GB3OA repeater moving….

Just a quick heads up for all the local radio amateurs that listen to or use Southport’s repeater GB3OA.

For some months now, it’s been planned to move the repeater to a new site. After some issues along the way, that move is about to start. Tomorrow (Thursday 28th February), the repeater will be taken off air for some maintenance, to ensure that when it’s moved, it’s been checked out and given a clean bill of health before it’s installed at its new location.

I hope to have it back on air sooner rather than later, but will keep everyone up to date regarding progress.

Some may have noticed that over recent months the performance of the repeater hasn’t been great, I suspect it’s due to an excessive level of noise around the input frequency at the current site. From what I can tell, the noise at the new site is far less, so we’ll just have to hope that the situation improves once its moved. The new site is fairly close to the existing one, so there shouldn’t be any significant change in the coverage.


1,700 miles and counting….

Some time ago I decided to pay my subscription to RunKeeper. It’s the app I use on my phone to keep track of all my running activities while I’m out pounding the streets or on the treadmill. While all the apps that are available have their pros and cons, it’s RunKeeper that works the best for me.

Now that I’ve paid, it now allows me to look back and produce reports and analysis of all my previous activities. It’s proving very interesting. I started my “campaign” back in July 2011, with the intention of running at least a couple of miles a day as often as I could. As I’ve got fitter (and lighter), I found I could obviously do more, so what’s happened is that every now and again I’ll do (for me), a long run at a fairly slow pace, then more frequent shorter (but faster) ones.

My current “usual” distance is four miles. At the weekend and whenever else I feel like it, it goes up to five miles, then every now and again, anywhere between seven and thirteen miles. Snag is, with working away a fair bit, I have to rely on treadmills in hotel gyms, and while I don’t mind that, it’s often not possible to exercise every day. Sometimes in certain places where there’s no gym, I’ll maybe go a week with no more than the walking up the hotel stairs.

Anyway, to the point. I wanted to know what I’ve averaged since I started running, and these statistics are for running only, they don’t include any walking, cycling, swimming etc. It turns out I average over 90 miles per month, or just over three miles every day. It’s less than I thought, so will now look to increase it somewhat! More interestingly, I’ve nearly racked up  2,000 miles, and as was the intention, I’m keeping the weight off 🙂

I’m often asked what’s the “secret” of losing weight. Well there isn’t one. Simpy eat less and exercise more! Once you’ve got your head around that, it’s easily achievable!

Time Team Series 20

Although it is extremely sad that this is the last series of Time Team (at least in its current format), I have to say, I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Series 19 took some serious flak, although while I confess there were elements of it I wasn’t that comfortable with, I don’t think it was the total disaster that some critics seem to regard it as. Series 20 however has thus far been brilliant.

At Dropshort for example (which I helped with the pre-evaluation), where things didn’t fully go to plan, you get to see the the “process” of archaeology that in this instance didn’t lead to the result that I’m sure everyone wanted. To me, this was one of the best, it reflects it as it is, sometimes things just don’t work out.

Then there was Brancaster. A fabulous dig which I also had the privilege of attending. Some magnificent geophysics, some excellent finds and finally, some decent weather! To be honest there hasn’t been one episode so far that I can say I’ve been disappointed with. It’s just so disappointing that it’s the swansong. Time Team has been part of my life for the last twenty years. It opened my eyes to what I previously (as an engineer) thought a particularly dull subject. Come Christmas, I’ve always been looking forward to the Sunday in the New Year around 6pm when the new series started. Please note Channel 4, I do not appreciate the constant buggering around over the last few years with the schedule. Time Team had its “spot” which everyone knew, to start messing about with it was just plain bloody stupid. It’s the same as the BBC deciding to air Match of the Day at 3am on the Wednesday.

Apparently there are plans to “re-invent” it, moving it back to its early days of fewer people and more of a “wing it” approach in filming allied to following developments in the archaeology as opposed to the recent scripted version that it had tended towards. Either way, it needs to continue. Sure, some of the “characters” are getting a little long in the tooth, but like any good team, new blood can be brought it to allow for a smooth transition. The trick is not to change everything at once. It simply has to continue, somehow life would never be the same without it.