Blog archives 2015 to 2017

8th December 2017

I received a few more pictures today from the ISS. There was also an excellent visual pass of the ISS at around 16:35z today as it passed nearly overhead and headed East.

This picture is a composite of the best bits from two passes:

7th December 2017

A few pictures received today from the ISS on 145.800 MHz in PD120:

29th October 2017

Extremely heavy contest QRM today. Very hard to copy anything.

22nd July 2017

A couple more pics from the ISS tonight:

21st July 2017

Another nice image from the ISS this evening:

20th-21st July 2017

Nice images received from the ISS in PD-120 mode:

7th July 2017

All up-and-running again.

3rd July 2017

The RX pics system is down at the moment for antenna work. I am preparing to install a rotator for my VHF antennas and I have had to temporarily disconnect the HF feeder. 

27th May 2017

System down due to thunderstorms...

Back on the air now. OCF dipole is at about 20 feet, by the way.

27th March 2017

My HF antenna (OCF dipole) is very low at the moment as I am carrying out some antenna work.

My OCF dipole is now 16 feet high in the centre. This may be as good as it gets for a while.

19th March 2017

Contest QRM is particularly bad this weekend.

I have some antenna work planned which might interrupt the rxpics for a while.

27th January 2017

I am upgrading my PC to Windows 10 so the RX pics system will be down for a while. It should be running again tomorrow or Sunday.

22nd January 2017

Lots of contest QRM today :-(

18th December 2016

RX has not been on much today as I have been setting up a new radio (FT-991A) for SSTV. I had some trouble with an earth loop which I think I have now fixed.

8th December 2016

Received this image from the ISS today on 145.800MHz FM in PD180 mode:

31st October 2016

I have replaced my multi-band OCF dipole with a simple dipole for 20 metres. It's only about 5 metres
(16 feet) above the ground but it seems to be working quite well and the noise level is marginally lower than it was on the OCF. It should suffice for SSTV reception in 20 metres.

29th October 2016

The mast which supports my HF antenna is down at the moment whilst I work on a new 6/4m yagi. SSTV RX might not be back until next weekend.

20th August 2016

RX system is running today, even though I am not too fond of JASTA. I will try to delete some of the duplicates and noisy images.

12th August 2016

Just a few selected RX pics today.

17th July 2016

No SSTV this morning as I have borrowed the HF feeder for temporary use on 4 metres - again! Might be back on this afternoon.

Update 14:30z: Back on HF now.

3rd July 2016

No SSTV this morning as I have borrowed the HF feeder for temporary use on 4 metres! Should be back on HF later today.

Update 11:51z: Back on HF now!

18th June 2016

I am reorganising my shack a little so the SSTV system may be down this weekend.

10th June 2016

Some SSTV from the ISS today on 145.800MHz in PD180 mode:

13th April 2016

A couple more images from the ISS this evening. I also received the missing upper half from one of yesterday's images!

12th April 2016

I managed to receive a couple of images in PD180 mode from the ISS this evening:

The image above is a composite from two different passes.

27th March 2016

Lots of contest QRM today :-(

14th February 2016

PC seems to be OK now. RX pics is running again but lots of QRM around 14.230 MHz today.

13th February 2016

I'm having some PC problems. RX pics may be down for a while ...

31st January 2016

I have just added my MMswitcher program to the projects page. This allows MMSSTV users to easily select different "profiles" for use with multiple sound cards. Click here to go to the MMswitcher page.

12th January 2016

Southgate news says there will be SSTV from the ISS this weekend (postponed from last December) but other sources seem to suggest it's already been postponed again. Hopefully we will get some firm dates soon.

26th December 2015

Everything seems to be working now.

My web hosting service (Heart Internet) are having technical problems this morning. I will continue to receive images but they wont be uploaded until the issues are fixed.

20th December 2015

I have switched to using my FT-840 for SSTV receive on 20 metres. I plan to use the FT-450D and Halo to make a few 6 metre contacts in the Christmas cumulative contests. It shouldn't affect the images seen on this site.

18th December 2015

More ISS SSTV activity is planned for December 26/27th, this time using PD120 mode:

Unfortunately the ISS will not be favourably placed for reception in the UK on those dates.

Click here for some info on the PD120 mode, including an image quality comparison with PD180.

1st December 2015

December images should start appearing on Friday (4th). In the meantime see the November archive or the Favourites pages for recently received pictures.

31st October 2015

11:48 UTC: No signs of life on 10 metres so I'm going back to 20 metres for a while.

30th October 2015

Conditions on 10 metres have perked up recently so I'm going to try monitoring on 28.680MHz this weekend. I had a very brief listen this afternoon and heard some weak SSTV signals. There were several USA stations on SSB with good signals.

9th October 2015

The RX pics page is up-and-running again. I seem to have an issue displaying the zoomed image at the moment. I'm working on it ...

Fixed it!

21st September 2015

I have added a Favourites page which displays only received images with low(ish) amounts of noise. My FTP software determines this automatically based on the size of the jpeg file - the smaller the file the lower the noise. I have had to exclude images sent in black-and-white modes from this simple process. I will also manually remove some images if I just don't like them for some reason. At present, partial images that have a large area of "default white" (inserted by MMSSTV) in the bottom third or so will also be characterised as low-noise, so I will probably remove some of those too. It's early days, but it seems to be working quite well. There is no auto-refresh on the Favourites page, so hit F5 or click your browser's refresh button from time-to-time.

15th September 2015

I'm playing with the design and colour of this website. Do not adjust your set!

13th September 2015

Now the Sporadic E season has more-or-less finished, I have switched to using my FT-450D for HF SSTV reception. That means I can also transmit SSTV, so look out for me on 14.230MHz.

1st August 2015

JASTA time again. I'm tempted to take a break until September...

YU1NR is apparently going for the "most images on one page" record.

20th July 2015

My FTP software is working again. I still have some work to do so there may be some minor interruptions to normal service.

Some high quality PD180 mode pictures were received during the recent ISS SSTV activation. The space station was not favourably placed for reception in the UK but other parts of the world faired better. Click the link below for some nice examples:

17th July 2015

I am still working on the website. I have moved the hosting from Windows to Linux and I am close to finishing a new version of my FTP software. This could take a few more days to complete. In the meantime, some received images will still be uploaded, but they will appear in batches rather than in "realtime" and may be missing the frequency stamp. You can assume my receiver is on 14.230MHz.

12th July 2015

I'm having trouble with my FTP software so the RX pics system is down for a while. I'm really not sure what's going on - I have made no software changes recently so it's a mystery as to why it should suddenly go wrong. It might take a few days to put right. You may find erroneous "RX ON" messages whilst I'm working on the software.

1st June 2015

2149 images received during May! That's probably because my RX pics system was running for more hours than normal, rather than an increase in activity. Conditions on 20 metres seemed quite poor on the whole, although there were a few DX pictures from JA, W and VE. The FT-840 is working well, although I do not have SSTV TX capability for it yet.

16th May 2015

SSTV RX pics is up-and-running again. I am now using an FT-840 that is dedicated to the task so that my FT-450D can spend the summer looking for Sporadic E openings on 6 metres.

8th May 2015

My SSTV system will be off the air for a few days while I make some changes in the shack and do some antenna work. Normal service will be resumed soon.

30th April 2015

I am making some slight changes to the website to make it "mobile friendly". There might be a mix of old and new styles for a few days.

I have fixed my router problems!

19th April 2015

I am having on-going internet/router issues which could affect how many images get posted. I also had the wrong antenna selected all day yesterday (6m dipole!) hence the noisy images.

17th April 2015

All the images I received from the ISS on 11th and 12th April are available on the ISS page in the articles section.

I'll just leave my favourite one here:

2nd April 2015

I have made a few small changes to the website. I have split Projects and Articles into two separate areas and renamed my received images page to simply "RX Pics". I know most people use the term "Webcam" but it isn't really a webcam and it's always seemed wrong to me.

29th March 2015

Nice to work M6MVW on 6 metres - my first SSTV QSO on that band for about 25 years! Just a local test, arranged via a 2 metre QSO, but good fun all the same.


23rd February 2015

Some nice images were received during the recent PD180 mode activity from the International Space Station. Many examples can be seen here:

Click on the images to view them at full-size. PD180 mode produces images that are 640 pixels by 496 lines, so any website displaying less than that is not doing the images justice.

31st January 2015

The zoomed image viewer on the RX pics page seems to be working a bit better.

January 2015 is looking like a bumper month for SSTV. My archive is over 2000 images with still a few hours to go. I do delete some poor-quality images so the actual number received is higher. My RX system normally runs 4 days a week - from Friday through to Monday.

29th January 2015

You can now click on the images on the main webcam page to zoom them to double size. Once the zoom window is displayed, you can move forwards or backwards through all 25 images.

I've just found that this feature is a bit erratic at the moment. I'm working on it ...

23rd January 2015

The webcam and archive pages now have the same style as the rest of the site. The zoomed image viewer on the archive pages has changed slightly and should fit on most tablet screens. The navigation arrows and close icon should be accessible even on very small screens.

HINT: Manually refresh this page (hit f5 or click on your browser's refresh button) to ensure the HF and VHF Band Conditions panel is up-to-date. I will try to organise an auto-refresh later.

2nd January 2015

The "Projects" link now works and some of my old project pages are available again. Details of current/recent projects will appear in the next few days.

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