Built my first crystal set covering MW and LW in about 1958!
Started as a 'proper' SWL in about 1962 when I modified a MW broadcast set to enable me to listen to the North Sea fishermen on and around 2182kHz! I then constructed an 0-V-1 TRF receiver, using directly-heated valves/tubes powered by a 90V + 1.5V battery, before moving on in approx 1965 to using an ex-WW2 Canadian Marconi 52-Set receiver; this was replaced in 1968 by a Japanese Star SR-200 amateur-bands-only hybrid receiver that used both valves/tubes and semiconductors.
Passed the UK Radio Amateur's examination in 1968 then first obtained a 'Class B' licence in 1970 with callsign G8DRJ, this only allowed operation on 2m and upwards. However, from 1969 to 1973 I frequently used my university's amateur station, G3CXX, on HF under supervision from a Class A licensee. HF DX'ing has always been my primary interest.
Didn't do much amateur radio because of other commitments (family, work, and all that sort of stuff!) from the late 1970s through until 1987 when I took the Morse test and obtained my full Class A licence with callsign G0HDB.
Currently active on HF (mainly the higher bands because of antenna limitations - see below) and on 6m during the Es season. I use mainly CW but occasionally use SSB and also like using datamodes especially RTTY and JT65A. As of today's date in July 2014 I've worked 305 DXCC entities with 283 confirmed via LoTW and 298 confirmed in total.
All of my operating is (and always has been) done using no more than 100W with relatively modest antennas - until 2010 I used only wire antennas (dipoles, inverted-V doublet etc) but I currently have a 2-ele wire Yagi (OptiBeam OBW10-5) at approx 11m above ground for the five HF bands (20m thru 10m) and a 4-ele Yagi for 6m at about 12m above ground. The LF bands are covered using an inverted-V doublet about 40m long with its apex at 10m agl, the doublet is fed via 7m of home-brewed open-wire feeder from a remote-controlled balanced-Pi matching unit (HamWare AT-502).
I'm also the sysop of the GB7DXC DXCluster node, which is probably the last node in the world that's still running the AK1A DOS-based PacketCluster(tm) software! The node resides in a rack in my garage and sits there humming quietly to itself for months on end without needing much intervention.
6133729 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:18:03, 3162 bytes
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