About Myself

Welcome! My name is David and I live in a large town, Milton Keynes which is approximately 50 miles north of London. My Amateur Radio Callsign is G0TWN.

I first became interested in radio during the Citizen Band radio craze and quite soon into SWL (Short Wave Listening). Amateur radio fascinated me more than CB radio but I did not become a licensed radio amateur until July 1991 as G7JYA.

In my first couple of years I was limited to 2 metres radio gear and I enjoyed working both FM and SSB voice communication. Through friends my interest was almost immediately upon Packet Radio. I continued SWL'ing and longed to be able to access HF bands.

I passed the 12wpm (words per minute) morse code test and became licensed as G0TWN from July 1993. I traded in my 2 metres base station radio for a Kenwood TS-430S HF tranceiver, which I still use today, mainly C.W. and digital modes. I quickly returned to packet radio with the purchase of a cheap 2 metres FM transceiver.

So, my interests principally are HF and digital modes. However, I am keen to branch into other areas, such as ATV, Microwave and PacSat, to name a few. Accomodation space is my problem though, currently occupying a corner of the kitchen.    : - (
I hope to put a conservatory on the rear of the house which would give me some space!

Packet Radio

I was Sysop of GB7IMK TCP/IP packet radio BBS which I run from December 1997 to May 2009. Serving the Milton Keynes and North Buckinghamshire areas. At the beginning it was an enhancement to the local packet network but GB7BEN AX25 BBS has since closed. It offered users the chance to experiment with TCP/IP over packet radio where you can utilise common internet client software within MS Windows or Linux, for their access to local facilities. These included, personal mail, news (bulletins), HTTP Web Pages, World Wide Converse (WWC) and DxCluster, to name a few.

I was also host and managed the United Kingdom IP groups (UKIP) website, promoting the use of TCP/IP over amateur packet radio. There is so much more that you can offer over TCP/IP than AX25 alone can offer. This may confuse you, having seen nodes such as LONNY but although such systems have AX25 users ports, as did GB7IMK, they are TCP/IP systems.

I closed GB7IMK down after 12 years due to family and work committments.

HF Radio

picture of a Kenwood TS-430S

As I explained earlier, space is at a premium just now and so I don't use HF as much as I used to or, wish to.

The 12 w.p.m. morse test was originally just a barrier I knew I HAD to take to achieve my 'A' (Class 1) license. On my own, I admit to struggling with learning the code. I had pretty much learned all the alphabet but was struggling. I then with a few friends, Bill G0TGU and Barry G0UCK, started going to morse classes with the late Stuart G0GOF. A jovial, kind chap, who got me through within nine months.

I, like others before me, promised Stuart that I would give C.W. a try, upon getting onto HF, and I did. It originally was just a means to an end for me but once I started, I enjoyed the conversations with those I met. Not just the basic, name, QTH and 'your 59', that I was mostly finding on HF voice but, enjoyable conversations. True that they took an awfully long time but, as my speed of sending and receiving florished, I got addicted. Truely addicted. I still played voice and datacomms but my QSL card collection is mainly from the many, many great people I have met. Strange, CW operators respond to more of my cards than voice operators 'promise' to.

My current equipment :

Band Radio Power Antenna
HF Kenwood TS-430S 100W 5 band trapped vertical
*2m Icom IC-V200 15W dual-band colinear
2m/70cms Yaesu FT-2700RH 5/25W  
*70cms Storno 5662 15W vertical
Storno 5662 RX only 9 ele Yagi
Storno 5662 RX only 7 ele Yagi
Storno 5662 RX only 3 ele Yagi

* Equipment was utilised for the Ampr BBS GB7IMK, December 1997 to May 2009.

Other hobbies

When I'm not converting PMR for packet radio I also do a bit of programming. C, XHTML, Javascript and PHP/MySQL mostly. I’m a LAMP Developer these days. Never found a WYSIWYG GUI to my satifaction so I code raw.

Although not deemed such a ''black art'' these days, I also build and maintain my own computer systems, network and OS'es.
Linux Kubuntu is a good all round O.S. with AX.25 support. I used the server version for amateur packet radio (AMPR) BBS.
My Kubuntu server these days is my email (Postfix), music and NAS server.

picture of an Olympus e-500 DSLR camera

I have also got in to Photography. I aquired a Olympus E-500 DSLR camera with 45mm and 150mm lenses in 2007. I upgraded to an Olympus E-520 DSLR camera body in 2015. Buying an OLYMPUS ZUIKO DIGITAL 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 ED lens in 2013 and a Olympus EC-14 1.4x Tele Converter Lens. I enjoy taking Landscape and wildlife pictures. Finally getting round to indexing loads of pictures and then may get around to uploading some somewhere!  :-)

I also enjoy Woodworking. Owning a Router, a Router Table and a Table Saw, I unwind by making items for family and friends. I am currently setting up a seperate website (Joomla) for this hobby.

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