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Amateur Radio

My main hobby. I have always been interested in radio and electronics, and Amateur Radio was a natural progression to my interest. I have held an Amateur Radio licence for about 30 years. My wife also has a licence, getting interested after watching me talking on the air. That is most useful as I can call her up on my way home from work in the car and find out what’s for dinner!

I am a member of the Radio Society of Great Britain and also the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society.

My main activity within the many diverse areas of Amateur Radio is Direction Finding.


I have been using computers for several years, starting off on an 8086 with a 20Mb hard disk - but I learnt a tremendous amount on that machine. Most of what I know is self taught, from books and magazines, or, sometimes the best way, just sitting and “playing” with the programs.

I now use three machines on a regular basis, my main machine with scanner for photo editing, an Internet-only machine, and a P.C for testing out programs.

I wanted to know what was inside a computer (my electronics hobby!), and managed to get hold of some used machines, which enabled me to have a look inside, and to upgrade etc. I have come to the conclusion that the electronics (hardware) is the easy bit of computing, as it can take far longer to set a machine up (software) than to build or upgrade it in the first place.

Having shown my son the basis of computing, and given him a machine, he is now teaching me and now has a higher-spec machine than I have!

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Steam Engines and Railways

I have a passing interest in steam engines and railways. I always enjoy watching steam engines on television and have visited most of the preserved railways in southern England. Of particular interest is the Bodmin and Wenford Railway which we visit when on holiday in Cornwall.

To see details of some of the Steam Railways I have visited, have a look at my Steam Railways page.


I do not engage in much sport, but do enjoy swimming. At the time that the A-Team was formed, the average number of lengths that I could do was about a dozen, and my all-time record was 24. A great advantage of the A-Team Headquarters is that they were right next door to the swimming pool. This meant that we could be in the pool ten minutes after leaving our desks, get some lengths in, and still be back in time to eat our lunch within our lunch-hour!

By going to the pool regularly once a week, enabled me to build up my ability, and by the time that the A-Team was disbanded, the "norm" was 32 lengths straight off.

I still try to get to a pool whenever I can, and aim for the 32. My all-time record now stands at 72 lengths in one visit to the pool, although not continuous!


The majority of the photographs on this site were taken by me. Pre- 2007 they were taken with my Olympus OM10 SLR. As digital camera resolution improved, I felt I had to change to the new technology. I had already started working with digital photographs, as for the last couple of years, I always had my pictures scanned on to a CD at the time of processing.

It took about six months, and many camera magazines to choose the right digital SLR. In the end it was between a Canon and a Nikon, equally matched, and the final choice was how it felt in the hand. In the end I chose a Nikon D40X. It has a wide range of features and settings, but for most of the time, it takes beautiful photographs on the "auto" setting, where the camera takes care of everything. As a companion to the SLR I also have a Panasonic FX07 compact camera. For a camera with such a tiny lens, the Panasonic takes remarkably good photographs, every bit as good as the Nikon. It does have it's limitations though, particularly in very low light. It does however, have a good range of focal length.

A great advantage of digital photography is the ability to see the photographs immediately, although this does lead to taking far more shots than with a film camera. Web site creation is also far easier, as the scanning stage is no longer required.

For showing other people my digital photographs, I tried putting them on a DVD to show on the television, but the most successful method is to put the photographs on a laptop computer, and let the viewer control the speed at which they wish to look at the photographs using a dedicated viewing program.

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