Radio Biography 

Professional Biography

My interest in the hobby started when I became aware of my Father's ham radio station, which he ran from after WW2 and had a place of prominence in the home. There was a lot of war surplus hardware around that could be modified for amateur radio, including the the ubiquitous No. 19 "Tank Set" that supplemented the cw homebrew station. There was a big junk box and that is what I found fascinating. A  regenerative receiver was magical! After several years of solder iron burns and minor shocks, I was off to university. The Canadian licencing system  was not too encouraging for younger potential hams as there was not a novice category as in the USA, so it took some 50 years to get the licence in May 2006 as a retirement project. The Quinte Amateur Radio Club permitted me to join its group of students to write the exam. Thanks, Tim Pekkonen, VE3UO.

My first rig was a used Kenwood TS-850sat, a highly recommended radio. Max, VE3TMT, did the cap replacement and installed a new battery, and the radio served me well, until there was an opportunity to get a Kenwood TS-480sat (also used). In the meantime, the digital modes were intriquing me. These modes (except for RTTY) were totally new to me, and since I like to build things, I obtained a Small Wonder Lab PSK20 kit, put it together and on the air. It was a great lot of fun working QRP BPSK31. That was in January 2007, and most of my operating since has been in the sound-card based modes. From the beginning, the antenna of preference was a multi-band windom, but access to a used tower and an 8 element log periodic made it possible to upgrade the antenna arrangements.

There is a very active secondary market in used  rigs and I have been fortunate to be able to pick up an FT-817 and an IC-703+,  both of which I like but will soon have to get rid of at least one of them! For portable purposes on digital modes I use a NUEPSK modem which means the the computer can be left behind. The SDR developments interest me, and I have been following the Softrock projects. 

Ham radio is a great "hobby of hobbies". I am thrilled to be able to be part of it. 

Professional Biography


Photo:  Mike Sykes


revised december 2008
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