Astrophotography Talks – receiving some lovely feedback

Last night I gave my astrophotography talk to the Kirbymoorside and District Camera Club. An absolutely delightful group of people. Very warm and welcoming, full of enthusiasm and it was a fabulous evening.The same can also be said with the other clubs I have given the talk to that are mentioned below.
I have been tailoring this talk to suit different audiences and hopefully deliver the content in a way that benefits the clubs purpose. This talk is aimed at all clubs from Astro to Photography and from WI to Schools. It is delivered on Powerpoint and I am happy to travel anywhere to provide this.


Astronomy clubs – equipment connectivity, software packages and a little processing guidance, understanding and application of calibration frames. Pro’s & Con’s  using a standard camera, an astro modified camera and a CCD with peltier cooling. Discussion about remoting and the IT side to make this happen – this is my own end goal.

Photography clubs – how to achieve widefield astrophotography using just a camera and lens – zoom and wide angle and how to achieve quality results with just a simple camera tripod with no star trails by applying a simple formula. Discussions on iso, shutter speed and aperture settings. How to obtain critical focus using liveview and software. Explanation for the need to image stack and by using just a couple of software packages you will surprise yourself with the results.

General clubs – concentrating more on the results with a general talk on how the photos were achieved from the “back yard”. An explanation on how when to see the northern lights (aurora borealis activity) and how often we can actually see these from the UK  (for example, it was seen on average 3x a month last year from Scarborough, North Yorkshire). There are lots of photos to see.

These talks are roughly between 60 to 90 minutes in length and will continue to evolve as new images are added once skill levels increase further or if new imaging equipment is acquired. Every talk will be different and humour is always included 😉


So far the presentation has been really well received at the following clubs with some multiple times:

Harrogate Astronomical Society

Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society

Scarborough Photographic Society  

Scarborough Amateur Radio Society

Mexborough and Swinton Astronomical Society

Scarborough Rotary

York Astronomical Society

Ashington Photography Club

Kirbymoorside and District Camera Club

Upcoming talks with dates to be fixed for the following clubs

23rd February – York Camera Club

Cheltenham and Gloucester Photography club – TBA



Scarborough Amateur Radio Club & Scarborough Photographic Society

Well, that is both my Monday and Wednesday evenings taken care of.

Two absolutely delightful and exceptionally well managed local clubs with wonderful people, looking forward to getting involved and helping out as and where I can.

It could be a return to contesting with the ham radio and perhaps teaching morse code again.  Two meetings attended and chocolate being provided at each meeting, I am in this club till my teeth drop out  😉

The Photographic Society has some brilliant “togs” and always happy to share what they know. Even as a “keen amateur photographer”, in the few times I have been out with the group so far I have learned lots.

Just running out of hours in the day !


World records and high scores in amateur radio contests

Just looking back at world rankings from amateur radio contests I used to participate in – this was before I sold my gear and pursued photography !I

I still miss the contesting operating for either 24 or 48 hours in one stint was not only a mental challenge but a physical one also and if any club would like a guest operator then please get in touch.

Here are a few placings I have found after trawling the internet – some of these I had forgotten about !

Callsigns were ZC4BS and G4KIV

2002  ARI DX  CW
(morse code)
New Record  (990 contacts)

2002  CQ WPX QRP  CW
(morse code)
Top in World (1506 contacts)
Asian Record still held
Score remains All Time Top 5 in the world

2001  ARI DX  SSB
New Record  (1503 contacts)

New Record  (904 contacts)

2001  CQWW SO LP 15m  CW
(morse code)
Top in World
(1479 contacts)                                                                                                                    Asian record still held

2000  CQWW SO LP 10m  CW
(morse code)
Top in Asia
2nd in the World (1330 contacts)

(morse code)
Top in Europe  (2290 contacts)

1991 CQWW SO AB LP SSB (voice)
Set a new world record



ZC4 Award still available

For those award chasers out there …

ZC4 AWARD – special certificate for award chasers
Certificate available to both TX/SWL for contact with ZC4 stations from 1988 onwards. This award is available in 3 classes with various band/mode endorsements.

Class 3 (Easy) Two x ZC4 stations (same station on 2 bands counts !!)

Class 2 (Hard) Five x ZC4 stations (as above but minimum of 2 different callsigns)

Class 1 (Tough) Ten x ZC4 stations (as above but minimum of 3 different callsigns)

No QSL’s are needed, just a signed declaration having worked/heard the ZC4 stations including … callsign/date/band/mode.

Certificate example here …..

Cost of certificate is 10US dollars or £7 sterling which includes postage.

Payment via Paypal is also an option for online applications.

Please  email  for address:


ZC4 Operation – Talk for Radio Clubs

I have provided a talk at several amateur radio clubs on ZC4 operation – if you are in a club that would like a presentation, please get in touch.