Viglen MPC-L

viglen-mpc-lFinally I have got my Viglen MPC-L which I purchased last year for the grand some of £80 thanks to the fine people at Ubuntu UK Podcast and this episode, working!!!

I had a few problems with the Xubuntu that was installed and decided to replace it with a fresh copy. This didn’t work, and I was also having problem with not having enough Ethernet ports.

Last week this was solved when my Granddad brought a 8 port switch tha had been my uncles.

So, on with Xubuntu? No. A friend said I should try Debian, and after a few failed attempts, I eventually succeeded.

To install I had to use the following line:-

  • intall pnpbios=off pci=noacpi

Also there was a few hiccoughs with the partitioner, but finally it’s up and running.

So far have installed the following extra programs via apt-get

  • irssi (using this the most as box will be on 24/7)
  • lynx
  • elinks (after friend told me was better than lynx)
  • eggdrop (but still trying to figure this one out)
  • Some others I can’t recall right now

Box has been running more or less constant for few days now and so far seems to be happy. Will report back soon, with how it’s really going (ie if any problems show up).

CQ WPX – If it could have gone wrong, it did

What a disaster.

Everything that could have gone wrong, did for me. I could go into detail, but will list instead.

  • Uncle passed away
    • No operation from France
  • Finish Radio Shack
  • Radio/Antenna
    • Only assembled days before (thanks James M0BOV)
    • To finish, had tools missing (mainly had Metric, and needed 2x ¼” sockets)
      • Also couldn’t find Self-amalgamating tape
    • Weather & Night time prevented this being looked at until gone 5am, 5hrs into contest
    • Tried with Antenna horizontal, but stations couldn’t hear me
  • PC
    • Crashed, more than once
      • Installed 2nd Soundcard to handle the Digital Voice Keying. Computer wouldn’t load
      • Removed and PC wouldn’t start.
        • Finally found that Video card wasn’t seated properly
    • LCD Screen caused interference on 40m
      • No Filter I could add
        • Quickly brought15″ CRT down
          • Still not able to get signal out

Anyway, not sure how I should finish this article, been looking at for few days. Just the main this is I have definately learnt lessons from this.

So, Plans do not always go to plan, & even if you change you plans everything make seem to be going OK, until the crunch time. Planning is underway for testing radio BEFORE next contest, and to make sure where possible have backup solutions.

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.