Thursday, July 09, 2009

QRT

I suppose it had to happen eventually. I've been battling noise on HF for some time. For several weeks the MFJ-1026 had been doing a good job of eliminating it on 20m. But recently the noise seemed to be changing, such that I often could not eliminate it entirely. This evening I noticed it had suddenly got much stronger. Perhaps the metal framework of the conservatory that has been erected today is reflecting the noise from many different directions. Whatever the reason I now have S9+20 noise on all bands from 20m and down (I didn't try the higher ones), I cannot eliminate it, and operation on the HF bands is now completely impossible. The picture shows the noise level, right now, on 80m.

Here is a sound clip of the noise on 80m. The sound actually varies depending on what frequency you're on. At one part of the band it sounds a lot like car ignition interference, and the K3 noise blanker knocks it down to a "mere" S8 or so. But at other frequencies nothing will touch it.

Having experienced, through Internet remote operating, just what a difference it makes having decent antennas, I think the time has come to give up trying to operate from here. The results just aren't worth fighting for. The only bands that are free enough of interference to use, 10m and up, are dead most of the time. I love those bands when they are open, but they aren't open often enough to make a viable hobby.

Moving house isn't an option. My wife doesn't want to move, despite the recent friction with one of our neighbours.

What I would like to do is set up an Internet remote with a group of other similarly QTH-challenged UK amateurs. However, this would require a significant investment in time, money and effort and I don't know whether there are enough other people with sufficient of all three plus the motivation to make this happen. Nor do I know how to contact them. I could try writing to RadCom, but I'd probably get a lot of time-wasters who'd like to use something like that but have nothing to contribute. It would be simpler just to subscribe to one of the existing remote club stations, use that when I want to do some operating, and sell my own equipment.

Whatever happens, it looks like being the end of operations from G4ILO's Shack as I currently know it.
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