Friday, 26 May 2023



I finally managed to venture out with the Mission RGO One and activate POTA G-0070 on both CW and SSB. My normal spot was not useable as the sheep were out, so I changed site and I am glad I did.  It was a better location and I could get the Slidewinder away from the public.  There were much fewer of them here too!  I put 8 radials on the Slidewinder and it worked well.

I had some issues early on and the tuner in the RGO ONE was struggling.  I had another look and the PL259 at the bottom of the Slidewinder was not fully tight.  My bad as they say.  Now everything worked just fine.

I was able to sit outside the car and the chair was surprisingly comfortable.  The little table was OK but a little small and made CW a bit more difficult as it tended to sway.  On the list is a better table for sure!

The sun was out all day and the view was glorious!  Morecambe Bay is such a beautiful place to be.

I did learn a valuable lesson.  you would think at my age I would have thought about this and in fact, I did bring my Tilley hat with me, then completely forgot to change to it!  Learn my lesson and don't wear a baseball cap in direct sun! I should have 'got down with the kids' and worn it backwards :)

For some reason, my dear wife thinks this is hilarious!

I have to say that my Morse head was not on today for some reason but I managed a few contacts and they were patient with me :)

40m can be tricky at times in the UK.  Today was no exception and the band was not being kind.  I really thought that I may not complete the activation at times.  After battling 40m for a while, I made the decision to move to 20m.  I started on CW and sent a spot to the POTA website but nothing doing. 

I was really getting worried now and I moved to SSB with trepidation.  After all, CW is easier than SSB for contacts, right?

I posted a spot on the POTA website and started calling.  Very quickly, I had a good run going.  By this time, I had gone to 40W and this made all the difference.  Of course, this is why the RGO ONE was a good fit for me.  It behaved beautifully all the way through.  I didn't bother trimming the RF gain as some stations were very weak with me but to be honest, there was no need.  The radio was really quiet with just the interference from the electrified railway track close by.  I only got this when a train went by, so I wasn't worried about that either.

I ended up with 28 contacts in total and it was getting close to lunchtime, so once the run finished, I packed up.  I found a perfect Pelicase copy to put the portable shack in for transport.

The RGO ONE fitted my operating style perfectly, as I hoped it would and Linda recorded my TX audio on her JST-245.  The result sounded superb and I am really happy with it.  I think this radio and I are going to be very happy together.  I just need to get a little more used to it but it really is not hard to use.  

Everything works as it should and I found it a perfect portable HF radio.

I recorded a video or my activation and I hope you enjoy it.  The GoPro battery ran out about halfway through, so I missed my little run on 20m SSB.  Additional batteries are on order!

73 Ian

Sunday, 21 May 2023



I was lucky to be able to buy this little radio recently and boy am I glad I did!  I love small form factor radios and this immediately reminded me of my K2.  It's around the same size and covers all bands from 160m - 10m including 60m.  This particular radio is fully kitted out with all the current options, including the optional additional 4 pole filter, ATU, Noise blanker and H Mode Mixer.

Like the K2, it is a single down conversion superhet and the features and specs are below.

As anyone who follows my exploits on YouTube or on this blog, I like to go portable.  My noise floor at home is terrible and someone is managing to put something on charge at weekends that is making 20m difficult now!

I have had reports that the internal speaker is not great but I have to say that I have found it fine and loud!  Perhaps I am less bothered about it sounding 'tinny' than others.  With my ears, that is probably a good thing 😂

I downloaded the manual from the website and had a good read.  It is really not that complicated a radio, which I love and everything you need on a regular basis is on the front panel, with the menu items being reserved for 'set and forget' items.

One thing I was not happy with was the sound of the narrow filter on SSB.  This is variable and with this kind of filter you expect some boxiness of the audio at narrower bandwidths but it was really boxy.  I grabbed the filter manual and had a look.  The filter centre points and bandwidths are user adjustable and you can stay in the menu while you adjust, making it a breeze.  I got it where I wanted it and it is much better now.  Again, probably the difference in my ears compared to the previous owner.

The one thing I am hoping for is the promised audio filter.  There is a socket on the board for it, so hopefully this will arrive soon.

Initial operation was on SSB with 10W.  The radio will do 50W but when I am portable I tend to work QRP, so why not? 😎 I was at the home shack and so was using my 40/80m trap dipole at 35ft and my Cushcraft R6000 vertical.  I got 54 from Minsk on 20m and 59 plus from Orkney on 40m.  Considering the band conditions, I was extremely pleased to say the least.

I am sure that I will continue to tweak things for a little while but I am absolutely in love with this radio already!  It is firmware upgradable and so I expect it to get even better over time.

The radio was designed and is manufactured in Bulgaria by Boris, LZ2JR.

You can find a much more detailed review on Tom's blog at

Here is a short YouTube video showing my initial contacts


  • QRP/QRO output 1 – 50W [1 watt increments]
  • All mode(?) shortwave operation – coverage of all HAM HF bands (160m/60m optional) No AM/FM modes
  • High dynamic range receiver design including high IP3 monolithic linear amplifiers in the front end and diode ring RX mixer or H-mode first mixer (option).
  • Low phase noise first LO – SI570 XO/VCXO chip.
  • Full/semi (delay) QSK on CW; PTT/VOX operation on SSB. Strict RX/TX sequencing scheme. No click sounds at all!
  • Down conversion superhet topology with popular 9MHz IF
  • Custom made crystal filters for SSB and CW and variable crystal 4 pole filter – Johnson type 200…2000Hz
  • Fast acting AGC (fast and slow) with 134kHz dedicated IF
  • Compact and lightweight body (5lbs / 2.3kg)
  • Custom made multicolour backlit FSTN LCD
  • Custom moulded front panel with ergonomic controls.
  • Silent operation with no clicking relays inside – solid state GaAs PHEMT SPDT switches on RX (BPF and TX to RX switching) and ultrafast rectifying diodes (LPF)
  • Modular construction – Main board serves as a “chassis” also fits all the external connectors, daughter boards, inter-connections and acts as a cable harness.
  • Optional modules – Noise Blanker (NB), Audio Filter (AF), ATU, XVRTER, PC control via CAT protocol; USB UART – FTDI chipset
  • Double CPU circuitry control for front panel and main board – both field programmable via USB interface.
  • Memory morse code keyer (Curtis A, CMOS B); 4 Memory locations 128 bytes each

  • Classic superhet design – with popular 9MHz intermediate frequency. Filter method DSB to SSB modulation
  • Coverage of the 9 HAM HF bands (160m optional)
  • High dynamic range receiver design including high IP3 monolithic IC in the front end and H-mode first mixer
  • Fast acting IF (134kHz) AGC.
  • Clickless operation – solid state GaAs PHEMT SPDT switches on RX, (bandpass filtersTX/RX) and ultra fast rectifier diodes (LPF)
  • Custom multicolor FSTN LCD (Especially developed for this project)
  • Custom made plastic face plate, unique and ergonomic knob controls
  • Custom made crystal filters – 6,8 pole, CF=9MHz, 2.8kHz, 2.7kHz, 1kHz, 500Hz

  • Double CPU circuitry control for front panel and mother board, both field programmable via implemented USB hub.

  • Modular construction with no “flying wires” inside the box. Transceiver is built up on a main – mother board which has two functions. First to serve as a “chassis” and second to fit all the external connectors, daughter boards, inter-connections and acts as cable harness.
  • Plenty of optional modules: Audio filters, Automatic antenna tuner (ATU), Noise blanker (NB), narrow/wide band IF crystal filters.
  • Linear final amplifier PA 50W with precise power adjustment especially for QRP operations. Forget noisy FANs – 25W  – unlimited time!! QRO work – with max power of 50W driving should be sufficient for a kilowatt amplifier.
  • Personal computer control CAT via USB
  • Morse code keyer (Curtis A, CMOS B)
  • Contest and DX-pedition operation conveniences
  • Both Kit & Pre-Built versions will be available for sale

  • Thursday, 18 May 2023


    OK, this is a bit of a rant I guess.  I will try to be objective and start with basic stuff :)

    The idea of a callsign is to identify the station transmitting.  To this end, we have a protocol that makes sense.

    Always Give Your Own Callsign Last!

    So, if you are in a QSO and passing the transmission and wish to give both callsigns, the format is 'To You From Me'

    Therefore, if I was passing transmission to my dear wife, I would say

    G0YLM, from G0VGS

    I might even simplify it further by simply saying 

    G0YLM, G0VGS.

    She might then say, 

    G0VGS, G0YLM

    This confirms the owner of both callsigns.  I am G0VGS and she is G0YLM.  Simple and intuitive.  Think of it as a greetings card.  

    To Ian, Happy Birthday, from Linda.

    Of course, the only callsign you are required to give is your own.  In a net though, especially a 'round robin' style net, passing the transmission ensures that it is going to a specific station.

    While we are on the subject of nets, ALWAYS pass it to a specific station!  If you are not sure who to pass it to, pass it to net control, or at least to the last person you heard.  NEVER throw it up in the air!  This only causes confusion and people start doubling with each other with the best intentions.

    These are simple little 'rules' that can only help improve operating practices.


    OK, here goes!  Deep breath!

    Something I have noticed recently and is really starting to annoy me are incomplete handovers.  People give your callsign and completely omit theirs!  Anyone listening will be totally confused by this!  I hear this on the start of an over and at the end too!

    For example.  I pass it over to G7RXM..

    G7RXM, G0VGS

    He then says..


    then carries on with his over.  So who is G0VGS?  Is it me or him?  I hear it at the end too.  G7RXM is passing it to G0VGS..

    Over to you Ian, G0VGS...

    I then reply

    G7RXM, G0VGS

    Again, who owns what callsign????  This is simply lazy and confusing.  Protocols are there for a reason and we should, for good operating practice, try to be as professional as possible.  It is truly annoying!!


    Maybe it is just me but it is only a simple little thing that can cause real confusion.  You would actually fail some professional exams for this kind of error.  Knowing who owns which callsign is a fundamental part of our hobby.  

    73 de G0VGS

    Wednesday, 17 May 2023



    Just a short post to thank the guys at M1ECC Antennas for their amazing service.  I ordered a Slidewinder extension mast yesterday at 10:30 am and the Post Office delivered it this morning at 10am!

    Just amazing service.  Many thanks.

    (I guess I should thank the Royal Mail too ;))

    73 Ian

    Tuesday, 16 May 2023



    I have wanted a decent headset to use with my KX3 for some time.  The one everyone loved was the Yamaha but is is not available in the UK currently.  I had heard about the Koss headset and did some research.  There are 2 versions and you need to make sure that the version you go for has the electret mic element.  The Koss SB-45 fits the bill perfectly.

    The headset fold up nicely into quite a small space and fits in my Go-Box without issue.  The boom is very flexible and the ear cups go over my ears and are very comfortable.

    The headset itself is really light as is the head pressure.  I could wear these for a long time without issue.  The cord is terminated in 2 3.5mm stereo jack plugs and are clearly labelled with the usual symbols on for mic and phones, as well as being different colours.

    For the KX3, I simply plug both in and then use the XMIT button on the bottom left as a PTT.  It works really well.

    I believe that a simple push button PTT can be made that plugs into the ACC jack of the KX3 and I will be looking at this in the future.

    On air, I get great reports on audio and the receive audio is crisp and clear.  These headphones are designed for communications and it shows.

    I can thoroughly recommend them and as they are £33 on Amazon at the time of writing, they are not going to break the bank either!

    I have made a short video about the headset and you can find it below..

    73 Ian

    Saturday, 13 May 2023



    I have needed a decent, easy to use SWR Meter and power meter for some time that covered VHF/UHF and this fits the bill nicely.  It is simplicity itself to use and gives plenty of information on the display.

    Mine needed charging out of the box but it does come with a very Apple like charging plug and a short USB lead.  Charging took very little time and it will be interesting to see how long the charge holds.

    Powering on and off is a little unintuitive but once you know, you know :). You hold the red button and the display backlight comes on.  A timer then shows on the screen that counts down until it boots up.  You can then release the button.  Powering down is the same but at the end of the countdown it simply switches off.

    The display shows the RF power, frequency and VSWR, as well as showing both forward and reflected power.  It also gives you an idea of what percentage of your RF power is actually being sent up the coax to the aerial.

    If you have equipment that is calibrated, there is a menu that allows you to tweak the configuration of the meter to reassure you of its accuracy.  In my tests it seemed just fine.

    I got this from Amazon and I was happy with the price I paid for what is a very useful piece of kit.

    I have done a short unboxing video and you can find it below.

    73 Ian

    Friday, 12 May 2023



    A good friend of mine, Brian G0RDH, recently purchased a Slidewinder kit and added a new piece of kit, the Slidewinder Extension Mast.  This is a 1ft/300mm length of aluminium, threaded at one end and a 3/8 socket at the other.  I was interested to find out just what difference it made, if any.

    It was a lovely day, so I set out to test it.  The results were definitely positive.  It is quite surprising just how much difference it made on some bands.

    I did manage a short activation, working 4 stations on 20m CW, from Croatia to Barrow :)

    Rather than cover everything in this post, I did make a video of my findings.  You will find it below and I hope you enjoy it.

    CAVEAT - I made a huge mistake when looking at 10m in the video.  I should have removed the coil!  I blame age!

    I will definitely be getting this to add to my Slidewinder setup.  I have not tested it on the tripod as yet, so more fun to be had there. :)

    73 Ian