I feel that my old Morse teacher would be proud to know that I have become a member of CWops .. sadly, he is a long-time silent-key, but maybe he tunes in from time to time – I like to think so.Personally, I am delighted and proud to have joined CWops .. big, big thanks to my nominator and sponsors – you know who you are.
I trained at a nautical college to become a sea-going R/O, even though my first paid job was at land-based long-range Portishead Radio (GKA), where I spent about 18 Months. This experience and the contacts made led me to the opportunity of going to sea and I spent about 6 years as R/O on various Oil Tankers and Bulk Carriers, seeing much of the world in the process.
Sadly, the role was in decline, but that presented me with the opportunity of a shore-based career with BAE Systems (BAES) and I spent 30 years with BAES based in the NW of England (where I still live) in what was a very varied and satisfying career, before taking early retirement at the age of 55.
In between finishing my life at sea and having joined BAES, I made the decision to get my ham radio license and was issued my full license in 1989.
However, I never found the right time to fully embrace the hobby until August 2020! When a friend loaned me his station as he’d fallen out of love with the hobby. I was hooked immediately and very pleased that I had kept up with my Morse code in those intervening years .. and it was during those intervening years that my family unit was formed.
I met my wife whilst working at BAE and we have 2 wonderful sons and are now also blessed with two amazing little granddaughters. We have recently extended our family with an amazing Cockapoo puppy called Tonka .. it’s interesting trying to take part in the CWT with a puppy that demands attention .. I apologise for the errors.
My current (first) rig is a Yaesu FT450D TX/RX that I run at 90 watts into an EFHW antenna with 80 m choke .. simple but pretty effective. My radio is hooked up to my PC via CAT cable and I use the Ham Radio Deluxe software suite, which I have to say is the best user interface I have found. I use a number of keys, although my favourite remains the Samson ETC-3C, which I have had for 40 years – I used at GKA, at sea and it’s still going strong (see also my page on QRZ.com).
I have a number of other hobbies (my wife calls them obsessions !) including: Crown Green bowling, attempting to play my electric guitar(s), breeding Killifish, making wine and hill-walking.
That’s all folks ! Hope to see you on the bands soon.This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.