Amateur Radio Station – G4TFU
Amateur radio should not be confused with Citizens Band (CB) radio. It is an international regulated hobby which requires study and the passing of exams in order to obtain a licence to experiment and operate a radio station in specific parts of the radio frequency bands. There is a progressive licencing system designed to help people enter the hobby from any age by completing their training in progressive steps.
I have been a licenced radio amateur for many years. My main interest is operating using low power in the HF section (1.8MHz to 30.0 MHz) of the amateur band. We “Hams” call this QRP operating and my favourite transmission mode is Morse code which we term CW. I am a member of South Manchester Radio and Computing Club, the G-QRP Club and of our national organisation The Radio Society of Great Britain.
I make some of my own equipment and enjoy electronic construction, particularly experimenting and burning up the latest components whilst trying to turn them into radio transceivers – I occasionally succeed!!
My only HF antenna is a 23 metre long wire, 15 metres above ground level, which I tune using a “tuner” mounted high on the chimney of the house. When conditions are favourable the antenna works very well.
The limited VHF and UHF band activities which I undertake at present are mainly participating in Club Nets or occasional mobile activity in my car or portable operation when indulging in my favourite outdoor activity of hill and mountain walking. We “hams” have our own radio repeater stations connected to the internet. Its fascinating to be able to communicate with somebody in e.g. Australia by transmitting, using very low power levels, from the outback into a local radio repeater and having it relayed over via the Internet to another repeater in another part of the world and subsequently transmitted out on the amateur bands. This enables us to chat with to a fellow radio amateur in another country using a very low powered, often hand held, radio transceiver. A relatively recent development is the increasing use of digital transmission / internet linked modes for voice communication over the airways. I have just put up a Diamond dual band antenna at my home location (QTH) and am currently trying to decide which one of the various digital protocols to go with.