Inkscapades

Bunbury Radio Club BadgeI’m a member of a fairly active group – the Bunbury Radio Club. The club’s history stretches back to the 1970’s boom in CB radio and we are open to all radio enthusiasts, not just amateur radio operators – although almost all current members are licensed. As the club has experienced some growth in the last couple of years, we are increasingly conscious of the need to project a positive image for the club and amateur radio in general.
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RTS-SDR Sleuthing

Harvey_SW_HighwayYesterday on the way back from a BRC meeting, I stopped in at Harvey to try and track down some interference we are getting on the 70cm repeater VK6RBY that is located on the scarp just east of the town. Listening on the input frequency 433.650 MHz the squelch was breaking as I entered the town limits. Within a few minutes of driving I’d tracked it down to a particular town block.

I hopped out of my ute and tried to use the scanner to try and narrow it down further – without much luck. I’ll have to come back with a yagi to do any better. Since there seems to be a constant carrier with the occasional burst of pulsing, it’s probably a telemetry device of some sort. Continue reading

SSTV

The enterprising ex-secretary of my club, Brian VK6TGQ coordinates an “experimenters net” most Sunday mornings in Bunbury wherein different aspects of Amateur radio are played with. Over the last month or so they have been experimenting with sending Slow Scan TV over 2m simplex. From this distance I have not been involved in this apart from occasionally joining them on the IRC channel to see what they are up to.

The equipment to do this can be pretty basic. They started out just with an app on their phones, to transmit, the app loads the image and plays a series of tones (FSK) as each line of the image is transmitted. If you don’t have a cable into your transmitter, you key the transmitter and hold the phone speaker up to the mic. A similar arrangement is possible for receive – the phone is left near the transceiver speaker and converts the tones (and any nearby noises) back into an image. Crude, but results are possible. A much improved result can be obtained by connecting the transceiver to the decoding device (usually a computer tablet or smartphone). Continue reading

Trans-Tasman Contest

G5RV JnrNow my dipole is up semi-permanently, I can sort of operate every weekend I’m home. I say ‘sort of’ as it’s much noisier here in town than at the lookout where I made my first contacts, and I suspect I don’t get out as well with this little half size G5RV at only 6m high.

I turned the radio on last Saturday afternoon to have a tune around and heard VK6QM calling CQ contest. I wasn’t aware there was a contest on, but when no one else was answering I called back and got a quick lesson in what the exchange was (signal report and contact serial number) and scrawled that and my times on a piece of paper. Continue reading