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G0VHT England flag England

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QTH: Nr Maidenhead, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Locator: IO91PL

WAB Square: SU97

Fishing for DX!
Fishing for DX in Greece 2012!

Hi, if you want to get in touch, please use the address above, I regularly monitor this email account.

Below is a brief 'canter' through my amateur radio hobby, nothing heavy, just a few notes about me and my station/activities.

I currently live just outside of Maidenhead (close to Bray lake) in Berkshire but was brought up in the North East. 

Like many others, I find the conditions of the current HF bands much more challenging than they have been in recent years. As the sunspot minimum approaches once again, I have been focussing my attention on the more productive lower bands i.e. 40 & 80M. In doing so I have also looked at my HF antenna & feeder arrangements. 

My primary HF antenna is now a variation of the 'G7FEK' (google it if you've never heard of this very under rated design). In essence it's a 'Nested Marconi' antenna, my version has 3 quarter wave wires (80/40 & 20M) all fed in parallel. The antenna is obviously reasonant on 3 bands with a very reasonable match on 15M courtesy of the 40M element. Almost all of the higher bands are usable and not too lossy if fed through an ATU. Only the 80M element is configured in an inverted L configuration, (24ft high with the remainder of the wire horizontal secured to the facia of my roof via a short length of paracord), the remainder of the elements are vertical. This whole arrangement is supported at the bottom of my garden on a 12M 'Spiderpole' fibreglass mast.

The G0VHT station (shack) is located in one half of my double garage (a classic 'man cave') safely out of the way of my children and XYL! My radio equipment jointly occupies the available space with my tools and work bench area, so a quite practical (albiet dusty) set up rather than some of the more glamourous ham radio stations out there!

I use an Icom IC-7300 as my primary HF rig. It is a lot smaller than my previous HF radio (FT2000) but the little Icom is a truly remarkable example of modern engineering and great fun to use too! The interface is nice and straightforward to operate but if I want to dabble, there is a plethora of settings accessible via the touch screen. The 7300 is complimented with a Yaesu FC902 ATU, an Ameriton 811H amplifier (800W rating) and homebrew 1KW rollercoaster type ATU which enables me to operate with 400 watts RF output power, (the maximum legal limit allowed here in the U.K.).

On the higher on the bands, I own another Icom radio, the now discontinued but much admired, IC-2820 which covers 2M & 70cm analogue as well as being used for AM Airband monitoring, (I live just 12 miles from Heathrow airport and still retain interest in flying as a past licence holder). Another useful feature of this rig is that it permits DSTAR operation via an internet connection or suitably equipped nearby repeater. I know some consider the whole VOIP linking process 'not proper' radio but I don't look at it like this, its a great way for hams to make worldwide QSO's without the need for prohibitively expensive equipment and antennas. Crucially, DSTAR makes use of our otherwise relatively quiet VHF/UHF bands. Oh and its a really handy alternative for when the HF bands are closed too!

In my Landrover Discovery, I have permanently installed an FT-857D (shack in a box). I use this mainly for VHF/UHF operation with the occasional digression onto HF when I have some free time.

Talking of 'down time', when on holiday I usually take my Yaesu FT-817 with me - especially when at the seaside (my wife and family naturally keep a safe distance to avoid embarrassment)! All harmless fun which helps to keeps me occupied after a couple of hours sunbathing - I get restless easily. This particular radio whilst somewhat long in the tooth now but still has some very useful features such as built in BHI DSP as well as a 2Khz SSB filter, TXCO unit and a DYC-817 microphone compressor, all combining to make a rather effective QRP rig!

So, there you have it. As you can see my amateur radio style is very much an eclectic mix of different operating methods. I'm not a serious DX'er, contest station or SOTA mountaineer but everything I do with my radios, I enjoy - which ultimately is what our hobby is all about! 

Finally, I couldn't sign without give a 'shout out' (as the youngsters say) for my brother Keith. He is also a licensed radio amateur and a keen VHF SSB & HF RTTY operator, why not check out his QRZ page - M1VHT. He lives approx 300 miles north of my location in glorious Northumberland.

73's for now

Paul

G0VHT

RSGB Member

 

My bother Keith  (M1VHT) and me - enjoying a pint in Dublin!

8456956 Last modified: 2017-11-16 20:18:20, 10153 bytes

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