24-October-2017 SHF UKAC

With the 3cm dish indoors, but able to beam at Finningley. I did listen for stations in that direction, but heard none.

So I just worked 13cm and managed 15 stations in 7 squares, average distance was about 100 km.

I couldn’t hear G8PNN well enough to work him. Sue G8SFI was easily workable, but I forgot to work her. I heard Brian G8KPD/P and forgot about him too. I was surprised to work Jon GM4JTJ again.


17-Oct-2017 23cm UKAC

Conditions to the North seemed very difficult & though I heard other stations work Jon GM4JTJ, I failed to do so. Gordon, GI6ATZ seemed weaker than usual. Gordon G8PNN seems to be getting used to my CW!

South, over the hill & through the wet trees, was easier. I worked David G4ASR in IO81. Beaming into the terrace above me (so probably aircraft scatter) I worked G8OHM and Neil G4BRK. I didn’t try any continentals, but then I didn’t hear any.


Skoda Octavia Bolero radio mute problem/fault – complexity & stuff that doesn’t work

Another distraction from planned projects:

The car radio had decided to lock itself in a muted state. This isn’t much use for a radio! The CD player wouldn’t play any CDs. Turning up the volume made no difference. This mute is not volume fully down; sound is disabled. On the plus side, it had cured the problem of the annoying beep for touch-screen buttons.

What puzzled me is that there is no mute button. I searched the physical buttons. I searched the soft buttons in the screen menus. I searched the steering wheel & column for radio controls. No mute button.

In desperation I tried a reset to factory settings. This wiped all my presets.

Apparently Skoda has been swapping the radios under warranty to fix this fault.

Today my son Kevin M3KGC found a fix on an internet forum: hold the on/off button down for about 10s & the radio switches off & eventually re-boots. The mute symbol has gone & the sound is back… until the next time.

I suppose there is a computer in there controlling things. This looks like a software error. If you are having to search internet forums to find out how to turn the radio sound on, then the radio is too complex. At least this radio has a couple of knobs. Some make do with clicky buttons, clicking round functions in a loop. Damn! Missed it! Click round again. The buttons may have black markings on a black background. I could go on!

The forum discussion is here:


Look for andyvee‘s helpful contribution.

The downside is that the annoying beeps are back.

13cm/23cm Trophy contest

The conditions on 23cm seemed poor. I did hear Conrad PA5Y, DF0MU and OT5A/P. The image says 2.3GHz, but it should say 1.3 GHz:


The 23cm entry won a certificate: 17100723_cert

On 13cm, most of my contacts were using morse code on the key. I used the SG-Labs transverter producing 2W. This was fed from the old Microwave Modules 70cm transverter (so not ref. oscillator locked) from the K3 on 10m. It is lovely to have the K3 showing the 13cm frequency, setting the right power level into the 70cm transverter, and showing me the band on the P3 Panadapter.

On 13cm, I was the northern-most station I heard! The image says 1.3GHz, but it should say 2.3GHz:


Surprisingly, this won a certificate!