Nov 19, 2016:
Revised: v.0

An Introduction to Andrew ZL2PD

Some information about the person behind this website, if anyone is even remotely interested!
I have 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 Technician class)

Like 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 VHF 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 worked with there.

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, designing and 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 HF systems for civil aviation use in several Pacific Island locations, and got to spend a considerable amount of time working throughout the South Pacific region.

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 advisor 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.

These 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...

Some of my 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 arrival of our second grandson, spending time with the family seems to take an 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 grandchildren, really!

So, when 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!

Andrew ZL2PD

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