Saturday, November 29, 2014

Connected To Space

I suppose like most people I've dreamed of somehow being connected to space.
Tonight I realised that dream by listening to the distorted tones of ham radio operators talking to each other using a satellite in earth's orbit. I couldn't understand what they were saying because I didn't have the right mode on the scanner I was using but there were definitely voices behind the static. I was excited about ISS being the first station I'd pick up but it wasn't to be. Instead FunCube-1 provided the delight of being connected to space.
While I know that orbiting satellites aren't that far out into space they are nevertheless outside of our existence and separate from us while constantly connecting us to each other. The mere fact that ordinary people like me can choose where and when to communicate with other people via space is to me pretty darn amazing.
So there you have it. One man, one scanner and a bit of research and I'm connected to space. The next job is to get a ham radio license and start chatting back.
As ConcreteDog said when we met.
I should just do it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

So Much To Do, So Much To Learn

I thought I'd better write something here because it's been so long since I have.
There's been quite a lot going on in the last few months so I better tell you what I've been doing. I've been to Wales where my excellent host ConcreteDog showed me around his beautiful part of the world. I've been to Ramsgate with my GFs cousin Amy, another brilliant host. I have yet to edit video footage of these two trips but that'll happen before the year is out.
Mostly what has distracted me from writing here is listening to my radios and staring through my telescopes. I'm fascinated by what can be found both in and beyond our atmosphere. It's hard to drag myself away from learning about all this new stuff, I haven't even written any music. I'm not sure anyone would be interested in the fact that I have decoded some PSK31 although I might make a tutorial video or two for beginners in the SWL hobby as there seems to be a lot of old videos on YouTube that haven't kept up with the fast pace of iOS apps.
I'm also thinking about getting a CB radio before I venture into getting my Ham licence. This is due to new sets including SSB with a transmitting power of 12w which makes DXing possible without having a licence.
I'll try and blog a bit more about what I'm up to and get some videos online. I'll apologise now if they send you to sleep or seem way too nerdy. I may be just talking to myself but it's probably better than the radio silence of late.
I'll be back soon.