In this extended episode we meet the man at the helm of PW Magazine, Don Field G3XTT to see how things are going in the well-established and popular Practical Wireless magazine. We chat with the family guys who run Icom UK and Bob hob-nobs with two amateurs who help to keep BBC radio on the air. But does he get to achieve a life-time ambition to read the shipping forecast on BBC Radio 4? You’ll have to watch and see!
Show Notes for Episode 8 (TXF08)
Please note that all URL links included in these notes are, to the best of our knowledge, correct and have been tested, although from time to time some may appear not to be working at the time of reading this. Sorry for the inconvenience, however, these things do happen, and a search on Google or similar should provide you with more up-to-date links.
An independent UK magazine devoted to Amateur Radio that has been in continuous publication since 1932. The magazine was founded by an amazing man, one Frederick James Camm. There's a fascinating biography of him called F J Camm, the Practical Man, which can still be found second hand on ebay and amazon.
Find out more about Practical Wireless and its sister publication Radio User by visiting
Don Field G3XTT
To find out more about Don and his amateur radio interests or to contact him visit his excellent qrz.com page or, of course, contact him via Practical Wireless.
Broadcasting House is the headquarters of the BBC located in Portland Place and Langham Place in London. The first radio broadcast from there took place on the 15th March 1932. Broadcasting House has recently been extensively renovated and enlarged. Although Broadcasting House is still the official name for the whole complex, the extension in which we did most of our filming is known as new Broadcasting House. Note the small n which signifies it's not an official title!
Fans of the BBC comedy show W1A which is shot in both parts of Broadcasting House will be familiar with some of the locations that appeared in our show including the warren of corridors that link the old and the new sections. We can testify that they are almost as confusing as portrayed in the first episode of the latest series of W1A!
You, too, can visit Broadcasting House, although we're not sure if they will let you have a go at the shipping forecast!
The TX Factor team and crew would like to say a huge thank you to both Jim Lee G4AEH, Jonathan Kempster M5AEO and Jonathan's wife Alison (who is a sound technician at BBC News) for their help in arranging our filming at the BBC and for giving us a small insight into the workings of one of the world's largest media organisations. You can find out more about both of them and their amateur radio interests on their qrz.com pages.
The company has grown impressively from the early days described by Dave Stockley G4ELP in his interview with TX Factor. You can see the full range of their activities at www.icomuk.co.uk If you're interested in D-STAR we've produced a brand-new video in association with Icom UK which explains much about this exciting mode and focuses on operating with the D-STAR Android app.
The FUNcube Dongle
If you haven't watched it yet, go to TX Factor Episode 2 to see a fascinating interview with Howard Long G6LVP the inventor of The FUNcube Dongle. This versatile little USB device has introduced thousands of people around the world to the delights of Software Defined Radio (SDR). It needs no drivers or extensive fiddling to get it up and running - it uses drivers already on your machine.
You'll get full SDR coverage from 150kHz to 1.9 GHz (with a gap between 240MHz and 420MHz) with suitable software. Some amazing software is available free on-line.
Get your introduction to the most exciting development in radio since Marconi by winning your very own FUNcube Dongle in this episode. See the full specs or why not treat yourself to one now at www.funcubedongle.com Watch out for a full review in our next episode.