Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Au bord de la mer

August is near! The middle of the summer. The six meters band is dying for this season. No major dxpeditions around, no spots on the sun. For now and then I will spend the time in my favorite beach bar relaxing, enjoying cold beer, eating light meals and swimming in fresh sea water. But bad habits can not be cut. The forgotten hand held got alive and keep me company again. I have to give reports to good old friends how things are going describing what is moving in the beach and finally invite them to join me. Actually you are all invited.

Monday, July 14, 2008

D-Star. First tests

D-Star is a new standard in digital communications developed by ICOM. Its popularity is increasing rapidly recently. So I decided to give it a try and now I know why. Coming back from Friedrichshafen I brought with me a new toy: The IC-E92D. My good friend Denis, SV8RV, had the receiver and the decoding software to do the job. It is really an other world. The picture is talking itself. Dedicated calls by callsign, messages, GPS data, automatic replies, internet connection and many other things are available to play with. In my first feeling DV mode came to give a push to the boring local VHF and UHF frequencies. So it is very welcome.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hamradio 2008 part 2

The next day was dedicated to the surplus segment of Messe. It is a place of great interest for hams. We made several kilometers around the booths in three different huge buildings. I had a mission to find Gabi, HA1YA, to tell him a message from my friend Spiros, SV8CS. Fortunately it turned out not a difficult task. Gabi was a nice and very friendly guy besides he is a very efficient constructor of linears and transverters.
I show too much vintage stuff, but I could not buy many desirable things as I had to fly back home and so the baggage weight was limited. I restricted myself to small things like ferrites, connectors and the similar. Finally I could not resist the temptation to get the digital ICOM IC-92D. D-STAR is the name of the game. But this is an other post....

Plenty of Antennas
Fuel station
Me (left) and Gabi (right)
Flying over the Mont Blanc

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hamradio 2008 part 1

It is a really big event in ham radio world. Probably the biggest in the world as the Dayton is not in its best days recently. I was lucky to be there for a second year in a row....and I was impressed as the first time. Among the others I met two vips: ON4UN and OH2BH. But let start from the beginning. We start the trip from Geneva to Friedrichshafen Friday at noon. We are two on the road, me and Nick (SV3SJ, F5VIH) in his brand new Twigo. It took us 4.30 hours to get there, so we had enough time to take a look in Messe before close. We were in high spirits with the help of a couple Hefen Weis we drunk on the ferry from Kostanz to Meersburg. The weather was excellent and the Zeppelin was flying that is traditionally an indication of good weather hi hi. Inside the Messe the things were about the same as last year and the feeling of being there also the same. I noticed that several new companies and dealers were added and in the surplus segment the absence of Russian guys. We spent the night in Weingarten after a noisy diner in Immenstaad with a bunch of French people, most of them members of IARU contest. It was an enchanting evening with a lot chat for coming projects. Hefenweiser kept us company once more time.

On the road to Messe
IC-7700 new addition to ICOM family
Kuhne stand

Friday, July 4, 2008


Besides the nice hobby I share with you, I am a physicist. There is a big event that is going to take place very soon in Physics. Probably the biggest physics experiment of all till now. The particle accelerator LHC (the biggest of the world) will start to work in a month at CERN. This huge machine will accelerate protons in two beams with opposite direction and energy of 7TeV each. So the protons collide with the huge energy of 14Tev. The products of collision are new particles, some of them never registered till now. For this job there are four detectors. The biggest of them, called ATLAS (in picture), is a cylinder of 24m diameter and 46m length. The whole machine is in a tunnel 27Km long and 100m below the surface. There is a great probability this time to detect Higgs, the most wanted particle of last decades. Whatever it happens after all, particle physics will get a big kick for sure.
So I could not resist taking the chance to visit CERN and take a look how things are going just before the hugest scientific experiment starts. It was a really unbelievable experience for me and very convenient in the end of this visit to make a little trip from Geneva to Friedrichshafen. More details about that in my coming posts.