The location: My QTH is located on the eastern edge of the town of Reading, in the area known as Earley, in the Thames Valley west of London. The QTH is some 60m above sea level, the shack is on the first floor.
Equipment: For HF & 6m I have a Kenwood TS480SAT, a Kenwood TS-770 multimode for 2m & 70cms and an Anytone
AT-5189 for 4m. I also use an Alinco DJ-V5 hand held for portable and bicycle mobile. Other equipment in the shack include Tektronix 465 oscilloscope, Racal Dana 9915M Frequency Meter, Data Precision 1351 digital voltmeter, home brew digital capacitor meter, digital multi-meter, home brew absorption wavemeter and Marconi TF2700 bridge.
I have two computers in the shack and although preferring Linux I also rate Ham Radio Deluxe which only works under Windows. So for control and logging on HF I run HRD on a Novatech laptop running Windows 7 and Mint. The Kenwood TS480SAT has a built in serial port so is great for software control and it also makes firmware updates a cinch. The second computer runs Ubuntu.
The garden at this QTH is very small at around 30 feet so for HF I use an inverted L using a solar powered auto matching unit at the base of the vertical section. Not very efficient on 160m but matches well from there to 6m. Other antennas include a homebrew 2m 3 element minibeam, 5/8 2m ground plane and a 4m Slim Jim.
The Operator: In the autumn of 2006 I returned to amateur radio after a break of some 40 years, I purchased a Radio Shack DX394 on eBay and strung a 40 foot wire around the picture rail of the living room, tuned it with a Mizuho Sky Coupler and was quickly re-hooked! Within a couple on months I decided that I wanted to became a licensed amateur.
Although I had taken my RAE in 1964 I had lost interest and never did get a license, unable to locate the certificate and the City and Guilds Institute unable to find it I set about joining my local club, Itchen Valley Amateur Radio Club, and purchased an ICOM IC-703. At the end of March I, and two other club members, passed the the Foundation and Intermediate Examinations and within a couple of weeks I was 2E0WYM.
Over that Easter during a clear out what did I find but my RAE certificate! So within a couple more weeks I became M0WYM. Why WYM? In honour of the on-line village of Wymsey which I created in 1998 and one of the first communities to be totally wired. Over the years we had the dubious pleasure of appearing in the Daily Mail, on Channel Four, Slashdot, The New York Times print edition and others.
The picture at the top of the page is copied with permission from the Reading and District Amateur Radio Club website and was taken at the HF National Field Day in 1963, I was 17! (I have already written about the Club
here and it was a look around the Reading club site that revealed the picture.