I’ve always had a fascination with radio and electronics. I remember my Grandpa’s workshop which was chocked full of all kinds of electronic wizardry. As a young boy I would just look around in wonder. He built many things like radio receivers, audio amplifiers and even an analogue TV with a tiny little screen powered by a green cathode ray tube!
Over the years I’ve tinkered with small electronics kits and radio projects but this all came to fruition over two years ago when I began to be more seriously interested in amateur (ham) radio. Like many, I’d had a small flirtation with Citizen’s Band (CB) Radio in the 1980’s but this was something different. In order to be allowed to transmit on the amateur bands and talk to fellow hams all over the world I had to study! So that’s precisely what I’ve done. I joined the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) and a local Amateur Radio Society – FRARS (Flight Refuelling Amateur Radio Society) near Broadstone and hit the books.
In order to be a UK radio ham you must be licensed by OFCOM and this in contingent upon sitting and passing some examinations for the RSGB. In the UK we have a three-tier licence structure:
Each one is harder than the last but each brings with it greater privileges and responsibilities. I gained my Foundation Licence in January 2018, my Intermediate Licence in October 2018 and my Full (Advanced) Licence in November 2019. My callsign is M0NTV (the ‘NTV’ bit is for ‘Nick The Vic’!!!).
I enjoy talking to people all over the world – irrespective of politics or geographical boundaries and I particularly enjoy designing and building my own equipment (hams refer to this as “homebrewing”). I’ve built all my own antennas (ariels) and a number of electronic radio projects (including 5 complete transceivers) all from scratch (i.e. not in kit form). The inspiration of my Grandpa lives on!
If you are interested in any of the things I’ve built etc. then please have a look at my dedicated YouTube channel: