A brief introduction

Welcome...

...to the website of G7SYW, my name is Roger, I currently live just outside Exeter in the county of Devon which is in the South-West of the UK, in Locator square IO80gq. The site is based around my hobby of amateur radio.

So, (Don't you just hate it when people start a sentence with so?) I was born in North Essex in the year of 1962, to some people that makes me ancient, to others, I'm still a spring chicken, you make up your own mind where I fit between those two!
I've had a keen interest in radio and most things electrical and electronic in general since about the age of nine or ten. I was always fascinated by listening to the foreign stations on a shortwave radio, and learnt a lot from watching a friend of my fathers' fiddling about with various valves and components to bring "dead" radios back to life.

What is amateur radio?

Amateur radio (often called ham radio)...

...is a hobby in which people communicate with and experiment with radio. The ability to experiment makes an important distinction between radio amateurs (hams) and members of the public who are allowed to use radio such as Citizens' Band (CB) and Business Radio (PMR). Because amateurs are allowed to perform radio experiments, they are required to pass examinations in order to gain a license in order to prove their electronic & technical competance.
For most other types of radio license no tests are required, thus the freedom to experiment is not permitted and users may only use approved types of equipment with limited power and simple antennas in order that they do not unknowingly cause interference to other radio users. Of course, this does not mean the amateurs have no restrictions, in fact UK hams have very strictly controlled license conditions published by OFCOM in booklet BR68, to view a copy, click here.

Radio amateurs are also permitted to build and modify equipment and antennas that they use on the air. Many amateurs are employed in some form of communications field, which adds to their interest in modifying equipment. Others may do no building or experimenting at all and use commercially built equipment.
But because amateur radio equipment can operate on many different frequencies and amateurs may assemble their own stations using a variety of equipment and use high power, a considerable level of technical knowledge is required.

My introduction to amateur radio

It started with CB...

...in the early 1980's when my interest in electronics gave me the ideal introduction to repairing CB radios. In the early 90's I had a Yaesu FT-290R to repair, it was after repairing it that I used it to listen to the local amateurs which inspired me to sit the exam to gain my licence.

I decided that my knowledge of radio circuits was sufficient but definitely lacked knowledge of operating procedures. After a few weeks of home study I attended the local college and sat the exams. Upon receiving the results I was pleased to learn I had passed both exams and was then able to apply for my licence.
Read more here