Joe, M7HJO

| October 20, 2023

We recently issued the second Foundation Gold Award (the first ever to an English licensee) and it was a richly-deserved reward for application and endeavour!

Becoming licensed

Nine-year-old Joe Holroyd passed his Foundation with Hereford ARS back in April this year; eight minutes after the exam had started, Joe strolled out with a huge grin on his face. He had passed!

Then came the wait. Every morning until his certificate arrived he would sit at the window waiting for the post, and each morning that it failed to arrive was another day that he was unable to get on the radio. The morning that it finally arrived, he happened to be at his mother’s house, so Dad collected him in order that he could get online to choose his new call sign ASAP.

He chose M7HJO, being  his name in reverse – Holroyd Joe.  Then came his first QSO as a licensed amateur and of course he had to have that with his Dad, but as soon as that was over he was spinning the VFO on HF and found VE7SNC on 17m for his first DX QSO.

Getting on the air

Any time Joe was at his Dad’s (he doesn’t have a shack at his mother’s house yet but he is saving hard), he would use any excuse to get on the laptop or his iPad to check band conditions and the clusters to see what was about. Within his first month he’d bagged Canada, Brazil, St Helena and China. Calling CQ on 40m and handling a pile-up of Brits became second nature, apart from when they didn’t confirm, upon which determination would give way to forcefulness and emails would fly out as follow-ups.  Dad says he can’t think where Joe gets his stroppy side from!

Working towards the RSGB Foundation Gold Award

In July it was suggested that  he try to get his RSGB Foundation Gold award, which consisted of 100 QSOs on 40m, 20m, 17m & 2m, 25 QSOs on each band using any mode, although he’s only ever used phone.

The 40m requirement was already done, thanks to him calling CQ regularly, so this was his new goal, and within a few weeks of determined effort he got to the point of only needing five more on 20m. Ten minutes of application saw that milestone ticked off and it was onto 17m, working AP5ARS to start with in Pakistan then 2 PY stations in Brazil.

The 17m band requirement was soon finished, and that left just 2m which was harder, but with help from local stations he soon got the remaining QSOs and his log was finished by the end of August. Dad and Joe rushed over to Dave, G4OYX’s QTH to get a counter-signature on the log, then it was emailed off to the RSGB Awards Manager who had been primed to expect the application. He was able to promptly respond with the approval code to use in the shop for the certificate purchase.

To date some of Joe’s DX (not including European stations) include:

Canada, Brazil, St Helena, China, Morocco, Puerto Rico, Faroe Islands, Gabon, Cape Verde, United States, Indonesia, Isreal, Western Sahara, Uruguay, Pakistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jordan, Namibia, French Guiana, US Virgin Islands, Australia (3 QSO’s LP with a net) Dominican Republic and New Zealand.

Joe has broken through many pileups with 10 Watts when they’ve called in the YL – he wasn’t too happy at first when he found out what a YL was, but his nine-year-old voice and plenty of perseverance has got him heard around the world. He’s learnt to use it to advantage, and then in his best manly voice informs the other station that his name is Joe and he’s a nine-year-old boy!


The Awards Manager and all at the RSGB congratulate Joe on his achievement, and applaud Dad (Steve, 2E0HRE) and the folk at Hereford ARS for their encouragement and mentoring of a worthy new entrant to this fine hobby.

Story by Steve Holroyd, 2E0HRE

More about the Foundation Awards…

It is worth noting that we recently revised the Foundation Awards scheme to broaden the scope and provide a pathway through a series of Foundation Awards for those holders of Foundation licences, removing the requirement to achieve the QSOs required within the first year of being licensed, and making available separate HF-only and VHF-only awards as well as a more challenging All-Bands Foundation Award. Details are on the RSGB website

Category: Award Stories