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G0VHT England flag England

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QTH: Windsor, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Locator: IO91QL

WAB Square: SU93

Fishing for DX!
Fishing for DX!

I'm a casual but enthusiastic portable operator and if the opportunity arises, I try and take my well used Yaesu FT-817 out and about with me whenever I can - particularly when at the seaside (my wife and family naturally keep a safe distance to avoid embarrassment)! 

Home QTH

We are rapidly sliding towards another sunspot minimum and so we no longer enjoy 5/9 or 20db+ worldwide QSO's using a random length of wire dropped out of the upstairs shack window! Those days are over, its tough times ahead until the solar cycle properly bottoms out and slowly begins to increase once again.

As a result, the HF bands are much more challenging and we have to work considerably harder to log those inreasingly rare DX stations, particuarly on the higher bands. I am re-focussing my efforts on 40M and below, turning my attention to 1) my antenna & feeder arrangements (top priority) and 2) higher power operation i.e. firing up my linear amplifier (up to 400W - the maximum permitted RF output here in the UK). 

More specifically, I'm about to install a trapped inverted L antenna in my back garden. These simple unobtrusive antennas are ideal for the smaller garden plots we have here in the UK but they do require a decent ground and multiple radial arrangement to work reasonably efficiently.   

Equipment wise, I currently use a Yaesu FT-2000 as my primary HF rig (a proper, man sized radio!). I operate this in conjunction with my Ameriton 811H linear amplifier and a Yaesu FC-902 ATU (not shown below).

The new temporary shack - in my garage!

On the higher on the bands, I own an IC2820 radio which covers 2M & 70cm analogue as well as AM Airband monitoring, (I live just a few miles from Heathrow airport and still retain interest in flying as a past licence holder). This rig also permits DSTAR operation via an internet connection or suitably equiped nearby repeater. I know some consider the 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 and sometimes unrealistic antennas.  Crucially, DSTAR makes use of our otherwise relativley quiet VHF/UHF bands. Oh and its a really handy alternative for when the HF bands are closed too!

For a bit of fun, I ocassionally enter the Practical Wireless 144Mhz QRP / joint RSGB backpackers contest. On these occassions, it is amazing to hear lots of 144Mhz SSB stations joining in and great to see so much activity on what has been in recent years, a declining band. Well done PW and the RSGB for joining forces and bringing us all together!


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 could'nt sign without give a shout out 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 me in glorious Northumberland.

73's for now



RSGB Member

8288752 Last modified: 2017-08-23 08:12:15, 8228 bytes

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