Remembering Pete Turner G6UOI

Pete Turner G6UOI
Every year I stop to remember an early morning contact in July 2013 that changed the hobby for me.
That day I heard a distinctive voice cutting through the noise and calling for stations. “GV6UOI”, a special call being used in commemoration of 100 years of the Radio Society of Great Britain.

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Eric Methven member of Field Radio

Callsign: G1SLP Full Licence (UK)

QTH: I live in Durham, in the North of England, a beautiful medieval cathedral city that was home to the Prince Bishops (Bishops that had the powers of the King)..

When were you first licensed ? I first got my license in 1985, when I left the military.  Back then there was just one way to get licenced and that was to study hard and pass a two part written exam.

It’s a lot easier to get into the hobby now in the U.K. with the Foundation (entry level) followed by the Intermediate, then the Full licence.  The different licence stages allow you to operate at different power levels (10w/50w/400w)..

How did you become interested in radio? I first became interested in radio in the military.  I tried CB at first, but soon became frustrated at the way people behaved.  Then I had the chance to listen to radio amateurs operating and thought “Yes!  I’ll have me some of that”.

I started studying the theory and at the same time, went to night school at the local college to get a qualification in electronics as until that point I hadn’t a clue about circuits, transistors, logic gates, boolean algebra or the little man that lives inside the box that speaks to me.  I subsequently passed the electronics exam with a merit and passed the radio amateur’s exams with a distinction.  I didn’t do the morse element though.  Still can’t get morse to stay in my head to this day.  I guess it’s the way my brain works.

Favorite Radio Activities and Locations ? My favourite radio activities are wide and varied.  Experimentation primarily.  I like to see what I can do with different setups and configurations.  I’m not one for rag chewing, but rather trying different scenarios to see what can and can’t be done with my radios and antennas.

I do radio for both pleasure and as a public service as a member of RAYNET (Radio Amateurs Emergency Network).  So my setup for Raynet activities (normally VHF) is completely different from my setup for NVIS, although both can be used for emergency comms (which is one of the things I love about this hobby – so many aspects tie in with other aspects).

Future Hobby Plans or Goals ? My future hobby plans and goals are simple.  Keep going as long as I can, doing what I do. (Great plan! -K9ATG). I don’t have a website, but I do have a blog page where I describe some of the projects I have done (not just radio either, leatherworking and making outdoor clothes).  It’s not regularly updated or maintained though as I spend more time on the radio than blogging.  Check it out if you like: http://eric-methven.blog.co.uk/.

You can also see a bunch of photos of me doing field radio stuff on my QRZ page under my callsign G1SLP.

Member of any radio organizations or clubs ? I am a member of RAYNET (North West Durham Group) and a member of WEARS (Wearside Electronics and Amateur Radio Society), my local very friendly and active club.  We meet on Monday nights.

Describe some of your favorite Field Radio experiences ? Most of my favourite field radio experiences are those where I can set up camp for a week or two and just play radio, occasionally stopping to eat and throw another log on the campfire.  Sometimes it’s an organised camp, like the Bushcraft UK annual Bushmoot in a remote woodland in South Wales, and sometimes it’s up in the Scottish Highlands.  Either way, I set up camp, sleep under a tarp, in a hammock.  I get lots of visitors when I’m set up for more than a day or two and it’s a great way to introduce people to the hobby.

However, if necessary, I have the ability to operate covertly.  My military training gave me the tools and knowledge to remain hidden and stealthy.  I don’t really do that bit though, but could if I needed to.  Neither do I own a tinfoil hat. (hi hi -K9ATG)

Transceivers and Antennas: My main rig is a Yaesu FT-817.  I also have an old Radio Shack 10m transceiver.  For Emcomm VHF I have a number of handheld transceivers. Antennas are: HF – 80m – 10m, a 22m long end fed sloper with 9:1 Unun that sits at the bottom of my garden and slopes up over the roof and down the other side a little bit. For VHF/UHF I have a copper pipe slim-jim dual band antenna, up on a pole off the side of my garden shed.  All my antennas are homebrew.

For field radio though, I use glass fibre fishing poles and wire antennas in many, many configurations.  Field VHF/UHF is usually with a home brew coax antenna known as an FBK.

Modes: Depending on where I am and what I’m doing.  On VHF/UHF, usually FM, but sometimes SSB. On HF, usually SSB and DAT.  I like playing with WSPR a lot, seeing where I can be heard with milliwatts of RF.

Eric Methven operating portable

Note from Joe K9ATG: Let me add: Eric is currently actively monitoring the traffic on and around the frequencies being used for Nepal earthquake support. Through his efforts, interfering transmissions are identified and ceased. This allows net control to have a clear channel to coordinate aid and assist those in great need. Cheers, mate. Another unsung ham helping behind the scenes.

Please note that all photographs appearing on this page can be viewed in a larger size by clicking on them.

Hans Ahrens member of Field Radio

Callsign: DK7OG

QTH: Berlin, Germany JO62pm.

When were you first licensed ? June 1974 in Hannover at the age of 16 years, that was at the time the minimum exam age in DL. No multiple choice, three parts plus CW at 12 wpm. In summer 1973 I joined a 2-week intensive licence-course of DARC held in a state educational institution with accommodation.

In addition to theory and first steps in CW, there were fox-hunts and learning of the practical radio operation. Many thanks to my CW-teacher Rudi, DL3FF (ex DK5OS, OK3QQ); the others went already SK. I had to wait for the exam until my 16th birthday but used the meantime to achieve the required CW speed.

Portable set up at former Berlin Tempelhof Airport

Portable set up at former Berlin Tempelhof Airport

How did you become interested in radio? My father gave me a self-built crystal radio when I was about 4 years old, good for listening to the local am radio station. I was fascinated by the fact that it worked without batteries and with so few components. Later I got a Radio Experimental Kit, leading finally to a regenerative RX with a car radio pentode. (…) Much later it was his initiative (he was no ham) to sign me up to the license course! For many years Ham Radio to me is no more hobby as in early days but became an important part of my personality.

Favorite Radio Activities and Locations ? CW on/around the QRP frequencies, JT-QSOs, sometimes CW-contests (non-sportive style only), Sporadic E on 6m.

I’m not that much interested in working „wanted“ DXCC entities. No Navassa? So what?
Experimentation with the equipment or its settings is also important to me. I like hamspots.net , WSPR and Reverse Beacon Network to check how strong and far my signal goes. Sometimes a surprising consolation if there were no takers of a CQ in CW or Digital.

Member of any radio organizations or clubs ? DARC, FISTS, G-QRP, NAQCC, DL QRP AG.

Transceivers and Antennas: Home: ICOM IC-703+ with 250 Hz CW-Filter, 2x8m (2x 24ft) stealth dipole in the attic; more on QRZ.com,  Field: IC-703+, self-assembled KX1, MP1 sometimes with MFJ-1954 10 ft telescope,  Vacation/fix: same as home but 10m fishing pole vertical matched with 1:4 UnUn and internal ATU.

Bands, Modes and most worked countries:  (last 7yrs of my log) About every 2nd qso is on 20m, followed by 15m, 10m then 40m and 6m.

Describe some of your favorite Field Radio experiences ? In the early 80s I had many nice CW-contacts on 20 and 40m when vacationed on a campground near Bari, Southern Italy (I7), having 1W CW from a TenTec PM2B (RX was wide as a barn door) to a linked Inv. Vee dipole feeded on a 20 ft fishing rod close to saltwater. Few CW-QSOs with my KX1 from the northern coast of vy beautiful blossoming Madeira Island.

Due to the climate my Field Radio activity in Germany is limited to the months April-October. :(

Han's portable set up location at former Berlin Tempelhof Airport

Han’s portable set up location at former Berlin Tempelhof Airport

One of your frequent setup locations is the former Berlin Tempelhof Airport. What is significant of the site and why do you choose to transmit from there? Berlin has many parks and forests, this newish park is roundshaped with 2km / 6500 ft diameter, has 386 Hektar / 953 acres. At my (almost center) position there’s no annoying man made RF noise. Also no RF obstacles, therefore it‘s nice for low angle radiation; last year I reached VK via long path with 5W. BTW: The Airport was in Service 1923-1998. Most of the 270.000 flights during 11-month Berlin Air Lift 1948/49 took place here, a logistical tour de force.

What languages do you know and what benefit are they when using the radio? Besides English, I speak some Italian, enough for a fluent communication. During my many vacations there a 2m HT was the key to follow up eyeball qsos with local hams; highly recommended! In the 80s I had many RTTY QSOs in Italian with my old teletyping machine.

What are some of the most memorable transmitting locations you have been? Sicily was a great experience in every sense. I lived/worked there in 1987 and had my Drake TR7 with me; antenna was a fishing rod vertical pi-matched to 50 ohms. The rod was fixed to balcony railing, I was surrounded by close buildings but it worked mysteriously fine compared to such a situation in Germany. I was told: “the closer to the equator, the better the ionization” … (i.e. now I live somehow in the wrong place).
During my studies in the 80s I was also QRV from DK0TU (Technical University Berlin); some years of QRO  from the top a of a ten-story building.  Fellow hams made also Meteor Scatter and Moonbounce from there.

Most Memorable QSO(s)? First qso was 20m SSB on exam day with a ham in Rome; I had too much stage-fright to start with CW.  First non-local QRP-QSO was in the 70s on 28.500 MHz AM, I used a pimped CB Walkie Talkie running 200mW into a GP in the attic, got 53 from DK7LJ/EA6/m .
On the sometimes rough road to my QRP DXCC there were many remarkable contacts that remain in my memory, especially those made from field locations.

Any Future Hobby Plans or Goals? Finding an undisturbed, easy-to-reach Field Radio QTH open 24/7 which allows space demanding temporary antenna setups and operation. No man made noise, suitable for low-angle radiation, i.e. no RF wall by trees or houses, no power lines, metallic fences…
Trying a (shortened?) Delta Loop for 20m; Early morning long path CW-QSOs in Oceania Contest. pse pray 4 rain-free wx and outstanding hf condx on 20m!

Portable set up at former Berlin Tempelhof Airport

Joe Armstrong, K9ATG kindly invited me to join FR after stumbling upon the keyword “Outdoor“ in my self introduction thread of another ham related Facebook group, vy tnx!

Note from Joe K9ATG: The pleasure is all mine, my friend. Thank you de K9ATG Joe.

Please note that all photographs appearing on this page can be viewed in a larger size by clicking on them.

Name: Steve

Callsign: WG0AT

QTH: Colorado Rockies (near Colorado Springs).

When were you first licensed ? 1958 – Novice as WV6HXL in CA

How did you become interested in radio? Older brother helped me build a crystal set when I was 10yrs old …later with my paper route funds I bought a Heathkit AR3 rcvr …listening to Sputnik every morning before I did my paper route on my bike! I was hooked on RF or radio waves!

Favorite Band and Modes ? Last several years solar activity has been very good and conditions on 20m and above have been excellent! So we’ve been making use of 20m-10m …also some 6m openings when possible. CW is our favorite mode but SSB is always fun for something different. Plus sometimes PSK31 but for me it lacks the immediate connection that you get with SSB or CW …Kinda like email verses a phone call or texting.

Please explain about the goats? When did you first start taking them with you?

That’s a long story! But let’s just say about 10-yrs ago they came into my life and I started hiking them w/me and they began to carry some of my gear when we went overnight backpacking as seen here:

Goat OuttakesAnd because goats are such funny characters they’ve become the center of attention for many of my videos such as this one.

Describe some of your favorite Field Radio experiences (locations and/or QSOs)?

During a recent Summits on the Air (SOTA) adventure I was lucky enough to make contact with Klaus/DF2GN who was also operating from a SOTA Summit in Germany using his KX3! He was using an EFHW vertical antenna suspend high up in a tree and running just 5w! Nothing sweeter than making contact with another kindred spirit using modest antennas and minimal power!

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Member of any radio organizations or clubs?Involved in Summits on the Air (SOTA) and local ham club here in Monument http://www.w0tlm.com. …was involved in local SAR for 15yrs before the goats.

Where are some of the most memorable transmitting locations you have been?

Operating in extreme environments above tree-line has it’s challenges and creates lifelong memories …like the time I was operating SOTA on Almaghre 12.8k’ a fast moving T-storm suddenly appeared and we had to pack up and run for our lives literally! With sparks everywhere!! …Pikes Peak is one of our favorite spots..

Any Future Hobby Plans or Goals? As long as I’m able (recently turned 70!) continue hiking w/goats and  playing radio from as many summits as possible while sharing our experiences via YouTube..

Transceivers and Antennas: Home: KX3, K2, LD-5, ATS4, ATS3, MTR, plus many little home-brew QRP rigs + wire antennas.  Field: same as above.

Closing Comments: Hamming outdoors will improve your OP skills tremendously! Trust me being able to setup a station and make contacts from most anywhere in less than optimal conditions will make you a well seasoned OP! Not to mention it’ll improve your health even without having a gym membership!! It’s FUN radio sport! See you on the air …73, Steve/wG0ATs

Steve WG0AT operating portable
Steve has loads of videos on his You Tube channel -so be sure to check it out here – https://www.youtube.com/goathiker.

Please note that all photographs appearing on this page can be viewed in a larger size by clicking on them.

Eva Thiemann member of Field Radio

Callsign: HB9FPM, OK3QE

QTH: Bassersdorf, Switzerland, canton Zurich, located in the district of Buelach, locator JN47HK Podmokly, my second QTH, in my native country, Czech Republic, locator JN69UW. Podmokly is a village and municipality in Rokycany district in the Plzeň region of the Czech Republic.

When were you first licensed ?  12.5.2014. I have been in an intensive HAM course in OK (CzechEva Thiemann member of Field Radio Republic). It was 4 days. Before of course I learned all about the amateur radio. After was an exam and I passed successfully. We were in a nice camp in Hradec Králové. I’m expressing my heartful thanks to the friends ( teachers) Ivan OK1MOW, Vráťa OK1KT, Vojta OK1ZHV, Vašek OK1MWA, Václav OK1VD and my OM Andy HB9OE/OK8JOE for their help learning me the wonderful world of Amateur Radio.

How did you become interested in radio? My OM Andy is HAM ( HB9JOE)

Favorite Radio Activities and Locations ? SOTA (over 100 summits in 12 month), first experience in contesting

Future Hobby Plans or Goals ? My goal is learning CW, activating once a 4000 m high SOTA peak in HB9 and getting mountain goat as activator.

Member of any radio organizations or clubs ? I am member of USKA, CRC, HB9SOTA and treasurer of IARU R1 since 2014

Describe some of your favorite Field Radio experiences ? Only on SOTA in several countries as HB (Switzerland), F (France), DL (Germany), OE (Austria), OK (Czech Republic), OM (Slovak Republic), SP (Poland), LX (Luxembourg), PA (Netherlands), ON (Belgium)

Transceivers and Antennas: At home: IC-7700, ant 24m end fed On SOTA: KX3, linked dipole

Modes: SSB

Eva Thiemann operating portable in the snow

Thanks to Joe Armstrong K9ATG. He found me somewhere on the globe and wanted make this interview with me.

Note from Joe K9ATG: All of this, and only licensed since 2014! She can also be found at QRZ.com Thanks Eva for sharing your story!

Please note that all photographs appearing on this page can be viewed in a larger size by clicking on them.