Bobby Wadey


Walk A Mile in Her Shoes
Name: Roberta Wadey
Job/Role: Raynet Volunteer
Fantasy Job/Role: Sniper in the SAS
Personality Type: Bubbly
Main Characteristic: fiercely independent
Life Motto: Get on with living or dying (Shawshank Redemption film)

What do you do?
Raynet is a volunteer organisation which provides emergency communications using equipment such as radios. As a volunteer, I train for emergency situations by providing radio communications at events such as The Northwest 200 and Omagh Marathon.

How does a typical day go?
It’s usually a couple of days of preparation getting radio equipment gathered up and loaded as it will be an early start to get to any location before the road closures.

As I get close to the rendezvous point, I usually turn my amateur radio on in the car and put a call out using my identity MI0RYL, which is like my on-air name. MI0 shows that I have an advanced licence and am in Northern Ireland and RYL is my personal identity which stands for Roberta Young Lady. In Amateur radio, codes are used, and a single lady is known as a YL or Young Lady, so I will have eternal youth thanks to radio.

Unfortunately, there are fewer women than men on the radio so usually I’ll hear one of the guys come back and direct me to my location, where I will park up, check my signal is being heard by the control station, say hi to the marshals and then get the tea and sandwiches out. God bless Tayto and Kit-Kats.

A lot will determine what happens from then on, the type of event, risk levels, and even weather. Most times I will be relaying routine messages such as asking for clarification on road closures for marshals or passing information on competitors as they pass. Other times things will become very hectic for example when you’re directing in medical help. Thankfully I’ve never been at an event with a fatality, but that’s what the training also prepares you for.

An event can be a couple of hours or the whole day, but at the end, you’re “stood down” from duty and I normally head to control and raid the excellent buffets that are usually at the finish lines of events, then I head up for some banter with the guys in control, sometimes I even get treated to an ice cream by our radio controller (the benefits of not drinking tea or coffee). Then it’s home for some chillout time and bed.

What is it you enjoy about this?
Well, I love being on the radio knowing I can talk to anyone anywhere in the world using just a little piece of wire and I’ve made lots of friends. Mostly though, I like that I’m building self-reliance, that if an emergency happens, I’m prepared and can help myself and others. Plus, I think it sounds cool that I can send Morse code at 18 words a minute.

What’s the downside to this?

I’m very much one of the lads and I like that, but it would be nice to hear more women on air and see them volunteering at Raynet events. Amateur radio is such an amazing hobby, but it does prove men like to talk more than women, fact!

So where will you be in 10 years’ time?
Hopefully still in training and that the end of the world has NOT happened. Honestly, technology is moving so fast I have no idea, 5 years ago we started using digital radios for events and amateur radio is a progressive hobby for technology, we had things like mailboxes first, so you’ll have to ask me then.

You can find out more about the hobby of Amateur radio and RAYNET by going to

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