My Background

I originally got involved with Electronics back in the late 1970’s, through my father who enjoyed it as a hobby, but he also enjoyed fixing things when products were not thought of as disposable (at least not with those costs).

I went a little further with it, building project after project, with most of the interest being analog (including radio) with a little bit of digital work with discrete Integrated Circuits, which finally led me in to building computer related projects using the Motorola 6800 series Microprocessors. At the same time I was working on the Apple II which had just arrived at the schools, and a lot of time was spent understanding these exciting new systems, both from the technical point of view and the software development side.

My first job was working for a Electronic parts retail outlet which was also a reseller for a Z80 based Micro Computer. With my background, I ended up heading up the level 1 servicing of these systems and bought one myself. So my Electronics involvement moved more purely to the digital side.

I attempted to do my Amateur Radio Licence in late 80’s but could not complete the Morse requirement. However by the end of the 1980’s, I was less involved in the Electronics and purely focused on 8086 Computers (and their constant evolution) , Networking, Windows, Unix, Linux, VoIP along with a healthy dose of programming with Turbo Pascal, DBase4, Foxbase/FoxPro and later/ Delphi, PHP, Python, SQL and other Win32 languages

Fast forward, 30 + years later, the Raspberry Pi peaked my interest (I bought one in 2012) and had a play with it (and still have it), but more recently I bought a Raspberry Pi 4, and along with a multitude of sensors, I have started re-sparking the interest albeit slowly building up my knowledge and skills again. I still work full time in the IT industry, so the Electronics is now a pastime. From my interest in Arduino and ESP32, sprung an interest in LORA-WAN, which then also re-ignited my interest in Amateur Radio (especially now the examination has removed the Morse code Element).

So in 2021 I decided to do my Amateur Radio Foundation examination. Whilst I waited for the test, I found as I moved back into building antenna’s, oscillators, feedlines, cabling, inductors, resonance, it all came flooding back. Needless to say, I passed with no issues and now studying for Standard licence.

With this renewed interest in Electronics again, I had to start at the ground level once again (particularly on the digital side). Sure I remember a lot of it, and I will be honest, the same base concepts are still very much in use today, so it makes it a little easier to read and understand/translate how something works. But I have had to kit myself out with a full range of components, sensor products, test equipment, logic probes/analyzers, Oscilloscope. For some of this equipment, it is not a case of just buying it, its researching the product, understanding what we are measuring, what are toys, and what will actually do the job.

It would be nice to go out and buy the best model, but I don’t have an endless supply of money with responsibilities and family, so the choices I make come from a budgetary perspective.

The articles have written on this site, might answer some questions that you have, remembering that I have basically restarted again, so whether you are a student, or someone just getting into it as an interest, or a late newcomer, you will find the articles useful.

Likewise, if I recommend or point to a product, its generally because it provides value for money proposition and may not always be the lowest cost option, but on the whole you will find that I have made a considered and balanced decision. When I have source equipment, if possible I will provide the background on my decisions.