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Been fascinated by radio ever since I can remember. The above photo is my "shack" in the early 1960's (a serious health hazard, but I survived !). Started by building crystal sets and moved on to one and two valve TRF type SW receivers. After meeting a local amateur (John Ashford, G3KYU) in my early teens I became hooked on amateur radio and particularly interested in 2 metres which in the late 1950s was in its early /experimental days. I went on to purchase an unused SCR-522 US army/air force transceiver (on the left in above 60's shack photo, see link below and circuit diagramme at bottom of page).

http://www.vk2bv.org/museum/bc624.htm

I built a power supply for it (on shelf in photo) and with much help and encouragement from John G3KYU, converted it to operate with a free running oscillator which covered the two metre amateur band (AM mode). Not a lot to hear though! Later went on to dabble in other ex gov. radio equipment including the 19 Set and a number of kit projects. My interest in radio then went on the back burner for many years as career, family and life's events (six children!) took over but inspired by seeing a friend's son using 27 MHz CB in 1981 and then trying this mode myself for a while, I got the radio bug again. Within a year I had a full amateur licence under my present callsign, and was the proud owner of a new FT-102.

My XYL now also holds a licence under the callsign G0PTS and in the present shack we operate with an IC-7400 and a TS-590. The main HF aerial is a 215 foot doublet (66 metres of Kevlar) at a height of about 40 feet in the centre slung between two trees with the legs sloping down to form a shallow inverted V. The doublet is fed with 300 ohm ribbon which terminates at a 4:1 Guanella type balun. A short length of coax runs from balun to a remote, RF sensing auto-ATU (LDG RT-100) and then there is about 40 metres of Westflex-103 to the shack.

My predominant radio interests are HF/CW. The CW is usually generated by the excellent onboard keyer in the TS-590 and a Kent Twin Paddle Key.  I also have several straight keys and sometimes like to use my Junker DBGM key or Marconi NATO key for a more "QRS" contact. (See it in action on my youtube link below.)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USyVgMB2ewk 

I also enjoy a bit of operating QRP and "/P" with my IC-703, usually from my caravan located in a remote/isolated (radio quiet) spot, running on a solar power charged battery. I like to experiment with simple (often "stealth") wire aerials thrown up into trees or slung from my 12 metre Spiderbeam mast.

I enjoy some digital mode operation (with the TS-590) and the software I use is HRD/DM780 V5.24.  When operating SSB with the TS-590, I use an AKG-D5 dynamic studio microphone via a user defined equaliser tx profile (to roll off some of the base; see screen capture of ARCP-590 audio equalizer below). When on the IC-7400, I use the supplied HM-36 fist mic but greatly improved with a very simple mod (see link below for details).

 http://www.ab4oj.com/icom/ic7200/se5x_hm36mod.pdf

http://www.morsemad.com/nato.htm

http://vk4jaz.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/junker-dbgm-straight-key/

I am a regular user of the superb "Reverse Beacon Network" and whenever possible my station is set up online as a Reverse Beacon, using "CW Skimmer" (usually on 40 metres).  The SDR receiver for this is a "Cross Country Wireless, SDR-4+" coupled with a Wellbrook ALA-1530 Active Loop Antenna at a height of 12 feet (see photo and links below). The CW spots are sent to RBN via "Aggregator" (see screen capture with Skimmer in action on 40M during a contest, with Skimmer Band Scope and a recent 20m RBN log).

http://www.reversebeacon.net/

http://www.crosscountrywireless.net/sdr-4.htm

http://www.wellbrook.uk.com/antennashop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=28

I have had two careers.  I started off (after seven years of study in London) working in the building industry as a chartered architect, however I retrained in my late thirties and for the last 20 years I have worked as a "special needs" school teacher (working with young people who have severe learning difficulties and in particular, promoting/developing ICT).

I am now retired. This has given me more time to enjoy this hobby, my large family, my grandchildren and especially to spend time on my other great interest; playing classical piano on my beautiful, old, 1911, Stuttgart made, Schiedmayer Grand Piano (which I also tune and service).

Fists Membership nr: 14046 RAOTA Membership nr: 2651 First licensed 1982


 

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