As with many Radio Amateur's, my interest in radio and electronics started at an early age, where I was fascinated with radio and built my own Crystal Set, although in 1990 it was a Germanium point contact diode. The OA91, if I remember correctly. This was built from a set of instructions in a science book, published by Usborne which I recently found after over 20 years.
This led into Citizen's Band Radio and introduction to mobile and portable operations with a group of radio enthusiasts. CB is given a lot of bad press by the Radio Amateur community, most of which is unfounded. I learnt the basics of configuring a station, antenna theory, SWR and power measurements, interference tracing and mic craft. I built a static mobile helical wound antenna and also met some good friends through the CB network, some of which have subsequently also become full licence holders. Not all CB operators have a 400w Zetagi "burner" or an SSB set, unfortunately in some Radio Amateur's minds, they all do. I did have some DX with confirmed QSO's with Pudsey in the UK, France and Germany with 4w FM, although these lift's were rare.
I started Amateur Radio as a Hobby in 1995 when I passed my RAE with the help of an evening class at Wadebridge College run by Geoff Sharples, but did not licence as M1VPN until October 2003, when I had finished university and was living somewhere I could have some permanent antenna's.
My main transmission mode was phone (voice), although I attempted to learn Morse with G3AQM (SK). More recently, since 2012 when I purchased a Signalink-USB, Datamodes have dominated, first PSK31 and RTTY and then onto the WSPR modes and FT8. Now, I rarely make a phone QSO unless a sked or upon hearing something interesting.
Since being introduced to datamodes, I have continued to be on-air and have enrolled onto LoTW, where I upload at least monthly and am on eQSL also.
M1VPN/P at G/SC005 SOTA Summit
(Yaesu FT-857/SOTA beam)
My main interest is antenna theory and portable operations although there are a number of area's of the hobby that I would like to explore such as Satellites, Moon-bounce etc.
I was previously a member of the Norman Lockyer Observatory Radio Group, before I was unable to attend meetings due to work commitments from 2006 to date.