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How did my interest in radio begin and how was it re-kindled recently?

Electronics has always been a fascination of mine because unlike mechanical things electronic components do not move. Yet when a whole bunch of those electronic components are placed on a printed circuit board there is a visual appeal which includes the concepts of order, purposefulness and a design function which is cunning and clever.

The prospect of building electronic circuits was even more of a pleasure, especially when I discovered the secret of how printed circuits are made. My apprenticeship as an electrician further added to my interest along with attendance at my local college on a technicians course as part of my apprenticeship. Whilst at college I saw an advert for an amateur radio course and joined along with my friend. Both of us were the youngest on the course at the tender age of 17, the rest of the course members being much older. Upon reflection now that I am am 51 years old, 30 years old seems pretty young too! Once the technical exams were passed it was onto Morse code and a class B license.

Fixing and making aerials followed and many a happy hour on 2 meters, my college courses finished too and it was off to polytechnic for a degree in electronic engineering. The degree was followed by a masters degree in R.F. and Microwave engineering.

Manhattan style FM transmitter

Life kind of caught up and overtook me once I had the Masters, got married, got children and a job in teaching, you’ve guessed it, in Electronic Engineering! Doing practical electronics kind of took a back seat…… but now my interest is rekindled.

How it all Happened Again

It started with a youtube video which showed how to build an FM transmitter according to the Manhattan style of construction. The Manhattan style of construction I must admit was something I had never heard of but it was enough to get the bug all over again. The  FM transmitter worked sort of OK and I was suitably impressed. It was now time to resurrect the UK amateur radio license in order to get an equivalent Israeli one.

So far I have obtained an amateur radio certificate (4Z1NT) and a station permit has been applied for. I hope to build a beam for my dual band Baofeng hand held and build a 20m DSB transceiver kit too.

The biggest surprise to me is how expensive radio parts have become. Gone are the days when electronic component shops were in abundance all over the place, and parts were cheap and available!

I am now looking forward to building many things myself. The Arduino and PIC micro-controller boards are the new very cheap but very effective devices which give functionality to amateur radio projects at reduced cost. The functionality of these micro-controllers, the peripheral devices available and the well supported software libraries and code developed by enthusiasts are astounding. The range of options that are now potentially provided to the radio amateur builder was unimagined for me all those years ago. Factory built equipment, which provided today’s easily acquired functionality with just a few dollars, back then in the good old days would have cost a fortune!

The number one priority is to get on air soon but so many decisions to make with respect to end fed antenna or inverted V, SWR meter, coax cable and what will neighbors say?

15November 2107 finally got on air and workimng mainly 40 Meters at the moment my 5 band end antenna works fine!! : https://4z1nt.wordpress.com/

8461452 Last modified: 2017-11-19 05:41:39, 6260 bytes

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