I was licensed in 1977 and my early contacts were made on a hombrew C.W. transmmiter while I built my own trasnsceiver. After some 20 year of use the  transceiver eventually developed a fault and may be repaired when I have time. I have several projects underway and possibly one or two will be complete by the end of  the year. My first transmitter was fitted with two 807's valves giving  approximately 60 Watts of RF output. The receiver was a SR550 which had a separate pre amplifer to improve sensitivity on 14, 21, & 28 MHz, I prefer to construct and my DDS transceiver is the most difficult project I have constructed and I hope to finish this after the congress. The transmitter has 150 Watts output, but  when I am transmitting I only use sufficient power to maintain the QSO.  I have been interested in Electronics since the early 1950's and I bought several battery TRF sets locally to improve my knowledge. I left school just before my 15th birthday and my first job allowed me to buy electronic components. In 1959 I started working on the railway until I retired in 2001. In the 1960's I built a small tansistor radio, but a simple wiring fault when I cross wired the 208 & 176pf tuning capacitors stopped it tuning the bands correctly. I enjoy hearing the results of my construtional afforts.  I started working as a trainee radio/television engineer but left after 6 months. In 1959 I started on the railway following the family tradition. I joined British Railways Amateur Radio Society in 1979 and was the secretary from 1981 to 2013. My first Firac congress was in 1980 and think I have only missed four since then.  I was part of the team organising four Firac meetings, (1982. 2001. 2006 and 2012 ). Due to the absence of the president I chaired the congress sessions in 2009 and 2013. In 2014 following my offical complaint I again chaired the working session and then was elected as vice president for yet one more year. Athough I am retired I still work part time, but this restricts both constructing and operating times. One of the perils of retirement.