I have always had many hobbies and tend to rotate between them. Electronics has been my longest serving hobby and I was fortunate enough to make it my full-time job for nearly 50 years. While I enjoy most aspects of electronics, radio frequency (RF) communications and computers have had a significant influence on both my hobbies and my career over the years.
Then . . .
My interest in electronics started in New Zealand in the early 1960s with a home-built crystal set and I began collecting components from old radios to use in building future projects. A few years later I became interested in CB radio, long before it became popular in the USA and Australia. CB was a social activity 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 as an apprentice working for an electronics manufacturer in Auckland that produced a variety of products, including televisions, stereos, portable radios, tape decks and electric fence controllers. They also manufactured many of their own components such as television picture tubes, coils, transformers, speakers, printed circuit boards and wooden cabinets to house their products. As an apprentice, I worked in every department, gaining 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 license 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 microcomputers and learned to program in BASIC, Z80 Assembler, and C++. I joined Dick Smith Electronics (DSE), where I maintained 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 . . .
Now that I am retired, I have time to revisit some of my 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 their own projects. All of these projects are free to use and modify for your own applications.
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