G3ZJO ...... 45 Years of Amateur Radio


THE EARLY DAYS ... I was an SWL (short wave listener) as a boy of 9 years old. 40 meters band. I listened to the Sunday morning nets on my Fathers home built radio-gram.

FIRST REAL RADIO... R107... now that is a real radio, huge-heavy, steel case. In my youth I could actually carry it up stairs to my bedroom unaided.

VALVES...You know, big glowing glass bottles, were the order of the day, transistors were just coming into use. 

TRANSISTORS... I built crystal sets and single transistor regenerative receivers, as transistors became available... Some projects were not very successful and pocket money wasted in microseconds as very delicate point contact transistors died... By 1961 the transistor had improved and I built a Superhet portable from a manufacturers surplus kit. This I converted to Top Band (160 meters band) and I used it push bike mobile. WOW!... Transistor transmitters were a rarity at this time as they didn't have either the fT (frequency capability) or power rating. Then I saw the specification sheet for the AF118. It was rather expensive but I wanted one. Seeing my enthusiasm my then employer, Henry Rapkin of the local component shop phoned Mullard (he sometimes supplied official Government orders). Mullard flew in a sample to the local airport at Sywel next day, FREE of charge, nice for a 16 year old lad. The Top Band transmitter I built worked a treat. I was not licensed to transmit so it either was loaded into a 50 ohm resistor or I would connect across 2 different earth stakes. In this mode, to test I went off on my push bike with my portable and the signal soon disappeared, only to leap up again at every metal lamp post in the south of Northampton.

DIGITAL... What can I say ?... in these days of microprocessor controlled transceivers, I have built colour TV transmitters the size of one of the valves in my first radio.... What Next ?

Click on the Pic. to enlarge

newshack.jpg (20476 bytes)

  The Radio Room (shack) Today

LICENSED... Originally as G8CQT I built my first transmitter and receiver for 2 meters (all valve) using a 6146 valve in the PA (power amplifier) and E88CC triodes on a brass chassis in the receive converter (144 MHz to 28 MHz).

Click on the Pic. to enlarge

oldshack.jpg (29409 bytes)  

The Shack c.1969  

OPERATION... I like to operate on as many bands as possible- they all have their own feel and fascination ...1.8 MHz to 1300 MHz... and as many modes as possible, CW (morse code), Phone (voice), SSTV (slow scan television), FSTV (fast scan television, RTTY, PSK31, (radio teleprinter), Hellschriber, Via Satelites, Repeater stations or Via the Moon, time is the limiting factor.

OOPS !... An internationally valid callsign consists of a prefix (1or 2 letters/figures), an identifier figure (1or 2 digits), and a suffix (1to3 letters) hence... 9H1M is a valid callsign ...JY1 is not.......... On the 24th July 1970 at 16:11 GMT a new boy put out a call on 14.315 MHz , I asked him for the rest of his callsign, he repeated JY1, JY1 calling. I informed him that as he did not have a valid callsign and operation from JY (Jordan) was suspended due to the Arab Israeli War, I would assume he was a pirate (illegal operator) and not authorised to communicate with me, goodbye!.........How was I to know this was King Hussein of Jordan........From then on newspapers and television carried reports of the Radio Ham King and the whole world scrambled to talk to him.

Click on the Pic. to enlarge

jy1.jpg (19623 bytes)

The Station Log of 24.07.70. one minute 16.11 to 16.12 GMT. " Sorry Sir, I thought you were a pirate"

Any comments on this site please email me

Further information The Radio Society of Great Britain

Click on the Pic. to enlarge

background.jpg (12279 bytes)

  VHF/UHF Aerials at G3ZJO

Tributes :-

Henry Rapkin.----- Ex employer, Northampton's Mr. Radio, Always helpful

Stan Haddon.----- Work colleague & lifelong friend, avid experimenter and constructor callsign G3OQJ

John Goode.------ Ex Employer, Always encouraged my home construction

All these fine gentlemen are now deceased