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GM4FVM Scotland flag Scotland

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QSL: EQSL.PREFERRED

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The photo above shows GM4FVM during the International Geophysical Year from July 1957 to December 1958.

Since 2007, GM4FVM has been located at IO85wu in South East Scotland in Ayton village which has about 600 inhabitants.

For meteor scatter skeds please email using the address above - log in and scroll over the address space above. I do not use KST.

eQSL preferred. Direct and buro works, but I really like eQSL. I keep my own log on my computer here. I do not upload to  internet logbook sites.

The best way to get my QSL is to send me one first. Erm, that is pretty well the only way to get my card.

I enjoy getting cards through the post, and I reply to 100%. No need to send envelopes or money, just send the card and I will reply!

 

I  have updated the photo of me in my shack. This new photo shows that someone has finally removed the tea cup from my hand (but not from my heart). The sagging shelf under the linears has now been reconstructed thanks to advice from a structural engineer. The new shelf can just take the weight of all those power amplifiers. Also, the CW key (which I don't know how to use properly) has been banished to under the computer monitor.

Is it my imagination, or is the new linear shelf starting to sag as well? Given the choice, would the average amateur accept a sagging shelf to keep the linear line-up as it is, or would they rather drop the power and have nice straight shelves?

First licensed as G8JWG in 1975, I have also used the callsigns G4FVM and EI2VPB.

I have started a radio blog at http://gm4fvm.blogspot.co.uk/ which I might try to update from time to time.

Generally I work the bands 10, 6, 4, and 2 metres. Sometimes I turn up on other HF bands, usually during the winter months. I use data modes, SSB and FM on VHF, plus some slow CW. On HF I use and data modes only. I formerly used PSK, JT65, JT9, JT6M and FSK441, but now mostly WSPR, MSK144 and FT8.

Provided that you have something polite to say, you may email me at the address above (you have to log in and put your mouse over the address to see it).

I keep switching the station around, so the details are not on my QSL card. If you are interested, here they are. Antennas are:-

Vertical == vertical dipole on 10m, 5/8th (4m), 1/2 wave (2m), 2 x 5/8th (70cm),

Horizontal == G4MH mini beam, 40m dipole, Sirio 3 element yagi (6m), PowAbeam 5 ele yagi (4m), DK7ZB design 7 ele yagi (2m).

The rigs are:-

--- a Kenwood TS-590 which I use on 6m and 40m, plus occasionally 10m,

--- an Icom IC-7300 which I use on 4m,

--- an Icom IC-7100 which I use on 6m and 2m.

For the vertically polarised stuff on 4m, 2m and 70cms I use a Wouxun KG-UV950PL.

I also have an FT817, which I use on 10m WSPR from 5 watts down to 1mW.

I use WSJT-X or MSHV software.

EPC # 17049

Other interests include railways, technology, science, The Sky at Night, propagation, and generally "what makes things work". Sport (on radio or TV these days) cricket, cycling (Vuelta, Giro, Le Tour etc). NO FOOTBALL.

I am posting on the right a photo of me taken in 1978.

I have to thank Paul, GI4FZD for this photograph (below left) taken about 1980. On the left beside the mast is Richard GI4DOH. I am on the right near the van drivers door. The amateur between us is Lawrence GI4HXL.

In the background I can see a Vauxhall Chevette with a 2m aerial. That was my vehicle of choice in those days. However, the position of the antenna suggests that it was not my car. I think that was Ron's car (GI3HXV). Ron won the prize that day for the best fitted mobile rig at the rally. The public announcement said that it was Ron's skillful use of bulkhead grommets which had won him the prize.

To begin with I had an Emsac TX2 transmitter to add to my Trio JR-599 receiver I had used as a short Wave Listener. Later I used 2 metres SSB with a Trio TR-7010, before getting a Yaesu FT-101E and an SSM 2 metre transverter. Other early rigs included an Icom IC-22A for 2 metres, a Pye Cambridge for 4m and a Yaesu FL50/FR50B combination for HF. I also used a Creed mechanical teleprinter for RTTY.

Later I had an FT-707 and FT757 both with an FTV-107 transverter. After that I had an FT-897 followed by a TS-590.

Tired and exhausted? Stiff and sore? Come from a celtic background (mostly Scots or Irish)? Family history of diabetes? Like me, you may have haemochromatosis. This is a genetic gut/blood disease which is now treatable. Not much fun, but manageable treatment and the disease is often survivable these days. If your iron level is too high you can receive regular (often weekly) venesection - which is nasty but saves many lives.

http://www.haemochromatosis.org.uk/. I will add their information card on the right.

If it looks scary don't worry if you are not descended from Celts. Yes, it is common amongst Scots and Irish, but if you are not in the at risk group you are very unlikely to be affected. If you are in those groups, remember that you may have the disease and show only vague symptoms until it is too late, so watch for feeling tired, stiff, cold, heart problems, liver disease and look for skin colour changes.

If in doubt, ask your doctor to test your blood iron levels and liver function. It only took 23 years to diagnose me.

Ayton sunsetI am putting a photo of a recent Ayton sunset in here.

It is not great quality as I took it on my phone camera. It is taken from a path I often walk along, looking West towards the railway and the banks of the Eye Water in the distance.

I think a lot about sunsets. It all comes from the Sun, all those X-rays and charged particles which make our ionosphere live (sometimes).

Makes you think?

Despite its position on the main road and along the railway, Ayton is pretty remote from services. If you are ill, it is an hour's bumpy journey along a twisty road to the Borders General Hospital in Melrose. The nearest railway station is 10 km away in England and the bus services are few and slow. The village has a shop, a bowling club and a rather fancy cafe/pub http://www.hemelvaart.co.uk/. The Scots are generally very keen on Europe, and especially European beer. Well, any beer really. The "laird" lives in the castle, but in fact the castle is not ancient at all but only dates from the 1890s.

Ayton has a historic "Tower House" with a clock tower which used to be the court house and police station. Here is a picture of Ayton village in winter with the Tower House in the background (right).

In Ayton, just as everywhere I have lived, I have always been a radio nut. From building Sinclair Radionic kits in Ireland in the 1960s through to my amateur radio activities here today, I still find time to listen to the radio. I love radio, especially the broadcast word. I am totally hooked on this medium. Radio has taught me science, maths, geography, computing, languages .. what a brilliant hobby.

Shack 2

Anyway, the picture to the left shows me operating GM4FVM in the old shack under supervision from Katy (note the tea cup).

Katy joined the team in 2004 from the Cats Protection Centre at Spion Kop in Nottinghamshire. She was born in the wild and so she does not like strangers much. She does not like other things that enter her space, such as cats, dogs, grouse, owls, deer, badgers, plumbers, the French Air Force, etc. Well, she really does not like anyone except GM4FVM and if he is not immediately available, Mrs FVM. Katy does like the sound of JT65. And she likes moths and tuna.

Later she moved to Scotland and took on a Scots accent. She has three roles at GM4FVM:-

1) she manages the CAT interface for the FT-817,

2) she is in charge of record keeping - you can see she is warming up the log book by sitting on it, and...

3) she wakes GM4FVM in case there is an early morning F2 layer band opening. She does this at 05:45 most days. She has a specially sharpened set of claws to do this, which she also uses to attract the attention of local voles and field mice.

Like GM4FVM, she is getting a bit stiff and sore as the years go on.

Often, she sits on the operators knee as he works the world.

73 de Jim GM4FVM and Katy GM4FVM/KT.

8288289 Last modified: 2017-08-22 23:18:35, 9677 bytes

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