A copy of my profile on QRZ.com

QSL Matters

I am registered (and try to keep all my callsign variants up-to-date) on ARRL's LotW, Club Log, and eQSL. I try to up-load all my direct contact QSO logs (but not ones for contacts through repeaters or where I'm just a participant in a Net) to them. I occasionally also send out QSL cards after checking relevant callsign entries on QRZ.com. I'll try to avoid sending more than one QSL card to any one callsign, but this check isn't foolproof so duplicates may escape from time to time, but I'm not a chaser after awards, so if you get a card from me and don't wish to send one back, that's OK. Generally I'll send cards out via the bureau unless your QRZ.com entry indicates this route won't work. I am happy to receive cards too, and will respond in kind when I do. If you send me a card direct and want a card back by the same route, then a self-addressed envelope helps, but don't bother sending IRCs or "green stamps" as they're more trouble than they're worth. You may like to use Club Log search and OQRS if you're after a card for a contact made during one of my DX holidays.

On Air

I'm more interested in HF than VHF and UHF, and I've spent some time experimenting with various HF antennae, both commercial and home-built. I spend quite a lot of my on-air time at home chasing SOTA activations. Occasionally I also chase activations organised through other programmes and events like WOTA, ILLW and ROTA, as much because they give activity a theme as anything. I tend to avoid the more competitive award schemes (like World Flora and Fauna) though; some pile-ups are just no fun at all. So far most of my activity has been using phone modes, but I have spent a little time using digital modes (mainly PSK31 and RTTY). I am trying to learn Morse code. It's being a rather long journey with at least one long winding dead end and quite a few roadblocks and bits of contradictory advice.

My Home Shack

At present my "shack" is just a corner of my living room with a few convenient antenna feed sockets and my rigs. I have an Icom 706 MkIIG, a Yaesu FT-817ND, a Yaesu FT-450AT, and an Elecraft KX3. The 706 usually stays at home, the the 817 gets used mostly for data, and the KX3 gets taken into the field. The 450 mostly gets used in Kenya. Sundry small kit rigs see occasional use. Antennae vary from month to month, depending on current experiments.

Away From Home

Now that I have a full licence I take advantage of opportunities to operate outside the UK when I can. My first opportunity was in June 2011, whilst visiting Kenya, when I spent two weeks oparating as 5Z4/M0LEP from QTH Loc KI88jp using my Yaesu FT-817ND and a fan dipole for 40/20/17/12/10 metres (which also worked, with a little help from an ATU, on 30 and 15). There's a list of past overseas stations at the end of this page.

Related Matters

I try to encourage others to develop an interest in amateur radio in various ways. When I can I help with Foundation and Intermediate training courses, and I also edit the monthly newsletter for one of my local clubs.

Other interests

I've long been interested in astronomy and geology. I spent twenty eight years working as a computer programmer for geophysical survey companies. I've dabbled with computer-generated imagery. I read a fair bit of SF and fantasy literature, and I usually get to a few SF conventions each year. I sing in a small a'capella choir which usually performs at one of those conventions. I also like folk, choral, and early music.

Back Story

I've had an interest in amateur radio for many years. I attempted (and failed) the old City and Guilds examination way back in the mid-seventies before it became a multiple-choice type of paper, and before I'd even taken my A level school exams. I looked into the possibilty of re-attempting the exam occasionally in the following decades. In 2009 I became involved, via friends at my my local amateur astronomical society, in the tracking of amateur high altitude balloon experiments. That required equipment capable of SSB reception and RTTY decoding, and that finally pushed me past just thinking about amateur radio. On 27th February 2010 I joined a Foundation course at the nearby Bromley and District Amateur Radio Society and received my first callsign, M6LEP, on 16th March 2010. I missed the Bromley society's Intermediate course later in the year because its final day clashed with a long-booked holiday I wasn't prepared to miss. However, an opportunity to take the Intermediate exam at Cambridge was offered to me, and on a snowy day at the beginning of December 2010 I took a train to Cambridge to sit the exam. I got home, walking the last few miles through gently falling snow, in the early hours of the following day with the appropriate pass certificate. I was encouraged to take the same path for the Advanced exam, and spent a good part of the next two months studying the relevant books. On 1st February 2011 I again took a train to Cambridge. There was no snow this time, but my return journey was almost as delayed after a truck damaged a bridge. The rest of the month I waited anxiously. Eventually, on the 26th, my pass certificate arrived, and I received my full licence callsign almost exactly a year after starting the Foundation course.

Clubs

I'm a member of:

Overseas station log search (and OQRS)

Visit Club Log's log search and use the callsigns below. If your call's in my log you're welcome to request a QSL card via OQRS.

Overseas station details (most recent first):

6/1/2018 - 13/1/2018: 5Z4/M0LEP from KI88jp using Yaesu FT-450AT, 100W into a 20-6m portable hexbeam or a 40-10m fan dipole.

29 Apr 2017: ON/M0LEP/P from SOTA ON/ON-026 with Elecraft KX3 and link-dipole.

27 Apr 2017: DL/M0LEP/P from SOTA DM/NW-148 with Elecraft KX3 and link-dipole.

22 Dec 2016 - 11 Jan 2017: 5Z4/M0LEP from KI88jp using Yaesu FT-450AT, 100W into a 40-10m fan dipole, 5Z4/M0LEP/P from KJ80ih using an Elecraft KX3 with various vertical and dipole antennas.

5 Oct 2016: DL/M0LEP/P from SOTA DM/NW-062 with Elecraft KX3 and link-dipole.

31 May 2016: DL/M0LEP/P from SOTA DM/NW-062 with Kenwood TH-D72 hand-held.

7 Apr 2016 - 1 May 2016: 5Z4/M0LEP from KI88jp using Yaesu FT-450AT, 100W into a 40-10m fan dipole, and an Elecraft KX3 with a link-dipole for 15 to 40 metres.

17 Dec 2015 - 18 Jan 2016: 5Z4/M0LEP from KI88jp using Yaesu FT-450AT, 100W into a 40-10m fan dipole, 5Z4/M0LEP/P from KJ80ih using an Elecraft KX3 with a link-dipole for 15 to 40 metres. (Also operated 5Z90IARU between 20/12/2015 and 31/12/2015 from KI88jp.)

1 Oct 2015: DL/M0LEP/P from SOTA DM/SA-001 with Elecraft KX3 and SuperStick MP1B.

30 Sep 2015: PA/M0LEP/P from SOTA PA/PA-004 with Elecraft KX3 and link-dipole.

26 Mar 2015 - 16 Apr 2015: 5Z4/M0LEP from KI88jp using Yaesu FT-450AT, 100W into a 40-10m fan dipole, and an Elecraft KX3 with a link-dipole for 15 to 40 metres.

18 Dec 2014 - 8 Jan 2015: 5Z4/M0LEP from KI88jp using Yaesu FT-450AT, 100W into a 40-10m fan dipole, and 5Z4/M0LEP/P from KJ80ih using an Elecraft KX3 with a link-dipole for 15 to 40 metres and ground-plane verticals for 10 and 12 metres.

15 May 2014: F/M0LEP/P from SOTA F/NO-123 with Elecraft KX3 and ground-plane verticals.

18 Dec 2013 - 9 Jan 2014: 5Z4/M0LEP from KI88jp using Yaesu FT-450AT, 100W into a 40-10m fan dipole.

10 Apr 2013 - 5 May 2013: M0LEP/VK from OF88ac and OF79mq using Elecraft KX3 and 80m loop or SuperStick MP1B.

19 Dec 2012 - 10 Jan 2013: 5Z4/M0LEP from KI88jp using Icom 706MkIIG, 100W into a 40-10m fan dipole.

14 Dec 2011 - 4 Jan 2012: 5Z4/M0LEP from KI88jp using Icom 706MkIIG, 100W into a 40-10m fan dipole.

29 Sep 2011 - 3 Oct 2011: PA/M0LEP and DL/M0LEP, both /P using Yaesu FT817ND, 5W into a 40-17m link dipole, and /M using Yaesu FT9200E.

31 May 2011 - 22 Jun 2011: 5Z4/M0LEP from KI88jp using Yaesu FT817ND, 5W into a 40-10m fan dipole.


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