Home Location: IO93PR.
Base Station Rigs: Elecraft K3. TenTec Argonaut 535. Yaesu 290 mk2 for SSB & Icom 2820 for FM & Dstar.
QRP Working : Elecraft K3 or TenTec Argonaut 535. Max power normally used: 2 watts output on CW.
Base station antennas: Inverted V Doublet at 11 mtrs, ladder feeder: An original Cobweb at 11mtrs and a 2 mtr / 70 cms Collinear antenna at 12 mtrs.
ATU : LDG AT-200 Pro Autotuner. Memory keyer and a 'Homebrewed' electronic keyer.
Portable working : Icom 706 mk 2G. Portable Inverted V Doublet, ladder feeder
or an Outbacker Outreach antenna.
A potted history of you know who......
Whilst serving in the RAF during the 1960's as a Special Operator
Telegraphist, stationed at RAF Butzweilerhof near Cologne, at RAF
Gatow, Berlin and at two stations in England; I had the pleasure of
being introduced to Amateur Radio by Colin Tomas (G3PSM) who was heavily
involved with the RSGB. A couple of years later in early 1974, I decided
to expand and continue my interest in Amateur Radio by taking the
City & Guilds and after receiving a pass, took the morse test
at the Liverpool Merchant Marine Radio Training Centre and passed;
thankfully due I am sure, to RAF operations and experience. Thereafter
I applied for an amateur licence and was allocated the call sign of
In 2014 I had the privelage of visiting the Falkland Islands with a group of RAFARS members and airmen from No1 Radio Scool RAF Cosford. Even though it was only a short stay, I aplied and received my Falklands license, operating from RAF Mount Pleasent using the tri service callsign VP8RAF which is stil active occasionly as licenced operators are posted there.
For many years I have only worked QRP CW with a nominal 2 watts output using the heathkit 7 & 8 both of which I built.
Various antennas were tried in the early days with the conclusion
that under normal conditions the best 'multi band' antenna was the
Doublet fed with open wire feeders via an atu. Yes there were and
are better single band antennas with more gain, but as an 'all rounder',
the Doublet as an inverted V always came out tops so far as I was
concerned. A vertical tri bander was used for a couple of years which
was better for DX over the 3,000 mile skip distance, but of recent
times I have always gone back to the old favourite of the inverted
V Doublet. More recently I bought a Cobweb Kit from G3TPW fitted it atop of an 11 mtr pole, complete with guy ropes. The first time I switched over to the cobweb I thought it was faulty as there did not appear to be any noise. Does it work, my word it does, VP8 station with only 75 watts, it's brilliant. Of more recent times I have started to peep into the 20th
centuary by trying out the likes of PSK and even FT 8 via the radio laptop used for logging; very
different from the mandatory 2 watts cw that I concider to be my 'proper'
every day radio mode via a Ten Tec Argonaut mk2. My K3 when used on CW is always down to 2 watts, only putting the power up for very distant DX stations and for UK phone contacts.
I decided to go back to my roots so to speak, by rejoining and getting
involved again with the Royal Air Force Amateur Radio Society, originally
being a member in the late 1970's; and after rejoining became a member
of the RAFARS Field Day Team as well as the organiser for the RAFARS
'Airfields On The Air' (AOTA) event. I decided that I may have something
to offer others and became a civilian instructor for the ATC with
1324 Sqn for Radio (what else is there!) until late 2018. A number of years I was very active with the East Yorkshire RAYNET Group, going out
with the group on mainly horse riding and walking events over 9 months
of each year; and also being the group's secretary from February 2006
until October 2009 and from May 2012 becoming the controller untill
October 2013 when the group ceased.
In November 2014 I was privalaged
to become an officer of RAFARS Council taking the position of General
Secretary after changes to the makeup of the Council.
Once again I have been fortunate again this
year, to obtain an NoV on my own call sign that allows me to use the
special event call sign GB1RAF. This call sign has been authorised by
Ofcom for the sole use of 'Activating' specified airstations under the
RAFARS AOTA event theme. Ofcom has also allowed me an NoV for 5 mhz
operations under the experimental arrangements made with the RSGB. Also the callsign G4RAF will often be used, this made possible by the agrement and curtesy of RAFARS Council, as G4RAF is a RAFARS club call but held in my name.
Also we need to remember the ATC Cadets are having an exercise called 'Blue Ham' in conjunction with amateurs on 16th & 17th March 2019 on 60 mtrs (5 Mhz) band and also proposed are further Blue Ham excercises later on in the year. Hopefully a number of ATC Cadet stations will be on air and as we need to encourage these young people into amateur radio, give them a call if you hear a Cadet station.
On looking back at my radio life, I think
it is such a shame that I do not have the 100 foot high, tuned Rombics
to play with now, as I had in my service days!!!...such a shame....if