Digital modes

I am planning to have a fiddle with digital modes. My current leads will not reach from the FT450D to the PC so I get the chance to do some soldering and make the leads longer… see if can remember which end of the iron gets hot.

There are a few quite strong RTTY signals about (I don’t yet recognise the sounds of other modes) which takes me back a way. Years (decades) ago (I was 15!) I used to buy up old Creed 7B and 7E teleprinters, renovate them and sell them on to make a bit of pocket money. These were all set to 50 baud, not 45.5 baud as I only had a tuner for 50. I got quite good at it and I wish I had kept one. At one stage I had a couple running, one via a terminal unit wired to a B40 receiver, plus a separate tape punch and reader. It used to be fun running off reams of print from the Russian news agency TASS, or columns of numbers that I had thought were spy stations but turned out to be weather stations.

Fingers crossed I’ll manage to get it all wired up this weekend and maybe even manage a QSO on 20m.

One thought on “Digital modes

  1. Jeremy, your story nearly seems to be my story! Martin Juhe M0XJP m0xjp@mjdesignprint.com

    How I Started in Amateur Radio
    by Martin Juhe, M0XJP (2428)

    I must have been about 6 years old (1958) when my father let me tune our small Philco valve radio. I suppose I have been hooked ever since then, although I didn’t get licenced until fairly recently, I was a Short Wave Listener for 36 years.

    I did simple projects, electronics kits, simple crystal sets up until I joined the school radio club. At this stage I subscribed with my paper round money to Practical Electronics and built many of the smaller projects. Also all the club members built a simple TRF Receiver from a Newnes book. My school was in Welwyn Garden City and the club was given regular boxes of ‘Junk’ from Murphy Radio which wasn’t junk to us. I can remember stripping boards for much needed components and this was probably the start of my soldering days.

    I was still listening to broadcast stations until I came across strange voices and what I now know was SSB on 20 meters, I found that the heterodyne produced by my transistor radio would, with a lot of care, resolve these transmissions into legible words. I then never bothered with broadcast stations again. When I was about 14 a neighbour gave me an R1155 and I never looked back, constructing an end fed long wire the complete length of the garden. I also joined Mid Herts ARS (not now in existence) which met in Old Welwyn and really got me into the amateur scene. After a few years I obtained an R107 and this I used until I left home to work and live in London.

    Not much SWLing was done for a few years and after getting married and leaving London we moved to Knebworth where we still live. About this time (1979) I purchased a YAESU FRG 7700 this did me for many years until I added the FRG 100 in the 90’s. I did listen, although not as much as I wanted because I had started a business in 1982.

    Fast forward many years of listening, to 2002. I joined Stevenage ARS (SADARS) and in July took and passed the foundation licence, gaining the call M3JUH, in May 2004 I gained the intermediate and became 2E0MJD. Having come this far and taken so long I wanted to do the advanced licence, but as I have a severe hearing problem (2 hearing aids used), I felt that I could not do classroom learning for this, indeed I could not even find a local course! I approached the RSGB and they put me in touch with Dave McQue G4NJU (sadly now a SK) who agreed to coach me one to one, which was ideal other than he lived in Bletchley, it was an 80 mile round trip and he could only do it on Friday evenings! This I did for 10 months and in May 2006 took and passed the Advanced exam to gain the call M0XJP. This call belonged to a good friend of mine from the Stevenage club, Don Bache who asked me to take it over if I passed, Don was a retired Magistrate (hence ex JP) and sadly died of a brain tumour just before my exam.

    I am very keen, I operate a lot on the HF bands mostly with wire aerials using an IC756 pro 3 or TS2000. I also do my fair share of contesting (mainly as a personal hearing challenge) and can more than hold my own in my shack environment. The use of speakers is rather hopeless for me but I have no problem using my Heil ProSet plus headset and the wonderful (for hearing impaired people) MFJ 616 Speech Intelligibility Enhancer.

    I also have a station abroad, 20 miles inland from Alicante where I operate holiday
    style at least 3 times a year as EA5/M0XJP using an Alinco DX70TH and G5RV.

    You can read more about my Spanish operating, my home station, hearing equipment and other exploits at M0XJP on qrz.com, or http://www.m0xjp.com if you want to…

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