Before becoming licenced in 1983, I was a keen shortwave listener. I had initially started off as a broadcast bands SWL, but when my grandfather died, I bought a Sony ICF-2001 receiver with the money that he left me and began to listen on the HF bands. In 1983, I became G6TTU - at the time a VHF only call and then in December that year, passed the morse test and became G4VXE.
Over the years I have been active in many different aspects of the hobby from HF to VHF, from CW to datamodes and from ragchewing to contesting.
In the late 1980s I was part of the Square Bashers DXpedition Group which made VHF/UHF expeditions including GB2XJ, GB2ZR, GB2YS, GB4GD, ZB2IQ, G4VXE/CT3 and 9H3LF. I have many happy memories of lots of Es openings on 50, 70 and 144MHz as well as lots of 144MHz meteor scatter QSOs. Before you ask, I don't have logs or QSLs for these operations now!
I spent some time in Canada in the late 1990s and operated as VE3/G4VXE - sometimes from the super station of John, VE3EJ. In the UK I operated many, many contest from South Wales from the home of my great friends Roger and Sue Ward, GW5NF.
I was lucky enough to be part of the FSDXA expeditions to Comoros (D68C) and Rodrigues (3B9C) and enjoyed operating CW, SSB and datamodes across the LF, HF and VHF bands.
Since 2003 I have lived in rural Oxfordshire. My radio interests come and go, but I am lucky enough to have a reasonable station for HF, VHF and UHF without having huge antennas. For HF, my antenna is an HF6V vertical with a fair few radials. On 50 and 70MHz I use vertical antennas and small yagis for 144 and 432MHz. We live on a small hill with a pretty clear take off, so despite the small antennas, I enjoy some VHF and UHF DXing. I also operate mobile, though have currently only got a very simple setup on 144 and 432MHz.
Current activity on HF mostly CW, with some occasional datamodes. On CW, I've gone back to my first HF rig, an Icom IC740. If I venture onto JT65A/JT9, I generally use my FT-847 which is also my main rig for 50MHz. On 70MHz, I run 10W from the Noble Radio NR-4SC. Main interests on 50 and 70MHz is Sporadic E, during the summer.
Satellite operating has provided me with a lot of fun over the last couple of years, with low tech setups. If I'm on SO-50, it's generally using a Baofeng UV-5R and my Elk log periodic, operating from the back garden. On FO-29, I do the occasional bit of CW using the FT-847, a diplexer and the V-2000, but I'm starting to do a little more on SSB using a simple setup such as the FT-817 and the Elk from the back garden. You'll appreciate that's only half-duplex, so thank you for following me down the transponder!
You'll occasionally hear me on D-STAR and DMR. Nice ways to have conversations that you wouldn't manage otherwise.
I'm also interested in playing with low cost SDR applications using the RTLSDR dongles.
QSL cards. I'm sorry, I don't collect them. I use the eQSL site and LOTW. If you really need a QSL card from me, then something can be arranged with pleasure - just email me, but I prefer not to QSL by 'default'.
I write the 'World of VHF' column for the UK's 'Practical Wireless' magazine.
In the real world outside of amateur radio, I'm married to Julie, have two stepsons, three cats and three chickens. I work as an IT manager for an insurance company in London. Other hobbies include astronomy, gardening, walking and photography as well as paddling my kayak on the River Thames, which is a mile away from our house.
6628106 Last modified: 2015-08-09 13:32:57, 3697 bytes
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