Meteor scatter

The Perseids are with us, peaking on 12th August apparently. Anyway, I’ve never received any MSK144 before so I left the rig running two nights ago on 50.280 and actually received two properly decoded CQs from a DK station. Now, if I had a decent aerial, and more watts…

Google’s hopeless reCaptcha strikes again!

Good grief. The infernal recaptcha is used on the car insurance amendment form of a well known insurer. I had to use this today as it is a lot easier than the phone. SEVEN screens of asking me to click every road sign and every store front, then the form would not finish, simply saying ‘field required’ – all were filled in correctly. No way back so I reloaded and started that part of the form over, another SEVEN screens, this time road signs and busses. Finally I got through. So FOURTEEN of these infuriating Google screens later I got to the end of the form. Actually, phoning would be easier, let’s give up on these web forms, as the use of this maddening junk makes it wholly useless now.

Oh yes and still if I dare click for the audio version it just tells me I have clearly mounted an automated attack and blocks all further requests. Clearing all my cookies sorted that one but the voices are generally unintelligible, so little help there.

Again with the photo ID

I need to collect some building supplies. These were ordered online ‘click and collect’, the emails and associated text comes to my phone, and yet I am told I need to bring photographic ID with me. I wonder if they will accept a photo of my passport photo on my phone… if there’s no queue I may well try that out!

Ok I can see the point, after all I already paid for the supplies and I would be really cross if someone faked my name and grabbed them.

Maybe if there was some government-backed ID other than a passport that can prove I am me… oh, wait.

Not a CV2429…

Here apparently is a CV2429, clearly marked on the valve which appears to have a glass tube surrounding the rod coming from the top connection going into a metal cylinder. I thought this was quite interesting when I received it, but a CV2429 is supposed to be a TR tube and looks nothing remotely like this guy!

D-Star registration blues

So I got an Icom ID-51 so I will have DMR, C4FM and D-Star. Well why not… it’s currently on its initial charge for 2 more hours or so. I though that a good time to read the manual and sort out registration. So far, not so good.

DMR was simple. I can’t remember what I did for C4FM but it all works. D-Star? I followed the guidance and looked for the nearest repeater in the list. But the nearest one in that list is now C4FM. Ok, next nearest. That has a registration URL which takes me to an information page on which there is no sign of anywhere to go to register. Right. Next nearest – and no way I could contact it from here – has a broken registration URL.

So I started at the top of the list. I gave up after 15 – most had no registration URL, the rest had broken links or had apparently gone over to DMR. I picked a few others at random, all follow the same tale.

Off to Icom UK via Google – it has a link to a registration form but it does not actually work, i.e. you end up back on the page with the link. Google finds an old form – I guess it’s old anyway and I’ve no intention of putting my details into it. But at least the Icom page has an email option… and that worked fine and I am set to go! Well, I will be once I read up about how etc.

More on Google’s reCaptcha

Ok so now this is getting annoying. Chasing these images round a screen and waiting for new ones to slowly fade in has reached the point now that I no longer engage and will email every website that I need information from to tell them they need to provide it some other way that does not require this ridiculous interaction.

To make matters worse, today I clicked the little headphone icon. Immediately a popup appeared whinging that my network is making automated queries (so, two then, and manual) and I can get no further. Switching to 4G got past that and the audio clip did then work, and is actually a whole lot easier than chasing squares.

Forcing the ID card debate?

I just caught sight of a document giving instructions to people who are attending an interview and claiming to be under ‘statutory identification rules’ but not giving any reference to them.

Bear in mind that these days we increasingly do everything online and, in some cases it actually now costs to get paper copies of bills when they can be delivered electronically.

First off, the attendee is required to produce either a passport, evidence of UK nationality, or a full driving licence. Af far as I am aware there is no law stating that I must drive or even hold a passport if I don’t travel outside the UK.

Next, two items are required out of a set: bank (etc) statement; credit card statement; original birth or adoption certificate; utility bill or council tax bill but not a mobile phone bill. it would appear that this aims to find out if your address is correct.

Finally you need to provide your National Insurance card or original letter.

So what if you have no passport, no driving licence, and all your bills are electronic? The only winner here is your NI number.

I’ve seen this kind of requirement elsewhere too. It always makes me wonder that either these various departments are so hopelessly out of date with the modern world that they have not yet caught up to the fact that paper bills are rare, or this is a ay to frustrate everyone so much that, if the ID Card debate is ever restarted everyone will accept them willingly!

And finally…

I can’t believe I’ve not updated this site since last year! Well I now have 4 boxes of CV valves to sort out, including a CV2, my lowest number. A lot of valves have left the workshop – basically for free as there is so little interest and as I said before I am no longer engaging with eBay (the money is not worth the hassle). 8 large boxes of them and several smaller boxes filled a car. There are a lot left which will be listed here under Sales at some time and what does not sell will go to auction. If you see anything on the site that is definitely not CV marked then it will b for sale, except a few cases. I am even considering letting the REL valves and the 1B series go now. Most of the Germans are sold or are spoken for as are one or two of the Russian radar CRT-types. Anyway, none of those are listed as exhibits now.

Hyper bands

The bands were hyper last night, I’ve never experienced Es until now. 6m looked like 20m it was so crammed. I managed 3 FT8 QSOs in quick succession which is a lot for me and anyway 10W into a bit of wet string does not compare well when the waterfall is completely packed with strong signals. 10m was equally packed – I didn’t try further down as sleep beckoned. I did try a couple of voice calls but ended swamped in a pile-up but hey, next time. Quite a bit of morse on 6m too… my learning is way too little at the moment but hopefully will pick up next month. There was even a bit of 4m FM about.