About Me 31

Me in the HimalayasMy names is James Stevens and my passion is Amateur Radio. I’m a newly licensed ham (since 2013) but have progressed through the licensing scheme in less than a year to get my advanced callsign M0JCQ.

I like a broad spectrum of the hobby but my main passions are around portable operating where I can combine my love of the outdoors with some radio fun. I’m a keen SOTA activator and contest operator but equally I quite like a good inter-G ragchew on 40m.

My local club is Chesham & District Amateur Society (CDARS) where I serve as chairman.

The picture here is of me quite some time ago (circa 2009) while in the Himalayas in Nepal, sadly I wasn’t a ham at the time so didn’t have any radio equipment with me! I was at the Annapurna Base Camp at 4,050m ASL, the mountains behind me went up another 4km!

If you wish to contact me you can get hold of me on M0JCQ AT hamblog.co.uk (replace AT with @).

31 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Reply Kes Feb 4,2014 11:06

    Hi James, if not a secret, what engine runs yor blog?

    Regards, Kes. m0pkz

  2. Reply Jim Chambers Jan 31,2016 13:35

    Hi James, Have just discovered your great site.
    Have just returned to the bands after a break of 30 years!!! At 85 I hope to have a bit of fun portable when it warms up.

    Running low power on psk with indoor loop.

    Thanks for the band plan for psk and other info.
    Bye, Jim Chambers G4IBK MBE. North London

    • Reply James Stevens Jan 31,2016 14:01

      Thanks for your kind words Jim, glad you like it and welcome back to the hobby, there’s plenty of new things in terms of digital modes and PSK is a great place to start!

      Good luck with the portable ops, I find this a great way of maximising my fun in the hobby as my home QTH is also a compromise like yourself.

      73, James M0JCQ

  3. Reply KEN HARPER -G0EKH Feb 1,2016 04:44

    Hi James, very much enjoyed your blog! Beware regarding bullet you found, from photo it appears to be an un-fired 7.62 blank round so could therefore still be a danger if not handled carefully. Best wishes & thanks again for terrific blog site.

    • Reply James Stevens Feb 1,2016 09:13

      Thanks for your kind words Ken. Thanks for the info regarding the bullet I found approaching the High Willhays on Dartmoor. There’s quite a lot of this kind of stuff up there as the Okahampton army camp is just down the road and they often close the whole area for training exercises!

      73 James M0JCQ

  4. Reply Wolf, OE7FTJ Feb 14,2016 19:02

    Hi James!

    You give here a lot of useful information about KX3 and SOTA. Did you take the KX3 as a cabin luggage on the plane and did you encounter any problems at the security check in EA8?

    73 de Wolf, oe7ftj

    • Reply James Stevens Feb 15,2016 10:18

      Hi Wolf,

      I’ve taken my KX3 and Yaesu 817 on flights a few times. I’ve had no trouble with the radios themselves, but security prefer if you take it out of your carry on luggage like you would a laptop or tablet.

      I had trouble when I once mentioned to check-in staff that I had a SLAB battery. The poor girl didn’t really understand what it was and this caused our check-in to be delayed where they insisted I couldn’t carry it on. I equally insisted that they show me where in their prohibited goods rulebook this was stated. They couldn’t show me so I drifted away and got through security with no trouble.

      I now carry a LiFePo battery which looks a lot less threatening and I also don’t mention it to check-in staff! It’s never been picked out during baggage scans. Just make sure you take it in your carry on luggage as they are prohibited in hold luggage.

      73, James M0JCQ

  5. Reply Jon G4LJW Mar 2,2016 14:51

    Hi James – very interesting stuff on your site. I’m aiming to do some pportable and SOTA stuff later this year, probably with an HB1B.

    I understand you’re using WordPress, but which template – it looks very nice indeed. I’ve linked to one of your articles on one of my Tumblr sites, which I hope is ok,

    best wishes,


    • Reply James Stevens Mar 7,2016 16:09

      Thanks for the kind words Jon. FB on the link and certainly not a problem.

      The site uses a customised version of the Montezuma theme πŸ™‚

      73, James M0JCQ

  6. Reply Jaap Apr 26,2016 19:50

    Hi, I am editor for the june 2016 number of the Dutch Hamradio Magazine CQPA. I would like to use one of your beautiful pictures of the antenna, tent, sea and sunset. This because of the summertime and use of hamradio for fun outside! Please contact me, 73

    • Reply James Stevens May 3,2016 11:59

      Hi Jaap,

      I’d be happy to help but can you let me know which one you’d like to use?

      They may be getting published in another magazine and I can’t use it anywhere else. I should be able to find a suitable alternative if you let me know what you’re looking for.

      73, James M0JCQ

  7. Reply Maciek May 28,2016 19:53

    Nice WP theme James.
    What is it?

    • Reply James Stevens Jun 13,2016 13:22

      Hi Maciek,

      It’s the Montezuma theme with a few customisations.

      73, James M0JCQ

  8. Reply Steve KA2YRA Nov 3,2016 11:31

    Thank you for the excellent blog. You help inspire me to get outdoors and moving more often.

  9. Reply Candy Mar 31,2017 08:12

    Thank you for your blog. I get a lot of information from your blog and know your blog from qrznow.com.

  10. Reply Al May 3,2017 23:39

    Great and helpful info. Thanks for your energy and details.

  11. Reply Ben(m6izu) Jun 3,2017 17:15

    Hi James first thanks for taking the time to record and share so much of you adventures over the last few years. As a very recently pasted foundation holder I became interested in amateur radio for sota as I enjoy time in the outdoors, and have found your blogs and videos a great source in starting out for new sota activators or chasers. I was looking to pick myself up a vhf handheld to get started for portable operations and wondered how you are getting on with the ft270 or if its worth biting the bullet and going for the 817nd, I already have a 857d but trying to keep weight down ect.
    Thanks for your blog, thanks for your time.

    • Reply James Stevens Jun 6,2017 08:40

      Thanks Ben for your kind words, I’m glad it’s useful to you!

      The Yaesu FT-270 is my default handheld for 2m FM activations and I’ve used it on 50+ activations now. I love it, solid as a rock and I don’t have to worry when I take it out in terrible conditions. The filtering is also superb so no pager breakthrough on summits where other handhelds suffer.

      If you’re just starting out the Yaesu 817 might be worth saving for. It will do 2m FM well but also SSB, all of HF and 70cm! This will give you a nice general use portable “shack in a box” rig, and give you a lot of options in terms of bands and will give you flexibility when your interests change (they probably will)!

      I see on your QRZ page you already have the Yaesu 857, many SOTA activators use this (i do too for higher power activations). Only downside is the weight and power consumption.

      73 and welcome to the hobby!

      James M0JCQ

  12. Reply Ben Shephard Jul 12,2017 12:39

    Hello. A colleague (Julie Yates) just pointed me to your blog saying she used to work with you. Some nice articles on here. Seems she can’t get away from us radio types πŸ˜€

    Ben M0ORY

    • Reply James Stevens Jul 19,2017 09:51

      Haha – I appreciate the message Ben. Be sure to talk endlessly about radio to her and then try and get James (her partner) into Amateur Radio, then she’ll truly be unable to get away from it πŸ˜€

      Hope to catch you on the air at some point!

      73 James M0JCQ

  13. Reply Bill VE3FI Dec 30,2017 02:53

    James, which logging program do you use on your tablet for portable operating?

    Bill VE3FI

    • Reply James Stevens Apr 3,2018 11:05

      Hi Bill,

      Apologies for the really late reply to this! I use RumLog NG for both my iPhone and iPad. It works well for me πŸ™‚

      73, James M0JCQ

  14. Reply Todd WH6DWF Oct 28,2018 10:57

    Aloha James,
    I do SOTA activations and plan to do a lot of vacation travel soon with my family. I like you blog and plan to visit my friends, Ajay 9N1AJ in Nepal and Peter VK6FCIP in Perth.
    Can you send me information about Amateur radio in the Maldives and Vietnam? This will be my ninth tour to Vietnam but first as a license ham operator, most of my tours were while I was in the US military.
    I have found a link to obtain a temporary license for the Maldives in which a majority of the questions involves information on radio equipment and was wondering why they seem selective about radio equipment ?
    Also, I curious as to whether you had internet in the Maldives? I like using EchoIRLP and Allstar, was wondering if these modes were possible. Any information will be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance.
    Thanks and 73,
    Todd WH6DWF
    Ham Nation

    • Reply James Stevens Nov 7,2018 14:56

      Hi Todd,

      Sadly when I went to Vietnam and the Maldives I didn’t take any radio equipment, so I have no experience of this. I’m guessing the questions on radio equipment are to make sure you take the kit back out of the country instead of selling it internally?

      We did have internet access on the Maldives when we were there in 2010.

      Enjoy Nepal, it’s a great country, we were there on our second trip back in March this year.

      73 James M0JCQ

  15. Reply John G4YDM Apr 8,2020 10:58

    Hi James, you have a good blog website, just put a link to you please reciprocate if you wish. SOTA and climbing mountains was a pursuit of mine for a long time, but getting too many turns on the coil now. 73 de John G4YDM

  16. Reply Chris Dunn Jul 5,2020 13:04

    Great Blog James
    Just passed my foundation on Saturday!
    Can’t wait to start yomping into the mountains and dxing

  17. Reply Peter G4HSO Aug 23,2020 12:47

    Hi James – I have just left a note on the SOTA site re Wendover Woods G/CE005. In brief, the land owner of the field with the trig point is not happy with antennas being erected, nor and especially tents / tarps. He gets complaints from neighbours about his extending his campsite business without planning permission. Just a warning from someone being confronted after an extended visit on 22Aug2020.

    • Reply James Stevens Sep 8,2020 09:29

      Thanks for the warning Peter. That’s a shame, I’ve never had any run ins to date, but equally I’ve never set up a tent there!

      73 James M0JCQ

  18. Reply Ian.L May 4,2021 19:48

    Hello James
    Busy studying for my foundation so just listening ATM, this evening I’ve been trying a new 2m/70cm colinear vertical with my SDR-Play. Heard you operating portable 20:30-21:00 4/5/21, my QTH is in Milton Keynes, north Buckinghamshire and you came in at R5 S5-6 on 2m. Would you mind telling me were you were operating from please?
    73s Ian

    • Reply James Stevens Jun 7,2021 16:34

      Hi Ian,

      Good luck with the study! I would have been operating at Dunstable Downs that evening, so not too far from you in MK!

      73 James M0JCQ

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