I’m Andy Watts from Salisbury (IO91CB) and my amateur radio callsign is G7MJV, I don't currently have any radio equipment for HF so I tend to listen to the Hack Green WebSDR quite a lot. I'd really like to be active on 40 or 80 meters but I have a small garden that's not really suited to a tower or 80M dipole. 

SDR stands for Software-defined radio and is essentially a computer controlled electronic device connected at a radio aerial. The received signals are converted into sound just like a conventional radio receiver. A WebSDR is one that's connected to the internet. It allows multiple users to access it and they can all control control their own virtual receivers independently of each other.

You can find a list of WebSDRs at http://websdr.org

Being a radio ham

Being a radio ham is an interesting hobby and I’ve held a transmitting license as G7MJV since passing my amateur radio City and Guilds examinations back in the early 90s.

G7MJV : Amateur Radio Station : Salisbury UK

I’m not very active at the moment but do monitor GB3JB on 145.7875 MHz in South Wiltshire. It is currently the only amateur radio repeater that I can receive here in Salisbury due to my poor location for VHF reception.

These days I’m rather limited when it comes to amateur radio equipment. I’m currently using an Alinco DJ-595 dual band handheld connected to a dual band (144MHz & 433MHz) colinear attached the the wall of the side of the house. I also have an Icom IC-48E that covers 70 cm but it doesn’t have CTCSS for any future analogue repeater access.

My interest in Amateur Radio

My interest in amateur radio started back in the early 90s, I’d recently moved to a house in Hedge End (Southampton) and the chap opposite had a rather large aerial (antenna) in his back garden. It turned out that he was a CB (Citizen Band) radio operator.

CB radio was quite popular back in those days and it was handy for chatting to local people. One problem is CB radio suffers with (if indeed it is a problem) is that during the right propogation conditions the range increases significantly. This can mean that you can struggle to talk to someone in the next town but you can talk to someone in Italy quite easily.

The phonetic alphabet

Sometimes radio amateurs find that they have trouble hearing the station that they are working clearly, especially if the band conditions are a little noisy. Spelling the words phonetically can make the difference between getting the information across or not. G7MJV is pronounced phonetically as Golf Seven Mike Juliet Victor 

More information about the phonetic alphabet can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet

Listening to shortwave radio on SSB

Very soon after discovering CB radio, I bought a small shortwave radio from Sony that covered the entire shortwave spectrum. It would also receive SSB (Single Side Band) so it enabled me to receive amateur radio operators who were using HF radio.