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 My entry at the age of twelve was CB27/81. I had my Post Office licence and learnt from my piers, ham radio back then a mythological beast guarded by the feared RAE, just ask an 'elmer' to talk of the older tier system of privileges. My CB days meant I learnt by mistake, with more comedy moments than 'You've been framed' ! However it taught me how to talk to people, hold conversations and get more out of the kit. Telephony at it's best and sometimes worst. It says much about the hobby then and now, that it is still at the forefront of technical innovation. Experimenting and learning embraced by hams worldwide.

My true introduction to Amateur radio came when a little older, during a chance meeting at work I struck up a conversation with a late 'G' series ham. Years had passed there was a new three tier exam structure and my callsign would begin with an 'M' not a 'G'. Callsigns, now that's another debate altogether. That conversation and encouragement finally convinced me to join my local club B.B.R.C.

 The club supports all those taking up the hobby and studying for a licence, of course now you can at least take the first exam online.  Around the eighteen month mark I had proudly got my M0 with the Bath based distance learning course and support from the club. A tremendous learning curve that took me from unconsciously incompetent to consciously incompetent. Note to the reader, some years later this has not changed.

 I think when you're first licenced there's an ambition, I thought mine was HF Dx and although currently I use 20m at the qth and 40m in the car, once properly involved, much like learning to drive and passing that test, you very quickly discover so many different avenues to explore. Back at my test pass, I hadn't considered experimenting with satellites, digital codecs, VHF, UHF, meteor scatter or moonbounce. I discovered all that and a lot more when exposed to the visitor questions, whilst working as a volunteer at the R.S.G.B National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park.







Out there...On the bands.


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