty
• Variable speed (XX WPM (words per minute))
• Variable letter length (0-30secs to practise for ShortWave)
• When in background plays pressed letters as Morse

It possible this will never get made, but I have to at least put the idea out so if anybody does see potential in this, it may get created.

Posted by Gadget17 at 12:34 PM | Radio , Symbian/Phone | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2024

Amateur Radio Books

Today my Granddad visited and brought with him some books he said he would get for me.

The books are for the Amateur Radio courses, but I have had little luck so far in finding somewhere near me that does the courses. I will be attending the SACRS next week, and hope that they will know somewhere locally.

The Books, "Foundation Licence Now!" (Alan Betts (G0HIQ)) and "Intermediate Licence - Building on the Foundation" (Steve Hartley (G0FUW)), are available from RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain). Amateur Radio Training can be obtained Directly From Here

Posted by Gadget17 at 12:35 PM | Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 04, 2024

International Radio!

Well I am slightly sceptical myself, but I may have heard my first international contact from the USA.

I was scanning on the UHF frequency and the radio stopped at 433.020Mhz. The person talking was trying to see if anyone was out there, but was getting no answer so sign off with his call-sign KO6HW. He was from California USA (apparently).

When he went, I then heard someone chatting for a longer time on 433.080Mhz but I missed his call-sign as he said it to quickly, but he said he was in Adelaide. The only Adelaide I know is in Australia. So maybe the conditions were right, or they were not where they were meant to be. But as it was 2 different people, giving their call-signs, on 2 different frequencies, I am inclined to believe them.

Posted by Gadget17 at 12:10 AM | Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 28, 2003

Icom IC-E90 Tricks (IC-T90)

Keyboard trick:-
Press and hold the BAND key while powering up radio, gives a full display read-out. Releasing the BAND key allows radio to continue normal power-up.

Keypad Backlighting Colour Trick:-
• Push [8 SET] for 1 sec to enter Set mode
• Rotate [DIAL] until EXP1 appears
• Press [8 SET] to select, then Rotate [DIAL] to switch EPX1 On
• Press [8 SET] Set
• Rotate [DIAL] to COLOR
• Press [8 SET] then Rotate Dial to select Green, Orange or Red
• Press [8 SET] to Set once you have desired colour.

TV Channels Trick:-
This one isn't listed in manual, but is you have auto scanned the TV channels and want to have all channels listed here's how you can do it:-

Press Call/TV until you enter TV mode
Open the Squelch (Hold SQL Button below PTT and rotate Dial to Open)
Press and Hold Mode/Scan for 1 sec to begin Scan.

As the Squelch (SQL) is open unit will think all channels have activity so they are all then listed.

Let me know any others if you have them and I will list here.

Posted by Gadget17 at 10:54 PM | Radio | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Another Net

Was scanning through the UHF band (383.000-549.995Mhz) today on my Icom IC-E90 and found a busy frequency at 433.150Mhz. Amongst those chatting (not me as I cannot respond yet due to lack of licence) was some Black Cab drivers, someone from Houston, Texas visiting London (staying at the Royal Lancaster Hotel) for the New Year and a few others. Also every now and again you could also make out Morse code in the background.

I got a good reception as from were I am in South London to the gentleman from Texas is about 12+ miles and I am getting full signal strength.

Posted by Gadget17 at 04:47 PM | Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 27, 2003

First Impressions of Icom IC-E90

Well I have had my Icom IC-E90 for a few days now and battery life is pretty good so far. The Charger that comes with the Radio requires 15hrs to charge, so I may have to purchase the 2-1/2 hour desktop version very soon. As I am writing this it's having it first charge since Christmas day, but has been charging since 2am and is now 7pm and is not complete (But that may be because the cable when I picked it up at 10am fell out so may not have been home snugly. We'll have to wait and see.).

I have managed to program in all the CB (UK & EU) and PMR (446Mhz) channels into the memory, as well as some normal radio stations like Capital FM (95.8fm), Kiss (100fm) and Radio 1 (98.8fm). This radio has a feature that when listening to Public radio stations and TV channels (yes can get them as well) switches to a WFM mode.

My uncle will be making a cable to connect to a PC for me and then once I have the Icom software I can arrange all the channels via the computer. (Hopefully that will be easier than programming on the handset.)

On Boxing day I also caught about 5-10 minutes of a broadcast (I think they call a net) by the Sutton & Cheam Radio Society. I heard them using their Amateur Radio call signs, but either because I am not used to listening or they were said to fast I missed them.

Posted by Gadget17 at 07:56 PM | Radio | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 20, 2003

Icom IC-E90

Icom E90 Handheld Radio

I got in touch with my uncle last weekend, and during our video chat using iVist, he mentioned that he may be giving me an amateur radio/scanner.

It would be the Icom IC-E90 as pictured left.

From the ICOM website:- Icom announces the debut of the IC-E90 multi-band handheld transceiver. This transceiver covers 50MHz, 144MHz and 430MHz bands and is equipped with a wide band receiver, which covers 0.495-999.990MHz in AM/FM/WFM modes. If that isn't enough, the IC-E90 comes as standard with a 1300mAH Li-Ion battery ideal for long operating periods and provides 5W output on all bands! All these great features are built into an ultra compact body, measuring only 58x87x29mm!

I have so far only seen images on the net about this Radio. But I love how small it is. It apparently can also be used as a Radio Scanner.

How Amateur (Ham) Radios Work!

How Radio Scanners Work!

In doing some research, I have found a local club called The Sutton And Cheam Radio Society. The society has been running for 50 years and are an affiliated member of the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain).

Posted by Gadget17 at 01:35 AM | Radio | Comments (1) | TrackBack