Amateur Radio

I am a fully licensed amateur radio operator, my call sign is M3BIK and I can sometimes be found on the 2m band at 145.725MHz, that’s the VT repeater here in Stoke-on-Trent. I am not on very often these days but from time to time I do go on and see who is about. I also own the domain name that domain name points to this page.

What is amateur radio you may ask ? well for most people it is just a hobby, it allows you to talk to people who are both local or the other side of the world. In all countries, amateur radio operators are required to pass a licensing exam displaying knowledge and understanding of key concepts. In response, hams are granted operating privileges in larger segments of the radio frequency spectrum using a wide variety of communication techniques with higher power levels permitted. This practice is in contrast to unlicensed personal radio services such as CB radio, Multi-Use Radio Service, or Family Radio Service/PMR446 that require type-approved equipment restricted in frequency range and power.

Amateur radio operators are required to pass an examination to demonstrate technical knowledge, operating competence and awareness of legal and regulatory requirements in order to avoid interference with other amateurs and other radio services. There are often a series of exams available, each progressively more challenging and granting more privileges in terms of frequency availability, power output, permitted experimentation, and in some countries, distinctive callsigns. Some countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia have begun requiring a practical training course in addition to the written exams in order to obtain a beginner’s license, called a Foundation License.

My amateur radio setup is as follows. I use a home made aerial for 2m transmissions, I use a Icom IC-207 radio, this gives me full access to the 2m and 70cm band. For listening to various transmissions on HF 0-30MHz I use a Yeasu FR-101S and for any other bands I use a Yupiteru MVT-7100.

Icom IC-207 Radio

I started my interest in radio at a very young age, as a child my dad had a shortwave radio that he would often listen to, but he would only ever listen to local radio on it on MW. I started to have a play around with it and found out that when on shortwave I could listen to radio stations from all over the world, a few that got my interest back then were VOA (Voice Of America), Radio Luxemburg, Atlantic, and the BBC World Service. When I was about 14 years old I got my own shortwave radio, but I wasn’t happy with the reception I got so, I read a few books on shortwave radio (no lets google it back then !) and found I needed a decent long antenna so I purchased about 20m of copper aerial cable and ran it around the loft a few times and the reception was a lot better and I even found a few new stations, the world was now mine.