QRP for the Tightwad

Tony Fishpool, G4WIF

The rather tongue in cheek title of the talk hopes to convey what immense fun a QRPer can have without having to spend a fortune on either radios or test equipment. Tony hopes that this presentation will amuse and entertain but will consider it a greater success if it motivates anyone who thought that they can't do home brew, because it is either hard or expensive.


After leaving school just before his 16th birthday Tony took a two year course in radio and TV servicing and after qualifying proceeded to never seeing the inside of a TV set again. During those two college years he worked as a butcher and is still rather sensitive to suggestions about it having influenced his soldering skills. However the fascination with the radio part of the course led to his first full time job.

Tony's working life began at one of the last great English ham companies - KW Electronics. While working there he obtained his class B callsign G8HQX. Realising that few people make big money out of ham radio he left and joined the Post Office as a telephone engineer. Shortly after his leaving, KW Electronics went bust, but Tony refuses to take the blame for that one.

The Post Office telephone company is now called British Telecom and Tony is still there some 33 years later now working in I.T. Systems (because climbing telegraph poles was very hard work). He went over to the dark side and during recent years certified as MCSE in first Windows NT4, then Windows 2000 and recently Windows 2003 but after spending many months of his life studying for countless Microsoft exams has decided that Bill Gates can probably manage without him when he launches Windows Vista.

After a couple of years as G8HQX, Tony upgraded to the class A licence G4WIF and much later sat all the exams in Dayton one year to take the advanced class callsign K4WIF - a vanity call - necessary because the first one he was given by the FCC was too difficult to remember.

He co-authored the popular "Simple test Equipment for the QRPer" book with Graham Firth G3MFJ who retired from British Telecom 12 years ago leaving Tony to carry on working there to pay for his pension. Tony was also editor for Ian Keyser G3ROO's superb "Practical & tested Aerial Systems". He is the GQRP club Membership Secretary and also manages the GQRP website and GQRP-L internet conference.

Tony has been married to Ruth for 28 years, they have two sons and they live in Dartford which is located in the south east of England.

Links: Simple test Equipment for the QRPer
  Practical & tested Aerial Systems

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