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G4SWY England flag England

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I first became interested in DXing in the early sixties at the age of 14 when I was given an old broadcast receiver with bandspread and became fascinated with the number and variety of shortwave propaganda stations that I could pick up with a wire antenna. I became a true Short Wave Listener. One night at about 2am however I was excited to hear an American medium wave station (unusual in London) and this spurred me on to build a large loop antenna which enabled me to hear local medium wave broadcasts from all over the USA and elsewhere. I built up a collection of QSL cards and my interest in radio propagation was born. A little later I discovered that by fiddling with coils in the receiver I could hear many local radio amateurs on 160 meters who were at the time mainly using AM, SSB being newfangled then. 

So I started to study and passed the three hour written UK Radio Amateurs' Examination in 1969 but waited until I had finished my degree studies before obtaining my Class B licence G8LDR in 1976; and then the Class A G4SWY after passing the Morse test in 1983. I was then very active on 2 metres SSB and RTTY and was an early adopter of 6 Meters as soon as that band became available in the UK. I also ran a popular packet mailbox for a couple of years.

I am currently working 6 Meters with a homebrew double Moxon antenna, 2 Meters with a 9 element Yagi and 10 Meters with a dipole. I especially enjoy Six (the magic band) and sometimes chatting on my local GB3HR 70cms repeater as well as contesting on six and two.

Although my QTH is in a high location I cannot erect external aerials so all my antennas are in my loft which is big enough to allow rotation of the 2 meter Yagi and to string up the 10 meter dipole. I built the double Moxon antenna from the GW3YDX Super Moxon design. Its square shape and reduced turning radius makes it particularly suitable for my working conditions. The Yagi is only deployed for contests. The HB9CV suffices at other times. There are several disadvantages to indoor antennas among which are signal attenuation and noise from house wiring but there are also advantages. Antennas do not have to withstand the elements so can be quite flimsy and it is easy to make adjustments. Downleads may be quite short hence less signal losses. In the picture you can just make out the 10 meter dipole.  At the ends of each Yagi element are strips of masking tape as a safety measure for tall visitors.

 

If you meet me on an HF band I will call myself DEL instead of Derek as that is shorter and easier. That is what my family calls me.

I am now enjoying my retirement from IBM where I was a software developer but am still obsessively writing software for Windows PCs and Android devices. 

My first published amateur radio software project (now requiring attention) was 'WSPR World Watch' which maps WSPR spots on Android devices in order to view real-time propagation conditions. This has attracted several thousand permanent installations but is not generally appreciated as a generic propagation tool for all amateurs but rather as a niche tool for WSPR operators.

See https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=xxx.wspr.g4swy 

 

My more popular published Android app is 'Pocket Prefix' which began as a project for easily and rapidly looking up detailed information about Amateur Radio callsign prefixes, but with continued development evolved into a more general tool that does other things including plotting DX Cluster spots on a band plan chart.

Like the WSPR app, Pocket Prefix is completely free, has no advertising or other inducements. 

 

 

See https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=g4swy.prefixdecoder.lite     

 

 

 

 

These photographs are somewhat out of date.  I am still using the Heil microphone but not much else. My other interest is birdwatching, (hence photo)


 

8305443 Last modified: 2017-08-31 13:22:29, 5047 bytes

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