Alan Floyd - G4GVB - NAQCC # 4322
Forty six years ago when, I was eleven, my interest in amateur radio, or ham radio as you guys on the other side of the pond call it started. The idea of talking through a microphone, and those words being heard miles away fascinated me. (Still does).
Many hours were spent reading radio magazines and cannibalising old televisions and radios for components, some of the more 'likely' radios had BFO's, 'S' meters, additional IF stages and RF pre-selectors added. Transmitters were made and remade. At thirteen the 'Radio Amateurs Exam' was taken. The result was not what I wanted. I got round to taking it again a few years later with the correct result this time; G8KLN was on the air. Using modified commercial equipment and home brew my interest was 2 metre DX.
A couple of years later in 1978 my interest turned to CW and the Morse test. After 3 months living, breathing and eating Morse the CW test was in the bag. G4GVB had arrived. While I was working as an Electronics Engineer at a local company producing Digital Temperature measuring equipment. I designed and built an electronic Morse key with memory, it was published in the RSGB's magazine 'Radio Communication' I still have the original and it still works.
Today at my postage stamp size QTH my interests are DX both QRO and QRP also giving a few points away in contests. I work all the HF bands with an FT-890 to a Ten-Tec Hercules II and an FT-757 as back up. The aerial is a modest wire 30 feet at its highest point of the inverted trapped 'L'. It works well on 80 and 40 with all continents worked. For 20 I have a ¼ wave stub at the feed point and on 15 there's a 5/8 stub. Under the grass is 60 feet of chicken wire with another 15 radials wandering all over. Best DX with 4 watts CW to date was recently when California was worked a distance of 5284 miles that's 1321 miles per watt.
The YL, Joan M6TEC makes use of the VHF / UHF FT-8100 mainly to talk to me on the way home from work. She has had her licence since the end of 2008 and is now getting into SSB HF working. As for CW, well maybe, who knows.
You can find us both on QRZ.com and on our web site www.qsl.net/g4gvb Check us out.