I got my callsign G6GVI way back in 1982, and used it extensively on 2m and 70cm in the 'eighties, both in my home town of Bolton, and my later homes in Bristol. Then after a quiet period from 1988-91, I returned with renewed enthusiasm in 1992 extending my activities to the 6m and 4m bands.
In the 'nineties, I was the licence-holder and principal operator of G8CXH and G3KAC at the University of Bristol ARS.
Then in 1995 I got my class-A licence, G0WJR, and was operating on all the bands from HF to 23cm, plus Amateur Television on 13 and 3cm.
I'd let my G6GVI call lapse in 1995, but then renewed it in April 2003 for some 21st anniversary celebrations. Then when this call effectively became a Full Licence (from July 2003), I dropped the G0 and now use my G6 exclusively on all bands.
As well as operating from my Main Address in Bolton, I can sometimes be heard operating portable or mobile from various hilltop sites, mainly on 4m and 23cm. I've also played with some >25-year-old radios on 2m, in the Classic SSB net.
At the start of 2005 I moved back to Bolton, and so was able to enjoy many opportunities to operate from the West Pennine moors. Whilst walking up there at the end of May 2005, I managed to make contact with three Danish stations on 4m FM, using only a low-power hand-portable with a quarter-wave antenna.
I've built a simple tilt-over mast at home, which allows me quickly and easily to put up various antennas for testing, including beams for 6m, 4m, 2m, 70cm, 23cm and 13cm.
Using this facility, I've been able to join in with more 23cm activity in the area, and I also managed to make my first contact via auroral propagation on 2m.
Listen to an audio file of part of that contact, with my old friend Jack M0PRO near Bath: you can hear the distinctive distortion of the signal caused by rapidly-changing multipath effects.
Another interesting propagation mode which I often experience is aircraft reflections. I've observed spectrograms of the signal received from the beacon GB3ANG, which show a number of aircraft in flight. The changing Doppler shifts of the reflected signals can be seen clearly. A more detailed article may be seen here.
I've experimented with several aerial designs, including loaded verticals and a receiving "magnetic" loop for 160m, a quad loop for 10m, a Moxon rectangle for 4m, and a number of unusual designs for 23cm.
I am a big fan of the 4m band, and have made thousands of QSOs (mainly on FM) on this band, and I have also enjoyed FM operation on the Six Metre band too.
In 2006 I tried out some digital modes, including AMTOR, PSK, MT63, Olivia and packet, using a notebook PC connected to the transceiver with a simple interface.
Along with Jack G8HIK, I used the WinDRM program to send all sorts of binary (not just ASCII) data files over the air (including pictures, documents and spreadsheets).
Exploring the rear-panel interfaces of transceivers led to the development of the "DRAT", a dual-band talkthrough repeater, mainly for RAYNET use.
I also got very interested in auto position-reporting (APRS) for fixed links and mobile tracking, and even for Radio Direction-Finding hunts!. I've built up a number of base, mobile and portable systems, all based around old 2m FM transceivers.
Then in 2017, Jack G8HIK prompted a revival of AX25 Packet Radio on the 2m band in the Bolton area, which I joined in, never having tried this mode before.
Since October 2007 I've been involved in the re-establishment of the Bolton Wireless Club, in which I've held various Committee posts, and still hold the Club Licence G0BWC on their behalf. In March 2008 I joined in the Club net on 80m as GW6GVI/A from the Wye Valley in South Wales, where I was staying on a converted farm with plenty of space for a 260-ft doublet antenna!
In April 2008 I obtained a permit to operate on the experimental 5MHz band, which I renewed in 2010, and I also had another go at Amateur satellite operating.
Over the years I've had a lot of fun using recycled materials to make items of Amateur radio equipment.
See this list, and more details of the individual ex-PMR radios which I've modified for use on the nearby amateur bands.
My recent projects have been aimed at the SHF bands. First I converted an MMDS-band downconverter and repaired a couple of old transverters for operation on the 13cm band, and then revived some 1980's WBFM technology on the 3cm band. In 2012 I got going on the 6cm band using WBFM, and made a transverter for 9cm. Then in 2016 I began working on a novel SDR project for 13cm.