G4FUJ - Radio Activity

Shack The shack at G4FUJ, as was in 2005. Click on image for a larger picture, use browser's back button to return. A newer up to date photo will be published when available.

Bands and Modes

From the home QTH, I can operate on all bands, from 80m through to 70cm (I no longer have equipment for 23cm), SSB, CW plus FM where allowed. I also have receive facilities for some data modes, including FAX, AMTOR, RTTY and SSTV. Packet is used on 2m, almost exclusively for access to the DX Cluster (local node GB7DXC) and for APRS.

The next step is to get on to top band (160m), and then hopefully 136kHz. The latter may be easier to facilitate if I can persuade a neighbour to part with a large section of garden!! It is also intended to increase use of data modes.

I am not a great DX Chaser, though do follow island operations, including IOTA. I do chase Worked All Britain and Worked All Ireland squares, and have the following book numbers: WAB 14828 and 15327; WAI 245. I also chase SOTA, mainly to get the WAB areas! As an ex-mariner I'm also interested in Lighthouses (BARLS member #57) and Navaids to shipping. I also activate WAB squares, mainly while on holiday. I used to activate areas while out on car rallies, but as I no longer have a recovery unit, this has now stopped. I am a member of the local Gloucestershire County Radio Amateurs Emergency Network. We provide emergency communications in time of 'disaster', and radio support for charity events etc.

I have worked stations all over the world on h.f., probably the most distant (in any direction!) would have been the 1999 ZL9CI Campbell Island expedition. On 6m I have worked into many parts of Europe and Scandinavia and most recently into eastern USA, Canada and the Caribbean. On 4m best DX (ODX) so far has been into regions of the former Jugoslavia. On 2m, ODX is Ceuta and Slovenia. On 70cm ODX is southern Scotland and on 23cm GD is ODX.

APRS operation has been added to the shack with plans to add an h.f. data link in the future. Since September I now also run a TH-D7E for mobile APRS opeation, connected to a Garmin GPS 12XL.

Rigs and Aerials

On h.f. I used to run an old Yaesu FT-902DM, subsequently replaced by a Ten-Tec Paragon. This was a superb rig, to which I added the FM board. It had all the filters installed, and the previous owner thought the receiver was virtually as good as his FT-1000MP. The Paragon was replaced by a first generation IC-756 in 2006, Rx not as good as the Ten-Tec, but the scope function is useful at times. This runs through an FC-902 ATU, to a vertical aerial, presently a Chelcom 80m, which will load on higher bands. In 2009 a near new TT Omni 7 replaced the 756 as the main hf/6m radio. It is usually connected to a 60m doublet. On 6m a Cue Dee 6m/4m dual band aerial or a 1/2 wave vertical are used.

On vhf/uhf/shf I run two different rigs. An IC-910 covers 2m/70cm and will be used on 23cm once I have a new antenna for that band. A 4m transvertor is driven by an old Kenwood TS711E 2m multimode. I have various aerials for these bands. They include 1/2 wave verticals for 6m and 4m, together with a combined 2m/70cm co-linear. For DX on ssb/cw, I use a Cue-Dee dual band 6m/4m Yagi, 6 ele on 6m and 5 ele on 4m. Above this is a 2m 11 ele Tonna, followed by a 70cm 19 ele Tonna. Packet radio, mainly to the DX Cluster, is provided by a Dell laptop, to a Baycom modem driving an old TR7500 2m FM rig to a 4 ele vertically poarised Yagi. UI-View 32 runs on a Compaq laptop to a Kantronics KPC3, driving an Alinco DR-112 and 2m co-linear. The KPC3 will likely be updated to the latest version sometime in the future, or a dual port to enable hf.

Mobile Operation

KOALA1The old 4x4: Koala Rally Recovery at the start line of the 1998 Network Q Rally of Great Britain. The vehicle was replaced with a Land Rover 127.

I am now down to one vehicle fitted with radio.

The 1990 Land Rover 127, which until the end of the 2002 season was mainly used for rally recovery has now been replaced by a '91 Defender (stupid name - and it didn't come out until the Tdi models appeared in 1990 - not that Land Rovers' marketing muppets would have you believe that!). All bands/modes from 160m - 70cm are provided by an IC-706MkIIG, excluding 4m which is FM only with a converted Simoco PRM8030. The hf aerial is an Outbacker Perth, covering all 9 hf bands. I used to use mainly mono band antennas on the previous Range Rover, but this could cause problems with passengers having to climb over those not in use! The 6m aerial is an Ampro (or Pro-Am - they look the same to me!). On 4m the aerial is a 1/4 wave, with a dual bander for 2m/70cm. APRS is now available from a Kenwood TH-D7 to another dual band 2m/70cm. Most of the vhf aerials are gutter mounted - I'm looking for a roofrack for the 90. A Garmin GPS 12XL provides position co-ordinates. Another 4m 1/4 wave connects to an IC-R10 scanner if APRS is not in use.

For more information on the former rally side of our activities take a peek at the Association of Motorsport Recovery Operators: AMRO While out on rally recovery duty, we could end up in some rare WAB squares, which we would try to to give to those that required them.

KOAREC2The old 4x4: The 3.5 litre Tdi engine had not been fitted at this stage and all the radio equipment was still to be fitted..

Until 2001 I ran a 1983 BMW R100RT, fitted with 2m. This was replaced with a Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic in 2001, and was subsequently replaced by a Honda GL1200 Gold Wing Aspencade. The Gold Wing was sold in 2005 and a '93 Enfield India Bullett 500 purchased as a 'back-lane potterer'. As of Sept 2007 I also own a '99 Triumph Legend TT 900. Both Enfield and Triumph have been sold as of December 2009. The BMW was used for commuting as well as pleasure trips and occasional touring. In recent years it proved invaluable on charity events such as the British Heart Foundation cycle ride held locally. It's the easiest way to get through and around groups of cyclists on narrow country lanes. I've had radio on bikes since the early 80's, when several local radio amateurs decided it could add to their motorcycling pleasure. I joined MARC
(The Motorcycling Amateur Radio Club ) in the early/mid 90's, possibly their first European member. I started a group here in the UK, called MARR, but this fizzled out due to lack of information from the membership. No news means no newsletter! I no longer have all the old newsletters on file (could not migrate them to new software package). If anyone has the time, and energy, I'll gladly pass on all details and the few remaining pennies, I'd like to see the Motorcycling Amateur Radio Register (as was) ride(sic) again!

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