Who are The Martello Tower Group?
The founder members of the Martello Tower Group are:
My interest in radio started over Christmas 1975 when I was given a set of walkie talkies, these were on a frequency which would have made me the first CBer in the Clacton area as there were no other locals on until 1978.
I loved CB and played with aerial designs, coax, etc and found a lot of ‘interesting’ people on the air during the late 70s. I got a legal FM set in October 1981 and still listen now and then.
I passed the RAE and received G6UYP in December 1982 and then sat the CW in July 1989 to become G0MBA. Over the years I’ve spent a small fortune on radios, aerials and the latest kit and I still love radio as much today as I did back in the 70s.
I have served for many years on the RSGB Repeater Management Committee for Zone C and I sat on the DCC, HF and ATV groups as a representative.
I’ve been involved with setup, building, running and support of GB3TE, GB3CL, GB3CE, GB7COS, MB7UA and MB7UH and I put together the contest station for the Martello Tower Group. Tony is the chairman of the Martello Tower Group.
I’ve been interested in radio since I was in my early teens and was licensed in 1982 at the age of fifteen. I’ve always been interested in VHF and the higher frequencies rather than HF and have been involved with a number of successful contest groups including The Flowerpot Men in the 1980s. I’ve been operating using data from the mid 80s with RTTY (my first RTTY QSO was in February 1984) and the original Cambridge Packet system (my first packet QSO was in January 1985). I was the SysOp of the packet mailbox GB7NHU in London and then the original owner of GB7COS in Clacton when I moved to the area in 1990. I’ve been involved with the setup and building of a number of packet nodes nodes and I run the MB7UIV APRS gateway. I am the Webmaster, Contest Manager and DXpedition organiser for the Martello Tower Group. Outside of amateur radio my interests include flight simulation, computing, cricket and shooting. I am married with two children. My own personal amateur radio blog featuring my QSO365 project can be seen by clicking here. Keith is the secretary of the Martello Tower Group.
After spending nine years working for Marconi at Chelmsford I decided to branch out on my own running my own shop, originally repairing CB radio equipment and then moved on to amateur radio, obtaining my licence in 1990. Since then I’ve built Coastal Communications into a successful business giving advice and assistance to both newly licensed and experienced operators. My interests outside radio include fast cars and classic British rock music.
I first became interested in amateur radio around 1996 when I was working at Coastal Communications in Clacton-on-Sea. I gained my novice licence in 1998 and was issued the callsign 2E1GHB. Following this I sat the RAE in June 1999 and I now have the callsign M1EAK. I enjoy contesting, SSTV, APRS and helping with to keep our groups equipment running. My interests outside amateur radio are Carp fishing and I’m an avid sport follower, specifically F1, Football and Boxing.
The following are member(s) who have joined since the group was formed:
I genuinely can't remember a time when I wasn't fascinated by radio. Ever.
After discovering the local Radio Club in my early teens and being frustrated by the evening class failing to run for several years, I gave in and bought the RAE manual and did it anyway. Having passed both the exam and Morse test with flying colours, in August 1977 the licence for G4GHU duly arrived. (Special thanks to G3WUX - mentor and Morse tutor extraordinaire!)
At the Harlow Club I was one half of the team which won the 80m section of HF NFD three times, and have always actively enjoyed contesting. I've been a member of numerous and varied contest groups and, before IOTA was around, took part in activating both GJ3KMI and GD3KMI.
I ran GB7GHU at about the same time as GB7NHU was on the air (next door), primarily as a 10m gateway.
After far too long a hiatus a skyhook has been put up again, recently, and the aether in SS1 is now being gently warmed up from time to time.
Likes: 10m, 15m (favourite!), QRP, homebrew, Pat Hawker, and the occasional bit of CW.
Memberships: ARRL, G-GRP, BATC, RAOTA (qualified for membership when I was 25), Southend ARS, MTG.
Also holds KK6CW. Terry is the treasurer of the Martello Tower Group.
I became interested in radio when I met a friend's uncle who was a ham when I was around thirteen and I soon got into CB radio with a 23 channel AM set. I had great fun on CB and I even owned a CB shop in London during the boom years. A time came when I decided I wanted a ham licence so studied at Paddington college, sat and passed the RAE in 1986 to be issued witht he callsign G1SBA. HF called and I sat the CW to get G0HWC. Over the years I have enjoyed SSTV and before the days of PC software, I built my own SSTV encoders/decoders. I still use SSTV now. I also ran a packet radio BBS in Northampton, GB7AAA and now I run an Echolink gateway, GB7ICL and a D-Star gateway, MB6CL. Most of my activity now is from my work truck where I have analogue, D-Star and DMR wirelesses fitted. I have a full HF setup at home but although I don't get much time to use it, I do blow the cobwebs out from time to time.
I have always enjoyed amateur radio and putting gateways on the air is my small way of putting back into the hobby for others to use.
My interest in radio probably started back in the very late 1950’s - I remember listening to “amateurs” on my Aunt’s Ekco domestic set - back in those days I heard AM transmissions on 40 metres.
I was talking to a friend of mine Keith Fisher G3WSN - who went on to be one of the RSGB VHF managers. As kids, and with the availability of ex Government radio equipment at very small
costs, we went off to Lisle Street or Tottenham Court Road where for a couple of pounds, one could buy stuff like Wireless Set No.38 which we used on our bikes.
I gradually met the local radio hams in the Romford area where I was living at the time. Further old domestic receivers were obtained some of which covered Top Band.
I moved to Clacton in 1963 - Just in time for hearing the pirate radio ships etc in 1964. Left school in 1964 and after working as an apprentice electrician for about a year, I decided I wanted to be a DJ. I joined a small station operating from the Sunk Head Tower - Tower Radio. This operation, although great fun, was not to a be a success due to management problems so it was back to electrical work.
Radio reared its head again in the early 1970s when I obtained a Wireless Set No.19 at the time being sold for about £3.50 and discovered the delights of transmitting on “Echo Charlie” a band used since the war and still used today by unlicensed operators. Unfortunately my antics on EC were not appreciated by the Post Office in 1971 and this involved a confiscation of equipment and a conditional discharge for two years. I was ordered to pay £20 costs.
Like most when CB was legalised in 1981 - that was the next step. I took the RAE in 1983 and got my callsign G1WJR. Since then have been involved in radio broadcasting as a presenter on Mellow 1557 and later Dream 100. I was involved with the Radio Caroline religious Viewpoint programmes - and some other dodgy dealings with Radio Caroline. Nowadays and semi retired I have gone all legal and I present shows on Radio Caroline Flashback weekly and Radio Caroline North via Manx Radio on 1368 kHz monthly.
I operate mainly on 144/433 now and run the Clacton net each Monday and Thursday at 20.30hrs on GB3CL.
It should be remembered that although affiliated to the RSGB, we are not a ‘club’ in the traditional sense as we are not open to everyone for general membership. The Martello Tower where we meet is very limited in space hence we have to keep our membership numbers down. Membership is strictly by invitation only.
Martello Tower Group, 2009-2018