After a 5 year hiatus, I’ve returned to the air as a radio amateur (ham). Put back into use lots of gear bought over the years that I never really got to grips with. This time, now I have the time, I’ve taken my time to work out what to do and how to do it. I started slowly with a mode called WSPR which really just tests propogation to see how far a message can travel using the lowest power possible. I managed to contact Australia, New Zealand, North and South America and even a German Antartic research post. This was all done to ‘ease’ me back into the hobby. After a couple of weeks os WSPR, I’ve migrated to FT8. This is a digital mode..no talking into microphones talking endlessly about how whitworth threads are better than metric…its bang thank you ma’am! You have 13 characters so its basically is any body there, I’m here? Which goes as CQ G1ABR IO82. Then a reply, a report of signal strength and then goodbye…all over in about 90 seconds. No need to learn any languages as its all done in very easy codes. Already, after 12 hours of use, I’ve made contact with over 50 others, around Europe so far but its a start. Looking forward to my first transatlantic dx conversations when the conditions allow. 73’s from me.

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