Weekly Photo Challenge: Today

It’s a horrible wet drizzly day in London this morning so, after doing the weekly shop, I think I’ll spend some time in the Shack. Here’s the rig, all powered up and ready to go πŸ™‚For the technically minded I will be receiving and transmitting on the shortwave Amateur Radio sections of the airwaves – probably around 3.700MHz, 7.150MHz, 14.200MHz and (if conditions permit) 18.160MHz. If you’ve got good eyesight you can probably read some of yesterday’s contacts in my logbook on the table πŸ™‚


  1. Drizzly huh? We got hammered with some nasty weather last night, knocking out our electricity for a while, so even though stuck inside, I couldn’t even take advantage of the time. 😦 Technology doesn’t mean squat without electricity … unless you have an ample supply of batteries (in some cases). I hope your enjoyed all of your gizmos though, Martin. I love relaxing in front of my computer on a rainy day, as a rule.

    1. Hi Marcy – yes , we get hammered too from time to time. Actually, I prefer a good storm to this nasty drizzle – it seems to be able to creep up your sleeves and trouser legs – just generally unpleasant.

      In common with most Ham Radio operators I keep a battery power supply charged in case of emergencies. Officially, we’re the Amateur Radio Service and in emergencies we can provide communications support to government agencies when normal communications are down.

      When the Andaman Islands were wiped out by a Tsunami, Indian Amateur Radio operators provided essential communications between the islands and the mainland until normal communications were restored. Radio Amateurs provided similar support in Northern Italy last week following the major earthquake. Closer to home for you – when Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, Amateur Radio played a key role in rescue efforts…From Wikipedia: –

      Volunteers from amateur radio’s emergency service wing, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, provided communications in areas where the communications infrastructure had been damaged or totally destroyed, relaying everything from 911 traffic to messages home. In Hancock County, Mississippi, ham radio operators provided the only communications into or out of the area, and even served as 911 dispatchers.

      … so when you mentioned batteries, I thought I’d cover this side of the ‘hobby’. I can operate for around 6 hours at 10W dependent upon the amount of transmitting required and the rig I’m using. By that time larger stations would have fired up their generators to provide a more permanent solution.

      1. Your radio career is impressive and as you said, very much needed,Martin. I’m sure being professional, batteries are a must. As for me, I was hammering away in response to a blog comment last night when the lights went out, so even after the electricity came back on, I left my system down until the storm passed. I’d hate to lose my computer to a power surge. Unlike you, I sometimes like a drizzly rainy day. When it is sunny and pretty out, I can’t resist getting things done outside, thus fall behind on my inside activities. A dizzly day gives me a chance to catch up a bit inside. Speaking of nice days, I hope yours is lovely. πŸ™‚

      2. My real career is in Telecommunications… Amateur Radio is one of several hobbies! In fact most of us Ham operators are as proud of our ‘Amateur’ status as we are of the ‘Service’ part πŸ˜‰

    1. Hi Colline – Canada, Australia, the US and England… Definitely a global epidemic of rain πŸ˜‰ Thanks for popping by πŸ™‚

    1. Sounds like a good plan – I’m thinking about a dvd or two this pm. Perhaps Cars or Valiant – something humourous and fun. Now you’ve inspired me πŸ™‚

  2. Ah, Martin, that -although not that incarnation – is one of my earliest memories. And listening to the morse downstairs in the early morning as Dad worked the world πŸ™‚ Lovely post. Thanks.

    1. Well Kate – I have a confession… I can’t do morse. I’ve tried various learning methods but I just can’t get my head around it 😦 So I normally work either Single Side Band or PSK digital. I must give it another try.

  3. A very complex looking radio. Drizzly eh? My wife & her Dad are visiting England soon to catch up with their relatives so I hope you turn n the British summer sunshine for them. I had lots to do outside yesterday but it rained. Winter here now but it’s a nice day today though so going outside soon. I have a fence to fix up but don’t want to start hammering too early on a Sunday morning.

    1. Hi Tony – It’s a pussycat really. Once you’ve got it set up it’s a doddle to use.

      I hope the weather cheers up for your Good Lady and her Dad – If they’d been here last week they’d have had a scorcher. The weather has just taken a dip because of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the double Bank Holiday. It always rains on Bank Holidays πŸ˜‰

      Good luck with the fence – I hate making noise early on a sunday too. Lots of people really like to lie in. I had a lie in myself this morning…didn’t get up until 06:30!

    1. Hi Nancy – There have been some changes in the rules regarding logging. There’s no longer a requirement for a log to be kept in the UK except in special circumstances. But most of us still keep a log if only for the pleasure of looking back at who and where we’ve worked πŸ™‚

  4. Love the snap, crackle and static pop and fizz of “This is Finchley calling.” Your post reminds me how much I always enjoyed listening to the Shipping Forecast late at night or first thing in the morning with the simple words and numbers providing so much atmosphere, the London drizzle mild in comparison to the rough seas around Rockall, Malin, Hebrides and beyond.

    1. More like CQ CQ 2E0MCA Calling CQ Patti πŸ˜‰ Plenty of noise on the bands today and not a good one for making contacts. I did work a station in Gdansk but everything else was local. We’ve got heavy rain this evening, but no heavy seas πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks for popping by – sorry, I haven’t been particularly active during the last few weeks. The BBC still broadcasts on AM in the UK as well as on FM and Digital frequencies – I sometimes listen to the Football on my transceiver (probably not quite what the makers had in mind) πŸ˜‰ Aircraft use AM for their voice transmissions. We normally use a slimmed down version of AM for our voice transmissions called Single Side Band (SSB). You can read about it on Wikipedia.

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