Now that travellers are able once more to move around this great country, an evil menace is starting to raise its ugly head again.

Our Base operators take a call from you. We receive you loud and clear but sometimes you complain that you can’t hear us. We keep trying to take your details but sometimes, you become frustrated, cast blame towards your radio or towards us and turn off in disgust. What you may not be aware of is that your own kit may be the culprit of your plight, not your radio but other devices that you have running around your vehicle or in your campsite.

What could they be? Oh where do we start?

Below are some images of things that could possibly be ruining your day when you want to log your location and movements. Trouble is, there are so many cheap and nasty electrical devices that have been imported and have no protection at all against causing radio frequency interference. You buy something because it’s inexpensive but by saving a bit of money you could be causing your own doom.

If we hear you with a good strong signal, it stands to reason that you should be hearing us without any issues so how do you go about tracking down the culprit?

Firstly, be in a good, quiet location, no power lines, no nearby neighbours with noisy plasma TVs and a clear space around you. Turn off absolutely everything except your HF radio. Engine should be off.

Listen out for HF radio traffic, preferably during an active voice sked when there is a bit going on. Perhaps arrange someone you know who is also on the Network to give you transmissions to listen to. You could also listen to regular weather transmissions, time signals or any other distant station. Try tuning your receiver to a weak AM radio station, preferably at the top of the AM broadcast band.

When you’ve established good signals to listen to, turn off absolutely everything in your travelling kit except the radio. Listen to what normal HF hash is like when there are no signals.

Once you’re happy with what you’re listening to, start plugging in and turning on other electrical devices, one at a time. See if anything changes. With your fridge, if it’s going to ruin your HF reception, it will usually be when the compressor turns on.

When the nature of the HF hash changes considerably and the reliable signal that you’re listening to becomes weak or disappears, turn the device back off. If your received signal comes up clear again, you have your culprit. What to do then….

Well, you have a choice. If it’s an appliance you can afford to junk and replace, go for it but make sure the replacement doesn’t also cause grief. Otherwise, remember to turn off any culprits prior to using your HF radio and you should be fine. If the problem is your fridge (and that so often turns out to be the case with all but the best fridges) please, make sure that you turn it back on when you’ve finished logging in otherwise you could end up with a very unhappy Navigator/Cook/Boss!

On our Network and want more suggestions? Log in to our Website with your Selcall and Password, hover over SUBSCRIBERS and go down to TECHNICAL.

Some time spent before you go away to make sure everything is good will ensure that you have a trouble free experience.

Have a great trip and remember to log into us regularly. We love having people to talk with and we can help to keep you safe.