Bob Carpenter, G4BAH, 6th August 2016

| August 8, 2016

Robert Bruce Philip Carpenter, G4BAH, known to all as Bob, passed away at his home on Saturday 6th August 2016.

Bob suffered from severe diabetes, had been ill for a number of years and had spent much of the last six months of his life in hospital. However, the exact cause of his death has not yet been established and the Coroner’s findings are awaited.

Bob’s funeral and cremation will take place at 3.15pm on Friday 26 August at Ipswich Crematorium, 10 Cemetery Lane, Ipswich, IP4 2TQ

All friends, amateurs, and ex-colleagues from BT are welcome.

In order to estimate the numbers at the funeral please could you please send an email if you intend to attend. If you cannot attend but would like to send your condolences to Bob’s widow, Maire Otsus-Carpenter, please send them to the same address and ask John to forward your message.

Maire has requested no flowers at the funeral but if you wish to make a charitable contribution in Bob’s memory we suggest that it is made to Diabetes UK,

Andy Cook is bringing together information for Bob’s Eulogy which will be read at the funeral. Andy would appreciate any additional thoughts, comments, memories etc via email to – and if you would like to see your comments also appear on this page, please CC your email to – thanks.



Bob Carpenter, G4BAH, was licenced in 1971 shortly before going to Cambridge University to study Mathematics, then Electrical Sciences, and subsequently to do research. While at university he was an active member of the Cambridge University Wireless Society (G6UW) and was always keen to make the 2 mile journey to get on the air. After university, he joined BT’s Research & Development Facility at Martlesham Heath, near Ipswich and worked at the cutting edge of turning new technologies into reality. He specifically worked on the development of submarine optical cables, ISDN, modems, speech coding and speech recognition.

But his real passion in life was amateur radio. He was an immensely dedicated operator who was always 100% committed to whatever he was doing. His particular areas of interest were VHF DX and all aspects of Contesting. Although he lived on a modern dense housing estate, he was active from there on 2m with a single Yagi and high power, and would hear and work remarkable things. He always had a tremendous knack of quickly finding the rare stations amongst the general mêlée and could copy signals that were way down in the noise.

To be more effective at working DX, over the years he built a number of well-sited remote 2m stations in the local area. However, this was before the days of the remote internet station, and he would dedicatedly travel and spend as much time as he could in a shed or a barn at the remote site, listening and lying in wait for DX on VHF, usually operating as G0KPW.

Whatever Bob did, he always aimed at doing it as well as humanly possible. This was never displayed more so than in contesting. He operated in a whole variety of contests during the 1970s and ‘80s – whether this was at G6UW, in the early multi-multi events at GB4ANT, or as part of the dominant Martlesham Radio Society VHF entries of the early 80s.

But it was after this time that he really made his mark. Bob had always wanted to assemble a multi-multi contest station – a station capable of operating simultaneously on each of the 6 main HF bands. He started assembling a small team and acquiring equipment to do multi-single events from 1988 and over a period of 4 years he grew this team, grew the equipment collection, and found a location to operate from that was big enough to contemplate a multi-multi entry. CQWW SSB 1991 was the first outing of that team. As a part of preparing for that entry Bob also drove the linking of the UK Packet Cluster network to the European network on 70cm from Martlesham to Belgium in order to maximise the number of multipliers that the team would find. He supported that connection and the wider packet cluster network in the South East for many years to the benefit of many UK DXers and contesters.

Over the following years the Multi-Multi contest team and equipment grew, regularly placing first in Europe in CQWW SSB in spite of the station being built from scratch Field Day style every year. Finally, in 1999, with 18 masts and towers and under the call of M6T, the team broke the European CQWW SSB record – and this stood for 12 years. This only happened because Bob constantly strove for excellence both in the station and in the operating and strategy. During the contest, Bob was the King Spotter – he would quickly find the most unusual and unexpected multipliers for the team to work before the hordes descended – and he made sure that the whole team knew just how important every multiplier was.

2000 was the final year of that field-day style Multi-Multi station, and Bob spent a number of years looking for a new permanent site. He found one in 2006 and began to re-build the big station in a more permanent form there, and this time covering both VHF and HF. This gave a base for many more operators to experience and enjoy operating from a really competitive station and Bob’s generosity has really come to the fore here. He was always delighted when someone would come and operate successfully from the station and put a big score on the boards, or work some exciting DX, and he invested a huge amount of personal commitment and resources in making that station the best it could possibly be. As his health deteriorated and he was unable to operate for long periods himself, he really gained his satisfaction from seeing others do well and progress the development and improvement of the station.

For all these reasons Bob will be very sadly missed by all who knew him and by the wider community.



I was a lodger and friend of Bob’s in the 1980s, and although we remained friends I’ve seen him only occasionally over the last few years. My main recollection of him is the passion and focus (obsession, perhaps) that he put into everything he set his mind to. A lot of people in the IT industry will have served formal and informal apprenticeships under Bob, who was a great mentor and networker. I’m really sad to hear he’s gone.

John Reah


A huge loss to amateur radio and to myself.  In a time of great need Bob was there for me, clever, honest and hard working were but a few of his attributes.

Andy Hollings



I only heard of the news about an hour ago and I am still in tears and I am not ashamed of it, not even a bit.

I ived in UK since 2004 till late 2009 an meeting a Bob was a milestone not only in my ham career but in life as whole.

It might be hard to imagine for most what feelings you go through being a stranger and finding a true friend who is caring and makes you feel at home.

I have tons of memories with Bob and some really describes his devotion to ham radio and being perfect. On one occasion I picked up Bob to go to rally close to M1, and we walked around and stopped at place where random lengths of hardline coax were sold. He noted that he doesn’t need coax hardlines as “we’ve got shed load of that stuff…” till the moment when a ham living nearby started to show interest in 30m run of LDF5-50 hardline, apparently for 2m upgrade. Bob turned on his feet and shouted: I am taking it all! (He then later explained that he needs to maintain super-quiet location on VHF and there was potential this cable could become part of a system which could interfere with 2m RX)

Another occasion I unfortunately found Bob again not well at all, as he spent too much time in shack forgetting to eat properly and take medicine. It was on the edge of getting an ambulance called and get Bob taken to hospital. As I was going to get a phone I was stopped by Bob shouting at me not to dare to call the ambulance as he has got a sked with a friend in French Pyrenees, and there is a contest later on…

Bob has given me not only mentoring and knowledge I am using on daily basis to do what I do, he not only let me operate the station and win several smaller contests but he has given me he gift of friendship, which I am now losing with him going, but I will forever remember him as role model and a real gentleman.

Jiri Culak, M0ITY / OK2IT


Category: Silent Keys