What's pissing me off today?

OK, yesterday at work I had the worst day for a long while. Half way through this day from Hell, I asked my colleague to check his diary. As I suspected a Full Moon, which was also confirmed by a Moon Phase Google home page plugin.

Today has been better ending in a great meal at the Indian restaurant.

But, over the last week or so, something has been pissing me right off here on the Internet. Pages with Large Images or Photos forced to a Smaller size. The two sites I remember are Ventenna and to a lesser extent RadiosGalore.

I am not expert on Web Design, but look, make a small thumbnail and link to large image. Even I can tell you how to do this, it’s not like brain surgery. Also in the long run if you are a popular site, you should save yourself some bandwidth. Your visitors, your host and yourself (because of hosting bill), will all be happy. End Moan.

New Battery on Way

OPP-897 Battery for FT-897Just eBayed on a (Buy It Now) item which will hopefully arrive (without too much import duty) for the 19th August.

The item is a Battery for my FT-897 and I hope arrives in time for that date including charging time.

The arrival date is the 1st problem, 2nd is I don’t have a dedicated charger, but hope with internet, especially the FT-897 Yahoo Group I can sort the problem out.

East Clandon

FT-897 Set-upToday James (MØBOV) and myself took a trip to East Clandon to operate portable and to “test” some things out.

We setup my FT-897 with my battery pack. We found the Sutton and Cheam Radio Society net, and wasn’t long before we were informed something didn’t sound right.

View from CarA look at the voltage meter on the rig showed the voltage was dropping. Oh dear. It seems the battery pack has some kind of protection on the JumpStart crocodile clips to prevent some kind of electrical feedback. I guess I will have to design a connection via the 12v DC input instead.

If that fails, I have 2 12v (7mah I think) batteries for a UPS that were never used.

One interesting thing we found was the Solar Chager (see earlier post) voltage varied quite a bit (partly due to the LED). Ranges we saw went from about 4v to 13v. Steadier was the current. This was from 100mah to 400mah+ in bright sunlight.

Contacts weren’t many. But we had some fun playing with a few different wire antennas. The best which gave a some contacts into Ireland, Scotland and a few in Europe was a Long Wire antenna made from some PTFE wire I got from a Junk Sale at local club. It was strung over trees, around some fence posts and a couple of bushes.

My favourite (and last contact) was with the Marconi Radio Group (MNØMRG / MIØMRG) or rather former WARG member Ted GIØJQQ.

Posted above are a photo (from my Camera phone so not great) of setup and view from car just after we left the car park. We left to chat to John G3OLX as hs camper wouldn’t fit under height barrier.

Who knows what fun we will have next time. We are considering a better way of lauching the Wires into the trees.

The Sun is Shining Everyday

Solar PanelDuring my lunch time today (and was nearly late back) I went to Maplin to get myself a 12v Solar Charger for my PowerPack.

The PowerPack is a car jump starter type with 7mah battery, and also includes 12V DC (via cigarette lighter socket or clips), built-in inverter which supplies 230V AC at 150W, spot light, twin fluorescent tubes and an emergency flashing amber light.

Maplin’s own info says “At this rate it will take 125 hours to fully charge a 75Ah battery from flat” so with a quick calculation , I worked out should take around 12hours (or 11.6666667 hours thanks to Google).

One interesting thing (guess being a Ham had to) I attached to a Meter. The Solar panel gave 6-7 volts sitting on my desk, but fluctuated due to some bright spark (pun intended) adding a flashing LED. I have been informed since that although affects the voltage, the LED will not be a massive drain on the current.

I will report back when I have more info.