My name is Andrew Amos and I live in Goffs Oak, Hertfordshire UK (IO91xr). I started my Amateur Radio journey as a young boy but had a long delay before formalising it, gaining my UK Foundation license in Spring 2016.
I hold a BSc(Hons) in Computing Science and have been working in the Financial Services area all my working career. I am very interested in the combination of IT and Amateur Radio and find all the varied aspects of the hobby fascinating.
My late father kick-started my Amateur Radio interest when I was in my early teens, he was an electrical engineer who previously worked on some unrecognised RF related radio projects during WWII, receiving the callsign G3AGM in September 1946. Unfortunately his encouragement was lost on my teenage years and only recently has the opportunity to continue come to me. Both my young sons gained their UK Intermediate Licenses in January 2017 and can be heard occasionally on the air as 2E0GGA and 2E0MXA. – thankfully they have a more focussed head on them compared to me in my youth!
In October 2017 I built a 2M 6 element Yagi (based upon the calculations provided by G6ODA) and have started to operate more on VHF SSB & CW, monitoring the SSB calling frequency 144.300 and often on the local 2M SSB net on 144.210. This initial aerial build kick-started a passion to explore and understand the “how” of Amateur Radio and Electronics, I thankfully had the opportunity to start building up a basic lab which is now put to use most weekends and some evenings. I have found it therapeutic to take time away from my day-job and focus my mind on more “complex” problems that stretch me.
Between September and November 2017, I attended the online CWOps Level 2 course but found it challenging to fit the study and practise into my hectic work schedule. I’m very keen to progress with CW and will persevere at my own pace until my competence increases. I had hoped to dedicate more time to this since 2017 but have failed miserably – I have now resigned to having this as a stretch goal when time permits.
2018 was the year of D-Star! After dabbling, and getting frustrated, with C4FM I looked into other digital modes and decided D-Star was worth some time investigating. I have spent time understanding the protocol and, in the early days, frequented the common reflectors (REF001C and REF030C) and found the community most welcoming. Soon I came to the realisation that the so-called “mega reflectors” are great for newcomers but the real way to use D-Star is either Direct Callsign Routing or through Smart Groups. In November 2018, I setup the London based XLX994 reflector and ran two Smart Groups (TORC1 and TORC2) linked to modules A and B. I was encouraged by the early users of the reflector (mainly through the Smart Groups) and hoped to encourage more use through the radio club a trio of us formed called “The Online Radio Club” (MX0ONL).
Sadly I have found that, during my 2 year tenure as club Chairman it was taking too much of my time both physically and mentally, I need a break from “organisation” and need to focus on furthering my hobby alone.
At the time of writing (Feb 2021) I have setup a new digital mode reflector XLX245 providing modules for D-Star, DMR, EchoLink, AllStarLink and M17. I’m very happy that it has had positive feedback and is in regular use by the Amateur Radio community. I have also meandered down the path of DATV, building a BATC Portsdown transmitter and Minitouner receiver – I’m looking forward to the next stage of making up the aerials for accessing QO-100 with DATV. And finally, I’ve just discovered FreeDV (a sideways stumble of mine from experimenting with M17) and enjoy working the folk on 80m who have been a great encouragement and a font of knowledge!
Until next time 73 and I look forward to working you at some point!