I was born in Romford, Essex
I became interested in amateur
radio in 1976 after my schoolmaster John Macrae (G4DXI) demonstrated
a station to us in the classroom before school one autumn
morning. The sound of Australian stations coming through John’s
home constructed (Heathkit) radio (during sunspot minimum)
was enough for me …… I was hooked.
I spent much of the next 3
years as a Short Wave Listener (SWL) with the RSGB issued
listener code of BRS38314 using whatever equipment I could
build or borrow. This included the loan of an HRO set and
a B40 naval radio I purchased which weighed so much it broke
I studied for the RAE (Radio
Amateur’s Examination) during the winter/spring of 1979/80
at Canterbury Tech College under the tutelage of Derek, G3LCK.
After 8 months of evening classes I passed and received my
Class B licence (G8XCW) in September 1980.
I knew that HF was where I
wanted to be so quickly concentrated on learning the Morse
Code. There were several of us at the school trying for the
Morse test (Chris, G8CUJ, now G4LUO, Paddy, G8YBB, now G4MAD
and myself). The physics lab was awash with dits and dahs
from John Macrae’s key every school lunch break as we
toiled to master “The Code”.
I finally felt confident enough
and on 25th February 1981, I took the long bus journey to
North Foreland Coastal Station where I passed my Morse test.
I seem to remember posting my class A licence application
the next morning. After the longest month of my life, my new
licence was delivered appropriately on my 18th birthday, 27th
March 1981………. G4LMW
Over the last 27 years, I have
had several periods of inactivity and the logbook has only
recently passed 1000 contacts. However, I have always been more
of an SWL !
I have owned several second
hand commercial radios but my most enjoyable period was in
the late 80s when a lack of finances restricted me to a home-made
20m CW transceiver with an output of 3 watts.
I still prefer the “key”
to any other mode and the majority of my contacts have been
73 and thanks for stopping by