I have always been a hobbyist – in fact I have so many hobbies that I tend to rotate from one to the other. My longest serving hobby has been electronics which I was fortunate enough to make my full time job for nearly 50 years. Although I enjoy most aspects of electronics, the two fields of radio frequency (RF) communications and computers have both had a significant influence on my hobbies and my career over the years.
Then . . .
Starting with a home-built crystal set in New Zealand the early 1960’s, I began collecting components from old radios to be used in building future projects.
In the late 1960’s I became interested in CB radio, which was legal in New Zealand long before it became a big hit in the USA and Australia. CB was a social activity back then and I made many friends, some of whom I am still in contact with today.
In the early 1970s I started my career in electronics with an apprenticeship working for an electronics manufacturer in Auckland that manufactured (among other things) televisions, stereos, portable radios, tape decks and electric fence controllers. They also manufactured many of their own components including black & white television picture tubes, coils, transformers, speakers and PCB’s and cabinets. As an apprentice I worked in every department which gave me a well rounded education in all aspects of electronics manufacturing, design, engineering, assembly and maintenance.
After completing my apprenticeship and a Certificate of Engineering I joined Pye Telecom working with commercial two-way radio and UHF telemetry links. During this time I obtained my amateur radio licence and began experimenting with home brew microwave transmissions and early AMSAT satellite communications.
In 1980 I moved to Australia where I developed an interest in micro computers, learning to program in BASIC, Z80 Assembler and C++. I joined Dick Smith Electronics (DSE) maintaining personal computers and Yaesu amateur radio equipment. During this period I wrote code for several projects including the VZ-200 RTTY module which was published in Electronics Today International magazine in November and December of 1984 and sold as a kit by Dick Smith Electronics (K-6318).
In 1986 I joined Standard Communications Pty Ltd (known in Australia as GME) initially as an engineer and later as a project manager where I remained for 31 years until retirement. At a time when most electronics are imported, Standard Communications continues to be the only designer and manufacturer of UHF CB, commercial and marine communications equipment in Australia.
Now . . .
Retirement has allowed me time to revisit some abandoned hobbies. One of these is amateur radio which I let go for more than 10 years. The other is writing software code which has developed into an interest in the Arduino and ESP32 as prototyping devices for electronics projects. With my past C++ coding experience I have begun to develop projects related to amateur radio. The result of these and other projects will be shared here in the hope that others may find them useful or at least gain some inspirational ideas for your own projects. All of these projects are free to use and modify for your own applications.
If you have any questions of comments please feel free to send them via the CONTACTS page.