Hello and welcome to my Blog, my name is Chris, a bus driver for First Mendip based in Wells, Somerset. Married to Fiona, we live in Midsomer Norton near Bath, with Harvey the dog and Boots the cat. My main hobby is Amateur Radio and I hold the call sign G4KVI. I am the repeater keeper for GB3UB and MB7UB. I have a fascination for the weather and all things to do with nature and science. I am a biker and currently ride a Honda CBfF600. As a Christian I worship, when shifts allow at St. Nicolas Church in Radstock. These are my observations on my life, both at work and at home.

30 Jan 2011

Shack Move (update)

The shack move is still ongoing!! However the weather station is now back on and now outputting data to PWS.
The APRS Station is also back on but still limited voice operations as I cannot get in the loft yet to reroute to 2/70 aerial.

29 Jan 2011

Shack Move

Over the next few days I will be moving the shack back up stairs. I had moved from the top room but it has proved to have been a bad move and we found we had less space. So back we go. This does means the weather station will properly be off for a couple of days.

23 Jan 2011

Update on APRS

Tried the two APRS applications and the conclusion I have come to is that they are both very good but in different ways. APRSDROID  is the one I have decided is the best for me. It is very simple to use and runs in the background without using too much battery power. The U2APRS has many more features. It can show your position on a map, enable you send messages. However it seems to be battery hungry and as it is not a true Android App it is not easy to switch too. However if you can power the phone and use the gps this is the app to use. The only problem still seems to be that the position can be off due to WiFi networks having the wrong address recorded.This seems in part down to Google collecting data when they were recording images for Google earth. This would be fine if they had some means for the data to be corrected. Anyway, apart from that it is proving a very useful application.

12 Jan 2011

APRS on a smart phone

Been experimenting with the new Android phone and having a far bit of success with APRS and Echolink. These are both Amateur Radio applications. I have been using APRSDROID. This works very well, simple to use and runs in the background without any need for 'fiddling'. It has the ability to use the phone network to work out the position. It can also use the inbuilt GPS but this requires the phone to be able to 'see' the sky. Not an easy thing in a bus. The only problem with this is that when the phone is in open ground it appears to lock on to the nearest mast site and not the exact location. This is a minor bug as when it is in town the location is pretty accurate. Today I have found another application. U2APRS. This seems to have more features on so will give it a try for a couple of days and see how it goes.

9 Jan 2011

A very smart, SmartPhone

Following a bit of a cock up on the Christmas present front. Both Fiona and myself have ended up with new Smart-phones. Mine runs the Google 'Android' software. I am always a bit sceptical about some new technologies, but this one has blown me away. The amount of available  'Apps' (programs) is impressive. I now can carry in my pocket. A telephone, a clock,  Internet browser, full am,FM, DAB internet radio. An APRS tracker. Able to work Amateur Radio via Echolink. And many other things I haven't discovered!

My weather data