SUN MB1 SDR Transceiver NEW VIDEO   February 6th, 2016

We have just published a new video on this exciting new transceiver. We were the first UK dealer to get delivery and put this radio on the air.  We love the performance and already have sold several units to waiting customers. When you are investing this kind of money you need to know that there is advice and backup. Here at W&S we have the expert on hand in the shape of Justin G0KSC.  Give us a call and discuss your needs and  perhaps a part exchange deal?. But whatever you do, come to us because we are the experts and will hand hold you if needed.

 

 

Peter G3OJV

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IC-7300 UK Price?   February 4th, 2016

The delivery of the new Icom IC-7300 is coming closer and we will have the first shipment. What lots of customers want to know is what the UK price will be? Well that is still not finally decided yet and will probably not be decided until the radios are shipped to the UK. The general opinion is that they will be around about £1K. That probably is about right when you look at the general market in this area. Ultimately it is a price that is a combination of what the market will stand and what the competition is. The best clue at the moment is the Japanese retail price which is YEN 139,000.

 

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In fact the only thing that is certain is that we will match or beat the best price available and certainly offer the best before and after sales service. Well over half of the first shipment is sold so get in touch.

 

Peter G3OJV

 

 

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Here at W&S we today took delivery of a quantity of the new MB-1 SDR transceivers. What will particularly interest prospective purchasers is the fact that this radio covers 144MHz as well as the HF bands. We hope to publish a video of our first impressions of this radio within the next few days.

 

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As Kenwood’s top UK dealer, it is not surprising that we get to sell  more TS-990s than any other dealer.  Our reputation for having the best technical staff gives confidence to those making serious investments in ham radio.  In ham radio you are either a”box shifter”( who just hopes the customer never has any technical problems or any questions about setting up and operating)  or you are W&S.  Members of the Harlow Radio Club soon decided who to place their trust in. The photos above show three members who all decided to buy their TS-990s on the same day from W&S!

 

If you are thinking about buying serious radios, whether Kenwood or otherwise, do you really want to go to a “box shifter” or would you rather go the the UK’s only serious dealer with antennas galore and fully trained staff who are active hams.

 

Peter G3OJV

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ELECRAFT PRICE INCREASE 4th FEB.   January 28th, 2016

Please note that as from the 4th February there will be price increases across the range. Below is the formal note from Elecraft.

 

“We’re finally implementing the planned price changes that we first 
mentioned
late last year. We ended up delaying that change due to both the large 
holiday
season order rush and several ham shows, both of which always generate a 
lot of
sales sales activity and keep our sales team very busy.

As noted before, our costs are going up as our vendors increase their 
prices to
us and our labor costs also increase. (Its a never ending battle to keep 
costs
down as economic activity has picked up the last two years.) We’ve been
absorbing all of these increases, but now we have hit the point where we 
  must
increase prices slightly on a number of our products.

The prices will change on next Thursday, Feb. 4th.  Our on-line order 
forms will
update with the new pricing at that time.

Please resist the urge to call or email our sales / support people about 
which
specific products will be changing or how much the changes will be, as 
they do
not have this information. (We’re still in the middle getting everything 
entered.)

Of course, all orders received -prior- to the Feb 4th increase will be 
charged
at the lower pre-increase pricing when they ship.”

So if you are thinking of buying Elecraft, now is the time to place your order!

 

 

Peter G3OJV.

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Elecraft is famous the world over and rightly so. There is nothing that comes close to performance and customer satisfaction. Here we have a picture of one of our customers who uses the famous InnovAntennas XR6 Yagi together with Elecraft. Mupanga, PJ2MM, is the CEO of Zambia Telecomms and clearly recognises the quality and performance of of both InnovAntennas and Elecraft.

 

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It looks as if PJ2MM is also a keen fisherman. This tiger fish has some pretty dangerous looking teeth!  I think catching rare DX is somewhat safer!

 

 

Peter G3

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Operating on Dead Bands   January 26th, 2016

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Few will have failed to notice how bad conditions have been at times recently, on the HF bands. I guess those with big antennas will have been marginally less affected, but when propagation stops, it stops!

 

Recently I have been operating on 21MHz, a band that I have neglected in previous years. The casual visitor to this band will probably be disappointed because of the apparent lack if signals. But like 1om, or perhaps more so, it can offer up some surprises. For about two weeks now i have been checking the band in the middle of the afternoon and almost without fail, signals have popped out of the noise. Sometimes it is Eastern Europe, but it is frequently accompanied with signals from across the Atlantic. And these signals can be quite strong. Over the past few days I have worked into North America with ease. But the strange thing is that very often there is no more than one or two signals coming through at any one time.  These signs have QSB but are there long enough to work a good selection of callers. The conclusion I have come to is that part of the reason for the number of signals to be low is simply lack of activity.  A dead band is not always because of the lack of propagation!

 

I would encourage you to monitor this band for a 30 min period in the middle of the afternoon and just see what comes through. My station is very simple. I use a 4-Band dipole at 25ft, running 100W.  The picture shows the antenna, a Mosley mini 31 dipole that measures just 20ft and is easy to erect using a single mast. I didn’t bother about rotating it as this keeps the weight down. I achieve 40m operation by a simple modification that is not shown here.

 

Oh, and by the way, try calling CQ a few times. If we all just listen, then the bands will be dead!

 

Peter G3OJV.

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Going Back to The 1940s – Again!   January 20th, 2016

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A few days ago I mentioned that I had a QSO with a station in Chelmsford Essex running the T1154 /R1155 combo. Quite by chance I was looking at some old photos this evening and found this one taken of me at Duxford in Cambridgeshire last year.  This photo was  taken when I was on a visit to the Duxford Radio Society located on the airfield. As well as operating some modern equipment there, they also operate some of the old World War II equipment. And in one section of the room they have reconstructed the radio installation of a Lancaster bomber. It is not the first time I have sat in this position. I have sat in the radio operator’s position in both the current RAF Lancaster and the Lancaster at East Kirkby in Lincolnshire. Radio design has come on in leaps and bounds since then, but I still get a buzz from some of this old gear. Perhaps this is because when I was a lad, this gear was still in regular use!

 

Peter Waters G3OJV

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Hustler Mobile Antennas   January 19th, 2016

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Operating HF mobile can be great fun and I have done my fair share of this form of operating. It is great for holidays and so winter tends to be the closed season for mobile operation. But we are about half way through winter so it is not too early to start thinking about mobile operation.

One of the factors that you need to consider when operating mobile is the efficiency of the antenna. On 10m we can achieve high efficiency because a full size quarter wave is only 8ft and it is possible to come close to this on a car. But as we go lower in frequency so the antenna becomes a smaller fraction of a full size quarter wave and the efficiency begins to drop in a big way. If we take 6ft as being a typical antenna length for HF mobile, then on 40m the whip is around 20% of full size. This is rather like a 4 inch long 2m band whip, so you can see the limitaions and the need to make the best of what is a very short antenna. There are really four main factors that affect the performance. These are, the antenna length, the position of the loading coil, the diameter of the loading coil and the impedance matching.

I have always considered the Hustler range to offer some of the best features. They employ centre loading which is far better than base loading. The length of the antenna is around 6ft or a little more and the coil has a large diameter. Matching is something that has to be dealt with on a case by case basis and there is nothing that you can do with the antenna design to make a great deal of difference. The MFJ mobile matcher is one of the best options here.

The only downside of the Hustler design is that you need to change the loading coil and its top resonator in order to change bands. But this is a small price to pay for superior efficiency.

 

G3OJV

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It perhaps does not really matter that much, other than giving customers some idea of who the majority of customers are buying Kenwood from. However, it does seem to worry one dealer in particular, a great deal. So much so that he chose to complain to the RSGB that HE was the biggest Kenwood dealer and that anybody advertising otherwise should be prevented from making such claims.

 

The RSGB seem to take the view that if there is a complaint, it is our job to prove that what we advertise is true, rather than asking the complainant to come up with proof. But then the RSGB seem to have their favoured dealer, and there is nothing much we can do about that, it has been like that for years!

 

However, in this particular case, the dealer in question was proved wrong! He in fact is NOT the largest Kenwood dealer; we are!. Such was the arrogance of the complainant that he assumed that he was the biggest Kenwood dealer, but did not have the sense to check his facts before making the complaint. What is more, the RSGB chose to request us to prove the fact rather than ask their “favoured” dealer to provide proof of his claim. In other words, they believed him rather than us.

 

Peter G3OJV

 

 

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