M0TXH – CQ CQ CQ

So, this is where it starts… Hello and welcome. I suppose some form of introduction is in order. I am Hauke, M0TXH. I am an amateur radio operator/enthusiast, electronics novice, full-time geek, hobby photographer, media professional (and probably many more things) living and operating in the UK (south-west London to be precise).

I have started this blog to document my own journey through the field of amateur radio. This wonderful hobby, which allows us to communicate with fellow radio amateurs all over the world without using phones or the internet. Build and test out own equipment. Participate in thrilling contests. Learn about the fascinating worlds of physics and electronics. And, maybe most crucially, make some friends along the way.

Operating /P on holiday in Cumbria

My own journey in amateur radio started in the late summer of 2019. The RSGB website for locating clubs offering a training facility put me in tough with the Burnham Beeches Radio Club (BBRC), which I am still an active member of today. Through BBRC, I completed my foundation practical and exam in August 2019 and became M7HBG.

Having gained M7HBG as my foundation call sign had me hooked. I quickly acquired an Icom 7300 as my “base station”, and mainly used it as my base station during the DX picnics our radio club holds several times a year. (At my home QTH, my antenna setup was and continues to be rather limited).

The “slow” start as an M7 (UK foundation) license holder enabled me as a complete novice to radio communications to gain both a theoretical understanding and practical grasp of the different aspects of being an (amateur) radio operator – many of which never feature in any “prescribed” exam textbook. The hands-on experience from the BBRC club outings was certainly a massive help and contributor to gaining a more complete and holistic understanding of amateur radio. I found the step to intermediate especially interesting, as this was the first time I had to seriously get my head around electronics and all the related foundational concepts. Unlike many other amateurs, I had no prior experience (personally or professionally) in electronics.

In March 2020, I moved on to the intermediate level, and became 2E0HBX. This was at the time quite a step, which required considerable effort to study on my part. However, this step opened my appreciation for many different aspects of our hobby – like construction, circuit design and propagation theory. Of course, it also permitted me to up the power, as I was now allowed to blast 50W into the ionosphere.

Operating /P during a SOTA activation on Whitfell Pike (G/LD-032) during August 2021.

Now, at the time of writing this first post of what I intend to turn into a semi-consistent record of my amateur radio (and related) activities, I have just completed the final hurdle of the amateur radio licensing journey: My full license with all privileges granted to radio amateurs in the UK as M0TXH.

The journey to the full license has taken me over 1.5 years to complete since gaining my intermediate privileges, and almost 2.5 years since the start of my amateur radio journey. I will not lie, this was a significant lift and required a LOT of study, discipline and work to achieve. That said, the UK full license is definitely an attainable goal for any amateur radio enthusiast with the passion and determination to take this step, irrespective of his/her previous experience in RF communications or electronics (again, mine was none). I will consider summarising my journey to the “UK Full” license in another post, in the hope it may help other amateurs.

I will leave it here for now. As I go along, I will add to this post with my future experiences in amateur radio, and maybe the one or two recaps of experiences gathered to date.

My field day / contesting setup in the tent, complete with espresso maker for those long nights DX-ing.

I should add. My main interests in amateur radio are the following:

  • HF operating and DX-ing on the HF bands
  • Portable operating (including QRP)
  • Summits on the air (SOTA) activation
  • Electronics and construction of my own amateur radio gear (I intend to get a lot deeper into this)
  • Antennae and their construction
  • Contesting (mainly HF)

As such, the remainder of this blog will be focussed to some extent on these topics, and some related ones. But let’s see where the journey takes us.

That’s it for now. Thank you for indulging me on my ramblings. Visit me on QRZ.com, drop me an email or follow me on Twitter @M0TXH to stay in touch.

73 M0TXH

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