Friday, March 09, 2012

G4AQB/P back in the 80's

How things have moved on! In my last post my Yaesu FT-817 covers all bands from 1.8Mhz to 432Mhz, a shack-in-a-box! Now contrast this to the same location in the early 1980's.

Here is my Yaesu FT101E (which I still have!) along with a home made transverter by Chris G4AGJ and SWR /Power meter. When I look carefully at these photos I see other things from that time. Can you see a scruffy looking Mothercare Baby Box? That was my toolbox for many years when I did field service mending televisions. I always kept it in the car! My car was a White Ford Escort and in those days carpets wre unheard of, you had to put in your own! So I cut bits of carpet left over from my front room, you can see it under the equipment. Note the RSGB sticker on the windscreen and the HUGE power supply!

Now this photo is in the back of Chris, G4AGJ's car. Chris spent a lot of time building an HF Transceiver. It covered 1.8Mhz - 30Mhz and used Plessey SL1600 circuits. It was an amazing project with it's Eddystone 898 dial and professional looking front. This inspired me to build a copy myself, but just for 160m and 80m. Again, home made transverters and power supplies.
We had a lot of fun up on Matchmoor Lane (Winter Hill) I still do, it is so quiet and relaxing just listening to stations and working them in contests.
Now we have the Tuesday night contests when the VHF /UHF bands come to life and it is time to go out there and work portable!
A thought for tonight...
We have a huge Aurora at the moment and the pressure on my weather monitor is showing 1033, surely we should have good tropo conditions and also contacts through Aurora. I listen on the 144Mhz and 432Mhz bands and there is nothing! Back in the 80's we would be working stations all over Europe. How come?

1 comment:

David Cope said...

I'm not sure why VHF has become a graveyard. I can only guess that it may have something to do with operator education and a lack of "marketing" of what can be done on SSB.

The norm seems to be an FM rig, local repeater and a (sometimes indoor) whip (or handheld).

I also believe these "activity" contests are working against what they were designed for. Surely activity should be over at least a week! They seem to be box ticking activities - do the contest then don't operate for another month!

I remember, like you, when 2m SSB/AM/FM was full of activity and fun. I had a Yaesu FT-200, Europe B transverter and an 8/8 yagi. Worked all over the UK and europe with ease.

I happen to like VHF so my Class B licence was never a restriction for me.

I am sorely tempted to re-create my old station!

73, David G8JGO.