1) How did you get involved in ham-radio and how many years are being a ham/SWL now?
First became involved in Ham radio aged 13 when my father had bought an old ex-military R210 receiver.
(0-14Mhz - I didn't know at this stage there were more ham bands!)
I became hooked just tuning the dials, zero beating the frequency etc.
Before long, the ham's were where I'd listen into most - generally 20 meter.
Over time, and near one Christmas, good old Santa brought me a Yaesu FRG-7700 receiver..Wow!
I now had the WARC bands and 10, 15meter.
This would be circa 1992 - conditions were good then.
I'll never forget logging AH9AC, VK9NS, AH3C, numerous KH6's, T2, in fact most of the Pacific in a short space of
time during the early 90's.
Some incredible signals coming over the north pole, which haven't been matched since!
So, SWL for approx 17 years (still am), became licensed in 2004 before the RSGB introduced the new format of
novice, intermediate and then full.
My listening over the years stood me in good stead for gaining full marks on operating procedures in the radio exam.
I guess anyone who's interested in sitting the exam should really spend time listening to the airwaves and learn.
2) What attracted you the most in being a ham-radio operator?
Until 2004, I was honestly only interested in listening, logging in my paper log.
Then the RSGB dropped the morse requirement, and I jumped at the chance before the aforementioned new
format was introduced.
As a youngster, I did in fact become very proficient at CW, but have since forgotten almost all of it..whoops!
3) What is your favorite mode and/or band?
SSB and my favorite bands are generally 20, 40 and 80.
I do recall 10 and 15 were good at the beginning of 2004 as I became licensed, so am looking forward to the solar
maximum in a few years to see how those bands improve.
In truth, any band that sounds good, is my favorite band,......If pushed, probably 20!
4) What equipment do you use?
Very basic, modest equipment like a Kenwood TS-570, 5BTV vertical and 2-elements mini-quad.
That's it!.....that setup has done me proud!
Other equipment includes 2 meter rigs, hand helds etc.
Portable work is only ever the TS-570 and a full size G5RV.
5) Do you hold DXCC and/or what is the score?
No way!!...I'm relatively young nearing 32 years old, so with good health, I'd hope to gain DXCC one day.
As an SWL I guess I was about 10 short of DXCC.
6) What has been your most memorable story related to ham-radio so far?
It would have to be a QSO with HF0QF in South Shetland Island, Antarctica on 40 meter.
We were both incredibly weak sigs to each other, but strong enough to give reports of 3/3 each way.
It's still clear in my mind as the best contact so far (especially on such a noisy band).
7) Do you think CW had it's best time since you don't need it anymore to get a license?
No, if anything, and during this era of high technology, I honestly believe morse code will be reborn over time.
People can only take so much hi-tech stuff at one time.
I predict a morse boom soon!....As noted above, I learned morse well, subsequently forgot, but one day, I'll get
learning and practicing again.
8) How would you explain our hobby to someone who is not familiar with ham-radio?
The easiest explanation is actually to be found in Wikipedia under Ham radio.
I don't think any other explanation is as good.
9) Do you have other hobby's besides ham-radio?
Football, DX related blogging/websites.
Currently running two websites, DX World of Ham Radio and now also 3Y0E.com, recently set up in recognition of a
South African radio ham who is on Bouvet Island for the next few months.
10) Any final words to the people reading the interviews?
Just enjoy the hobby.
It's there to be enjoyed and above all, enjoy DX-ing!
Vy73s to you.