This is where it all happens, or doesn't, depending on how I feel at the time.
The majority of my operating is on CW. I learned cw listening to my dad's old L/M/SW Pye broadcast set tuned around 8MHz with no bfo. Just listening to the change in noise level and the thump. There were dozens of beacons and commercial cw stations around 8MHz in those days (early 50's) and within about 3 months I found 20wpm slow. A friend of my dad gave me an old PCR3 with a BFO and I very quickly moved to 30wpm plus and never looked back. I was a cw instructor in the ATC for 2 years until I started my apprenticeship. I also spent many week-ends as a cw contest operator for local clubs. I have been licenced since September 1965 and spent most of my early years on 160m CW and AM with occasional forays onto 80m. I spent many happy hours chatting with Tom, G8AX at Cosford, who helped me through the 50wpm barrier and it's been downhill ever since, hi.
I started my working life at Joseph Lucas Elec. Ltd as an apprentice Electrical fitter. As an electrical fitter you repaired things from what was available. You Never just went out and bought a new one, whatever it was. By the time I had completed my apprenticeship and with several years of college behind me I became a Test Rig development engineer. After 12 years at Joe Lucas I moved to Girling UK, designing, building and installing analogue instrumentation systems for recording real-time data from vehicle braking systems and drive-lines. I moved from Girling to Hardy Spicer, now GKN Transmissions, in 1977 where I continued to collect, record, analyse and display real-time dynamic data from front wheel drive systems and HGV prop-shafts. Most of the data collection was done either in the Cotswolds or at MIRA, pushing vehicles to their limits to see what broke first, the drive line or my nerve. I did about 50% of the driving, including HGV's.
My most embarassing driving experience ever was at the MIRA test track, testing the 'then' new Metro Turbo on the ride & handling test track and being flashed by a Sherpa van who wanted to pass me. Ruined my image as a rally driver.
At that time there was very little in the way of Data logging equipment available so I had to build my own telemetry interfaces and record to 1inch magnetic tape using FM. To analyse the data I used a HP Spectrum analyzer hooked up to a HP300 computer with an enormous!! 10MB Winchester drive. Well it was enormous in those days. I had to write my own software in Basic 4.0 to produce the plots and data tables because the commercial stuff cost more than our annual budget.
In 1988 I spent some time at Cranfield college studying data acquisition and analysis, or, how to make the results equal to what the customer wants to see!.
I was made redundant in 1992 and spent some time in Maggie's army, due to being too old at 51 to be usefully employed. So I turned to being a self-employed auto electrician. I spent a year or so as a contract panel wireman and systems installation engineer. In the late 90's I spent a couple of years at Marconi in quality control on 2.5GB Fibre Optic systems and then a couple of years at Fujitsu Telecomms in the same role.
For the seven years prior to my requested retirement I was a systems calibration engineer with Smiths Aerospace, Wolverhampton, now GE Aviation.
I currently use an FT-1000 into an Inverted L aerial, 35ft high and 185ft total length, with a remote controlled L network at the feed-point. Strung underneath it is a G5RV inverted V, very useful for lots of bands without a tuner. I run HamRadioDeluxe on HF from time to time with a SignaLink USB (modified).
Since I was asked to retire from the Aerospace industry in 2008, I have spent a lot of time cleaning up Yaesu manuals, in order to repair assorted old Yaesu stuff. Other people's of course, not mine.
I also spend many hours recovering lost data from mis-used/dropped or otherwise ill-treated laptops and DeskTops, so it's never quiet in the shack, although often colourful (blue usually).
Having four grand children I have plenty of general repairs to carry out on broken stuff. I also look after my own vehicle, which has just celebrated it's 25th birthday.
It is a Ford Sierra Sapphire 2L DOHC injection and it still takes off like a scalded cat.
When I have absolutely nothing else to do you may hear me on CW on one of the LF bands.
And occasionally I find time to make/test antenna traps and sometimes sell the odd pair on eBay.