Like many introductions I want to start with some thanks. Firstly to Keith, G0HKC and Kit, G0JPS as advisors and to my fellow CWA cohort of Kat, KK6CN David, M0WDD and Enzo, M0KTZ who made the last few weeks so enjoyable. I never expected to be nominated and it has been a very nice surprise, also thanks again for the nomination and the sponsors. Mrs G7KSE gets an honourable mention for putting up with this geekery.
My radio journey started in the late 80s as an SWL with an Eddystone 730/4. I drilled holes in my parent’s walls and window frames for a coax and climbed onto the roof whilst they were out. They weren’t entirely happy when they came back but they still talk to me, I think it’s mainly so I fix things in their house though. I got a licence in the early 90s and promptly shelved the hobby in favour of stuff students do when pubs are nearby. Fast forward to 2004 where I saw a TS50 in the back room of the vicar’s house who was going to conduct our wedding service. We started talking about radio and everything restarted from there. A family came along soon afterwards and that inevitably slowed radio things down for a bit, but never really stopped me listening. In the following years operations were limited to a handful of contacts each year but I enjoyed building stuff, every now and again something would actually work. But it wasn’t until a local ham donated a key and keyer as part of a shack clearance that I looked towards CW and getting more active.
That gift started a journey with CW that will no doubt continue for many years to come. My QTH isn’t ideal for operating so /P is the norm for me. Like many others I’m into SOTA and activate the local Lake District summits when it’s not horizontal rain (which any visitor to the lakes will testify that that happens even when its sunny). I did complain about this to a local when I first moved here but he just said, ‘You can’t have lakes without rain lad’. He was of course right. I’m active on HF through to 13 cm (the little grey box in the photo is my SOTA 13cm Xverter), mainly on summits but am still missing that transatlantic SOTA CW QSO. I suspect that most chasers across the pond aren’t quite out of bed when I’m on air but I’m hoping one will have insomnia one day. A QSO from my home QTH should be seen as either rare DX or that you’re doing the heavy lifting. I doubt I will ever worry those at the top of the CWT tables with my station, but I value every contact and enjoy using my new found skills I learnt with CWA.
Away from radio I have a teacher wife, Hannah and 2 teenage kids, all have no interest in radio, despite my encouragement. They will follow me up a fell if there is suitable bribery and tap their watches when activation time is over. I coach a youth rugby team, row on the beautiful Derwent Water and am a keen runner and cyclist. For work I am a mechanical engineer and spent many years in the D part of R&D, developing remote equipment to decommission hazardous nuclear facilities. Now I provide strategic guidance on carbon reduction within the nuclear industry.This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.