About Me

Hi,

My name is Mark and I currently hold the call EI3KD, having lived in the Republic of Ireland since 2010. I also have a current English licence, G4PCS, upgraded many  years ago from G8OBS. Professionally, I have been variously employed in the Automatic Test Equipment industry as: a Senior Applications Engineer; a Principal Technical Support Engineer; and a Principal Software Engineer. I’m also a qualified teacher, specialising in Early Years Primary and special needs.

Before I was licensed (some time around 1976?) I was a keen short-wave listener, having been enthused by various ham radio activities organised by the scout movement: They have a lot to answer for! In all, I suppose I’ve been digging weak signals out of the noise for about 45 years…

When I was first licensed it was easiest, for me, to get on the air on the 2m band, i.e. 144MHz. Initially I used a “Pye base station”, originally AM then modified for FM, shortly followed by an IC202 for SSB/CW, bought using money saved from a paper round over some considerable time! Very soon after I purchased the ‘202, I encountered a fantastic opening on Sporadic E to 9H (from IO91sv, or somewhere in “Zulu Lima square” as it was then) – I contacted several stations using just the ‘202 (2 Watts) to an indoor Halo antenna. Thus, the die was set for a lifetime of dedication to VHF.

I’ve always  been interested in contesting, my prime motivation being to test propagation to the limit and make DX contacts. I never underestimate how fortunate I’ve been to be part of great teams of like-minded folk, most notibly the Parallel Lines contest group (G4LIP/G8P) on V/U/SHF, established way back around 1980 and still going to this day. In Ireland I consider myself privileged to be an active member of the East Cork Radio Group, EI7M. In both cases, a happy consequence of continual station improvements, innovation, and hard work has been some great contest results: More importantly, it’s been huge fun!

The aim of this blog is to encourage someone new to become interested in VHF/UHF DX-ing, and also to share my experiences with other V/UHF addicts 😉 – Maybe, one day, I’ll hear you “on the air” but until then…

73, Mark, EI3KD

14 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Bryan

    Hi Mark, thanks for the pointer to your nice blog – I enjoyed reading about your daytime exploits! Looking forward to getting my shack back in action and trying a repeat of our tropo QSO back in March. 73 Bryan, G8DKK

    Reply
    1. Mark Turner Post author

      Hi Bryan, good to hear from you – look forward to working you again, perhaps even on 3cm when I get all my stuff over here and working 😉

      Reply
  2. Hans Hopstaken, pa0hop

    Hello Mark, I saw an article from you regarding your EME contact with 9G5EME. Very nice and congratulations of course. That must have been kicking for you, hihihi ……

    I like the type of rotator I see on the picture together with the 11 el. TONNA.
    Could you tll me please what mark it is. I do have a Channel Master, however this one is fitted “besides” the mast.
    Many thanks in advance.
    73,
    Hans, pa0hop

    Reply
  3. John Wood

    Hi Mark,

    Now the cap fits….. G4PCS!
    Great sigs in VHF NFD all bands antenna pointing any direction.
    Yes please do get your 3cms up and running. I have yet to work EI and my take off is very good ur direction. So long as EI keeps green we should be able to work RS too.

    73

    John G4EAT

    Reply
    1. Mark Turner Post author

      Hi John,

      you can thank the Wexford radio group (EI9E) for the great NFD signals – I just turn up, twiddle a spanner or two, inject enthusiasm, and operate 😉

      The grass in Ireland is turning brown! Don’t be alarmed though, the rain is back.

      I’m looking forward to getting my 3cm gear up, but there are just so many other (non-3cm) things to do. My dish is still in storage in England and when that gets transported over on some “convenient business trip” I’ll probably be on in no time – I really don’t want to put too much work into getting some other antenna going, although I do have some sort of flat panel thing that claims to cover 10368Mhz @ 20db or so gain at just about enough power handling… The system will be GPS-disciplined (implemented since I last used it in anger, so fingers crossed it works), and 10W pretty much at the feed of the 1.2m prime-focus dish. To be properly QRV (i.e. able to be on at any time) I need it to be remote controlled, which I can fairly easily do except for the h/b dish elevation.

      Anyway, perhaps the October UHF contest weekend would be something to aim for? Perhaps “see” you then 🙂

      Reply
      1. John Wood

        Mark,

        Sounds like you will be a big signal on 3cms. You won’t need elevation in the short term as your nearest tropo + RS stations will be some distance away. October contest/tropo openings would be good target. See you on the band soon 🙂
        John

        Reply
  4. luis böckler

    Hi,
    Mark
    hi folk on vhf
    we have nice time there, so i had good luck of a few random eme contacts too
    now will improof my rig to 4x9X desidn by dk7zb, and PA beko 1000
    antanna’s are ready, but wintertime are very closed,
    enjoy one of the nicest hobby in the world, dl8mai luis

    Reply
  5. Chris Slater-Walker

    Hi Mark
    I’ve just come across this web site by accident. I don’t know if you remember but we used to have occasional contacts on 144MHz while I had my old call G6ELH. I took the morse test some years ago and got M0BOP.

    I was friends with Graham G8MBI and I did a number of contests with him, and with Iain (G8SJP/G0RDI) and later with the Blacksheep group. I got married and I was pretty much off the air for many years.

    I visited Lawshall once – I can’t remember if you were there or not; Dave certainly was.

    I’m still pretty much inactive from home; there have been a number of upheavals preventing me from being active, but earlier this year I got involved in contesting again with the Colchester group (G0VHF/M1CRO) and I will be with them for the 6M trophy next weekend. I was with them for the May UHF, where I was operating mostly 10GHz (a baptism of fire, no less, never having been on the band before) along with Robin G8APZ. Did we (M1CRO/P) try with you on 10GHz? We certainly made it with GD0EMG on about the 3rd attempt, and in fact I think he was our best DX on the band.

    You seem to do very well, which just goes to show what can be done with a good location and an optimised station.

    73,

    Chris

    Reply
    1. Mark Turner Post author

      Hi Chris, yes I remember you – it seems a very long time ago! I’m not sure if I tried with M1CRO/P on 3cms, we had a little rain come across the path but IIRC it might have been just as the contest finished. Anyway, another time… Glad to see you’re getting the odd chance to be qrv. 73, Mark

      Reply
  6. Gary Christian

    Hi Mark,
    just wanted to say hello. Ive worked your contest station EI7M a couple of times in the last year. I am in Leixlip working at Intel for a few weeks. Hope to meet up again on the air.
    73,
    Gary Christian
    WB7BBU

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *