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Radio History......

Started off in 1963 Short Wave Listening on "Murphy B40" receivers in the Wireless Office of my first ship HMS Undaunted, down at Portland Naval Base, Dorset. That's when I heard my first radio amateurs on 80mtrs chatting about all sorts of things and got me interested in Amateur Radio.  I continued using Royal Naval receivers aboard ship ( Racal RA17's etc ) until leaving the navy in 1972.
I attended night school at Farnborough Tech in Hampshire during 1978 and passed City & Guilds examination in 1979 then the Morse test at the Post Office HQ in London same year, I was issued with call - G4ISK. 

I was a member of RNARS No 454 (joined at HMS Mercury), Farnborough & District Radio Club (Hants), WAB and active DX'er running a FT7B (50watt) to a Dentron GLA1000B then an FT One with a 4 ele tribander at 43ft + trap-dipole for the lower bands. Later bought a Icom IC726 as it had 6mtrs and also 60ft crankup/tiltovoer mast which I sold just before coming to Brittany.....should have kept it ! !  Retired to Southern Brittany in 2004 (early I must add) and love the slow pace of life here, taken over 8 years to get the kit set up but finally got back on air August 2012 firstly as F/G4ISK then issued French call - F4VPL in October 2012 rejoined RSGB so please QSL direct or via the bureau or even the REF bureau will forward my QSL's......

Kit as brought from the UK 9 years ago minus the 60' (20m) tower and 4 ele tribander...should never have sold them.  Icom IC726,  Vectronics HFT-1500 ATU,  Redifon GA406 Amp with 2 x QY 4-400's,  Adonis AM-308 Desk Mike.  Aerials are Trap Dipole at 40' (13m) N-S & E-W, and a 266' Long wire with a 9-1 balun running to the North from my shack. 

For 2 mtrs I use a quite old Yaesu FT480R multimode driving a 160 watt Mirage amp to a "DL7ZB" 9 ele Yagi  (www.wimo.com) at 42ft - (13.4 mtrs).   QRA locator is IN87WR

See below for new Aerials fitted December 2014..

December 2013 ...Santa bought a new toy for 2014, Icom IC 7600 and what a difference from the IC 726 !! Thinking now of doing some portable operations using the IC726, as ideal for that sort of work.......  Now back to the 7600 manual.

QTH.......A Longere (Long House)







QTH in Brittany.........

The station is situated in the Hamlet of Les Forets, nr the Village of Glenac on the Nantes / Brest canal in southern Brittany, the nearest local town is La Gacilly at 2.5km and the main town Redon (department 35) is 11km south of us.  Our department is Morbihan, Department number 56..   I'm married to Diane a long suffering XYL and have two grown up children who are married and live back in the UK in Hampshire both have two young girls......No grandsons to teach Ham Radio to !!

Left hand photo looking to the East, shows our house called a Longere built in 1672, at the end of a small lane in the Comune of Les Forets, Glenac, Morbihan, Brittany,   The shack on the left in the second photo with the 40ft/13m mast/pole and also shows the far end of our house now looking to the West, we have farmers fields on 2 sides. 

Despite being officially part of France since 1532, Brittany is still widely regarded as having a distinct and separate culture.  Although its residents are French, many would first describe themselves as Bretons.  Once an independent kingdom Brittany has now been part of France for nearly 500 years.



The flag of Brittany is called the Gwenn-ha-du, pronounced [ɡwɛnaˈdyː], which means white and black in Breton  It is widely used throughout Brittany and can even be seen on town halls in the region. Because of the absence of legislation concerning regional flags in France the flag is also flown on sailboats  and fishing boats. The design of the ermine spots can vary, but the version most frequently seen is as partly shown here.  The nine horizontal stripes represent the traditional dioceses of Brittany into which the duchy was divided historically. The five black stripes represent the French or Gallo speaking dioceses of DolNantesRennesSaint-Malo and Saint-Brieuc; the four white stripes represent the Breton speaking dioceses of TrégorLéonCornouaille a nd Vannes. The ermine canton recalls the ducal arms of Brittany.









Approximately 13km from my QTH is the village of  St Jacut Les Pins, Morbihan (Dept 56) which is on very high ground and has many remains of Mills both Water and Wind.  The Water Mill which works is open to visitors during the Summer on a Sunday afternoon, radio wise a bit of a problem being down in a valley with high sides...Maybe one day I will give it a try !!

The Wind Mill shown is number 3 in a chain of 5 at 237ft/73.2m ASL and has been cosmetically restored.   I was operating  over the weekend of 10th & 11th May 2014 & also May 2015 for Mills on the Air  running /P  with 90watts from a IC 726, Icom  Auto ATU to a 9ft steel whip mounted on the tow hitch with 23mtr longwire clipped to the top and into a near by tree about 20ft high......Listen out for me from this location, photo shows my Passat Estate rigged ready for operating with Hustler +40mtr Resonator mag-mounted on roof as standby and with the Mill in the back ground.   

Mills Web Site;-


Mills on the Air  May 2016  -  F4VPL/P   at partly restored Moulin “La Vieille”, in the village of St Jacut Les Pins, Morbihan, Southern Brittany.         Hustler on roof with 40mtr resonator, 9ft steel whip on tow hitch with 40ft wire from top up into a tree approx 18ft  high with 2 way switch.              IC 726 thru Icom Auto-Atu and a couple of earth radials, giving out 80/90w  - all run off 2 x 12 batteries.. 

The Mill above is where I hope to operating from in May 2016…

Windmill number 8 "Moulin La Vieille"  at  St Jacut les Pins, Morbihan Dept 56

The Oldest Mill in the village.

Residents, mills enthusiasts and historians have sought and found traces of Jean Pasquier, "MOULNIER" here in 1675 !   In the early XIX century the mill belonged to Marcelle Alexis, who was Mayor of Vannes, then in 1834 Julien Talbourdet and  later his nephew, Joseph Talbourdet says the "Name on a Brick Wall”.  It also read “The last Miller of the Mill”, it has been abandoned since 1914.  Partly restored in 2015 funds are now being raised to buy and fit the sails....


My Mast and Hexbeam set-up.....






My Aerial Erecting Assistant.....





Clarks Masts of the Isle of Wight, UK

Built for the British Military, Clarkes SCAM12 is a 40ft (12.2mtr) Anodised Aluminium 8 section pump up mast which can take a 70lbs (32kgs) head-load, the legs and base are zinc plated steel.  Each section can be locked off on erection and the air released to drain any water/condensation, it can be manually rotated or fitted with a rotator.  Once fitted with 4 guys to a rotating ring it is good for 90mph (144km/h).

As you can see above I was very lucky to find a local Aerial Fitter to assist me ! ! !

Over the christmas holidays 2014  I fitted a 6 band Hexbeam built by Ant MW0JZE, Uk Manufaturer of the G3TXQ Hexbeam which is VERY WELL constucted Centre plate shown above, also fitted a 9 ele 2mtr Yagi below the Hexbeam. 

February 2015.....Very impressed with the performance working more DX than I ever did with the Trap Dipole and getting very good reports...


My French 1954 manufactured, restored Motobecane Mobylette model AV32, 50cc moped, must have know I was a radio ham giving me the registration of  "CQ 832 CQ"  I also have a 1970 Moblette Series 40 a bit more up to date.....




My Second love is UK Steam Loco’s and Preserved Railways and I supported from an early stage the building of a “NEW A1 PACIFIC LOCO”;- The last of the renowned Peppercorn class 'A1' steam locomotives was scrapped in 1966, a brand new 'A1', No. 60163 Tornado, has been brought to life in Darlington which once built half of the original 49 A1’s..  There are now around 20 New Builds following Tornado's construction...  Info at  http://www.a1steam.com/

Photo one shows Tornado in Grey Primer Paint in August 2008 steaming for the first time.  Photo two shows Tornado in early 2009 in Apple Green the first of three colours the A1’s  wore during their service.  Photo three shows Tornado in express passenger Blue which she wore just before her first major overhall., the other colour was Brunswick Green........




7325484 Last modified: 2016-05-19 20:04:57, 21660 bytes

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