Longest Radio transmission: world record set by Dave
Starkie and Keith Sharples
[Nov 29]BLACKPOOL, UK--Amateur radio enthusiast Dave Starkie, 53,
of Kidbrooke Avenue, South Shore, has set a new world record for
the longest radio transmission – from Blackpool to New Zealand.
Mr Starkie and friend Keith Sharples, 44, were able
to speak to each other from the opposite ends of the world using
a mobile bike radio and backpack they had designed and built themselves.
Mr Starkie, a radio and navigation aids
engineer for BAE systems, said: "It was absolutely brilliant, it
was such good contact. We chose New Zealand because it's the furthest
point away from the UK."
The radio wave, transmitted on a 20 metre short wave band,
travelled from South Shore promenade to New Brighton Pier, Christchurch,
New Zealand – a total distance of 21,000km (13,000 miles).
Mr Sharples, from Ormskirk, travelled to New Zealand
a fortnight ago and the pair realised their dream of breaking the
world record on November 15.
Mr Starkie said: "Keith's radio system got lost in
Singapore and then once he was in New Zealand h is car broke down
when he went to pick the equipment up. But against all odds, we
The pair spent two years designing and building the
radio backpack and mobile radio bike, which is fitted with a radio,
batteries and 16ft antenna.
Mr Starkie, who has held an amateur radio licence for
37 years, said: "I was captivated by radio from the age of 10. My
father took me to another radio amateur's house who had a big beam
antenna outside and I got the bug. "We'd already made radio contact
in America but we wanted to see how far we could go."
Mr Starkie, who can often be seen on his mobile radio
bike along the Promenade, added: "People stop me a lot to see what
I'm doing as it's not something you'd normally see along the Prom!"