Rod, G4TUG, Ex G6SWC

Ex (S.Eng., F.Inst.S.MM., M.B.I.M., RAF Signals Certificate of Merit for Displaying Outstanding Ability, Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen, RAF Marksman)
g4tug@talktalk.net


LINKS TO G4TUG SUBJECTS
About Me (index) Ham Radio Cars
Hobbies RodLog Ham Radio Logging System Software Reading
My Diet Magnetic Loop Antenna Sailing
Computers Noise Figure of Receivers and Pre-amps Gardening
Links to other sites Experimental HF All Band Aerial Classic Films

            Hatched in North West London with autism (Asperger Syndrome) where I remained for twenty years.  At the age of eight years old I lost my father and at the age of twenty my mother died too.

           My mechanical interests developed at five or six years of age when presented with my first birthday-bicycle and I soon found myself maintaining it and the other children's bicycles too. At fifteen years I bought my first motorcycle and learned to maintain that as well.  Then at twenty-one, after marriage, I moved on to large powerful cars and also maintained them.  My interest has never waned.

            My radio interests began when I was about ten years old.  My first radio was constructed at age fifteen, a five-valve superhetrodyne that looked like a birds nest and oscillated like a beacon.  However, with some help from a professional friend, it eventually worked well. It lasted for six years or so until I cannibalised it for another project.

            After a misspent youth primarily consisting of girls and snooker, I volunteered for service in the RAF where I served in radio and was eventually sent on a specialist UHF course. Most of my four years service was spent in the Service UHF Trials Team, which was extremely interesting and enabled me to collect four Specialist Technical Qualifications (STQs).

            My first proper job, after prematurely leaving college, was as an Inspector on military Sonar Buoys and I held a Government Inspection Stamp, illegally I suspect, as I was still fifteen years old but forgot to tell anyone and nobody asked; I guess I looked fairly mature.  Altogether, including my time in the RAF, I gained about ten years experience in several disciplines within electronics including field maintenance. Testgear also became a very large part of my career, especially microwave.  I assisted in a very small way with the development of microwave outside broadcasting equipment in 1962/3 when I worked for Microwave Associates.  

            A sales opportunity in RF and microwave was offered to me in 1962 so I opted for it and never looked back.  I eventually specialised in the sales of spectrum analysers, state-of-art attenuation measuring equipment (in excess of 100dB) and noise measuring equipment becoming Marketing Manager for the UK and Scandinavia. As such I was quite successful and thus enjoyed a reasonable standard of living. 

            I conceived the idea of ‘Mini-radar’ based on the Gunn diode of the Royal Radar Establishment and also introduced the Japanese microwave industry into the UK around 1963. 

            By about 1981/2 and being very ambitious but with nowhere to advance to in my existing employment, I took the position of Marketing Director in a small company.  It was not to be.  A serious abdominal operation put me out of circulation for a couple of years and at my age, around forty-five, it was not possible for me to find employment of any kind again, especially at that time.   It was all over for me and I lost everything, which is why I am now an underclass impecunious pusillanimous, poverty stricken peasant living in a council house.

            During the past twenty-five years I have had an appendectomy, two hip replacements (another is overdue) three abdominal operations and an upper spinal operation. I have also had a very small operation for insertion of a Hickman Line directly into my aorta to inject the pain killer Morphine. My lower spine is currently compressed, an eventual operation being inevitable. I have recently got an abdominal hernia.

            The Government has denied me any Disability Living Allowance because it has to be claimed before the age of sixty-five years.  As I turned that age I was unconscious having just had the operation on my spine.  There is no appeal or discretion to back pay under any circumstances.  Check it out.  It is all hypocrisy, sophistry and propaganda.  The rule was introduced by the Tory Party and never rescinded by Labour!  A simple statute could amend it but it saves them money so they will not.  Blair has distanced himself from it.   And what about all the unclaimed money the Government spout about? A high proportion of it is really denied money.  Some people get it but it is a lottery. Never mind, it pays for the Dome, controversial wars, carelessly damaged battleships and other wastage.  It seems that it is easier to raise millions of pounds to squander than it is to raise a pittance for disabled pensioners.

            The above has resulted in me leading a sedentary lifestyle causing a phenomenal increase in my weight to 18 stone 5 pounds. Several diets have been tried with various degrees of success but ultimately I have devised my own diet from all that I have learned since. Visit my diet page to view the suggested diet in detail; it works for me. My weight is now 10 stone 9 pounds and decreasing. My target is 10 stone 5 pounds, a reduction of 8 stone. Update: I have just reached that target.

Me repairing a Spectrum Analyser at and for the BT Research Labs, Martlesham....
....and success.

            Well, I accept my lot and do not harbour many regrets.  My life has been quite good; I have enjoyed much travel and have met a great many interesting and learned people.  My career went as far as it could go and much further than I ever expected. I have entertained in the rotating restaurant atop the Post Office tower in London; one cannot do that now.  I have been given the key to the wine cellar of the Opera Kalleren in Stockholm, purported to be the fifth best restaurant in Europe.  My agent in Stockholm invited me to take the helm of his high power speedboat flat out in Stockholm harbour, doing spectacular U-turns. A colleague let me sail his yacht around New York harbour with the gunwales almost submerged, trusting fellow; it was my first experience of sailing!  A lunatic pilot took me for a frightening nosedive, in a small two-seater helicopter, right into Helsinki stadium.  One of my superiors took me to see South Pacific on the floating theater off Jones Beach, Long Island where Guy Lombardo arrived in his mahogany motorboat to conduct the orchestra; a memorable and enjoyable occasion.

            Another enjoyable and interesting experience was on one of the occasions that I was visiting Denmark (three or four times a year normally). My bed for the night was at the Royal SAS Hotel, Copenhagen where a number of well known film stars were residing. They were there because they were making the film "The Devils" considered too pornographic to escape the attention of the English powers that be. There, in the bar, I met the late Oliver Reed, no less. Oliver was wearing a denim jacket and trousers and, gesticulating with his huge peripheral motions, seemed to be larger than life; much larger. Not only did he dominate his space but seemed to occupy the whole room too. Anyway, being a genuinely long term fan of Ollie, I watched out for an opportunity to engage him in conversation. It was not long before I got my chance when he was very rude to a Frenchman, something like Cee yoU Next Tuesday, very loudly and right across the bar (he enjoyed fighting, I believe). Anyway, we had a whole evenings drinking and conversation, mainly about his past film work, most of which I had seen. Surprisingly, he was very self effacing, never boasting about his long career or how much he was in demand at that time. In fact when I mentioned one of his starring roles in the film "The Shuttered Room" with Gig young, Dame Flora Robeson and Yvette Mimieoux, he just said "Oh, that was the one where I finished up in the mud". He did not even seem to mind when I criticised his "Women in Love". Well, I did not wish to appear too sycophantic. Anyway, we drank all evening, (he sure could drink) until he went off (to bed I presume) but I have no idea with whom! In fact my mind had become a little foggy by then. When I asked the barman for my bill he informed me that Mr Reed had paid it. What a nice fellow. I guess I was more intoxicated than he but I could still walk to my room, just. There is no doubt that the late talented Ollie is sadly missed by his friends and admirers but his performances (and reputation) live on. To read a little more about my interest in films click here

            Once, when in Finland, I spent a little time with a Finnish ex model, Leila Lampi, but one would have to be pretty old now to remember her, even though her thirty to fifty feet high posters adorned the side of most skyscrapers in New York. Admittedly, when I met her she had passed her sell-by date and had taken rather a liking to the falling over liquid.

            When very young, I spent a lot of (very pleasurable) time with a budding actress who eventually played in the chorus of the film "Tales of Hoffman" but then faded into obscurity. At one time she acted in a play (Blithe Spirit, possibly) at the Golders Green Hippodrome, a critic subsequently writing that she was "the most lifelike ghost he had ever seen". Some praise!

            It may have been my four-wheel personality (the Mk 11 3.8 Jag) that attracted a Swiss "Play Boy" centre fold to spend a couple of weeks with me. It would be tempting to include her photograph here but that is not my way. It became necessary to terminate her before she dumped me. She was great fun but her tastes were too expensive for me.. Anyway, by then I had met Antonietta who became my wife and who is still with me after almost forty years. I digress.

            I have also seen American roundy-round car racing and Demolition Derby, much faster and bloodier than in Europe.  My work has taken me to most, if not all, the Radio Astronomy and ground stations in Northern Europe.  In fact I had to go to the Euskirchen earth station, Germany to fix their noise measuring system (my employer supplied it) so that they could commission the station.  I have visited most MOD electronic research establishments in the UK, and many equivalent in Scandinavia. And all the major commercial outfits in both, plus most UK universities and some Scandinavian ones too.  Even atomic energy and linear accelerator labs were my customers and prospects.  Although I did not understand a lot of that which was going on, the exposure taught me a great deal and it was all very interesting and informative. Actually, I think that I have done rather well considering that I have had to battle with Asperger Syndrome all my life; without it my carear could have been a lot better instead of my being held back by most of my superiors. Although without autism I may not have had the drive,determination or ability that I do appear to have. Anyway, nobody knew that I am autistic, not even me until I was diagnosed very late in life after retirement. I always knew that something was wrong but I did not know what it could be; perhaps that was just as well. If I could do my time again I would not change anything; better the devil............

Being dangerously silly... ...in New York   Twin Towers in background, almost completed.

            My ‘retirement’ is not as pleasurable as it could be but I was able to enjoy my work immensely and as I was young enough to travel and do a great deal with vigor, I feel that I had a better time then than I could possibly have now even under different circumstances.  Live fast and die young was my philosophy. I married for the second time in 1968 and my loyal and beautiful wife, Antonietta, was still with me until very recently.  That is not bad going these days. Although Antonietta looked after me twenty-four hours a day, she did not receive Attendance Allowance because I do not receive Disability Living Allowance.

Here’s a picture of Antonietta, 37 years of age, at Pescara on the Adriatic coast of Italy just 40km from her birth place Roccamorice.

We drove there, with our children, in our brand new Vauxhall VX490. It certainly attracted a lot of attention.

 

 

....and another at 60 years of age; she’s my everything and my life....

....and here she is again, almost 70 and still looking after me, the trooper and home maker that she is. However, on 13th July 2006 and without any warning, she took the dog for its daily walk but did not return. Three years of local vandalism, my disability, a three storey house to look after plus my Asperger Syndrome (autism) was all too much for her. I wish her well.

            And what about HAM radio?  Well, surprisingly, I only took it up in 1983.  It is now probably my major activity but with a fifteen-year gap when I did not have any equipment.  Even if I had the funds, I could not do all that I wish because I only have a thirty-five by twenty-eight foot garden for my antennas.  See hobbies page.

Recently (2004) I had an idea for a cheaper version of the Nest of Aerials using much less and thinner wire, so very cost effective, but still supporting 400 watts SSB of transmit power. My land is no where near large enough for me to construct it but you may wish to try it out for yourself. It is believed to be an original and thus unique idea. Have a go and let me know. All criticism (or praise) welcome. For details of the G4TUG antenna click here.

Thank you for your interest. Please visit my other pages by using the links below.

LINKS TO G4TUG SUBJECTS
About Me (index) Ham Radio Cars
Hobbies RodLog Ham Radio Logging System Software Reading
My Diet Magnetic Loop Antenna Sailing
Computers Noise Figure of Receivers and Pre-amps Gardening
Links to other sites Experimental HF All Band Aerial Classic Films