Gordon, G3WOV. Tom, G4CMG. Derek, G3XWD and me, G4IYK in Gravesend.
Traffic was fairly light because Tom and me were off to the REA South East District Meeting together with Spike. This is covered in a separate post. Very interesting day out.
We were all in agreement about the user experience when operating HF radio stations in the average urban environment. This is becoming more and more difficult because of local radio noise interfering with amateur signals when compared with the receivers at Hack Green in Nantwich, located away from noise sources, in a rural environment. There were times when we could not hear each other at all by the direct route, while signals were perfectly clear on the internet – providing a much higher quality experience.
The potential impact to this was part of the conversation and IMHO that would be to deter people from operating HF at home by making it more difficult to use – rendering the low-end transceiver virtually deaf on some bands. We should really evaluate the deterrent impact of this on the short wave listener (SWL), beginners and novices just setting out. On the other hand it will sharpen up the skills of the determined operator and push people to invest in more efficient kit.
We thought we may become dependent on the internet (which could be a challenge…)
Now we have established the problem it is time to look at what to do practically, both locally and nationally.
We think the future may lie in internet radio like hack green, or remote radio operation. A number of issues arise with this. It will be difficult to wean off for a start but you will need continuous access to broadband and the cost of that is an issue in itself. There are still technical challenges when tracking for example, receiving and transmitting on separate systems when trying to stay on the same frequency. In practice this isn’t an issue if you can hear your own signal. Gordon mentioned various techniques to make sure we don’t rebroadcast the received signal. For me it has forced me to look closer at Windows Audio Controls on the PC. For others it has forced them to re-evaluate their own computers.
Both recordings made via the internet. If you listen to the 80m recording the noise is present in the form of crackles. A bit like a scratched vynil record. On 60 it is much noisier due to conditions. Mike says “Conditions not so good on 60M today.”
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73s de Stu