G4ZU callsign activated in 10 year commemoration

Christmas Day 2015 saw a small piece of history for three generations of the Bird family, descendants of renowned radio amateur Gordon ‘Dick’ Bird G4ZU.

Dick G4ZU was responsible for the design of several HF antennas, including the G4ZU Super MiniBeam and the ‘Birdcage’, an active DXer, and known for writing technical articles for publications such as Radcom and CQ Magazine. Dick passed away in 2005, aged 86 and living in the South of France.

Dick’s grand-daughter, Sarah Sipple (née Bird), carries on the family tradition, having gained her Foundation licence in 2011. With the permission of the family and Ofcom, the callsign G4ZU was transferred to Sarah’s husband Pete M0PSX a couple of years back. With the family gathered together for Christmas, the callsign of G4ZU was activated for the first time in the 10 years since Dick’s passing. Dick’s son, Chris Bird was able to pass a seasonal greetings message to his daughter Sarah via the G4ZU callsign. Sarah then in turn received a greetings message from Dick’s great-granddaughter, 8 year-old Kathryn, completing the four generation connection.

Kathryn Sipple, Sarah Sipple M6PSK and Chris Bird (December 2015)
Kathryn Sipple, Sarah Sipple M6PSK and Chris Bird (December 2015)

A review of several back-issues of Radcom, CQ Magazine and the RSGB yearbooks reveals that Dick Bird G4ZU has been responsible for the design of numerous antennas including:

  • G4ZU Super MiniBeam
  • Globemaster Panda Beam
  • Multiple Image Reflex yagi (1958)
  • Birdcage (1960)
  • G4ZU X Beam
  • The 7F Miniloop
  • G4ZU “Jungle Job” also known as the “Bow-and-Arrow Yagi”
From CQ Magazine: Gordon 'Dicky' Bird G4ZU
From CQ Magazine: Gordon ‘Dicky’ Bird G4ZU

Sarah M6PSK is one of the Essex Ham team, and said about today’s use of the G4ZU callsign:

“It’s great that the historic G4ZU callsign is still active, in memory of Dick’s passion for amateur radio. Ten years after Dick Bird went SK, G4ZU was again on-air, connecting three generations of the family together using amateur radio – a nice Christmas present, and one for the Bird family scrapbook.”

From Radcom Yearbook: Gordon ' Dick' Bird shack G4ZU.
From Radcom Yearbook: Gordon ‘ Dick’ Bird shack G4ZU.


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  1. M0LMR 26 December 2015 Reply
  2. Steve 26 December 2015 Reply
  3. Dick's daughter 26 December 2015 Reply
  4. Pete M0PSXAuthor 26 December 2015 Reply
  5. John - G8MM 27 December 2015 Reply
    • Pete M0PSXAuthor 27 December 2015 Reply
    • John - G8MM 11 April 2016 Reply
  6. John PINK 28 December 2015 Reply
  7. Michael Bannister 10 April 2016 Reply
  8. Pete M0PSX 10 April 2016 Reply

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