Well by the end of the month I'll be dipping my toes into Digital modes , I have the software instslled for JT65, JT9 and WSPR already installed on my laptop and my folks are getting me a DigiMaster USB MiniPro Data Interface for my birthday which initally I'll be using with my Yeasu 857D and then the Icom 718 once the 40m mod is  done on it! 

DigiMaster USB MiniPRO DATA Interface



Weather XI halts play on Teide and at home

No observing done last night as it was cloudy/mizzling when I went to lock up the Ham shack and  Slooh was down (due to the afteraffects  of a dust storm) and only the one new station yesterday in the logbook ... GU1000RSGB on 40m's but then with the necessary evil of cutting the front lawn and attending a live observing session (Saturn) at the W. M. Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea, Hawai'i . Which was then followed the successful launch of the Orbital Sciences Antares One Rocket from NASA Wallops. The rocket was carrying 5 payloads a Dummy Payload Module, Dove 1 and 3 other sats which can be tracked by Hams on 437.425 MHz, each transmits at intervals so all three should be receivable during a pass.
The callsign will be KJ6KRW all three satellites will transmit using AFSK (1200 bps) modulation, AX.25 packet coding. The two PhoneSat 1.0 satellites, Graham and Bell, transmit with a periodicity of respectively 28 seconds and 30 seconds. The PhoneSat 2.0 beta satellite, Alexandre, transmits with a periodicity of 25 seconds.
A quote about W(Will) T Hay (yes the Comedian who was also a Top Notch Amateur Astronomer and BAA Member) from the  Daily Mail on the 9th of August 1933,
 He believes astronomers to be the finest brotherhood on earth, the
   only men who see life in its true proportion. 'If we were all
   astronomers there'd be no more war' he says. He has the broad, calm
   philosophy of a man who thinks habitually in terms of universes.
   All astronomers are philosophers, he will tell you.

You know I think he could be  right.........( I can hear Patrick Moore saying that with a smile  on his face)
 I  want to thank Martin Mobberley for writing  a great article on such a great  man  http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//full/2009JBAA..119...67M/0000067.000.html


Having Fun with Homebrewing......

Well I have two of my Ham radio related wiring projects completed, The Morse Key is now wired up for Icom 718 and the Yaesu 857D and the AIO programming cable is done too , and a start has been made on the Co-ax for the 2m Slimjim. On the AIO  front it's having to go back as the SMA connector is faulty and being a 4  layer  board has to be factory replaced oh  Fun - not!


Worked today

I’ve managed to work the following stations so far this afternoon:
Started with GB4T Titanic Special Call then worked GB0MPA on 40m, This is a special callsign used by the Barry Amateur Radio Society to commemorate the role of the R.M.S. Carpathia in the rescue of the 703 survivors of the Steam Ship Titanic in 1912 after a break got GB2FLH The callsign for activation of Fleetwood Lighthouses, weekend of NARSA Radio Rally, 5th - 7th April 2013. Both Lighthouses were activated Fleetwood Esplanade Light Front aka "Beach" or Lower Light is Admiralty A4892 and Fleetwood Esplanade Light Rear aka "Pharos" or Upper Light,Admiralty A4892.1, then the GB1PER Special Event Callsign run by Worcester Radio Amateur Association. The Callsign is used for Airfields on the Air, and also for National Science Week, location Perdiswell Primary School, Worcester.The school is located on the grounds of the former airfield, taken over by the RAF in 1938 and the world's first municipal aerodrome. ( info from QRZ.com) just looking for GB75HMSB now to finish my evening!
Last night  saw me also active on Slooh and getting some  Nice Nebs and Comets  in the form of

M20 Diffuse Nebula in Sagittarius
Common Names: Trifid Nebula
NGC Number: 6514
Visual Magnitude: 9.0
Apr 6th, 2013 05:25:27 UTC
R.A. 18h 02m 23s Dec. -23° 01' 48"

M17 - Nebula & Cluster in Sagittarius
Common Names: Omega / Horseshoe / Swan / Lobster Nebula
NGC Number: 6618
Visual Magnitude: 7.0
Apr 6th, 2013 05:15:48 UTC
R.A. 18h 20m 26s Dec. -16° 10' 36"

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) 
Apr 5th, 2013 21:42:19 UTC
R.A. 6h 37m 11s Dec. +30° 23' 58"


and C/2011 L4 (Panstarrs)
Apr 6th, 2013 05:52:41 UTC
R.A. 0h 28m 53s Dec. +42° 57' 14" Not too shabby given its dawn where the scope is


Working 40 Meters and having fun!

Well been down the shack today and worked  a few  event stations , kicked off with G100RSGB currently  operated  by Riviera ARC then worked GB4STB ,RAF Stanbridge (RAFARS 4738) In Leighton Buzzard. Then after  a break  got GB2MC at the Muckleburgh Collection, a privately owned military museum at Weybourne,and  finally GB2CAV on board HMS  Cavalier!  Life can be  fun as  a  M6  and only  operating QRP


North Norfolk Amateur Radio Group at The Muckleburgh Military Collection

HMS Cavalier


Well I now have a better power supply for the  857D, I'm now using the  Tiro PS-430 that normally powers the Icom 718. I know once I get my full UK license I'll have  to get something a bit beefier  as the 857D  can draw up to 22 amps on Tx  when set for 100w
I also spent some time on slooh last night  Imaging Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)

and  then Jupiter .......
and finally the Moon.When the Moon is at waning gibbous it's a good time to see the southern lunar highlands and the crater Tycho with its extensive system of rays


Well I have  received my  First QSL card via  eQsl  and it's fitting it was from a UK Astronomical Observatory

I've also created my own QSL card  both on eQsl and for by  post.....

This is my  eQSL

(The latin text above is only to illustrate the position of the QSO text. This QSO text will be filled in with the correct information from the uploaded logs at the time the eQSL is displayed by the recipient.)

I'm  going to redo my  US  QSL card as well today :)


Started my Worked All Britain Award

Well I have the 857D up and running at the QTH today via the Celestron Power Tank lol and made two  contacts today one with GB2NLO which is the Special Event Station at The Norman Lockyer Observatory  in Sidmouth (http://www.normanlockyer.com/) and then worked  M0HEM who is in essex  I also heard G7AZA working M0HEM so that was a third square I got, both stations  I worked were dealing with a pileup so with just 10W I did well to get the QSO - Happy Camper :)