�Hello and thanks for reading my ham radio story.
I became interested in radio when I was around 12 or 13 years old, listening to short wave on an old valve radio bought for me from a church jumble (second hand) sale. My dad put up a wire aerial outside and I sent off reception reports all over the world to broadcast stations and was thrilled to get cards back, even in some cases with lots of reading material. I remember Radio Peking sending me "Chairman Mao's little red book". Gradually I became aware of amateur radio and visited one or two local hams to be impressed with the rigs and QSL cards which they proudly showed me. All were very supportive and helped me to realise what a great crowd hams are. I joined my local radio club at the time,�South Shields Amateur Radio Club, near Newcastle. The club's callsign was G3DDI. I�received my licence on July 19th 1963 at the age of 18. I made many friends and began to enjoy cw, operating from my QTH at the time, Whitburn in north-east England. I was intending to become a merchant navy radio officer working on board ship, travelling the world and certainly had many hours of cw practice at a local marine college. A GNT (Great Northern Telegraph) punched papertape morse generator was used to send perfectly spaced practice code with a big speed control on the top. I brought in a Vibroplex bug key one day and hooked it up to the sender and started sending code of my own to all the class including my own jokes!
Like others years ago, I designed and built my first tx, a 2 valve cw tx, running just 30w, used with a Marconi CR100 valve rx. I progressed to a Heathkit DX40U and VF1U in 1964 when I moved QTH to Nottingham, in the centre of England, to start work with a big radio communication company.
I am currently active on the HF bands still using 99% CW. I used a Yaesu FT7 with 20w output for many years with dipole antennas and worked around 150 countries on CW. I now use an old Yaesu FT840 with around 100w out which continues to work well. I have limited space for aerials and use carefully tuned home made 'fishing pole' wire verticals for 20 & 15 mounted on my garden fence. My 10m aerial is a retuned half wave cb vertical. All HF antennas are fed with double screened RG214 with quarter wave stubs to earth for static protection. As you've probably guessed, I have never owned a linear amp or used a tower or beam but I've had a lot of fun and made a lot of friends with a fairly simple setup.
I enjoy giving points in cw contests and dx chasing. On 2 metres I have a Yaesu FT480 multimode with 15 watts output. VHF antennas are an HB9CV and a vertical dipole for local FM.
I also enjoy QRP operation from the car and use an FT817 which I use with inverted V dipoles, z matched long wire or mag mounted helical mobile antennas on 10, 15, 20 and 40m.
I am retired now after 41 years as a systems engineer in radio communications for the emergency services and many other organisations. I think I was lucky to have had a job which was also my hobby!
I am a member of :
If like me, you are frustrated by the shocking bad manners, language and selfish practices on the air these days,take a look at
It's all common sense stuff and if we all followed the code we'd all benefit. Why not add your call to the growing list of supporters? You can do it using the link above.
I always qsl any swl reports although CW reports are now very rare!
I remember being an swl myself. (RSGB swl #A3275 from 1961 - 1963)
73 to anyone who knows me and to all my amateur radio friends, please give me a call if you hear me!
If you need a QSL, direct is fine. I will reply asap, no need for a stamp or IRC.
Last modified: 2014-03-23 16:40:53, 8615 bytes
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