Rochester is a city in Kent, England. It is located at the lowest bridging point of the River Medway about 48 km from London. The town's location is due to the bridge which carries the Roman Watling Street over the river. The first castle was built in 1067 and it was given in perpetuity to the Archbishops of Canterbury in 1127 by King Henry I. The previous cathedral having been destroyed, building on the present one started in 1080 and took some fifty years to complete.
I was a short wave listener for many years (starting with an ex-RAF R1155A and a long wire antenna in the garden) and attended the Harlow and District Amateur Radio Society (G6UT) in the late 1960s from the age of twelve. I finally got around to taking the old City & Guilds of London Institute Radio Amateur's Examination (RAE) in the late 1970s but didn't apply for a license immediately while I got stuck into brushing up my morse code. Eventually, I decided that I wanted to just get on the air, applied for a Class B (VHF and upwards only) license and received the callsign G6CFW. Being considered by everyone I knew to be a second-class citizen spurred me on to get the morse under my belt and I attended Waterloo Bridge House and passed the General Post Office 12wpm morse code test. I was subsequently awarded the Home Office Amateur Radio Certificate which allowed me to apply for a Class A license. G4NRT was allocated to me on 16th April 1982 and it has been my callsign ever since. It is also the registration number of my car!
Over the years I have had a vast array of equipment but have now settled on a small setup comprising:
- Icom IC-7851 Transceiver.
- Icom IC-7300 Transceiver.
- Icom IC-9100 Transceiver.
- Icom IC-2730 Mobile Transceiver.
- 2 x Yaesu FT-817ND Transceiver.
- Palstar AT2K-D & LDG AT-600ProII, IT-100 and Z817H Tuners
- Icom ID-51 Anniversary Edition 2m/70cm FM, Yaesu FT1DE 2m/70cm & Hytera PD-785G DMR 70cm handhelds.
- Spectrum 4m Transverter.
- Telepost LP-100A Digital Vector RF Wattmeter.
Antenna-wise, I have erected a Ciro Mazzoni (IV3VHF) Baby Loop Antenna on a heavy-duty tripod in the garden. I also have a Diamond V-2000 6m/2m/70cm co-linear and an OCF dipole which is performing well on all bands from 80m to 6m.
For CW, I am lucky enough to have some fantastic morse keys made by Piero Begali I2RTF. I have an HST which is set-up as a sideswiper and also three from the Scuplture family:
I am mainly interested in digital modes and will usually be found on the HF bands with JT65 and JT9 as well as PSK modes. I also use CW and SSB for chatting. I enjoy some rallies and try to attend the European show at Friedrichshafen. I am also starting to get into amateur satellite operations. I am the Secretary of the UK Six Metre Group and also a member of a large number of clubs and organisations including the RSGB and ARRL and:
- RNARS: 4148
- Fists: 16978
- G-QRP Club: 14747
- SOC: 1132
- BARTG: 9123
- SKCC: 15009
- UKSMG: 3080
- AMSAT UK and AMSAT
- CDXC The UK DX Foundation
I am an LOTW user and that is my preferred QSL method.