Amateur Television for the BBC Micro by Ron Bray G8VEH

Being a vintage computer collector (My Retro Computing site)  and a amateur radio enthusiast its always a nice surprise to find some software that covers both bases.

On a disk I found today was some ATV software by Ron Bray G8VEH for the BBC Micro. The software designed test cards and other screens to be transmitted over ATV.

After reading the read me file that came with the software, I re-configured it for my call sign and locator. Take a look through the screen captures I have taken. I took the screen shots from inside an emulator. I have tried the software on the real hardware and it looks great!

Unfortunately, I don’t have the hardware to transmit ATV signals.

Here is a copy of the instructions that came with the software readme.txt
I will upload a copy of the disk if I can get approval from the writer of the software.

Upgrading the Ultimate3 QRSS / WSPR Transmitter Kit chip

The Ultimate 3 is a small, yet powerful low power transmitter. It supports many different modes, including CW, WSPR, Hell and now PI4.

Every so often, a new version of the software for the Ultimate 3 gets released, There are several methods on how to upgrade the software. I use a Arduino Uno and the Phenoptix AVRISP shield.


Phenoptix AVRISP

I use AVRDUDE to programming this chip. You run AVRDUDE in a command prompt in Windows, and in a shell in Linux.

This is the command I used to upgrade to version 3.06 of the Ultimate 3 software. Obviously, you may find that you will need to change the COM port.

avrdude -p m328p -P com13 -c arduino -b 19200 -U flash:w:Ultimate3.06.hex -U eeprom:w:Ultimate3.06.eep -U lfuse:w:0xF7:m -U hfuse:w:0xD9:m -U efuse:w:0xFC:m -U lock:w:0xFF:m -U calibration:w:0xFFFFFFB9

Ofcom – Licence Revocation

It is understood about 1,000 amateur radio licences will be in the first batch set to be revoked by Ofcom

Prior to the introduction of the lifetime licence in December 2006 licences had expired if not renewed annually. After 2006 Ofcom were still able to cancel lifetime licences if requested by the holder but it appears a process was not in-place to enable them to revoke an amateur licence.

If Ofcom wishes to revoke a wireless telegraphy licence, it must follow these steps:
• notify the licensee of the reasons for which it proposes to revoke the licence;
• specify a period in which the licensee may make representations;
• decide whether or not to revoke the licence within one month of the end of that period; and
• notify the holder of its decision within a week of making it.

The first batch to be revoked will comprise Amateur Radio Licences which were due to be revalidated between September 2012 and January 2013, both months being inclusive. Ofcom will be using the last known postal address held on file for correspondence with the holder.

Ofcom announcement

How to revalidate your licence

Source :

SSTV transmissions from the ISS – December 2014


The Russian ARISS team members plan to activate SSTV from the International Space Station on Thursday, December 18 and Saturday, December 20, 2014.

Expected SSTV mode will be PD180 on 145.800 MHz with 3 minute off periods between transmissions. A total of 12 different photos will be sent during the operational period.

Start time would be around 14:20 UT on December 18 and 12:40 UT on December 20. The transmissions should terminate around 21:30 UT each day.

SpaceX will be launching to the this week and delays in the launch could change SSTV operational times.

Gaston Bertels – ON4WF
ARISS-Europe Chair

Read more from the source article : SSTV transmissions from the ISS

BBC News – The very particular world of amateur radio

In the face of the internet, mobiles and instant messaging you might expect the hobby of amateur radio – or ham radio as it’s also known – to be on the decline.

But in the last three years, the number of amateur radio licences has risen by over 8,000 – with 80,000 currently issued in the UK.

Using designated frequencies, amateur radio enthusiasts communicate with people over the world. Many prefer the relaxed approach of ‘rag chewing’ or chatting at length with people, who often become friends – while at the opposite end of the spectrum ‘contesters’ compete to make as many contacts as possible in a given period.

Full article with video here : BBC News – The very particular world of amateur radio