Amateur Radio been a big part my life.
Born in Canada and having lived in South Africa and Scotland for most of my life I am now settled back in Canada.
My Interest in amateur radio began at the age of 12. I was introduced into the hobby by Iain McHardy GM3JFG. Iain has since become a Silent Key.
I was a SWL with the RSGB issued designation A8476 between 1973 and 1978.
I was first licensed in 1978 as GM4GUQ. At that time I lived on the Black Isle in the North of Scotland. Later moving to Inverness.
While GM4GUQ I was mainly interested in V/UHF operation. I also did a great deal of mobile operation. Another part of the hobby I really enjoyed was Fast Scan TV. There were a number of us equipped with 23cms FM equipment. We used to go to RAYNET exercises and use the mode to send pictures back to the control of what ever event we were covering.
I was a member of the Inverness Amateur Radio Club. I heard recently that the club folded, due to lack of membership. In the 80's, however the IARC was quite active, andwe put a station on during most field days and VHF/UHF contests.
I was also involved in the local repeater group. I was the Technical Manager for the GB3BI repeater. BI was put on the air in 1985, and at a height of 1000 ft/asl, the repeater had quite a coverage in the North of Scotland.
My very first contact was made with GM3JFG on a Green and Douglas AM transmitter, with a G2DAF receiver and a Microwave Modules 2 meter receive converter. After that, at various times, I had the following radio's.
FT200 (HF SSB/CW)
FT101ZD (HF All Mode)
FT77 (HF All Mode)
NEC P2200E (2m FM Xtal - and a piece of junk)
IC202 (2m SSB VXO)
FT290R (2m All Mode)
TR2200 (2m FM Xtal) FT411 (2m Handheld)
I also had an assortment of Microwave Modules Linears and Transverters.
When we moved to Canada in 1990 I sold everything. In 1990 my XYL and I decided to move to Ontario. I was not active in the early 90's due to the pressures of work and the young family. It was after only moving to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1995 that I had the time to resume the hobby, and got back on the air as VE9ECC. I was quite active on the HF bands, as there was very little VHF activity in the Maritimes. We moved back to Ontario in 1999 at which time I took the Call VA3ECC.In May of 2002 I changed my Ontario CALLSIGN from VA3ECC to VA3GY
Primary interests in the hobby are VHF/UHF SSB operation. I was really excited about the possibility of working AO-40, but its post launch problems have made that difficult. In the 80's I was quite active on 23cms Fast Scan TV. I also enjoy participating in the local ARES group. (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) as I was in the similar RAYNET group in Scotland.