Happy New Year and What We Have Planned

Happy New Year to all my friends, and family around the world. Again I have not written much or updated this BLOG for a few weeks, following my last update I was admitted to hospital with a serious chest infection, so I should outline the plans for 2024.

Firstly my aim is to lose some weight and get my health back. This I plan to do with changing my diet and the whole way I live. Yes I will still be doing my day job, but rather than be sat here at my desk on my days off I intend to get out more, some walking to build up my stamina and taking my camera to try and get some of the local bird life – along with other wild life and maybe some aircraft at the 2 local airports close to my location.

Secondly I am wanting to get my vintage radios repaired so I can use them on air, as well as get a good antenna with a mast fitted to the house. I may even look at some VHF/UHF antennas to try and get back in to the UKAC contests.

And finally I have some events and air shows planned for this year too. I will be attending the GMDX Association meeting in April, so a trip up to Scotland is on the cards for that. This will be followed with Ham Radio Friedrichshafen in Germany, looking forward to seeing some old and new friends at this one. Then it will be time for RIAT in July, the biggest military air show in Europe where I volunteer. And then in early October I will once again be travelling to Ireland for the DX Feile 2024. And if nothing clashes in October I may be at the RSGB Convention once again to end the year.

These and visits to my 2 radio clubs, Hinckley Amateur Radio & Electronics Society (HARES) and Mexborough And District Amateur Radio Society (MADARS), for some talks and presentations. So a busy boy me thinks.

Merry Christmas….

As the year 2023 end draws ever closer, we like to wish all our friends around the world season’s greetings in their home language, and we do apologize if we miss yours off the list. Let’s hope that 2024 brings us all good luck, health, and prosperity.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddn Newydd

Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo

Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annèe

Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo

Vasel Koleda

Froehliche Weihnachten undein gluckliches Nues Jahr

Kala Christougenna Kieftihismenos O Kenowios Chronos

Boldoy Karácsonyt

Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia

Cestitamo Bozia

Boas Fiestas e um feliz Ano Novo

Nollaig Shona Dhuit


Hello all,

WOW, this past few months have been a busy time for me, and I have not been inclined to add anything new to the page. I guess I should have as I have been to a few conventions and been very active on the air. One of the conventions was a trip over to Shannon in Ireland to the EIDX Club DX Feile. I have to say this was one of the best convention and meetings I have ever been to, and already I am looking forward to next years (2024) event. 

There was also a trip to Milton Keynes to the RSGB Convention. This was not as good as previous years in my opinion, the talks were not as interesting (to myself and a number of others) as in previous years. The special interest group room had been split into 2, one in the usual place next to the coffee room and one tucked away up stairs. This sadly meant that the ones upstairs didn’t get the visitors as normal and felt that they had been “pushed out”. Maybe the organisers will think again and keep them all in one room or look at swapping the ones downstairs to upstairs. But I doubt it.

So now we start planning for 2024, hopefully we will be able to get a proper antenna in the air and get back on the air, not that I am off air just that I am only using a home made vertical dipole that is not performing as it should. You never know I may have some good luck one day and win a decent lump on the lottery. hahahahaha

Stay safe folks and good DX

Working through ISS repeater.

Recently been trying a new aspect of the hobby. I have always been interested in space and had a small interest in astronomy, so while I was at home a couple of weeks ago I got my Kenwood TM-D700E dual band FM transceiver set up on my desk. Connected it to the “white stick” antenna, only on a short pole at about 10ft high that I was using for my radar and scanner, and tuned VFO A to 145.990 (with a CTCSS tone of 67.0Hz) and VFO B to 437.800 +/- 5 to 10 KHz for doppler shift. These frequencies are the uplink and down link for the repeater on the International Space Station, lots of stations heard and worked, including a none completed contact with 1A0C in the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) building in Rome. 

Many thanks to all of you who I have made contact with, and to those who I have yet to meet on the air through this fascinating mode of communication. I am also looking at making an “Egg Beater” type of antenna for myself to use through some of the other satellites we are able to use before I get fully absorbed with a full tracking station and other kit.  

Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2023

Well it happened, it was damp, it was dry, it was windy, but overall it was fun. Yes I have been off for a while as I have been doing my usual mid year volunteering and vacationing. Firstly with the Midlands Air Festival, then out to Friedrichshafen, RIAT, and finally a week in Wales chilling with my mate down on his farm.

But the big event was RIAT. What an excellent week it was again. Laughter, tears, aches, pain, and making new friends. The weather did it’s best to put dampeners on the proceedings, but our visitors are a hardy bunch and dedicated to watch the aircraft fly and also see up close the statics.

Here’s a few of the images out of the thousand plus that ended up on my memory cards.

Friedrichshafen Ham Radio 2023

The time is upon us once again to make our way to a small German town for the biggest Ham radio show in Europe. From Wednesday myself, Adrian (G6AD) and Charles (M0OXO) will be making our way to London Heathrow airport for a day of photography (aircraft), a stay overnight, and then a flight to Zurich for the start of the epic journey to FHN. A small glitch with our flight booking being cancelled and being forced by British Airways to get a later flight, thanks for the hour lost changing these times BA.

That aside the weekend will be another one to enjoy and create memories. Meeting old and new friends, having fun, and generally talking amateur radio. Along with good food, plenty of beer, and good company it takes place on the banks of Lake Constance with it’s beautiful scenery and beautiful buildings. I will have the camera with me so I hope to get some images to add to my next blog. 

If you are going to be there yourself come over to the IOTA stand and say hello, this will be in the DX Plaza along with the best DX clubs in Europe. It will be fun to meet you and get a photo to share.

Midlands Air Festival 2023

It’s that time of year again, the Midlands Air Festival is upon us. It takes place at Ragley Hall, Near Alcester as usual. The same venue as the past few years. Once more I am volunteering there and will be taking the usual photographs and (hopefully) start sharing them on here. 

Come along if you are in the area and see the balloons and varying aircraft.

GR1VDP – Spceial Call For The Coronation of King Charles is on the air

From May 1st 2023 through to June 30th 2023 UK radio amateurs can apply for a Notice of Variation to their licence to use a secondary letter in the prefix of their call to celebrate the coronation of King Charles on 6th May. I have taken out the NoV to see if it can get my interest back in the hobby. Today (1st May) I have been calling on 12M FT8 working a few from Europe, and across to the USA. These will be uploaded to LOTW and ClubLog later along with the usual QSL route through my manager Tim (M0URX) online QSL request system (OQRS) on his website. I will be looking at the design of a new card from next week when we have some photos of this event.

So remember  to look out for the call GR1VDP on your screens or on the air and give me a call.

Enjoyment of the Hobby

So for the past few months I have not been enjoying my amateur radio hobby for numerous reasons, especially because of the behaviour on the bands. There has been much talk on forums about this from some people who are very knowledgeable and have been in the hobby for many years. Some from new comers who are only just finding their feet and are being put off by this behaviour, and some from people who have been “around” the hobby for years but are now just starting to take it seriously. BUT no action is being taken to attempt to dispel the perpetrators or find them and have words to retrain them. 

Some of the comments have also been comical – “it’s those from 11M (CB) that are to blame” “these new licences are being given away in Cornflake packets now so no training needed” – portioning the blame from some quarters. Some of the best operators I know served an “apprenticeship” on 11M, learning about propagation, how to behave in pileups, and how to listen. Some of the callers I have heard in the bad behaviour bunch have been some of the “Old Timers” who made these comments, and some of the so called knowledgeable people in the hobby. Even some of the top dogs in the DX clubs out there. Maybe clean up you own houses boys first.

But this is not the only reason for my none enjoyment of the hobby. Where I have moved to I cannot get the antennas in the air I would like, even a small compromise antenna is out of the question. And I currently have only a 10/12M vertical dipole that is restricting me to these bands – here’s my 11M knowledge coming to the fore now. But even with this I am not having the fun I used to have. As I have written before maybe it is time for me to step back, think about the hobby as a whole, and take a time out. I know it will soon be time to go to Friedrichshafen for the big show, and even that I am thinking of just going and not do the show just visit the area and see some more of the German countryside – even take a trip to one of the German cities if they are close enough. 

So if any one is interested in buying a Kenwood TS590SG with matching speaker drop me an email, and lets talk.  

Clipperton Island DXpedition TX5S

For Immediate Release Press Release #1 March 20, 2023
Clipperton Island DXpedition (NA-011)

Since its formation in 2013 the Perseverance DX Group (PDXG.net) has conducted five DXpeditions, logging over 340,000 QSOs. From being chased off Mellish Reef by a cyclone to living on an Antarctic island for two weeks the team continues to plan projects that create excitement on the bands for the big guns and the little pistols.

After their successful 2020 VP8PJ South Orkney Islands and 2022 TX5N Austral Islands projects the Perseverance DX Group is pleased to announce their intention to activate Clipperton Island (NA-011).

Now designated a protected environmental reserve, visits to Clipperton require a lengthy and detailed application process. Leveraging our previous experience to sensitive and UNESCO World Heritage locations, the government of French Polynesia issued our team a landing permit.

Planning has begun for an expedition January 18 – February 2, 2024. A team of experienced DX and contest operators will operate from Clipperton Island for up to 15 days. The call sign TX5S has been reserved for this project. Up to eight operating positions are planned for 160-6 meters, SSB/CW/Digital operation. It will have been 11 years since the last Clipperton DXpedition, future activations may have to wait even longer. This will be the first 60m and FT8 operation from Clipperton.

The team will sail from San Diego, California aboard Shogun, a veteran of the 2000, 2008 and 20013 Clipperton DXpeditions.

Team members include: Jacky ZL3CW, Dave K3EL, Steve W1SRD, Ricardo PY2PT, Gene K5GS, Heye DJ9RR, Laci HA0NAR, Walt N6XG, Rob N7QT, Glenn KE4KY, Chris N6WM, Arliss W7XU, Philippe FO4BM, Dave WD5COV and Andreas N6NU. Joining the team will be a scientist from the University of French Polynesia who will conduct studies while on the island.

Additional details will be announced as they develop. Website:TX5S.net Please direct your questions to: info@pdxg.net

73, Clipperton 2024 Team