Boring few weeks

Well its been over two weeks since my last blog and I’d like to say lots has happened – but it hasn’t

My new HD Camcorder arrived as expected but I really haven’t had much of a play with it. The weather hasn’t been that good to get out and about; and I’ve been fairly busy with work and other things that has got in the way a bit. Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll be able to give it a good testing.

As I said, the weather has been pretty bad. Plenty of windy 60mph+ days and lots of rain made for a couple of interesting days; especially when the sea got pretty high out the front – I live right next to a harbour. It was just inches from being high enough to get over the harbour wall.

Luckily the wind didn’t damage either my VHF/UHF or SBS antennas attached to the chimney so everything is normal there; but my attempts at creating another VHF/UHF antenna didn’t end up too well. I appear to have lost all skill in soldering and couldn’t get anything to stick together. After hours of trying I’ve just given up – at this rate it would start to get more expensive building my own than buying a prebuilt one. So I’m going to look into getting one online sometime soon – probably at the same time as getting a Bearcat UBC800XLT

The HF listening has been good. In fact I tend to listen to that more than anything at the moment. Plenty of stuff has been heard with Shanwick; and I was able to catch a couple of B52s getting refuelled a couple of weeks back. I’ve been able to rig up my MVT7100 to a spare length of co-ax and the reception with this is good enough that I can listen to two HF freqs at the same time

There really isn’t much else to say about the last few weeks. Because of the weather I haven’t taken any photos so there’s nothing to do with the website, although I am planning to go through some of my older images to add them. Now the evenings are darker it will give me something to do. I’ll probably get on with some more art too.

Thats if I’m not online playing Call of Duty – Black Ops 🙂


Star gazing

I wonder what makes us do things? You know, you set out to do one thing; and that leads to another; and that leads to another

I can’t even remember how I ended up standing in the freezing cold, at night, camera at the ready waiting for the International Space Station to fly past but the other night that’s exactly what I was doing.

I’ve never tried taking pictures of satellites/Space Stations before so it was a whole new learning experience and to be honest I didn’t get any good results; and to top things off, having waited for over an hour since the previous pass of the ISS (which was seen, nice and bright whilst it travelled over Southern France – not bad from Maidens), a big band of cloud appeared from nowhere and hid it from view. Never mind, it’s here all week – although I am in Scotland and so is the cloud

My investigation of tracking the ISS has led me down various routes of looking for satellites; and has made me think about getting software that will let me convert the signals from the NOAA weather satellites into images on my computer. Of course, with the computer I use starting to get maxed out with SBS, Planeplotter etc I’ll probably need a new computer. Maybe I’ll use my laptop that just sits around doing nothing these days, or revive the old computer that’s in a box in the loft. It’s also made me think about getting a few more scanners/receivers to listen to some other things and download data – I think I’m getting old 🙂 I mean it was a saturday night, I should’ve been out not standing in the garden looking at the sky

Satellite passing through Sagittarius

Jupiter, with one of the moons passing in front of it

I’ve been listening to a bit of HF recently too; mainly Shanwick, but there has been a bit of activity with B1’s and some Quids over the Atlantic. I missed a couple of B52’s getting refuelled last night but there were other things to do as usual – and as always it was the house.

Probably the biggest decision I’ve made this week is to purchase a HD Camcorder. Hopefully it’s on its way as I type. I’ve gone for a Panasonic HDC-TM700. It’s had great reviews and I think it’ll be exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’ve been very happy with my Panasonic point and shoot camera and this is a major step up. I’m sure some videos will be finding their way online soon

And finally, World Airline Fleets News arrived yesterday and there’s one of my pictures in there from Prestwick