My name is Alan and my Amateur Radio callsign, obviously, is G7HZZ. I live in Nottinghamshire which is 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,
having camped in a quarry in Wales which turned out to be a Roman Gold
Mine. 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 became involved in developing geoscience databases and information systems, and then moved into marketing. I retired from the drudgery of marketing a scientific publications in 2011 and now just "bum around".
During the mid 60s, I played guitar 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 Men's Clubs where we played, and where the audience hardly listened to us whilst they played cribbage or dominoes.
However, we did have our high point in 1966, playing as one of the local support bands to 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, 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 largely desk job that I considered taking the Radio Amateurs' Exam in 1989.
Not having any interest or "ear" for CW, and unable to afford a HF rig or erect antennas, I stuck to the Class-B licence (VHF/UHF and 50MHz). In the 1990s the 6m, 2m and 70cm bands were very good and it was not difficult to get good contacts - even on 70cm - into Europe on SSB.
Although the Class-B licence was subsequently abolished I have retained my original callsign - the unique and distinctive G7HZZ.
In the past 4 years I have spent far too much time playing Amateur Radio, and being involved with several innovative clubs which have achieved much, but which have distracted me from many more diverse things which I really should be doing. So, it is my intention in 2016 to start to re-discover occupations and interests that have been side-lined. Paradoxocally, this might mean a bit more radio-activity, but better focussed.