Ray Burlingame-Goff went silent key on July 29th, 2021.
Further information about his legacy and programs will be posted here in the upcoming months.
Welcome to my web site, my name is Ray Burlingame-Goff.
I was brought up in Farnborough, Hampshire and first became interested in radio at the tender age of eight when I spent a weekend with my Aunt and Uncle. Their son, my cousin Peter, who is ten years older then me, suggested that he and I build a crystal set together and I was hooked. This interest developed throughout my teenage years, to the extent that in my late teens I was greatly augmenting my pocket money by repairing many of the neighbourhood tv's and radios.
Around the same time I became interested in short wave listening after my father produced an old German Torn Eb TRF receiver, which he soon augmented with an R1155 set. This was the end of the 1960's, and I had already joined the local Farnborough and District Amateur Radio Society.
In 1969 I started evening classes to pass my RAE exam. The course was held in a local school under the tutelage of John Hardy, G3KND. I passed the exam at the first attempt in May 1970, but was determined to hold out for the 12 WPM Morse test and a full license.
By 1973, while at university, it became clear that despite my best efforts, including help from another student Graham, G3VMO, I was not going to pass the test in the foreseeable future, so I applied for a Class B license with only VHF Privileges and received the callsign G8HMH.
Briefly back in Farnborough again, I joined another evening class led by Colin, G3XUU, to learn Morse code and in November 1976, finally passed the Morse test at the coastal radio station in Southampton and upgraded to my Class A license, G4FON.
From 1981 to 1984, I was G4FON/W9 while living in Chicago and then G4FON/W1 while living in the Boston area.
In 1989 I returned to the UK to the centre of Oxford which presented problems for HF operation. After a number of years of inactivity, bought about in part by the arrival of my two daughters - who, incidentally, both hold UK licenses - I became active again on 20, 30 and 40 metres CW, usually in the QRP section of the band.
This website reflects my main interests; CW operating, homebrew construction and contesting. You are encouraged to look around and make use of anything you find. I would love to hear about anything you find useful, so drop me an
On this website you will find a CW trainer which I wrote to build my CW speed back up, construction notes for homebrew equipment and aerials and a logging programme for the Palm OS. You will also find my latest programme, a Windows based CW Contest trainer.
I visited the Farnborough and District Amateur Radio Society for a meeting and renewed some old friendships and I am an active member of both the Oxford and District Amateur Radio Society and the Newbury and District Amateur Radio Society.
In October 2005, at the RSGB HF Convention, I sat the US license exams and passed the Extra paper. Initially, I was issued with a systematic callsign, but I have now obtained the Vanity callsign N4FON!
In November 2006: I was invited to join the First Class CW Operator's Club, FOC, receiving the membership number 1874.
Fast forward fourteen years and it is time for an update to my web site. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge in the meantime and lots and lot of people have downloaded my Morse trainer and used it to improve their Morse skills. The software has benefitted from their feedback, resulting in the creation of Version 10 which you can find here along with the video of the talk that I gave at the 2018 RSGB Convention about improving your Morse skills.
All of the amateurs mentioned above are now Silent Key - most recently John, G3KND.
My life has moved on too. My UK QTH has moved to Newport in Essex where I can just fit an 80m dipole into the garden with only a slight fold at one end! I have joined the local Cambridge and District Radio Club to meet local radio amateurs.
I have an incredible new wife, Carolyn, a new home in Heidelberg, Germany, where she is a lecturer at the university and three new step-kids in their late teens and or early twenties. To celebrate all of this, I obtained the callsign DG4FON to join G4FON and N4FON.
One of my first projects in Germany was helping my stepson Johnny earn his Eagle Award. With the help of Joe, DL4CF, we set up a JOTA station on October 15, 2016 in Landstuhl. The scouts enjoyed themselves--and maybe even learned something in the process!
Having largely retired from the company I co-founded over twenty years ago, I am even more active on the bands, almost exclusively CW and have thoroughly enjoyed my membership of FOC. My only question in retirement is how I ever found time to work!
Some of the projects that I was always going to get around to, have been removed from the site - as I never did get around to them - and I hope to add some new ones based on my dabbling with all sorts of new technology.
Enjoy the site and the ideas that it contains and I hope to catch you on the bands - most likely with a Morse key!
73 Ray, G4FON, N4FON and now DG4FON too.