Welcome to my blog – which exists for no real purpose whatsoever other than as somewhere for me to put bits and pieces.
QTH is Leeds, UK, IO93eu. I’ve been interested in radio all my life from around 6 years old. 51 years on I thought it about time I finally got licensed and so I got my Foundation licence just before Christmas 2016. Time permitting I now plan to go the two further steps to the full licence.
While at school one of my main interests was RTTY. Back then I used to purchase old and broken Creed 7E’s, repair them and sell them on. Well, ok, there were only a few, but still. At one stage I had two 7E’s plus a tape punch and a tape reader, a Marconi HU11 terminal unit / decoder with two front panel neons for mark and space, connected up to a Murphy B40 (I had a B41 too but never found much to decode). Apart from air traffic data (those endless columns of figures) the Russian news station TASS was always interesting to read because of the spin it put on Western things! Remember this was the 1970’s, no Web or indeed any electronic information, it was radio / TV or papers, so Russian propaganda-laden news coming out of a teleprinter in my workshop was rather different.
I guess CB gave me a different taste of radio. Back in those days it was active and not really full of idiots. Well, not everywhere anyway. We could talk at any time in our local area unimpeded by ‘mike keyers’ and ‘bucket mouthers’. After this I got into motorsport radio to the extent that with a Land Rover and 27 foot mast I could get a signal out of the deepest parts of the Yorkshire forests where others failed. I was involved in motorsport rescue for a time too owning and operating a fully fledged rescue ambulance, but radio-wise you only got called when something nasty had happened, and fortunately I only got called twice.
But in all that time, since about 1975 in fact I never took the RAE. I always planned to but everything else got in the way. Then for a variety of reasons I found it impossible to find a club where I could take the exam, finally finding one with the help of the RSGB and with three rather long round trips took the Foundation exam mid-December 2016 and the rest, so far, is history, although not very much of it yet.
I am a member of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) (since 1975), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the British Amateur Television Club (BATC), the Tube Collectors Association (TCA), the Radio Amateur Old Timers’ Association (RAOTA), the British Railways Amateur Radio Society (BRARS), the UK Six Metre Group, the GQRP club, AMSAT UK and a Friend of the British Amateur Radio Teledata Group (BARTG).
Why the fascination? I keep asking myself and coming to the same conclusion. I have been involved either in or at least with communications systems, mostly data all my working life, and interested since I first acquired a shortwave set and teleprinters. Having learned how it all works, and having been heavily involved in Internet technology for decades you would think the novelty would have worn off. But I am still tickled by the fact that a bunch of electrons created by 10W of RF at a poor SWR match into a bit of old wire in the loft can be picked up and acknowledged as far away (so far) as Chile and the Falkland Islands – at least on digital modes (pre-FT8 too).
I passed the Intermediate exam in October 2018 after far too long a delay. Now looking forward to the Advanced.
RAOTA 2839 – G-QRP 15559 – UKSMG 3147 – BARTG 9259 – BATC 6462