I had one of these when I was a kid (and I’ll bet a few of you had something similar):
…and decided recently to buy one off eBay and have a play. Given the daylight readable screen and ‘proper’ keyboard I wondered if the device could be used for logging. This model has a very limited screen area and no easy connectivity. I found the last model in the range, the FX-850p, solved both these issues:
It also has the advantage of more memory (via an expansion card). The Casio’s use something called ‘MEMO’ which is a shorthand way of creating data for BASIC programs.
If you’ve ever used BASIC of this era the following would be a way to add data to a program:
1000 DATA '1017','G8CPZ/P', 145.575, 59, 59, 'WOTA: LDW-047'
the memo function strips out the DATA part and allows you to enter the information direct:
and this is what I did for this activation. The serial port is TTL, but with the right connector and a cheap-as-chips TTL to RS232 USB adapter you can pull the information out of the Casio very easily:
I approached Lingmoor from a parking spot on the road just to the West of the footpath to Side Pike. The parking location is quite a long pull-in, so it leaves plenty of room for cars to still pass each other
The ascent is quick, 20 minutes and most of the pain is over, you’re then on a much shallower gradient for another 10 minutes before you reach the ridgeline and get views to the East.
Pike of Blisco
Blea Tarn with Wetherlam in the background
Side Pike from the Ridgeline Walk.
Mandatory Lake District Sheep Photo
Mountain Goat bus with Tourists
View towards the Langdales
Windermere in the Distance
Quarry works in Langdale Valley
Harter Fell in the Distance via Wrynose & Hardknott Passes
Bowfell in the Cloud
Building Ruins on Lingmoor
There was a helicopter on the foothills of Wetherlam doing what looked like fell repair support, but talking to @G8CPZ Andy he thought they were taking stone off the fell, not putting it back.
Logging Device in the Wild!
I’m not sure logging on the pocket computer would have been that great in a pile up, so the poor band conditions today were to its’ favour.
Andy G8CPZ/P was in the log first on 2m nearby on Dow Crag which is a WOTA/HEMA summit. Quickly followed by @G0WPO Neil very close by on Holme Fell G/LD-051 and then when trying to find a clear frequency I stumbled upon M0VPM/P on Skiddaw G/LD-004. My activation proper started on 145.350 and it was great to get both Colin @M1BUU/M in the log and M7MCG/O on Weets Hill (not far from Pendle Hill). I thought G7XSR was a good distance to Leeds on 2m, but @M6BLV John was the furthest contact at 129km.
20m ssb was fairly poor and there wasn’t what I’d call a pileup so much as a steady trickle. @DL1CR Christoph bless him had to work me twice in order for me to get his summit reference.
After a quick QSO with dedicated chasers Geoff /M @G4WHA and @G0TDM John in Penrith I moved to 40m which was pretty terrible. I heard a UK station talking to a faint station that turned out to be Euan MM0VIK/MM from the Shetland Islands back from his sailing adventure to the Adriatic, Island Hopping. I couldn’t get his exact location because his signal was just above the noise. No other contacts on 40m.
Braving CW I decided to give 30m a try, but the underslung Palm Pico Paddles are probably in need of a little TLC, I found them a bit ‘sticky’. It might be the trauma the cable is subjected to as the rig is pulled in and out of its’ case. Just two stations on CW, then I heard @M0VCM John on 145.575 calling CQ SOTA on G/NP-013 which resulted in a lovely chat and the end of the activation.
There were plenty of folk on the hills and it was a great day to be out playing radio. Transferring the log file was fairly easy once I’d got the comms parameters right and actually it only took me 5 mins in jEdit to remove the commas, add some additional information and then load the file into Fast Log Entry for ADIF generation.
Thanks to all the chasers!
|2021.07.13||11:26||G4WHA/M||145.500||FM||51||51||G/LD-040||A66 PENRITH KESWICK||IO84mp|
Summit Bits n Bobs
Modified SotaBeams Band Hopper IV, now a V on their 10m compact mast
Helicopter, tracking north possibly to refuel
Pike of Blisco double summit
Blea Tarn - Beach Destination
Plenty of Folk on Lingmoor
Longest 2m QSO
S2S with Neil on Holme Fell
S2S with John on the Calf G/NP-013
Euan MM0VIK/MM Maritime Mobile (position estimated)
S2S with DL1CR/P on DM/NS-163