An Introduction to Andrew ZL2PD
Some information about the person behind this
website, if anyone is even remotely interested!
been an amateur radio ("ham") and electronics enthusiast since the age
of 13 when I built my first one-transistor radio with help from my
uncle, also a ham.
About 12 months later, I passed the New Zealand amateur
radio theory exam, and got my first amateur radio license, one of the
"No Morse" Technician class callsigns, in my case ZL3TIX. ("T" for
many hams back then, I built my first transceiver. It
was a 2m (144 MHz) "Southland Branch" VHF AM transceiver. Back in the early 1970's in New
Zealand, AM on
bands was very popular. Amateur radio use of FM on VHF and UHF bands was still several years away, although when
it arrived, it swiftly took over. I equally quickly climbed on board by building one of the more
popular FM transceiver designs, a "Wellington Branch Walkie" portable 1W VHF FM
handheld. All crystal-controlled in those days.
After a few years, and with a move to another city, I passed the
amateur radio Morse code test, and received a new callsign - ZL1AQW.
Those were the years during which I finished school and graduated from
university with a degree in electrical engineering. That led to another
move to work in a new city, where I received my current callsign,
ZL2PD. That's the
callsign I still hold today.
Electronics is a great hobby. It's one I was also fortunate enough to
turn from a hobby into a professional telecommunications career.
After graduating from university, I worked for the Civil Aviation
Division of the Ministry of Transport, a New Zealand government
department. I gained an incredible amount of experience in that job,
from the many projects I was given, and from the many wonderful people I
The work was incredibly varied. One day, I
would be carrying out
interference analysis on air-sea rescue boats for one of the major
airports, then the next day, I'd be starting a long-running project,
building an extensive high power HF transmitter/receiver systems for
Air to Ground communications, or a long distance weather
facsimile ("fax") HF transmission system. I designed and built several
systems for civil aviation use in several Pacific Island locations, and
got to spend a considerable amount of time working throughout the South
After seven years in that job, I took up a new job with a multinational company, located in Fiji,
an island group also in the South Pacific, doing a variety of HF,
VHF and UHF projects, and a bit of ham radio stuff in my spare time. A few
years later (and after the first of several military coups in Fiji), I returned to New Zealand to work
for a mobile radio manufacturer for a number of years.
I ended up leading the design team responsible for building many hundreds of radio
and control systems around the world, and later went on to
work for a US-based multi-national network operator, designing
and launching a number of large mobile radio networks all around the
world. That role led to a lengthy period as an independent telecommunications
consulting engineer. I spent much of my time travelling
all over the world, helping to design, build and operate a variety of
new telecommunications networks.
When I sat down to count them, I've probably been involved in the
development now of over thirty new fixed and wireless networks ranging
from WCDMA and cdma2000 (3G), GSM and cdmaOne (2G) cellular networks,
as well as a variety of fixed and mobile pre-4G broadband wireless
systems, TETRA and MPT1327
trunking systems, and a whole bunch of others.
I moved on from all of this to work in the Middle East as an
for a major regional telecoms regulator, for about ten years, a role
that is about to come to a close (at time of writing this).
Surprisingly, perhaps, during all of that time, I was not able to
obtain a reciprocal amateur radio license here, despite working for the
outfit that issued them. Perhaps a tale to relate some other time.
days, I'm about to restart work again in my previous role as a
consulting engineer. I'm really looking forward to the change. Where?
That's yet to be determined as I write this. A work in progress...
spare time in the past has been
spent designing and building rather
than as an active ham radio operator. That hopefully will change a
little in future if, and when, I am able to return to a slightly more
active role as an amateur radio operator. Mind you, with the recent
of our second grandson, spending time with the family seems to
increased amount of my time now. That's led to more effort recently on
the construction of a little Z-scale railway layout. It's for the
I finally get a bit more time, and perhaps a little more outdoor space,
I'm keen to use some of the transceivers and other ham radio gear
I've been designing and building. When that happens, look out for
me on the bands!
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