Married, three children Michael, Kate and Louise. Husband of 33 years to Gayle (as sweet as when we first met). Retired officer with Country Fire Authority (Volunteer) fire brigades and have worked in emergency services for over 25 years, including law enforcement as a specialist in policing technologies, leading the implementation of digital secure radio communications, in-car video and automatic number plate recognition. Currently focus on the design, construction and operation of Control Centres and application of convergence technologies and tracking systems.
Active amateur since 1978, and operational on 160-10 metres, 6 metres, 2 metres, 70cm and 23cm. Antenna configuration's are always under review as I am a keen antenna homebrewer and like to experiment with simple, cost effective antennae.
Passionate about wire antenna's and convinced that an end fed zepp with open wire feeder is the best all round antenna for suburban blocks. The homebrew end fed zeppelin consists of 2mm hard drawn stainless steel wire as a 1/2 wave on 80 metres, fed with 450 ohm open wire feeder with a solid copper inner. Results have been marvellous and although not a DX'er by any means I have worked my fair share of stations using 100 watts or less, with the antenna only 8 metres from the ground. Also works well on 29.600MHz FM and will load up on 6 metres.
I am particularly keen on QRP, field operations, SOTA (Summits on the Air), 52MHz and 144MHz SSB work, 7MHz and 28MHz The old Yaesu FT-7 has been retired to the shack with a Yaesu FT857D as the main portable rig now. In fact in its first outing portable the FT857D and I won the 2012 6 hour single operator VHF phone only section of the John Moyle Field Day. This was at Kinglake, to the north of Melbourne when I worked 105 stations for 730 points. In 2015 I competed again and came 1st in the 6 hour portable single operator all mode all band section with 80 contract and a score of 422 points. My weapon of choice was again the FT857D with a number of different antennae, including a PAR loop on 2 metres which worked brilliantly at 4 metres high for a contact with Joe VK7JG on SSB. And with only 20 watts on VHF.
An FT290R Mark I on VHF and an Icom IC-505 on 6 metres form the backbone of my "other" portable equipment. Portable antenna's consist of an end fed zeppelin, inverted vee (40m), 4 element beam for 2m, 5 element UHF beam, portable 2 element beam for 6m and a Diamond VHF/UHF vertical. The IC505 has been in service in the mobile recently and the 290R travels with me on working trips. I have also recently acquired a PAR loop for 6m and one for 2m. These have proved to be compact and lightweight for portable work and as a consequence the Diamond antenna is now a standby.
I have been actively participating in SOTA since 2013 as a Chaser and Activator. I have achieved 1000 chaser points + and have the Shack Sloth award. This has been a challenging award to obtain, mainly on HF and from the home location where noise levels on 40m are particularly high. Now my focus is on achieving the Mountain Goat award, which will be tougher and take a lot longer. I have now reached over 75 activator points and I estimate with work and family duties it will take me at least 5 years to achieve the Mountain Goat award. It will be worth the effort. In 2015 I set a goal of activitating at least 15 SOTA sites, which was achieved. Sadly in 2016 I have only activated 2 however with kind weather in the next few months portable ops will again come to the fore.
Very keen to dabble in digital communications using my shack FT-890. I also have an interface box which is adaptable to my old Kenwood TS-520 so will give that a go soon. I also now have a TS-820 which is in service. When acquired it was a sick radio but I am pleased to now have this lovely rig back on air.
As a keen aviation enthusiast I also have an IC-2200H for monitoring around airports, an excellent aid to snap arriving and departing aircraft on my FUJI S200EXR digital camera. I tend to take some unconventional photographs of aircraft and I am enjoying learning about photography.
Recently I acquired a GoPro so this is a brave new world for me as it should be simpler and quicker to create video presentations of my SOTA and portable activities.
A challenge is to take some night shots of lightning - have taken a few shots but not too many good ones. You can view some of my photographs at www.flickr.com/photos/vk3pi
I am also experimenting with aircraft and amateur radio video productions. This is very much a work in progress however if you are interested please have a look at my YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/vk3pi
If you hear me about, by all means give me a call as I prefer to "chew the rag".
Life Member of the Western and Northern Suburbs Amateur Radio Club (WANSARC). Check out WANSARC. WANSARC now also has a forum at Yahoo.com.au - check out the WANSARC group forum.
Member of Amateur Radio (Victoria), NAQCC and Flying Pigs International QRP Club (FP #1786).
7478758 Last modified: 2016-08-01 10:59:00, 9580 bytes
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