I was first licensed (Foundation) in September 2012 as M6BYM, then in April 2013 as 2E0RJW (Intermediate). I obtained my full licence in July 2013 as M0RNW.
I first got interested in electronics around 1967 (age 11-12). This lead on to radio when I was given several working and non working receivers and components from a Silent Key. The working receivers included a BC-348 with a 240v PSU and as yet unidentified HF receiver made by the Federal Radio & Telegraph Corp. (a true monster, this was a 19 inch cube that seemed to weigh about 1/2 ton). These sets gave me coverage for the LF, MF & HF bands. A simple indoor wire antenna soon proved to be insufficient, so I purchased a longwire antenna kit from Tandy. This consisted of about 50 foot of bare copper wire, a shorter length of insulated wire for the downlead, an insulated flat strap for feeding through a closed window and a couple of plastic ‘egg’ insulators. This was soon installed between the corner of the house and a suitable tree at about 20 foot above ground.
This gave me many happy hours of operation as a SWL, logging many broadcast and amateur stations. Eventually I wanted more and started to look at the options for transmitting. Shortly afterwards, I was given a complete type 19 set. I just had to get it working. Upon investigating how to get my licence, I discovered that in addition to the RAE (Radio Amateur Examination), I would have to learn morse and achieve sending and receiving at a minimum speed. Try as I might, I could not progress in this area (I am still morse illiterate!), as a result I could see no point in taking the RAE.
My hopes were raised with the introduction of the type B licence, which did not require any ability with morse, until I discovered that this would limit me to operation above 30MHz and all my equipment was for below 30MHz.
In the meantime, my education had been progressing towards being an electronics engineer. At Technical College, I got my first real introduction to computers (well a computer, the County Council’s mainframe which we were allowed to use for 1 lesson to input a simple BASIC program). This interest became an obsession on moving onto university when we were given unlimited access to a minicomputer and the university mainframe. As a student, I sold off the receivers and the Type 19 set (how I regret that now!) and scrapped hundreds of valves and equipment that no-one else wanted. This included an old Cossor double beam oscilloscope and a AVO RF signal generator.
Fast forward through a varied career in the computer industry to 2011, when at Oggcamp11, I attendend a talk given by MM0YEQ about Software Defined Radio. This, together with my friend Vaughan (M0VRR) resulted in me joining the Wolverhampton Amateur Radio Society and taking the foundation course and exam.