Preface: I wrote this post nearly 2 years ago with the idea of posting it but decided to hold off, but I think I should post it as HamTests played a pivotal part in my life.
HamTests fully closed in August 2018 with the question pool released to the community to use in anyway they liked.
Most of my close friends will remember that around 2 years ago, I announced I was stepping aside from helping run HamTests which at the time was probably the UK’s biggest website todo with amateur radio training, the site first started when I was at university after some discussions with Paul, then over time grew from 100 users to over 15,000.
It gave me a chance to learn how to run large scale online learning environments, although HamTests was largely about mock exams we did have many other resources on the site and it went from some rather crappy code I’d written on my 6am commutes to university to using Moodle.
We always kept the service free and it was largely funded at first by donations, advertising from Google AdSense or from our own back pockets.
It was a great way to interact with people who sometimes were just coming into the hobby and supporting them as they developed their knowledge and it was a great way making friendships.
But at the same
However after helping developed the site into its current form I decided to step aside at the time there was lots of hearsay regarding the reasons, but it ultimately came down to a couple of things these mostly being health and lack of time with focus needing to be on running my company magicbug.
During the early years I was juggling finishing university (first class degree non the less) to switching to running a company which was developing large VLEs for companies and local government based off the back of a website a made with a friend for fun.
As time went on ideas flowed and we set up a separate forum called HamRadioForum which grew and again needed time to maintain and support.
HRF has its referred to is still run on my company servers and I support Paul with keeping it online.
In 2017 it hit the point that change needed to happen, HamTests was taking a heavy backseat in my life while I was either sat in the hospital in A&E or in clinics while they tried to diagnose more issues from heart problems to epileptic seizures which brings us up till now 2019. Nearly a two year after standing down, although I’m still around to offer Paul as much technical support I can it’s down to less than an hour every couple of months and I guess that will completely dry up.
While I stood down from HamTests I’m of course still running my company still maintaining VLEs and now building websites for local small businesses up to large corporates my minds of course still into Ham Radio with things I want to do.
Biggest thing I’ve been working on is my own web based logging app called Cloudlog, while not hugely popular it was purely built for my own enjoyment.
This has never been made to be a product and I honestly don’t think it ever will be, I’m building it purely to suit my interest in the hobby.
However a few people do pay a small amount to have it hosted on my company servers and I deal with keeping it updated.
I’ve also recently been getting far more involved in the Amsat community and I hope that long continues, however the lurking hunger for HF pile ups still exists and I hope to get back into contesting more from Scotland in the coming months.
Will I ever go back to running large free Ham Radio websites in the near future, I suspect not, but you might find small tools popping up.
You can still do the mock tests at a site called RadioTutor.