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Over the years, I’ve made many friends through amateur radio, some for just a few seconds, some for hours. A few hardy souls have been my pals for years ...

2013 cq ww ssb 3 lads 740

Above is a typical view of the East Coast Contesters ZM4T during CQ WW SSB 2013:
left is Wayne ZL2WG; middle is Lee ZL2AL (SK 2015); right is John ZL1BYZ.

Below, John ZL1BYZ is in the zone, working a 10m CW contest pileup in the dead of night at ZM4T.

ZL1BYZ 740

Hawke’s Bay
North Island
New Zealand

39o 39’ South x 176o 37’ East

Locator RF80HL

260m ASL

IOTA OC-036

CQ zone 32

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DX CoC logo new 125 on black
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NZART diamond 100
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2006 ZL6QH mm team that won Oceania DX CW

This is the ZL6QH team that won the multi-multi section of Oceania DX CW contest in 2006. Well OK, to be fair, we were the only entrants in that section but still we’re quite proud of our score. From left to right this is Brian ZL1AZE (top dog at Quartz Hill, now VK3IA), John ZL1BYZ, Wilbert ZL2BSJ (now PE7T) and me (the lardy one sporting a VI9NI teeshirt).

The ZL6QH site is now a wind farm and ZL6QH is no more.

Brian silhouetted up a pole

<- A typical view of one of my friends at ZL6QH super-station near Wellington. It’s Brian, ZL1AZE, who (along with Wilfred ZL2BSJ - see above) did most of the antenna work at QH in all weathers. It is almost always blowing a gale with chilly horizontal rain that hurts your face, ideal in fact for the wind farm.

 

The certificate below was for our multi-multi entry in CQ WW CW in 2005, winning first place in Oceania.

2005 CQ WW certificate ZL6QH

Here is Phil G0HSS, now VK4BAA. Phil was chief VHF/UHF linear builder for the Windmill Contest Group, helping us win many a VHF FD in the UK.

Phil writes a contest column in VK and is still very active. We went to Norfolk Island together in 2006 with Bill VK4FW and other VK hams, operating as VI9NI during the island’s centennial celebrations. Phil popped over to ZL to join me in CQ WW CW 2007, and I nipped over the ditch to join Phil & krew at VK4KW for CQ WW CW 2014.

2003 GRS VHFFD Phils lovely car
2005 VHF FD group photo by Ian G0AFH

This fine bunch of men is the Windmill Contest Group, winners of many RSGB field day contests. The team picture was taken by Ian G0AFH at the end of VHF FD 2005 near Ashford in Kent. Phil  G0HSS (sitting just to the right of the tyre) flew back from Australia especially to beat G5LK/P ... looks like they pipped us by 6 measly points!

Having slaved for weeks in his garage, this was the moment Chris showed us his new “50th anniversary” microwave transmitter, ready just in time for VHF field day. We often rely on Chris’ amazing skills to keep us going. We were particularly impressed with the quality of the internal engineering in this case, as viewed through the glass panel on the side of the resonant cavity.

G4BUO (Dave) operating G3GRS/P in SSB FD
G0FDZ (Chris) proudly displays his latest microwave gear

Dave, G4BUO, has been my friend for decades, literally. We’ve done countless contests together, and won quite a few - truth is, Dave is a highly accomplished operator, I just filled-in the gaps in the schedule.

OH6YF (Harri) at M6T now SK

Harri, OH6YF, was an outstanding contest operator and engineer until his untimely death in 2006. I thoroughly enjoyed what little time I spent in Harri’s company and am proud to have counted him as a friend. I’ll always remember Harri’s warm smile and the look of absolute concentration working DX on 80m in a contest. Anyone who names his son “Henry” after the amplifiers is clearly a committed ham. Maybe one day I’ll join Harri’s DX and contest team on the far side ...

G4BWP (behind) on 10m

Seeing the look of intense concentration on Fred G4BWP’s face, you might not believe he’s enjoying himself - but here he is on full flow, cracking along on 10m at M6T in CQ WW SSB 2000. -->

Bob G4BAH & Darren G0WCW bravely support Marlesham tower

These fit young men are Bob G4BAH and Darren G0WCW, stalwarts of M6T. I took this picture during CQ WW one year - prior to the contest, we had to return to the Martlesham club site to get some equipment, only to find the clubs mast swaying wildly in the brewing storm. Whilst Darren went desperately looking for a sledgehammer and I took more photos for posterity (!), Bob’s sleight weight was the only thing holding the stake down and the tower up.