Melbourne, Australia Chelsea, 30km SSE of Melbourne

My interest in radio started in the 60's. I was so proud after attempting to make a crystal set receiver without a diode! To my amazement, it received the most powerful broadcast stations all at once!. With a little help from the electronics guy across the road, I came to understand the function of the diode and later appreciate the lower barrier potential of the germanium diode he had given me.

My journey into radio and electronics had started and I was fascinated by radio propogation.

Jumping to the present, I have been playing with radio for more than 55 years now and really enjoy DX contacts using only low power.

My tiny radio shack
My Shack under the stairs Me in the Shack under the stairs

Tocumwal Field Day 2022
Here are some photos of me and my son, VK3APR, out in the paddocks at Tocumwal NSW during our field day in Apr-2022. We stayed out there until after dark trying to work DX stations by the light of the full Easter moon.

Trip to Germany Jun-Jul-Aug 2022
I managed to escape Melbourne's cold winter and enjoy a hot summer in Germany. We (VK3APR and me) had planned to visit Friedrichshafen, on the shore of Lake Constance, for THE European hamfest but Covid-19 put an end to that! Of course I took a couple of small radios with me. The first being a Yaesu VX-8R handheld which I had pre-programmed with all the German repeaters I could find information on from Melbourne. This worked ok although my limited German language skills meant that it was not used much.

The other rig that travelled with me was a uSDX/SDR 8 band set (see photo) which coupled with an ATU-10, an End-Fed Long-Wire antenna and a locally purchased SLA battery proved to be a lot of fun. With this setup, I was able to make 60+ contacts with 22 European countries, running only 6W on 20m and 4W on 40m. I could sometimes even hear myself on remote SDR receivers in Australia!
A very memorable time in Germany was also being invited (twice) to the monthly meeting of the R07 Amateur Radio Club in Langenberg. It was a real thrill to finally meet members of the club in person after getting to know them only via EchoLink DG3LL-L from Melbourne. They are such friendly and hospitable people at club R07.

Update: Germany Jul-Aug 2023
In July-2023 (another year gone!), I once again visited the boys at R07 Amateur Radio Club. It was a pleasure to catch up with Heinrich DH3JH, Herbert DG3LL and the guys again as we shared a few stories and laughs over some beers at their monthly meeting at the Alt-Langenburg pub.
In August-2023, still in Germany, I contacted Club R04 at Hilden, which is close to where I was staying. I was immediately welcomed by Dieter DK6OC, Roland DL1EAL and the rest of the guys, to their monthly club meeting which was held at the QQTec Painting School. A very enjoyable and interesting evenning was had, swapping stories and ideas and I felt privileged to experience the warm hospitality they extended to this stranger from Australia.

Tocumwal Field Day March-2023
VK3APR, Paul and VK3QH (me) spent the weekend up at Tocumwal visiting family. I didn't even bring a HF radio with me but yet again, I wish I had! (The lesson here is don't leave home without a decent 'go-kit'). Paul saved the day with his FT-818 QRP rig, and we found some time to set up on the banks of the Murray River. It happened to be the John Moyle Memorial Field Day contest (weekend), so luckily for us there was no shortage of activity on 20m and 40m and the band conditions were reasonable. Our contacts were few but we made 10 or so using an Inverted-V antenna, almost at ground level. Sometimes it actually was just 2 lengths of wire lying on the ground. We had fun and were amazed at how well a primitive field antenna can receive when the noise floor is zero.

Another great Field Day April-2024
Once again, VK3PA, Paul and VK3QH (me) spent the weekend up at Tocumwal on the banks of the Murray River testing our radio kits and making some good contacts. It was a real pleasure to work distant stations 5/0 with absolutely no QRM.

Thanks for visiting...

73 de VK3QH (aka VK3XGA)