I first obtained my licence in about 1980 when it was the Novice Licence and frequency allocations & power levels were limited (30w maximum & only parts of 80m, 15m & 10m).
My call was VK5NQP.
I first operated at Elizabeth East and had a 2 el Delta quad on 10m & a converted CB radio. Later I had a 10/15m yagi.
When we moved to Windsor I had more room so was able to get an 80m inverted V up & started using 80m which worked much better at night and was chasing more local stations. Getting interested in chasing awards like the Tassie Devil award for making contact with Tasmanian stations and the SA 150 Award to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the foundation of South Australia. Also operating in lots of contests.
Moving up to the Cactus Garden at Windsor There was lots of space with first a longwire and later I had an 80m loop.
When I moved to Williamstown in 1988, the house I lived in had a power line going across the back yard so any antennas would be limited. I did not operate there until 1991 and then only for a very short time. Due to this I lost interest, found other hobbies and got married. Moving forward to 2013 I found out that a new low level licence category had been introduced, the Foundation Licence.
With the introduction of this licence category the holders of Novice and Novice Limited Licences has been given more privileges with more power (100w) and more bands.
I had kept renewing my radio licence so pulled out my old radios and got back on air after having the radio looked at by a full call operator( John VK5PO) and rejigged with some new capacitors & other parts.
I then discovered portable operation that I had been interested previously but never got into and read about Summits on The Air (SOTA). I sold a couple of older radios and bought the tiny X1M radio that is ideally suited to carrying up hills as it is so lightweight and aquired bits and pieces for antennas, batteries and other items needed to go bush and operate radio.
I have been studying for the Advanced licence through RES & have made it to the end of the course after a hiccup in the middle when the computer broke & I did not have any email addresses until I rebuilt the PC with new CPU and motherboard. I finally got everything restored and was able to continue the course, passing the trial exams they set. I am currently revising the bits I had trouble with while waiting on the exam proper which will be soon I hope.
In March 2015 I sat the Advanced Theory exam & passed that. I had to wait until June 2015 to sit the Practical Assessment & passed that. My application for the Advanced call went in & on 26 June 2015 I looked up the ACMA database & my call had been activated, so I am now VK5PL
When I sat the Novice exam we had to also pass a CW exam at 5 wpm receive and sending. When I received my licence I think I tried a couple of times to send/receive the morse but never succeeded. Since getting back on air I have again been enthused to relearn morse code. I fished out my old morse key, built a practise oscillator & started trying to get the sounds back into my brain. When I attended a radio seminar at the radio club recently, there was a talk about morse & different keys & learning methods so of course something new to build so I now have the sideswiper key to also practice with.