My interest in Amateur Radio began in 1969 whilst in the Merchant Navy.
It started with me becoming a broadcast short-wave listener using a Sanyo portable receiver bought in
I picked up a copy of the Short-wave Magazine and found the hobby of Amateur Radio existed.
A Trio 9R59DS receiver was purchased and it opened up a new world of radio to me.
Repeated requests to numerous radio operators to teach me morse code met without success.
I left the MN in 1972 and returned to live in Evesham, Worcestershire.
I studied for the City & Guilds Radio Amateurs Examination, and also joined the Worcester & District Radio Club.
Brendan Magill, G3RMF taught me morse code whilst I enjoyed much help in understanding the hobby from other
members like Brian G8ASO, Ron G4AWA, Keith G8BBP, Geoff G3NUE, Roger G3TQD and Russell G3VDX.
I had my first experiences of contesting in 1972/73 whilst SWL assisting in National Field Day (G3GJL/p) or
international contests like CQWW SSB/CW using G8JC.
My family moved to
road accident. This gave me ample time for further RAE studies, assisted also by G3LHJ at Torbay Radio Club.
I took the RAE in December 1973 in
I phoned the Post Office and reserved the callsign G4CXM. Once done I phoned up Burnham Radio Station and
asked if I could call up the next day to sit a morse test because I already had a callsign reserved !
They said it was irregular but thankfully they obliged and I duly went up and got through the test first time.
The SWL contesting experience had put me in good stead as I was already reading about 20 wpm at that time.
G4CXM hit the airwaves on
I also operated with the Torbay Club (G3NJA/p) in numerous contests and enjoyed the friendship of members
including Derrick G3LHJ, his father Larry G3GDW, Gee G3NQD (mother of Roger G3SXW) and many more.
During a tour of
International Telecommunications Headquarters which houses 4U1ITU and received permission from F8RU to
operate the station during my visit. It was certainly a good experience to be on the receiving end of a pile up !
I worked Father Ed HV3SJ during my stay and on informing him I was heading in the direction of
an invite to visit and operate his station. That was another a memorable experience.
On my return to
live there for some months. Most of my operating in
company of John G4DQW. It was during this time that I met Charlie Suckling G3WDG and watched in awe at
what he was achieving using the UHF and Microwave bands.
On completion of my studies I took up work and residence in Cwmbran and
operating as GW4CXM. Though mainly using HF, my interest was kindled to try 144 Mhz DX'ing.
I guess the contact that really spurred my future interest was when I worked Henry 9H1CD for the first contact
on 2m between
I took an active role in joining both the Blackwood and
contests with friends such as Steve GW4BLE, Ross GW3NWS, Brian GW3KYA and Dave GW8FXM.
Steve, Ross and myself and also teamed up to form the Gwent Contest Group, GW4ENT, and had a ball operating
from Ross's superb Caerleon shack.
I was preparing to emigrate to
take in the RSGB's Alexandra Park Exhibition. At a disco I asked a girl on holiday from
Sandra and I are still dancing. Sorry
I moved to
My first location was at the city's Central Hotel. All antennas being in excess of 150' above the ground level.
Besides exceptional results on HF and VHF, I think I hold some kind of TVI record with 400+ sets effected !!
I joined the West of Scotland Amateur Radio Society and was made really welcome by good friends like
Jack GM4COX and Tommy GM3EDZ. I operated with the club team during many an NFD using GM4AGG/p.
On the VHF front, I was invited to join the South of Scotland VHF Contest Group and there met up with other
long time friends Chris GM3WOJ, Alex GM4NFC, Keith GM4YXI, to name just a few of the many.
We mostly operated from the Mull of Galloway IO74np, until we eventually won VHF NFD after many years
of trying. We joined G8XVJ and the Warrington Group on the Lammermuir Hills but interest faded thereafter.
Chris and Keith moved to the north of
This group is primarily HF contest oriented, using GM3WOJ's excellent QTH in Ross shire. We've had a lot of
well placed results in CQWW CW and SSB contests.
Group callsigns used whenever I was operating have been GM6V or GM7V.
I've had a fair selection of antennas up at the home location. On HF there
has been either a 2 el Cubical Quad
for 20/15. A 6 el 10m monobander, 2 el 40m ZL Special, 80m dipoles or a rotary 10,15,20,40m dipole @80'.
The latest antenna is a 3el SteppIR Yagi which covers all bands between 6m and 20m. See "My Antenna".
On the VHF side it started with a 16el Tonna and progressed to 2 x 16el's. These produced some really super
contact results around
I am really happy that I was around to participate in the boom period of Meteor Scatter in the 80's. Though the
interest appears to be on the increase again with the advent of digital modes like WSJT FSK441 and JT65.
My present interest is mainly on the 1.3 GHz Microwave band where I am running
10w with and FT736R. This will shortly be increased to 150w. My antenna system
is from Wimo in
I am also active on 70cm with 120w and 2 x 23el at 75’, also from Wimo.
I was also member of the Strathclyde Raynet Group to provide communications
in event of an emergency.
In the years I had been a member, two periods have become highlights of my own personal activity.
The most important call out concerned the crash at Lockerbie of a Pan-Am flight 103. On the night of the
disaster I made my way down the A74 to Lockerbie and assisted in identifying Lockerbie Academy as the base
for radio emergency communications. Thereafter I assisted the Search and Rescue Dog Association, 36 hours
continuous activity that will live with me for the rest of my days. The operation continued for about 2 weeks.
The second activity consisted of me travelling to Romania and helping provide communication from an orphanage
that was being improved by Strathclyde Regional Councils Building and Works Department.
I became a member of the RSGB Morse Examiner service soon after the scheme
It is a pleasure to put peers at ease and help them achieve the morse competency qualification.
In the '80's I was a GB2RS Newsreader on 2m FM in Glasgow.