News & Comment

Just a collection of things that caught my attention

Ofcom announce the time of the Terminators

23rd March 2016
I need your clothes, boots and your motorcycle
I need your clothes, boots and your motorcycle

Ofcom has announced measures today to help ensure adequate spectrum is available for the "Internet of Things" or IoT. The IoT is set to enable large numbers of previously-unconnected devices to communicate and share data with one another, a process known as "Machine-to-Machine" communications (M2M).

In the world of entertainment, this is actually known as "SkyNet" and it's what brought about the "Terminator"!

Ofcom is allocating 10 MHz of VHF spectrum which will enable certain IoT devices to connect wirelessly over long distances. Access to spectrum in this range could open new opportunities and bring benefits to consumers, especially those in remote and rural parts of the UK. The frequencies being made available span the 55-68 MHz, 70.5-71.5 MHz and 80.5-81.5 MHz bands. There are already more than 40 million devices connected via the IoT in the UK alone. This is forecast to grow more than eight-fold by 2022, with hundreds of millions of devices carrying out more than a billion daily data transactions.

Read the official IoT OFCOM annoucement here.

Today, yet another of my heroes sadly passes away. Terry Wogan dies aged 77 following a short illness.

31st January 2016
Sir Terry Wogan.
Sir Terry Wogan.

At 9 o'clock on this wet and windy Sunday morning, the BBC announced the passing of one of my lifelong heroes, Sir Terry Wogan.

I've been a fan for longer than I can remember as Terry starred in many of my very early memories. Once my older brothers had been packed off to school, Mum and I started our day enjoying his gentle Irish lilt, witty comment and choice of music from those wonderful days.

I am a proud TOG and will remain so until my dying day.

Goodbye Terry and thank you for a lifetime of Education, Entertainment and Information.

Related Links
BBC Full Story

A new approach to tackling pirate radio has eradicated the problem in one London borough, and could save up to £1 million for Londoners by being rolled out across the capital.

2nd November 2015

Ofcom has been working in north London, one of the UK's most affected areas, with housing body Homes for Haringey. In 2014, 19 pirate radio stations were illegally broadcasting in Haringey. By quickly removing their transmitters and regularly patrolling and securing rooftops, pirate radio has now been eradicated in the borough.

Related Links
OFCOM Report

Lewis does it again!

1st November 2015

You wait all your life for an F1 Championship to come along and then you go and get 3!

Lewis Hamilton did it again and becomes only the second Englishman to win the F1 championship for a third time. His predecessor was of course the great Jackie Stewart who took the tiles in 1969, 1971 and 1973.

Well done Lewis and the Mercedes Team. Any chance of a 4th next year?

Related Links
Lewis Hamilton

Freedom of Panorama is saved!

10th July 2015

This one had me dumb struck! Some bright spark in the E.U. wanted to remove the right for all of us to take photos of public views... things you can see from a public location such as the street to park.

Happily, with the help of 500,000 signatures from, the ruling was overturned.

Another Hero Passes

12th March 2015
Sir Terry Pratchett
Sir Terry Pratchett dies aged 66

Sir Terry Pratchett died today aged just 66 following a long battle with Alzheimer's.

While his books passed me by as a child, I came to know him later in life as a wise, intelligent and talented man who was well worth listening to.

I hope that in whatever world he ends up in, be it Disk shaped or not, I truly wish him well.

Lost Beagle2 probe found 'intact' on Mars!

16th January 2015

Colin Pillinger's final mission was the Beagle 2 probe to Mars which appeared to have been a disaster back in 2003 when he failed to receive a signal from the probe.

I'm delighted to report that Colin and the rest of his team can be proud of their achievements as Beagle 2 has now been located on the surface and is intact!

Related Links
Read the full article on the BBC

Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton... F1 World Champion 2014

23rd November 2014

It's been too long since his last F1 World Championship in 2008 but it's been worth the wait.

It's a very short break in the calendar these days so I hope he takes time to reflect and enjoy the sensation before knuckling down again ready for the 2015 title race.

Related Links

Meet Grub... the latest member of the family.

13th November 2014
Grub as an 8 weeks old Jack Russell puppy

Grub joined the family on Wednesday 13th November 2014 and while he really is tiny now, he's quite fiesty and already giving Monti more than a run for his money.

Related Links
See the pictures

Virgin Galactic lose SpaceShipTwo

1st November 2014

My thoughts, thanks and best wishes go to all those involved in the SpaceShipTwo programme along with their friends and families. The frontiers of human endeavour are never easy and it is with unbounded gratitude that the human race salutes and remembers those lost in their pursuit.

New Dual Band Yagi

21st June 2014

This was a bit of a find... Solid construction for stainless steal, this light weight Yagi has 3 elements on 2Mtrs and 5 elements of 70cm; both fed from a single N-Type socket. For £45, it's possibly a bit of a bargain.

  • Type: Dual band 3/5 element yagi
  • Frequency: 144-146 and 430-440MHz
  • Boom length: 115cm
  • Longest element: 100cm
  • Gain: 9.5/12.5 dBd
  • VSWR: 1.5:1 or better
  • Power: 100 Watts
  • Connection: N-Type female
  • Weight: 870g
Related Links
Full Report

New 3 band wire dipole woirking well in France

18th April 2014

I have MK with me on this trip and he's seeing just how little HF noise we have down here in South Western France. Todays team work resulted in a new tri-band dipole being installed and the first results are really impressive.

Related Links
Read the full story and see the list of 74 regions worked.