I became fascinated with radio at the age of 4 years old, playing with the families Roberts portable radio. Mum would carry the radio from  room to room doing housework. I would tune the radio to other stations and was fascinated. Living in England it was easy to hear lots of European MW (AM) stations on a regular radio.

Roberts is a British manufacturer who still  is around today, with modern DAB and  modern reproductions of their iconic designs. http://www.robertsradio.co.uk.

As I grew up my parents fostered my interest in electronics with Electronics Kits, first a 20 in 1 kit and  then a 100 in 1. These kits gave a great grounding in understanding basic electricity and electronics. I don't thing that there is an equivalent around today.

I also built a variety of Crystal Sets and even built one that would at night hear 3LO Victoria (now known as 774 ABC Melbourne)  in Launceston Tasmania, 450 Kms away. By changing the taps on the coil,  the Launceston taxi radio on VHF (70Mhz)  low band AM could also be heard.

Dad also bought back from a business trip to the UK, a Russian built short wave radio. Despite the western propaganda to the contrary, this radio was a quality high performance set. Built by Valsts Elektrotehniska Fabrika (State Electrotechnical Factory) in Riga, Latvia.

The factory also built  Telecommunications and Military equipment, the famous Minox camera and even aircraft. With this I was able to hear 100s of countries SW services, Aviation, The Flying Doctor Service and the weekly Amateur Radio Broadcast from the Wireless Institute of Australia - Northern Tasmania (Now Known as Northern Tasmania Amateur Radio Club Incorporated) On Sunday mourings 40M AM. I built an external BFO for SSB.

Built a battery powered Super Regen receiver - "H.A.C - Hear All Continents". Not as good as the commercial radios but was a good learning curve. The set used battery valves and the 90V batteries were getting hard to get in the late 1970s. 10 x 9V batteries works just as well,  just expensive.

I also had a British built receiver, a Codar CR70A. A simple 4 valve superhet with full coverage of HF, a BFO and the Amateur bands marked on the dial. This with a long outdoor antenna (and living on Trevallyn Hill in Launceston) worked surprisingly well.

At the age of 12, by chance there was a demonstration of Amateur Radio at a Hobby Exhibition where I met Robin  VK7RH and Reg VK7KK . Rob taught me Morse code and I attended Saturday morning radio classes at Kings Meadows High.

I was lucky to secure an apprenticeship with AWA Engineering Products, at North Ryde, Sydney,  when there was an electronic industry in Australia.

Eventually making my hobby my profession took its toll. My work has been in all types of Communications, HF -UHF, Broadcast, television studio,  Avionics, 2 Way Radio, Automotive Electronics, Defence Communications and Sonar.  These days I'm less hands on and my interest in ham radio rekindled.

My interests are in working DX, voice and data modes, presently experimenting with WSPR and JT65-HF.

I am currently running an Icom IC-7200, an Icom IC-706, AH-4 Antenna Coupler with a 75 foot sloping longwire. The station needs an alternative HF antenna(s)

A Yaesu  FT-8800R and a Comet GP-15 for 6m, 2m & 70cm.

Hope to work you soon.



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