Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Beginning

First licensed back in 1996 I‘ve always had a fascination with communications, I think it really kicked off back in the late 70s and early 80s when I was in the RAF, I managed to get in to the communications side of the RAF Regiment squadron I was serving in and it snowballed from there.

In 1979 I served for 6 months in Belize and one of my jobs was to set up comms with our main depot at RAF Bruggen back in Germany. This is where I first learnt about the art of atmospheric conditions, antenna designs and the intricacies of setting up a radio station. From then on I always had some kind of interest in radio first becoming a shortwave listener and then finally buckling down to take my Amateur radio exams. Once qualified (M0AUW) I managed to pass the 12 word a minute morse test and by the end of 96 had my first real amateur station up and running.

My main interests are building antennas and CW, with antennas it’s not so much theory or design, but getting my hands dirty. With CW it’s simply because at first I found it so much of a struggle to learn  but gradually rather like listening to a piece of music for the first time that you don’t really like, it slowly begins to grow on you and eventually you can’t get enough of it.

Some of my friends think that Amateur radio is a dark art full of strange people and others are actually fascinated by it, particularly with morse code, most believing it went out back in the 80s. However, it’s always a conversational opener especially when I have visitors; the first thing they notice as they arrive at my house is a whopping great antenna 40 feet up in the air!

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