Mark was first licensed in Feb 1972 at age 16. Whilst still at school he was so keen to be on the air that after a while his parents persuaded him to suspend operation for the sake of his A-levels. At University in 1975 he was the Chairman of the University College of Wales, Swansea, Amateur Radio Society and operated from the club station of GW3UWS using a 3-ele beam from the top of the 11-storey Applied Science block with a great take-off over the sea.
In 1976 Mark's work took him to South Africa, he operated as ZS6BQP and got hooked on contesting when operating multi-single with ZS6BPL in the 1979 CQWW SSB contest.
In 1981 Mark moved to Cape Town and operated as ZS1QC. Whilst working for Plessey a lot of home-brew amateur projects were built (including a 10W HF multimode transceiver), and a lecture was presented to the Cape Town ARC. Mark married Jacqui in 1983 & completed an MSc at Cape Town University in 1987.