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Thomas, our cat, is 16 years old and slowing down now, but in his time has been a great rabbit catcher. He is spoilt, cuddly and loves a taste of locally produced rib eye steak!  Sadly Thomas died in April 2016, aged 17.5 years. Very much missed.

The latest addition to my station for my 70 birthday in 2015 was the new SPE Expert 1.3k FA amp which neatly completes the SO2R set-up. The radios are K3 and FT1000MP. A mHam u2R controls switching between the two radios, antennas are selected automatically using TopTen Devices Band decoders. In 2017 I added a triplexer from Low Band Systems.

      

The Expert amp has some nice features including remote control. It is possible to control the amp from a computer.

 

I am lucky to have a good sized plot of land in which to site some reasonable antennas. An A4S for 20/15/10m, a D3W dipole above that for 30/17/12m and an 80m/160m dipole. For 40m I have a pair of phased 1/4w verticals. Also there is a 66ft vertical for 80m.

 

 

Biography

I was licenced in 1963 at the age of 18. Radio wasn't new to me as my dad, who was an electrical engineer at local factory, had a small side business repairing radios. He taught me to solder when I was 11 but couldn't do much more due to declining health with Parkinson's Disease. Luckily he lived long enough to see me obtain my licence.

In the UK National Service ended in 1960 so I escaped call-up, nevertheless I took to operating Morse Code very quickly. I enjoyed chatting and working long distance on the LF bands, particularly 160m. I remember the marginal QSOs with W1BB very well!

Initially I used a straight key but rapidly abandoned that in favour of a Vibroplex Presentation bug. I bought my first electronic keyer from a local radio ham, G3OKX, in about 1967. He built the valve electronics unit and made the single paddle. I recall the workmanship was superb. I had various transistorised and ic keyers over the years.

The story will continue ...

8258427 Last modified: 2017-08-06 20:51:36, 3013 bytes

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