Derek's Ham Radio Page

On the right is an image of me visiting Signal Hill where trans-oceanic radio communications had their beginning. I have always had a fondness for radio technology, and as a teenager became a ham radio operator. I wrote about my attraction to ham radio as a hobby in a Christian Courier column, describing how it started as a hobby and led to a vocation.

I like to work the shortwave bands such as the 17, 20 and 40 meter bands in the evening. Currently, I am using a multi-band G5RV antenna strung up in the back yard. I have occaisionally worked VHF (2 meter band) in the past, but currently I have only an HF rig.

My first HF transmitter was a "home-brew" 80m CW rig using a single 815 (dual pentode) tube. It was built on a piece of wood with a hand-wound output transformer and an air-variable capacitor. It was originally fed by a home-made crystal oscillator (I actually used a colorburst crystal), but later moved up to an old external VFO someone lent me. A picture of that first rig and my current rig are shown below.

More recently I am developing an interest in software defined radio (SDR). Over the next while I hope to do some experimentation with SDR.

HF rig with automatic antenna tuner

Software defined radio (gqrx under Linux).

Some of my previous rigs:

My first rig: an 80m "home-brew"

Previous HF Rig with power supply,
homebrew antenna tuner, and SWR meter

HF Antenna
(part of a G5RV-junior)

VHF Mobile Rig

VHF Mobile 1/4 wave
"mag-mount" Antenna

To find out about the fascinating world of Amateur Radio click here.