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