*** I PREFER EQSL BUT WILL ALSO ACCEPT BUREAU OR DIRECT (IF ACCOMPANIED BY SAE & SUFFICENT RETURN POSTAGE) ***
I've had a lifelong interest in radio. It all started in the late 70's as a young 10 year old boy when I was in Canada on a family holiday... My uncle had a CB radio in his truck and I loved listening to all the chatter! When we came home my dad bought me a cheap 4w AM CB but I wanted to know what those strange warbly sounds were that I could'nt access so I quickly graduated to a 240 channel President McKinley with SSB and tasted my first proper DX... I was hooked! I was fortunate enough to experience the fantastic propagation of the early 1980s when it was possible to work the world with simple equipment and very low power. My main antenna back then was a homebrew wire Loop for 11m which worked the world for me with just 12 watts of power. I later inherited a Yaesu FRG 7 receiver from an elderly neighbour and became an active SWL on the HF bands.
In my late teens I put radio aside in favour of a bass guitar (and I discovered girls HI!) I started playing in bands (and still do) Then along came marriage, family, work, mortgage and all of lifes trials and tribulations which delayed any real come back to radio... BUT ... RF is in the blood, so when we finally got settled in our current home I decided to sit my amatuer ticket and in July 2012 and I achieved my full amatuer radio licence... A lifetimes ambition fulfilled!!
My main radio is a Yaesu FT 1000MP MK V, getting on in years now but is still a wonderful rig.
I only operate on HF and my main antenna is the US made Mosley TA33 JRN WARC yagi which covers 20-10m including the WARC bands. For the 40m band I currently use a homebrew Double Bazooka coaxial dipole.
I am a keen mobile DX'er and in my car I use the brilliant Kenwood TS 480HX 200w radio with various HF antennae. I use Diamond monoband antennas for 15m, 20m & 40m. I also use the Watson Multiranger 200 pictured below from time to time, a cheaper copy of the popular Outbacker type antenna it gives a very good account of itself on all bands.
This is my 'static mobile' set up... MFJ 1979 5m long Telescopic whip with US made Wolf River Silver Bullet Mini coil which tunes and works great on all bands from 40m - 6m.
I am very fortunate to live near the coast and most of the time when you hear me working HF mobile this is the location I use. Depending on the tides I can often get very close to the salt water which provides an extra few db of gain for free and a fantastic low angle of take off... however salt water DX'ing is highly addictive and should come with a health warning lol!
Sligo is a coastal town located on the north west coast of Ireland in a beautiful but rugged part of the world. We live at the mouth of a long valley surrounded by high mountains and gentle hills. The surrounding countryside is dotted with lakes and rivers and the coastline boasts some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in western Europe (if only we had the weather.. hi )
Sligo is also known for its long association with the poet William Butler Yeats and features strongly in some of his most famous works. The mountain pictured in my QSL card (above) is called Ben Bulben from one of his final poems titled 'Under Ben Bulben'. Following his death in 1939 W.B yeats was buried in Roquebrune, France, but in accordance with his final wishes, almost 10 years later in 1948 his body was taken back to Ireland and buried in a small church graveyard at Drumcliffe, Co. Sligo.
The pictures below are of Knocknarea, a large hill west of Sligo town. The 327-metre (1,073ft) high limestone hill is visually striking, as it is monolithic in appearance and stands in a prominent position on the Cil Irra peninsula. At the summit is a large mound or cairn of loose stones. This enormous cairn is 55 meters in diameter by 10 meters high. Folklore says it was built for the mythical Iron Age Queen Maeve, whose father, the high king of Ireland, gave her Connacht as a gift. Archaeologists believe it may really date back to 3000 BC. It is considered bad luck to remove a stone from the cairn, and good luck to take one up the hill with you to deposit on it.
Apart from ham radio I have several other hobbies that keep me busy...
I am a keen fisherman and enjoy fishing for trout and salmon on our local lakes and rivers. The faded picture below was taken back in the early 1980's at a place called Glencar lake Co. Sligo. The guy standing in the water is my dad and I am the one looking out at him from the shore. The photographer actually worked for a postcard company and he told us he hoped to use the picture for their Sligo series... and so he did! This picture evokes alot of nostalgia and very happy memories for me !!
I am a musician and play bass guitar and double bass. I have played in some great bands with some very talanted musicians over the years and I consider myself very fortunate. In the first picture I am playing my Ned Steinberger CR4M electric upright bass in a real 'World Music' (I'm the only Irish musician!) band playing tunes from Ireland, Spain, Greece, Russia, Switzerland, Scandinavia, England, the USA and many other countries... the second pic is me playing my Lakland Jazz Bass with a pop rock band called Queen Bee where we have more fun than should be allowed!!
I am also facinated by history particularly the period covering the 1940's and the second world war. I am a member of a living history reenactment group and we portray different regiments who fought during WW2. Here are a couple of pics of me in my period gear with some aging applied to the images... the first representation is of a radio operator in the 1st Batt Royal Ulster Rifles who were a tough Irish airlanding battalion... the second is of a sergeant in the North Irish Horse who were actually and armoured regiment and served with great distinction during the war in North Africa and later in the Italian campaign. As well as honouring all those brave men who fought in the war (including both my own grandfathers) we actually have great fun playing soldiers... my wife always tells me I've never really grown up!!
Thanks for checking out my QRZ page, I hope to meet you on the air very soon!
****For those interested in worked All Ireland squares my number is G63****
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