G0VQY's Amateur Radio Blog
What's on the mind of a UK ham radio operator?
I am annoyed, I worked them on 20 m but my microphone had stopped working and I didn't notice so the video didn't have any sound.
Sometimes you may hear a station that appears to be very weak and not worth bothering with. However, propagation acts in weird ways sometimes and you'll find that occasionally even though you are hearing the station with a very weak signal, they will hear you with a much stronger signal. So this video is a good example of how some people may not bother calling the station in Ghana because they think they wouldn't be heard. But you can seec he heard me perfectly okay and gave me a good report. I think he was a little taken aback when I gave him his report. I always like to give a station it's proper report, unless of course you are contacting one of these Dx expeditionS where they are simply not interested in your report
Other than amateur radio my other passion is angling. I love nothing more than spending a nice warm summer's day on the lakeside catching carp. More than often there are other anglers fishing on the lake as well. Occasionally you may inadvertently cast over somebody, or hook up their gear without realising it. Anglers are very polite and I have never once received any verbal abuse from another angler whilst out fishing.
I have been a ham radio operator for 21 years now so I would consider myself to be fairly experienced. However, even experienced people make mistakes occasionally, we are not all perfect. Those of you who know me well have no doubt seem many of my YouTube videos that I make of me operating on amateur radio. 99.9% of people who have commented on my videos have been respectful and courteous. But then you have that very small minority of people who think it's perfectly okay to basically leave abusive messages. The Internet is a great place, but it has its dark side unfortunately it's given some of these people and easy way attack other people for no reason whatsoever. If you ever take the time to look through posts that are made by these people then nine times out of 10 you will notice that they are not doing so using their real name, they almost always hide behind a username. Also you will often find that the ones doing it on YouTube have never made and posted videos to YouTube themselves. People who leave abusive messages on other people's webpages, Facebook, YouTube have gained the name "Troll". Don't get me wrong, I've often got into heated arguments with people in the past online, however it gets to the point where I'm going to tell somebody to FCUK OFF then I will do so with the knowledge that I am not trying to hide behind an obscure username hoping that nobody will ever find out who I am.
So that brings me onto Mr Larry Keene, a.k.a. W5LW K. He goes by LarryK1978 on YouTube and yesterday decided that he would leave me an unpleasant comment on one of my videos. So exactly who is W5WK? Well according to his QRZ page, whose first licensed in 2007 and currently holds a technician license. Probably doesn't mean an awful lot to most people, well I can tell you that's the equivalent of somebody holding a provisional driving licence. Whereas I am able to operate on the full amateur radio spectrum using our country's maximum power limit, this individual is very much limited to small sections of the band and is basically prohibited from going anywhere near the HF frequencies.
Tell you what Larry, when you've had a little bit more experience on the amateur radio bands then maybe I'll take you seriously. Just remember that it's not clever or tough to be rude to people whilst you hide behind a username thinking that nobody will ever know who you are, it took me all of a minute to find out what your callsign is.
I have been making YouTube videos for a few years now and I have got several hundred subscribers who really enjoy watching my videos. My videos are nothing special, just videos of me operating certain people and countries, or recording someone so they can pay what they sound like. I made a video of myself trying to make contact with the K1N dxpedition from Navassa Island a week or so ago. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get through, they were working split frequency and quite a large split at that. Anyone who's ever worked a split frequency will know that it's almost a case of all for one, and one for all, that basically means you've got to keep calling in order to be heard. I would certainly describe myself as a responsible and polite amateur radio operator. I certainly wouldn't deliberately talk over someone, or interfere with a QSO. So you can imagine how I felt when I started getting abusive messages posted on one of my videos accusing me of not operating properly. One such so-called amateur radio operator was Trevor, EI2ELB from Ireland. He was rather rude in his message, totally uncalled for. If he thought I was not operating properly then he could have been polite and explained how he thought I should be doing. But no, as far as I'm concerned he's just another Internet troll that hides behind a stupid username in the hope that nobody will ever find out who he is.
I was doing some operating on 15 m this afternoon when Ed, ON5GA called me. Apparently he had made a schedule to contact Jean, 5T0JL down in Mauritania on the frequency I was using at the time. Of course, I wasn't going to be rude and tell them to go elsewhere, we actually joined up and worked him together. He was only using a vertical, however his signal was really strong, I think we were talking to him at the absolute prime time of the day When the signal will probably be at its strongest.
Anyway, I put the video on so you can hear how well he was coming in from the west coast of Africa
I'd forgotten just how much fun it is to get a small pilot going. The Optibeam Is performing like an absolute champion.
Well it's finally happened, the Optibeam is up and running. I decided to have a look on 17 m today because being the weekend, there was a contest on. I managed to work quite a few stations within Europe, nothing spectacular though. Then I went onto 10 m a little bit later on and have a nice reply from G3VHB/MM who was sailing his private yacht off the coast of Mauritania. I made a short video of the first few contacts I made and 17 m today.
You'll probably know that I am a big fan of making ham radio videos for YouTube. I love watching other people operate myself. It's been a long time since I last made a video for YouTube, probably over a year now. I'm quite excited because I will be installing a brand-new beam shortly, hopefully in the next month weather permitting. I have replaced by SteppIR with an Opti beam OB 11 – 5. So as soon as I'm back on the airways you can be sure that lots more videos will be uploaded to YouTube.
I have also created a new Facebook group. The group which is called "YouTube Ham Radio DX group" Is for both myself, and other licensed ham radio operators to share their own ham radio videos. Even though I probably won't be posting many videos until I am operating again, please feel free to post your own videos, the group is up and running right now. It's an open group but I think you will have to ask permission to join. I'll accept people as quickly as I can, but remember there is a time difference between many countries so maybe a few hours before your request is accepted.
If you are a radio ham that I'm quite sure that you will absolutely love a sketch that the legendary Tony Hancock did back in the 60s. Tony Hancox was a comic genius but unfortunately suffered from depression and took his own life whilst in Australia. However, I'm so glad that he left us with some of the most memorable comedy sketches that have ever been created.
So enjoy Tony Hancock in "The Radio Ham"