Experimental Radio Station--Call Sign G0VPH--listening to the world with a screwdriver in my hand

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The Aeonic Blenheim Screened IV, portable radio, this is rare

A wonderful name.

Don't know much about this "suitcase" yet, it's been under my bed for 18 years and I have never really looked at it apart from the day when I aquired it. Four valves, London built, battery operated (no batteries present)  and circular 1928-29. This ones scruffy, it has been re-wired but not sympathetically as it is done with modern upvc single wires . The case has a leather type covering which is tatty but the carcass is sound. The Bakelite is in good order including the knobs. I shall check out the circuitry and the state of the speaker in a while. All four valves are there but no idea if they still function.

I shall see if I can get it working, watch this space.

In it's glory, before I have even given it a wipe

I love the fact that it has a instrument number 

My email 7windmills@gmail.com  if you need info or you have any info as it would be welcome

16/2/14 A early look around the web and no info anywhere apart from a brochure showing the 5 valve model. It looks like obtaining the batteries( do not know the voltages yet) could be the biggest problem, but adapt and overcome is my motto (at the moment that is).

Thursday, 11 November 2010

What is Amateur Radio

Amateur Radio in the UK

I know what it is about......Self Learning and the enjoyment of radio communication.
My good lady tells me it's just a excuse for collecting clutter.

The world of Amateur Radio covers many things but to start with the thing you want the most is the licence to use it.  When I took the Licence in 1985 there was two types Class A and Class B both of them had the same technical qualification but Class A included a Morse Code test which if you passed it entitled you to transmit on the shortwave(hf) bands. The use of the word class in the licence type was frowned upon in some quarters, but it never bothered me.

The new licence is in three parts.  No more Morse test. (shame) 
This new licensing format no matter how far you progress with it allows you to use all the amateur radio bands.

The content requirement for the exam is based on technical, theory and the know how to understand the Licensing requirements.
The starter licence is called the Foundation and you are required to study for what should be about a couple of weeks before you take the exam. You will learn radio theory as well as a sprinkling of electronics and aerials.
Like most exams these days it is multiple choice of and it consists of 25 questions and you will know your result before you leave the exam room. After applying for your licence you will receive a callsign which is special to you and I speak from experience when I say this callsign becomes a part of you. You will be allowed unsupervised to transmit with a maximum transmitter output power of 10watts on all bands.

If you decide to advance yourself and go for and achieve the Intermediate Licence you will give up the callsign that you was issued with when you passed the foundation. You will be issued with a new callsign that will denote your new status. You will also be allowed to use 50 watts of transmitter power.
If you decide to go to the next level another course is not officially needed but if you are not confident that you have the skills to advance to the Intermediate licence I recommend that you attend a course and do a bit more studying. Even if you think that you already have the knowledge there is nothing wrong with a recap.

As you may guess the Intermediate course is a bit more challenging and you learn more fundamentals which would include soldering and building some item as a project.  Hopefully these new skills will add to what you learnt in the Foundation course and you be successful in achieving the Intermediate licence. If you are successful and you pass this exam you will be supplied with a Intermediate grade call sign.The exam for the Intermediate Licence has more multiple choice questions and the exam time will be longer.

If you carry on and pass the exam for the Intermediate Licence you can use this VHF 2metre fm rig on full power which is 50 watts transmit.  It is a Yaesu FT 1500M mobile rig and with it's 50 watts it can deliver a  signal when used with the correct aerial that will get you heard. It has got other transmit power settings so no need to run full power when not needed.  It can be more of a challenge to work lower power (QRP) and you sense greater satisfaction knowing that you have just transmitted across 50 miles using just 5 watts.

If you decide to sit this exam and pass it you will now have the same type of licence as me. This FULL licence will allow you 400 watts of transmitter power and you can now rub shoulders with the big boys or the big girls. You will have to change your callsign again, but this will be the last time and you can keep this one for life.
The link below will take you to the Ofcom website witch will tell you how to claim your licence.

The advance course is somewhat harder than the Intermediate and you will have to put in some effort to achieve a pass in it. You can learn the this theory based exam at home or with members of your local radio club. You can contact the leading British Amateur Radio Society which is the Radio Society of Great Britain and the link is in the right hand sidebar of this Blogspot.  You can find on this RSGB site affiliated Amateur Radio Club listings along with their contact details. You will also be able to find more information about the Amateur Radio courses and exams and much more besides.

Please remember that Morse code is still in use on the amateur bands but you will not be able to understand it. There is nothing to stop you from learning it, I hope you give it ago.

A Morse code reader, is in my opinion a very good aid for learning the code, it worked for me.

All the best

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Military Radio, I have forgot what this is

Found these old pics and converted them to j-peg.
I remember playing with this years ago but I have not got a clue if I still have it and quite shameful is the fact that I cannot remember what it is called.  I have browsed a few military radio web-sites but no mention. Please drop me a email if anybody knows it's history and what it is called. There is a email link in my complete profile. Ta " I know a expert G4AQY I wonder if he will let me know"

                                                                     With the cover off

                                                                              Front view

Sunday, 7 November 2010


Within the page *Other Interesting Stuff* within this Blogspot you will see the Vitavox horn driver thingy. Click on link in the right hand sidebar and it will take you there.>

Ferrite Rods

How's that for a pile

A sprinkling on the kitchen floor

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Starting a Ham Radio Blogspot

I have come to the opinion that many Radio Hams must be able to fill a Blog with stuff such as I.
We must all have a tale to tell and interests/pictures that would fill a decent size book. The hardest part I find is remembering what I have done in the past and also where did I put that piece of kit. Digital cameras are fun and I can almost not leave my seat and find item's around the shack which I can photograph and publish them on here. They way I look at it  "if you have time for Amateur Radio you have time to do a Blog.  I enjoy just listening to the bands when I am working on this site. Publishing a Blog also makes you put your thinking cap on or the very least look things up.  I have found a few things that I had forgot I had and I have remembered stuff that I had learnt and forgotten about. The old photographs that I found were scanned and turned into JPEG format and up-loaded on to here.
There is plenty of Amateur Radio sites out there and some are stuffed with all the data and expertise that will last you ten lifetimes, I have posted links to some of my favourites on here. I know that I will never be able to equal them with technical expertise so I am not going to try.  I could re-write some of the paragraphs that are out there and say it was mine, but I won't.

On reflection most things I know about Amateur Radio I have gleaned from reading books or looking on web-sites apart from the experiences of 25 years licensed in the hobby so I would like to give credit to all the authors in the world that I have read in that time and a good few years before. I must not forget the fellow Hams that have also helped me, be it verbal on the air or having the honour of meeting them. THANKS

I suppose I could be labelled "a reactive reader or question asker"

An example could be..... "I am thinking about purchasing a G5RV aerial"
I would look up all information that I good find on the G5RV and probably get side tracked and end up exploring some alternative aerials and looking at balun's, transmission lines, tuners, chokes (reactive and resistive) etc. etc. etc. I may give up the idea or decide to purchase the G5RV, what ever I do, three months down the line, I have practically forgotten all that I have learnt and read. Very frustrating "but that's me" I can always refresh if the information is needed in the future.

Another example would be.....In the 1990's I had (I threw it so far it's now on the moon) a 13.8 volt power supply which as we say in South London "went pair shaped" and delivered 22 volts to my Yaesu FT290R 2M multimode rig. This actually happened and a 290R fix was needed. Out come the manual and what ever else was needed, a few questions on my local net, some semi conductors and capacitors ordered and the rig back on air within two weeks. The rig is still working now. I did take notes so no information lost on the repair. I could not tell you right now what I had done without referring to the notes "but that's me"

Total Reactive type of bloke...But skill is needed to know where to look things up and what things you should be looking up. I suppose the answer is you need to know the basics.

I am waffling on,  getting back to starting a Ham Radio Blogspot, I think they can be more chatty and less technical but I believe they should be interesting. I am giving it my best shot.

Great Fun

You have just got to do it.


Friday, 29 October 2010

Sommerkamp FT-301D CBM

One of my favourites

In my shack this rig is second in the pecking order when it come to working hf.  Super battle tank of a rig and has served me well for over twenty years. I think it cost me very little when I purchased it. With big transistors within it's bolt on power amplifier ( 2 x S-2535  push, pull ) and  a rf  processor to add some  punch it gets heard. I Like it a lot.

Friday, 22 October 2010


This great little rig is good in the Shack, portable or in the car.

Also showing a one kilowatt dummy load and a Italian Nuova Magnum ATU