SHF UKAC 26-June-2018

I have added a camera next to the dish so that I can see, if I have its alignment right, where the dish beam is pointing. This allows me to see when I am beaming into a tree or roofs and then I can tweak the elevation of the dish.

I started on 3cm. I had pretty well given up looking for a reflection path to Peter G3PHO, but we had discovered a weak reflection point. We found this when we were both beaming towards Maurice F6DKW. So Peter was my first contact.

I had heard both DB0GHZ & OZ5SHF beacons before the contest, so I beamed towards Denmark. I called Kjeld OZ1FF expecting a weak but readable CW signal. He came back to me S9 on SSB! By the time I gave up on 3cm I had worked four danish stations. The duct didn’t seem to want to stretch into Sweden or Germany.

I missed a number of stations in the UK, like Mel G8EOP.

I got 12 contacts, which is probably a new record for me. My best DX was OZ3Z at 786 km. Keith G4ODA said he had an OZ pile-up!


On 13cm I could just hear Jon GM4JTJ, but too weak to work. I’m guessing I might have worked Kjeld on this band too, but he did not respond to my KST meeps. I did get my first contact on the continent for this band: Frank PE1EWR, so he was my best DX. Gordon G8PNN was a huge signal.


3cm UK Microwave Group contest

In spite of the high pressure over the UK, I did not hear any continental stations. I did try Maurice F6DKW, but it was no go. However, to my surprise, Peter G3PHO heard me! Tweaking the dish a little we could hear each other, though fairly weakly. So we must have found some sort of reflection. For me this is over the shoulder of the Crosspool hill, aiming just over the ridge tiles of the terrace along Mulehouse Road.

Nick G4KUX was my best DX.


Installation of an Epson ET-4500 printer on Ubuntu Linux

The Epson installation information that comes with the ET-4500 does not mention Linux & the DVD offered no Linux installation or drivers.

I searched the Epson dowloads site for ET-4500 and Linux. This offered 3 downloads:


I downloaded ESC/P-R Driver (generic driver).

The notes said that for Ubuntu I should install lsb first. In a terminal window I entered:

sudo apt-get install lsb

It installed a lot of stuff!

The drivers downloaded from the Epson page above had huge long file names with different suffixes for different file types with the unstated message: Here you are guys, you figure it out!

I chose the epson-inkjet-printer-escpr_1.6.21-1lsb3.2_amd64.deb file from the downloaded files. The user shouldn’t have to guess, but I guessed I needed a .deb file as I guessed Ubuntu is a Debian based distribution. I guessed I needed amd64 as the PC has a 64 bit Intel processor. When I double-clicked


Ubuntu Software Centre opened epson-inkjet-printer-escpr Epson Inkjet Printer, Driver (ESC/P-R) for Linux. I have no idea if lsb, whatever that is, was used.

Then I installed the Printer Utility in the same way from the epson-printer-utility_1.0.2-1lsb3.2_amd64.deb file.

It is probably a good idea not to wear good clothing for this bit, but filling the ink tanks was quite straightforward. I emptied the whole of the bottle of each colour into the appropriate tank. It is nice to be able to see the appropriate ink level.

I used a LAN patch lead to connect the printer from its LAN socket to the switch on the network. In the printer settings I set the Network Settings to have a manual IP address of 192.168.n.m (n and m as per my local network; I picked an unused address) with a network mask of and I also set the gateway to the router’s local IP address. I haven’t tried a networked printer before.

Opening System Settings/Printers, I could see: “There are no printers configured yet“. I clicked Add.

Epson Inkjet Printer #1” was listed as the first device. I wonder where this item has come from?

I selected Network Printer/Find Printer. It added Epson ET-4500 I(IP network printer via DNS-SD) as the next entry. I selected that & clicked Forward. It displayed searching for drivers.

It displayed Describe Printer. The defaults looked OK, so I clicked Apply. It offered me a test page. Amazingly, this worked.

It always amazes me when anything involving a computer works, especially when a network is involved.

So far I’ve installed the printer drivers on Ubuntu 14.04 & 16.04. I haven’t tried installing scanner drivers yet.





Having a rest from HP inkjet printers

In the past I have used HP printers & tried refilling the cartridges with good success.

However I have found that a printer may just take against even new HP cartridges & these are expensive. Figuring out what is going on from the cryptic or non-existent error messages can waste a lot of time when all I want is a printer that works.

Recently my main printer decided that the colour cartridge needed attention. I took it out & cleaned all the contacts. It was quite new. I had printed little with it. I didn’t actually want to print in colour; I wanted to print black only, but the printer demands a working colour cartridge that it is happy with in order to use the black cartridge.

My partner recently bought an extra large black cartridge for her HP printer; it cost about £40! A standard cartridge contains little ink these days.

Finding HP printers frustrating, fussy & expensive, I have decided to try others. I’ve been offered a Samsung laser printer to try. I’ve ordered an Epson ET-4500 deskjet printer from John Lewes (Currys & Staples have disappeared from Sheffield town centre). The ET-4500 has re-fillable ink tanks & you can see how much ink is in them.