Welcome back to Amateur Radio – new Country new start
First off let me introduce myself, my name is Stuart Buckley call sign M1EMB previously 2E1FXW from my novice days for anyone who might come across this and remember me, I lived in Knebworth, Herts which is located in South East England. My journey into two way radio started in 1994 age 14 when I purchased a 40 Channel Midland Citizen Band Radio from a friend of mine who lived in the same village as me, for me CB Radio was a great stepping stone and learning curve that I can’t say anything bad about…. ok maybe a few people I wish I hadn’t come across but on the whole I had a good time and made a lot of friends some I am still in contact with to this day.
CB also introduced me to DXing and I made a lot of confirmed contacts all across Europe, I say Europe as at that time the Sun Cycle didn’t allow for much further distance. I must have spent about four years on CB before I started a collage course at Stevenage North Herts for Electronics and met a guy in my class named Kevin (contact me if you ever read this Kev) who was a fully licenced Amateur soon we got talking and before I knew it in 1996 I had passed my UK Novice exam and was licenced for 70cm’s …that was pretty much all we had to use back in those days.
Four years later in 1999 along with some help from M1DYP Ken in Welwyn Garden City we sat and passed the Full exam (no Morse) which allowed us on various HF bands and 2Mtrs with a set power limit. Shortly after this time I got caught up with work and other activities and didn’t get to use the radio much and slowly sold off my equipment and concentrated on my other passion, FLORIDA!
14 Years Later ………
A lot has happened in the 14 years since passing my Full licence, my passion for Florida has grown into a business and now I run a Property Management company and run several web sites promoting rental homes in the Central Florida area for holiday/vacation and shortly after the business took off I moved over in 2006 and then married my amazing girlfriend Jennifer and bought a home together and a little puppy at the time named Tiva who is a Stafford shire Bull Terrier that we shipped over from Texas. Most exciting of all in May 2011 my wife gave birth to our first child, an awesome little boy named Bradley! We recently found out we have another little one on the way too
So what about Amateur Radio? Late last year around September I had an itch but after I applied some cream to it I was searching around and came across an old handheld for 2/70cms and dug out a couple of frequencies for local repeaters found on Google and had a listen and to my surprise heard activity! After a week or so and doing a little investigation, speaking to the ARRL over here and Ofcom back in England I reactivated my call sign which I was embarrassed to say I could not even remember after all this time, I was M1EMB once again! The best news of all in the last 14 years the RSGB had changed all the exams around and I had been grandfathered in to allow full use of all bands and higher power than before, previously this had only been allowed if you had taken the morse part of the exam as well but RSGB since changed all this.
After speaking with the ARRL I discovered I could use my UK Call Sign on a temporary basis till I get myself a US Call sign so I am working on that as we speak and hope to sit my technician exam at my local library when the time is right.
After using the local radio here I got a little home sick and missed my friends in the UK and went on a search for a way to at least listen to the bands using the Internet, I figured in the age of super fast broad band internet there must be a way and started looking at various software based methods to help me do this, thanks to eHam I came across a link to a piece of equipment called a Remote Rig. This little box has has achieved everything I had in mind and so much more and I can now use a real radio (ICOM 706MK2G) and a hand microphone to tune in to all bands in the UK and talk to my friends from my old QTH in Knebworth, Hertfordshire and subsequently have picked up with friends I had lost contact with over a decade ago.
Technology is wonderful!
So that’s my story so far, hope I didn’t send you to sleep, thanks for taking the time to read and please do some back and visit again for updates.
Stuart M1EMB – Davenport, FL USA