Current MM0TFU QSL card. MM0TFU + shack.
Thanks for looking me up on QRZ.com. I was born and raised on the Isle of Arran, but I currently live in the small village of Crosshill, South Ayrshire, which is in the south west of Scotland, about 50 miles from Glasgow. There are only about 600 people living in the village.You can see lots more photographs of the village by clicking on the following link. http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=10941403
I have been interested in radio since I was quite young, when a friend gave me an old Eddystone 840A receiver which I used to listen to the Marine, Aircraft and Amateur bands. I was a keen a shortwave listener for many years, before passing the RAE and becoming a licenced amateur radio operator in 2002.
At present my equipment consists of a JRC JST-245 (HF+6m) and a Yaesu FT-847 which is used as a back-up and for V/UHF. I have an FT-857D and an FT-8800 in my Toyota pick-up truck., I still have my trusty old JRC NRD-525 receiver in the shack and also a Kenwood TS-480hx which I use for portable operations.
I often get asked about my rig, as it's not a common radio these days. The Japan Radio Company (JRC) were probably better known for their range of shortwave receivers, but they also produced some transceivers. Their products were of very high quality and had an equally high price tag, so were never sold in large volumes. The JST-245 is an HF + 6m 150w transceiver which was produced from 1994 - 2002. Unfortunately JRC decided to pull out of the amateur radio market a few years ago, and have even ceased production of their receivers. They are still in business, but now concentrate on supplying comms equipment for maritime purposes. Below is a picture of a JST-245.
I installed a 30 foot crank-up tower a few years ago and currently have a Vortex Antennas 3 element 10m yagi on it. I have been concentrating on 10m for the past couple of years, while we are at solar max, but I intend to install another tower for larger HF antennas soon. Below is a photo of the 30 foot mast with a M2 6M5X.
Vortex Antenna 10M3
I sometimes operate /P from the Isle of Arran when I am back home visiting family and friends, and I keep a Hustler 5BTV HF Vertical antenna there, to allow me to get on air quickly. I always try to be home on Arran for the IOTA Contest at the end of July. I usually operate from my parents house near the village of Blackwaterfoot, which is on the west side of the Island. Again you can follow this link for photographs of the area. http://www.geograph.org.uk/browse.php?p=565705
Sunset on west coast of Arran (EU-123). The hills in the background are on the Kintyre peninsula.
Blackwaterfoot and the Arran mountains from the Kilbrannan Sound
I have installed a Yaesu FT-857 in my Toyota pick-up and have been enjoying operating HF Mobile. I recently upgraded my mobile antenna to a Scorpion SA-680s, which is mounted on a Breedlove fold-over. The photos below were taken on the west side of Arran in April 2014. The build quality of the Scorpion is fantastic, and it weighs a hefty 13lbs. The mount is very well made too.
MM0TFU/M -Toyota Hilux Invincible 200.
Breedlove fold-over mount and Scorpion SA-680s.
Turnberry Lighthouse 2004.
I also enjoy participating in VHF and UHF Contests as part of a small contest group, the Clyde Coast Contest Club. We operate from Windy Standard hill, which is 2300 feet (697m) asl, and lies on the Ayrshire/ Dumfries and Galloway border. It has proved to be an excellent site, but being so high and exposed, the weather can be quite extreme, even in summer. Below are a couple of pictures of the mobile shack on Windy Standard. As you can see, we are not exactly a "SOTA" type operation, as we drive to the hilltop, and operate from a trailer. A large generator provides sufficient power to run the station and several luxuries, such as a fan heater and microwave oven.
VHF Field Day -July 2013 - 2x5 element 70MHz Powabeam antennas
70MHz Contest July 2013
For portable operations, I have a Transworld Antennas TW2010 Adventurer which is a truly remarkable little antenna. As you can see it stands around 9 feet tall on it's own quadrapod stand and it all packs into a bag no larger than a golf bag. It can be assembled in about 2 minutes and when packing it away, it honestly takes longer to roll up the coax than it takes to disassemble the antenna! It performs fantastically well, and it was used for our club ILLW event in 2011. With 100w, we worked KH6, JA, KL7 and lots of slightly less exotic DX. It works extremely well and the build quality is excellent. If you need a portable antenna, then you should check out the Transworld.
The Transworld TW2010 near Blackwaterfoot, Arran EU123, and at Turnberry Lighthouse 2011.
I upload my log to Logbook of the World regularly. I have found LoTW to be well worth the trouble involved in setting it up. If I can manage to set it up, then anyone can! LoTW is now my preferred method of QSL'ing, but if you really need a paper card, then send your card to me and I'll send you one in return, providing you accept the following simple instructions.
I do not routinely send QSL cards. My hobby is amateur radio, not QSL card collecting, and I prefer to spend my money on radio related products, not on increasing the profits of the Royal Mail.
I have QSL's, and I will happily confirm and respond to any cards sent to me direct to the above address, but ONLY if you include a self addressed envelope and a minimum of $2 to cover the postage costs.
Do not put stamps from your country on the envelope. They are no use for posting from the UK.
Make sure that your address is legible and is written in full and remember that it's being sent from overseas, so they may not be familiar with abbreviations commonly used in your country. Also remember that many of your towns and cities were named after our towns and cities, so for example, if you just write "Boston", chances are it's going to end up in Lincolnshire. If you write WY instead of Wyoming, then it could be heading for West Yorkshire first, until the Royal Mail figure it out. Same goes for Halifax, Perth, Birmingham, Blantyre, Hamilton etc etc. You might be OK if you're from Ougadougou, Ulaanbaatar or Tombouctou :)
Please don't send IRC's. They have been phased out here in the UK since early 2013.
I no longer do eQSL. It's just too time consuming.
I also play the bagpipes, having learned to play when I was about 13 years old. I served as an infantry soldier and Piper with 2nd Battalion Scots Guards from 1982 until 1985 and the picture above was taken in 1984 when I was stationed in Cyprus (ZC4-land). I am on the extreme left of the picture.
Mt Olympus, Cyprus 1984
Last modified: 2014-04-14 12:52:47, 10947 bytes
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