I'm Julian Moss, aged 60 and live in Cockermouth, a small market town in the north-west of England, in the county of Cumbria, on the edge of the English Lake District. With my wife Olga, I run Tech-Pro.net, a website that reviews and recommends computer utilities such as anti-virus, anti-spyware and data recovery software.
I was first licensed as a radio amateur in 1974, as G8ILO, when I lived in Essex. This was a class B, 144MHz and up, license. I upgraded to class A, all bands, in 1979, when I got my current call G4ILO. But my interest in radio goes back way beyond that. My late father was a hi-fi enthusiast in the 1960s when the cheapest way to get a stereo amplifier was to build it yourself. As a child, I was fascinated by this equipment - the glass tubes with their strange internal construction, the small resistors with their coloured bands - and this sparked my interest. For years I built radios and listened on the short wave bands, never having any particular desire to go on the air myself. Even today, I probably spend more of my radio time tinkering or listening than operating.
My radio station
My main radio is an Elecraft K3/100, which I assembled from a modular kit. This is powered by a Diamond GSV3000 power supply, and is used on the HF bands and 6m at powers of up to 100W. My K3 has the K144XV internal 2m module which I use on 2m SSB driving a Microset R50 linear amplifier at 50W output.
On VHF I use a Kenwood TM-D710E. This runs my 2m APRS gateway from morning to night and is also used for local contacts. When I am out of the shack I often run an EchoLink node (G4ILO-L, #3098) on 145.2125MHz (77.0Hz tone.)
My antennas are all located in the loft (attic) of our very small house. Currently I am using an MFJ magnetic loop covering 40m - 15m and a multi-band shortened dipole for 80m, 40m and 20m that also works on 15m with an ATU and has been modified to cover 10m and 6m too with the addition of extra "fan" dipole elements. Despite the apparent handicaps of using low power with attic antennas, my HF station puts a good signal into Europe and I have made DX contacts as far afield as South America and Antarctica.
On 2m SSB I use a rotatable SuperMoxon beam, while on FM I use a small collinear from Moonraker. There is not a great deal of VHF activity in this part of the world - even the repeaters are dead most of the time - and the Lake District mountains block any chances of working DX during normal propagation. I have, however, worked into Spain and France during Sporadic-E openings.
Other radios in G4ILO's Shack include my Elecraft K2 which I built from a kit in 1999 and ran as a QRP station for many years. This is often used as a 30m HF APRS gateway. I also have a Yaesu FT-817ND, several hand-held FM radios that operate on 10m, 2m and 70cm and a few QRP HF radios including a 20m MFJ Cub.
Modes of operation
I am sometimes on the air during weekday afternoons while taking a break from work. I like digital modes and often use PSK31, JT65A and WSPR. I am interested in Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) and run a receive only 2m gateway most of the time.I also often operate a gateway on 30m HF.
I enjoy taking a hand-held radio and going out for a walk in the local hills. I started an Adventure Radio scheme called Wainwrights On The Air to encourage more radio activity from the hills of the English Lake District. When I am out and about you can .
I'm not a DXer or an active contester though if I can spare the time I do like to come on for a few hours in some of the CW contests to give away some points. It's fun to see how far I can work and it's nice for a change to be able to join in a worldwide event.
On this website you will find articles I have written about various aspects of the amateur radio hobby that take my interest, as well as the descriptions, documentation and downloads for a number of radio-related programs I have written.
For news of what I am doing now, and other thoughts about ham radio, please visit my ham radio blog. In June 2011 I was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer. You can follow my treatment and progress as I try to beat the cancer in my other blog One Foot in the Grave.