I became interested in radio stuff in the ‘60s and ‘70s, during primary school. My best friend’s father had a Panasonic multi-band shortwave receiver that we would listen to when I visited. Shortwave stations filled the dial with news, sport, DXers programmes and, of course, propaganda from behind the Iron Curtain. At that time Pirate Radio stations in the North Sea became prolific, beaming their signals into the ‘BBC’ only, government regulated, UK ether.
This exciting time kindled my interest in radio and electronics. I built receivers and transmitters from magazines and books and finally strayed across ham radio. I passed the UK technical exam mid 70s but could not afford a commercial 2 m set. So I waited until I left secondary/high school and became an engineering apprentice/sponsored student at Marconi Space and Defence Systems (MSDS). The first 3 months I was there I had to complete a technical course, including metalwork (shop) and technical drawing. The 2 hour commute each way gave me the ideal ‘quiet’ space to learn Morse code by hissing the City Gents, bowlers and all, newspapers back at them. I got some strange looks. I passed the Post Office Morse Test, at Post Office Headquarters in the City in 1976, and was Licensed as G4FRZ in 1977. I still could not afford a commercial rig, and so built a variety of CW only transmitters, before being spoilt by a KW Vanguard as a loaner. Working at MSDS I met numerous hams, including the late, great, George Benbow, G3HB, author of the RSGB Amateur Radio Examination Manual. Of course those early days were soon swamped by work and family, dogs and gardening and so ham radio went into sleep mode. I became an electronics engineer before being seduced into the dark side of Project Management.
Moving to the USA, I was licensed as AE6JX in 2002, changing to vanity call K6KY in 2006. At first I was Interested in HF, mainly SSB, but with an aim to get back into CW. This took a little time under the mentoring of a local ham AB6ET. I came to enjoy field day CW contacts and the SKCC SKM and I would struggle through a few other, higher speed, contests, struggling to resolve callsigns with a few attempts. I had the desire, and, after retiring, the time, to try speeding up and doing the magical ‘head copy.’ A few local hams had taken part in CWops courses and so I took the plunge, autumn 2022, to have a go.
And that was that! I became a member in February 2023.
I enjoy all and any aspects of Ham Radio. I get a kick from getting old rigs back on the air, antenna work, club activities, emergency communications and operating.
I moved QTH in 2021 and I am still working on getting my new shack and a few antennas set up.This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.