My name is Alan and my Amateur Radio callsign, obviously, is G7HZZ. I live in Nottinghamshire in central UK. This is my personal Amateur ('Ham') Radio website where I can tell you something about me. I hope that it interests you.
My Ham Radio interests evolved from my interest in Short Wave Listening in the 1950s and 1960s when there were thousands of broadcast stations on the air ~ and much better propagation than nowadays.
As a teenager I would listen to English language stations from around the world and often send reports in order to receive their QSL cards, information packs, posters, stickers and calendars. My receiver was a fairly simple domestic valve radio, which in those days typically covered the broadcast bands, but not the Amateur bands, etc.
In 1961, I became interested in geology and archaeology after visiting a Roman Gold
Mine in Wales. I later studied Geology and in 1967 began work as a
geologist and undertook mineral resources surveys in many parts of
England and Wales. In 1982 I was involved in developing geoscience databases and information systems, and later moved into marketing geoscience maps and books. I retired in 2011 and now just "bum around".
During the mid 60s, I was in a small town rock band in Cheshire - euphemistically called "The Elite". We were pretty average, mostly playing what we called "Weddings, Christenings and Funerals". The Weddings and Christenings are self-explanatory: the "Funerals" were the Working Mens' Clubs, and where the audience hardly listened to us whilst they played cribbage or dominoes.
However, we did have our high point in 1966, playing in support of major touring bands that visited our humble town - notably The Small Faces and The Mindbenders. We also came second in the regional rock band competition in '66 and were asked to sign-up for a tour of the 'clubs' in Hamburg, but we declined.
While other band members used commercially-built amplifiers, I had a couple of 'home-brew' amps, one of which (if I recall correctly) used two 6L6G valves in push-pull configuration, and which outclassed the cheaper commercial amplifiers of the day. There was also a super ex-BBC microphone which weighed several kilograms.
I did not realise that working 'in the field' was an opportunity to move from being a SWL to a Licensed Radio Amateur. Instead, seeking intellectual stimulation, I studied Renaissance Art and Architecture as part of a Nottingham University Extension Course and, later, Planning and the Environment at the Open University. It was only after I settled down to a desk job that I took the Radio Amateurs' Exam in 1989.
Not having any interest or "ear" for CW, and then unable to afford a HF rig or erect antennas, I stuck to the Class-B licence (VHF/UHF and 50MHz) in the days when 6m was really exciting with TEP propagation, and when 2m and 70cm contacts could be made into Europe on SSB.
In 2013, tired of talk-a-lot-but-do-little radio clubs, a few fellow malcontents formed the 'original' Phoenix Radio Group mainly to do ad-hoc portable activities. This has now diversified, becoming the Phoenix Amateur Radio Club (M0PHX) which incorporates the Youth Hostels Amateur Radio Group (M0YHA) and the Vintage Radio Group (M0VRG). Although the Class-B licence was subsequently abolished I have retained my original callsign G7HZZ.