Intermediate Call Sign

Received my Radio Ham pass confirmation today, logging into the OFCOM website, I have the new callsign of 2E0DDI, I don’t think I’ll change all my details on QRZ.Com and other forums just yet from M6EID as I’m considering taking the advanced license test in the next few months.

Weather Site Minor Additions

Minor tweaking carried out today:

Added Lightning Analysis tab, this opens another page to show statistics from the Boltek lightning detector.

Expanded to Pollen page to show information from The Weather Channel, I have retained the Chatteris map as this has greater detail on it when you follow the link by clicking the map directly.

Glossary of terms added.

Link from the lightning StormVue NGX and Alerts Page has been set up via the TSentry icon, this link takes you to the Contact Me page – TSentry is the software which send the e-mails when certain conditions are met, have a look at the Alerts Page to see what they are.

Lightning Detectors Working Overtime

Had a good electrical storm that Chatteris Weathers own lightning detectors tracked successfully, the software gives each storm cell a reference number, direction bearing in degrees, distance from Chatteris in miles and it’s status, i.e. weak and steady.

The software will also send subscribers an e-mail when a storm meets certain triggers, a e-mail is also automatically sent when no lightning has been detected for over 30 minutes.

Click on link for further details on the alert scheme – To Alerts Page.

My Humble Radio Setup

I have hopefully finished battering the credit card (well for now), and have the radio and ancillaries, the next purchase will be the external aerial, but I will do another page on that.

I decided on a Kenwood TS-2000 multi-band transceiver as this will give me all the flexibility I believe I require, this is powered by a EP-925 PSU with an output current of 25A and a peak of 30A. All the reviews on this power supply were right in that it is really noisy when the cooling fan kicks in, I have done the mod which is all over the internet and is simply a 1.5K resistor in series with the thermostat, this ‘fools’ the cooling fan circuit and has the fan running at a very low speed all the time, should the thermostat open due to high temperature, the fan will go to full speed and full cooling.

SAM_5009

I also bought a Signalink mainly in preparation for PSK31 when I get the aerial sorted, I will also explore all other data modes when I get the chance, the Signalink is configure to Radio Ham Deluxe program and works really well, again I copied others in downloading Skype so I can remote into the TS-2000 from a laptop, currently my license allows me to do this only from within the house as it is still classed as being attended, a full license holder can use this in remote mode away from the house.

I imported a MFJ-949E Antenna Matching Unit, this is not connected to anything yet, but looks nice 🙂

SAM_5012

Passed Intermediate Test

Undertook the Intermediate License radio amateur Test under the watchful eye of Cambridge University Radio Club who kindly allowed me to take the test with them, even though I’m not a member, or for that matter ever got past going to a comprehensive school!

The test comprises of 45 multiple choice questions on all aspects of the syllabus, once the test is over, the invigilators provisionally mark the paper straight away so you know if you have passed or not.

I got two questions wrong, and although you do have to wait for official confirmation, I’ve passed….Yeah.

Front Page Season Countdown Error Fixed

Noticed that the Season Countdown timer on the main index page had missed out the Summer and went straight into the countdown to Winter from Autumn, I thought this was a bit harsh as we have to give Summer a go at least, the fault turned out to be where I had changed the Americanism of ‘Fall’ to Autumn, this had upset the script, so made really minor word changes and it seems to be ok again.

Weather PC Backup

The Acronis True Image 2013 backup software in online ‘real time’ mode has caused me some problems since the 28th May when I enabled it, with the Weather Display application hanging  and therefore generating a Clientraw data received error on the web site. I have reverted back to incremental backups every 24 hours, bit of a shame that the backup software won’t work as advertised (plenty of user comments on this when googled), but at least this method works.

Weather PC Enhancements

Weather PC RAM increased from 2Gb to 4Gb due to memory resource issues when running Acronis back-up software in ‘real time online’ mode, this memory increase has resolved the problem and now instead of making Incremental backups once per day, the system is creating a constant mirror of the ‘C’ drive to the second hard drive which has also been made bootable.

Hopefully these resilience measures will not be needed, but if history does repeat itself I’m better prepared than last time.

Weather Station Down For Maintenance

Sorry for the interruption to the weather service, I needed to add a second hard drive and clone it, read too much lately of hard drive failures and decided to replace my existing second drive with a new one, rather than a refurbished one off ebay.

Chatteris weather was offline for 3 hrs 42 min, but I did make some changes as well,  such as the clouds page, added a radio player to the marine page and also repaired a broken link with the alerts rss feed.

General information and status updates.