Welcome to my amateur radio and electronics Blog. My name is Carl and I live between Northwood and Rickmansworth on the Greater London / Hertfordshire border. This new blog was started 26th December 2020 although I am in the process of transferring some of the more interesting posts from my old Blogspot pages. My main radio interests are:

* VHF to SHF DXing and contesting
* HF Dxing, digital modes and contesting (particularly RTTY contesting)
* Equipment and antenna construction, including homebrew and kits

My personal contest callsign is G2K. When contesting with ‘The Rats’ you may hear me using either our club call G3RAT or our club contest call G2D, we also have the club call M0HRF but that is used somewhat less now that we have been issued G3RAT.

Some of the equipment at M0ICR:

Icom 7600 V2
Acom 1010

Often I will use a seperate full-wave loop antenna on receive (at the home QTH) which is used to receive on an SDR Play 2 using SDR Console 3.0 software.

SDR Console v3.0
Trusty old workhorse for 2m DXing – the IC751 with MuTek front end
Another oldie but goldie! The hybrid Kenwood TS530SP

Despite the fancy Icoms etc and potential to operate up to 400W on HF when the situation is appropriate I still very much enjoy operating low power low cost radio. I am a big fan of Hans Summers and his QRP Labs enterprise. You can find Hans’ website here and his QRP Labs shop here. I particularly enjoy the QCX Mini range of CW QRP transceivers owning one for each of 20m and 40m. See Hans’ QCX Mini Youtube video here. Here is one of my QCX Minis connected to a QRP Labs GPS module:


Drowned Rats Radio Group

I am proud to be a founding member of the Drowned Rats Radio Group, if you want to know more about the Rats check out our webpage at About Us | Drowned Rats Radio Group (g3rat.com). We are VHF and above enthusiasts (although we also do some HF!), we do contesting and more. Recruiting now!

We are always looking for new members to join the team

We welcome newcomers and old-hands alike, full training is given and we have a lot of fun! If you are in the UK and would like more information including how to get involved in the weekly VHF-SHF activity contests and/or to come out with us on one of our field events please contact us on the link above or feel free to email me direct. If you’re new to VHF and above contesting in the UK check out my beginners guide here.

English Castles Activations and Two Tree Island

The second activation was conducted on the same day as the Canvey Rally which also presented an opportunity to activate Canvey Island (west and east – WAB TQ78 and TQ88) for the Worked all Britain group. I also managed to activate Two Tree Island (TQ88) for the WABers, that activation also included Parks on the Air (POTA) G-0090 (Leigh Nature Reserve).
Equipment used: Yaesu FT857D, Ampro whip antennas for 20m and 40m, Ultramax 18Ah LifePO4 battery.

Two Tree Island
The activation area

Find out more about ECA here: https://englishcastlesawards.uk/

Find out more about WAB here: http://wab.intermip.net/default.php

Fina out more about POTA here: https://parksontheair.com/

A few nice English Castles Awards

Find out more about the English Castle Award (ECA) programme here: https://englishcastlesawards.uk/
The ECA programme is part of the World Castle Award (WCA) here: http://wcagroup.org/
Google Earth KMZ layers showing the English Castle references and 1000m activation zones can be downloaded from this ECA page along with a Google Maps version also: https://englishcastlesawards.uk/reference-map/

Note how activation zones overlap so it is possible to activate multiple castle reference from a single operating site.

Thanks to Bob M0MJA for his management of the ECA programme.