Welcome

Thanks for stopping by – I’m a radio amateur based in Chelmsford, Essex.  Radio Amateur’ing is a communications and technical hobby enjoyed by many.  Making contact with others by radio (either direct, via repeaters, through satellites or bouncing signals off the moon) is what we do.  Sometimes, we even talk to each other face-to-face.

M0PZT at GB1JSS 2015

This website is an outlet for my activities both in the Shack and out Portable as well as random musings via my Spurious Emissions blog.

Much of my activities are confined to the HF bands on various modes.  At home, I favour CW and JT/PSK/RTTY.  When I’m /P, I mostly operate SSB.  You can see if I’m active by viewing my PSK Reporter Stats or Reverse Beacon Network Spots.  If I’m out cycling/walking, I may be visible using my APRS setup.

  • Essex Skills Night – I’m a regular at the monthly Skills Night in Danbury where I usually offer handheld programming, DMR codeplugs, advice on datamodes, logging software, portable operating and “getting started” tips.
  • Special Events – For the past few years, I’ve organised 2 special-event stations: GB1STG St George’s Day and GB1JSS June Summer Solstice.

I have written a few logging programs: If you’re looking for an all-in-one logging and digimode application, you can download PZTLog (free) plus the more advanced PZTLog Pro.  A more basic solution is uLog and there’s support for Android tablets by way of tabLog – this is used for my /P activities as it imports directly into PZTLog via ADIF.

During the early part of 2015, I identified a need for a fun way of demonstrating Morse Code (and the hobby in general) to the younger visitors at club events – The Morse Mouse is a simple “guess the letters” game and is free to use.  I’ve recently added a 3 levels of difficulty: Easy, Hard, Expert – perfect for the Ham who fancies their chances against the clock!

Although designed as a demonstration program rather than a code-learning tool, it can be useful if you wish to “up your speed” or simply practice with some random letters.

The Morse Mouse has been featured in CQ Magazine and Practical Wireless.

…and, of course, there’s the silly stuff: Amateur Radio Explained , the DMR Guide , Club Nightmares and the new Ham Radio Filth

One of the most popular pages on my site is the CobWeb aerial which I made back 2012 – Details on its construction, sourcing parts (in the UK) and even obtaining a completed balun box are on that page.

About Me

My interest in amateur radio started when I was 12 with lots of SWL’ing on HF+2m along with learning CW – and managing to catch the peak of solar-cycle 22.  Originally intending to take the RAE in 1994, it wasn’t until I turned 20 that I got my “ticket” after passing what was then known as the City & Guilds RAE and the Morse test to get the old Class A licence – and taking the PZT suffix from my Father, who was G6PZT.

 

In the Shack, I use a Kenwood TS-590SG with an 80m Doublet and 20/15/10m Fan-Dipole.  When the weather is good, I like to operate portable with and FT-857 and my tablet logging application, tabLog. I typically use a 10m fishing-pole to support Inverted-V dipoles for 40m and 20m.  Outside of the hobby, I write software for use in audio/broadcast, I cycle/run (M0PZT-7) to keep in shape and am quite partial to a strong coffee or a decent Merlot.