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QSL: PSE NO QSL'S

Ham Member Lookups: 10714

 

 

I was introduced to the hobby by Jim G3AYZ (SK) who was science master at my school in SW Essex. I was licensed whilst still at school at the age of 14 & have been continuously active ever since, currently on 80 – 10m, 4m, 2m & 70cm. I joined the RSGB as an Associate member before being licensed and at various times have been a member of the Ilford RSGB group,Wanstead & Woodford RS, Southend & District RS, Chelmsford ARS, GCARC and Cheltenham ARA.(www.caranet.co.uk)

For several years in the 1980's I was an RAE instructor at Brentwood (Essex) and would be pleased to hear from anyone who attended those courses.

Now retired from a career in 'electronics' with several organisations starting with the GPO at Ongar Radio HF transmitting station & PO Coast Stations (Mainly GLD, GLV, GKZ & GND) - (now all QRT) & PO Cable ships but never went to sea(!) apart from trips on the Thames on the PLA Hydrographic survey vessels "Havengore" & "Maplin" when I worked for that organisation.

Over the years I worked on almost everything electronic from LF QRO TX's to radar, uWave links, computer based marine survey systems, echo sounders and Side Scan Sonar. I worked with many other amateurs including at one time four other G3L's.

Whilst I’m not a serious DX chaser using rather limited antennas my current all-band unconfirmed combined CW & SSB'DXCC' score which I started counting again at the beginning of 2000 is around 278 countries with 27 countries worked on 4m again on SSB & CW with D44 as best DX on that band. I've been using G0CUZ's Winlog 32 since 2000 and log at least all first time QSO's and to date (Jan 2017) have around 22k QSO's in the log (and many, many more in my paper logs).

These days I rarely take part in contests having become disillusioned when 'competing' with other 'G' stations some apparently equipped with 2kW PA's! (& with big beams on 60 ft towers!). Now that the RSGB Contest Committee have changed the rules allowing the use of ON4KST 'chat' in all sections of VHF contests thus allowing skeds and self announcing (CQ on the internet) I see no point in entering VHF contests.

I have a special interest in the 4m band which I've operated on since 1962 with a 'B44' (5W of AM!) but now run a more effective 160 W into a 6 ele Yagi and hold the RSGB Senior award for that band.

I’ve operated whilst on holiday in EA, EA6, EA8, CT, CT3, 5B, W, VK (only 2m) and 9A using my IC 706 & various temporary antennas and with varying degrees of success!

Not a big constructor of rigs but when first licenced I started by building my first TX a simple 10W AM/CW unit for 'Top Band'. This was followed by a 100 W 'G2DAF' HF SSB TX (sadly I never got around to building the companion RX other interests having taken over for a while!). I then built an HF Amplifier which uses a pair of 4CX250B's with 2kV on the anodes to produce 400W O/P. Along the way I've built various VHF transverters, PSU's etc. More recently I've built a pair of single 4CX250B amplifiers for the 4 & 2m (160 & 250 W) bands. The latest projects have been two examples of G3XJP's 'Pic A Star' HF Transceivers.

The Pic A Star design was published in a series of Radcom articles between August 2002 and March 2004. It features narrow band high performance Rx filters, H-Mode mixer front end with an IP3 of > +30dBm, 6.5 kHz B/W 10.7 MHz first crystal filter (in my case), a Direct Digital Synth and a DSP SSB/CW generation and demodulation module at 15kHz. The articles included all the art work for home production of the PCB's. More recently Glenn VK3PE designed and had produced sets of commercial PCB's for those who don't like dabbling with Ferric Chloride enchant. The majority of components are surface mount including 100 pin 'quad' IC packages.

I used VK3PE's 'Combo' PCB's, controlled by G3VPX's TrxAVRB microcontroller, G6ALU designed 20W FET driver & 150W PA followed by LPF designed by G4TZR.

Many Picastar constructors have produced front panels that look good against the best commercial radios, I favour the  'industrial' look (some might say it's agricultural)!

                                                                     Picastar 'Combo'

With space to spare in the first Picastar (above) I have now built a G4DDK designed 'Nacton' 4m Transverter which together with a 20 W amplifier are built into this transceiver and are used to drive the 4CX250B PA.

Subsequently I built a another Picastar with the idea of running the pair to give me a second RX capability.  This time I used VK3PE's smaller 'P1' version PCB's. I made the first QSO's with it running 10W but it now has a 100W PA.  It's in daily use and like the 'Combo'  hasn't been out of its case for several months....


                

I happened to have a case which was 'just' the right size for the P1 PCB's but as the photos show they were rather a tight fit!

As well as the homebrew equipment I have a Kenwood TS850S which has given good service over many years, an FT817 which mainly does duty as my 2m/70cm FM box and an old ex PMR radio for 4m FM.

As a member of the Gloucester Repeater Group (www.grg.org.uk) I hold the NOV's for the local GB3CG (R5) and GB3GH (RB5) 2/70cm FM repeaters which are co-located on the nearby 500ft. Churchdown/Chosen Hill just to the west of  M5 J11, please give a call through these repeaters (or on simplex) if you are passing - use or lose!

Other interests: I've held a Private Pilots License since 1997 flying from nearby Gloucestershire Airport (a.k.a. Staverton - EGBJ) I recently joined the Bristol Aero Club and hope to get some flying in when the weather improves! I'm also a member of the Gloucester 'Strut' of the Light Aircraft Association. Recently I've installed a tiny Raspberry Pi running PiAware/Dump1090 and a cheap USB TV dongle operating on 1090MHz to use in addition to 'Flight Radar24' to observe the effects of aircraft crossing the paths between this QTH and various V/UHF beacons.

8583556 Last modified: 2018-01-15 21:10:11, 6990 bytes

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