Glossary of terms
of the above Solar-Terrestrial Data. In brief: High SFI (> 100) and
low K (< 4) are providing for good HF DX conditions.
Number of countries
My career started as a
I have done that from 1965 - 1974, serving on
board freighters and passenger liners like the s/s Statendam and the
(old) s/s Nieuw Amsterdam. So 'wireless' is rather familiar.
I did my N exam in 2011. My call sign then was
The first QSO with my legacy and
vintage YAESU FT-7 was
on april 23rd 2011 at 09:15 UTC with
F8CSL. A memorable
day to reach the middle of France with only 10 Watts in the antenna.
It was my first QSO after I stopped being a 'sparks' 37 years ago. A
true adrenaline boost.
March 5th 2014 I successfully
passed my F exam. From here on my call sign is
PC4Y. I have chosen PC4Y for a reason: my first ship I
worked on as an independent R/O was the KNSM m/v ATTIS with call
sign PCVY. For nostalgia reasons I just added one dot
to the V and made it a 4 in CW language. The button below gives access to
the F study I did with the help of the VERON ham
radio club and the very useful help from
Some four or five spots in the above map are
incorrect, like the one in Alaska and the one in
the Gulf of Guinea. Apparently these guys have
their coordinates incorrect in their QRZ.com
account. It didn't help to adjust their locator coordinates
Clicking on the above button gives access to a series of
HAM Radio topics and answers from Dave Kesler KE0OG
My logbook is updated in HamRadioDeLuxe with daily updates to LoTW,
QRZ.com, eQSL, HRDlog.net and QRZCQ. LoTW clearly gives the most QSL's but no
QSL cards. eQSL gives nice electronic QSL cards and QRZ.com
is giving disappointing results w.r.t. QSL's. Some figures: On 1
March 2017 I have made 5169 QSO's from both the PD3TRU
and PC4Y call signs. I received 1692 QSL's from LoTW (32,7%),
1465 eQSL cards (28,4%) and 966 confirmed QSO's from
days now on top as per request from many visitors
Monday 14 May 2018. Installed Ham Radio de Luxe
version 18.104.22.1680 without any hassle.
Wednesday 9 May 2018. Spent the day o/b de ss
Rotterdam in the PI4HAL shack together with 6 others, 5 of which
have been working on the vertical antennas that needed to be
replaced including the coax connectors. Florian PB8DX was the lucky
one to go all the way up, but he is absolutely not afraid of
The PI4HAL team on the bridge of the ss Rotterdam
on May 9th 2018
Florian PB8DX fixing the coax connection on the port side
vertical at a height of approximately 65 meters.
Sunday 29 April 2018. Worked GM0HCQ/MM the Royal
Research Ship James Clark Ross in the 30 meter band. Operator Mike.
Near Cape Finisterre.
Sunday 15 April 2018. Joined the MRD (Maritime
Radio Days) for quite a few hours spread over the day. Made a nice
number (24) of QSO's in the 20, 30, 40 and 80 meter bands. Good to meet
old friends in the air. Yesterday I did the same on board the PI4HAL
together with two other guys. Conditions were very moderate then so
we were less successful with the QSO number. But we had a lot
of visitors to whom we could tell the story of the Titanic
catastrophe; the very reason for the Maritime Radio Days.
Sunday 8 April 2018. Successfully installed version
22.214.171.1246 of Ham Radio de Luxe software. Version 126.96.36.1995 which was
released the day before was believed to have a trojan. It was
thoroughly tested and no trojan was found. So - to be absolutely
save - the new version
188.8.131.526 was released. Windows Defender didn't like it at first,
but I installed it anyway. I have had no problem so far.
Friday 6 April 2018. Spent the day in the PI4HAL
shack with my old colleague on board the ss Nieuw Amsterdam Harm de
Haan PD2GG. Again we exchanged a lot of memories. I worked the
Skanti HF transceiver on the dipole antenna in USB mode (20 meter
band) and Harm worked the FT-1000 in CW mode, in the 20 and 40 meter
bands using the GPA 50. The other transceivers were temporarily out
of service due to 'work-in-progress' on antenna cabling. Two young
boys from Belgium were stunned by the abilities of working Morse
Wednesday 4 April 2018. Have been off the air for
some time. Did have some problems with HRdLuxe after I had
deinstalled an old version of MS Office, including MS Access. I then
installed the new version MS Office 2017 (including MS Access) but
when I started HRdLuxe it said the database MyLogbook could not be
found or it could not connect to that database. As I had many other
things to do I parked the problem for the time being, but I didn't
make any QSO's as a result of that. Today I spent some time trying
to solve the problem. I made a new database, imported the backup of
my logbook and it looks as if it works. I didn't get MyLogbook back
into work though. The new database is now BertLogbook. Haven't found
out why MyLogbook could not be retrieved or connected. Well anyway I
made a few 20 meter band QSO's today, so I am back.
Above LoTW confirmation of my QSO with Kosovo; the newly added
Thursday 22 March 2018. Spent the day o/b ss
Rotterdam in the PI4HAL shack. Made a nice number of 20 and 30 meter
band QSO's amongst one with 3C0W (Annobon Island, Gulf of Guinee)
and one with PJ5/SP9FIH (Saba/St Eustatius, Dutch Antilles). And
there was a nice number of visitors.
Saturday 17 March 2018. Russian DX contest. Made a
humble number of QSO's in the 15, 20, 40, 80 and 160 meter bands. Only
in CW. Quite busy but no problems getting thru. The log was
Russian DX Contest 2018
Reported QSOs: 50
Received at: 19.03.2018 05:46:47 UTC
Log is successfully submitted.
Thank you for participation in RDXC-2018 and for your log!
PC4Y* SOAB-CW-LP valid 19.03.2018 05:46
Monday 5 March 2018. I finalized the upgrade of my
two PC's to have the Window10 O/S. Received a new TQSL certificate
from LoTW and reconfigured my HRdLuxe including the upgrade to
version 184.108.40.2064. Had to retrieve upload codes and what have you,
but it was all in the backup.
Saturday 24 February 2018. Within the regional
DARES group we had installed and configured the newly developed and
configured Winlink system. Today was the day we tested it with a
dedicated DARES Radio Mail server (RMS) and some 6 or 7 testers. The
testers worked from their home QTH, three others went to the DRCC in
Leiden to check the RMS. At the end we were very enthusiastic as all
worked fine, including working thru digipeaters.
Monday 5 February 2018.
A nice new flag from Burkina Faso was added to my flag-list, now
showing a total of 121 flags from all over the world. I don't recall
to have had a QSO with someone in Burkina Faso though, but that is
irrelevant. It again shows our hobby allows to have worldwide
contacts without the hassle of travelling.
Wednesday 31 January 2018. Last week the FT-1000
was successfully connected to HRdeLuxe. So (almost) everything in
back into shape in the PI4HAL shack. Remaining to-do are the digital
mode configurations in the HRdLuxe programmes. Today we welcomed a
group of 20 youngsters and three teachers to get a demo on how to
make a voice QSO over the radio. They need to be prepared if and
when they will have a QSO with the ISS in the week of 28 May. It was
an interesting gathering.
The group photo of the class in the lobby of the main
Monday 22 January 2018. My second QSO with the
independent republic Kosovo celebrating their 10th anniversary.
Still needs to be listed as DX. And QSL cards still goes thru an OH
station. But good progress is being made. Keep up the good work! On
Saturday 27 January Ham Radio de Luxe sent out a newsletter,
announcing Kosovo to have been added to the DX list!
Thursday 18 January 2018. Another enjoyable day in
the PI4HAL shack together with Harm PD2GG. Upgraded one PC to
Windows 10 Pro. The other PC is due for next week. We had gale force
10 on board making the ship tilt with some 2o. But all
antenna's survived this heavy storm and some nice QSO's were made,
all in the 20 meter band and a few on VHF.
Friday 12 January 2018. Frede PA2FM joined me today
in the PI4HAL shack. The FT-1000 was missing and is away for the CAT
update. So I used the Skanti and Frede the IC-765. Conditions were
still poor. We also met some nice visitors who showed interest in
the ship's history.
Thursday 4 January 2018. A day in the PI4HAL shack
with Karel PC3W and Bert PA1BE. Lots of visitors as it is still the
Xmas holiday period. Quite a few kids were told about Morse code and
tried (and sometimes achieved) to send their names in Morse.
Saturday 30 December 2017. It's been quiet these
past few weeks. But I have given de local QSL manager in our Veron
office about 500 QSL cards to be processed and I have been working
on the PI4HAL newsletter for January that I have sent out just
today. And I moved my daughter and her partner from an apartment to
a beautiful detached house and I had my grandson (9) over for a
couple of days. So little time for the hobby. The year is coming to
an end and plans are to be made for the coming year. The FT-1000
transceiver in the PI4HAL shack needs an EPROM with a new firmware
version if we want the CAT to work. So Wil PA0WBS has that already
planned. And now we are getting ready for the infamous 'olieollen'
and champagne and not to forget the even more infamous fireworks.
Friday 8 December 2017. Worked the PI4HAL shack
with Harm PD2GG. We used all the transmitters, not simultaneous
though. The Skanti worked fine on the 80 meter band, but the IC-765
didn't work on that band using the sloping long wire. Harm used the
FT-1000 which we still haven't been able to connect to Ham Radio de Luxe. HRdLuxe support suggested to contact Yaesu. And the FT-897 was
used on the 2 meter band. The ship is literally lighting up like a
Christmas tree. The ship is packed with beautiful Christmas trees on
Wednesday 6 December 2017.
My MFJ-816 arrived today
and I immediately
installed it. I just wanted to see what power goes into my antenna.
I guess I will have to read the manual first as when I tried it on the
80 meter band it showed a forward power of over 300 Watt. That
cannot be right as my RIG only has 100 Watt maximum. I'll come back
when I have more info.
A new flag was added to my flag counter: Antigua and Barbuda. I
was there just one year ago during our Caribbean cruise. Nice. The
flag counter hadn't changed for well over one year.
The previous one was Panama. Now 181 flags have been collected!
Thursday 30 November 2017. Spent the day in the
PI4HAL shack with Karel PC3W and Harm PD2GG. Tried to get to work
the newly obtained FT-1000 with HRdLuxe using the received CAT
cable. Didn't succeed. The FT-1000 wasn't in de RIG list of HRdLuxe.
There were the FT-1000D and the FT-1000MD MkV, but both models
couldn't be used. There was a connection but the frequency on
the HRdLuxe radio screen kept jumping up and down the bands and the
FT-1000 locked and couldn't be tuned anymore. Sent out a support
ticket to HRdLuxe. We'll see.
Weekend 25 & 26 November 2017. Joined the CQ WW DX
contest during the weekend. A few hours spread over the two days.
Worked all the bands. Conditions were fair. And it was a zoo. Nice.
I have made my 5600th QSO since May 2011.
This contest where you give the RST number and the CQ zone
number has a psychological advantage over contests that require
a serial number. No one can see how many QSO one has already
made, where as when a serial number is given the # QSO's is obvious.
This has often prevented me from
joining in hours later than the beginning of the contest as then
already serial numbers up into the hundreds are given, where I start
with 001, which is kind of embarrassing. Most of my working life I
have had so called competitive jobs e.g. sales, consultancy with
billable hours and alike. So I guess competitiveness sneaked
into my radio hobby.
Logs received from all participants:
On Sunday morning, 26 November 2017 I joined the
MARAC sched on
3,555 kHz CW. PI4MRC was leading the sched. There were four other
participants, one from Germany.
Yaesu FT-1000 in the PI4HAL shack
Thursday 23 November. Worked the PI4HAL shack
together with Karel PC3W. The shack is now the proud owner of a
FT-1000 transceiver. In comparison with the IC-765 we both felt it
to be an improvement. We worked Surinam and Bonaire in the 15 meter
band. The FT-1000 still needs to be provided with a CAT interface to
HRdLuxe, but we were told this is going to happen next week.
Tuesday 21 November 2017. Had a few 160 and 80
meter band QSO's CW to Sweden and Ireland. And a 60 meter band USB
QSO. Heard J5T (Guinee Bissau) in the 20 meter band, but the pile up
Tuesday 14 November 2017. Made some nice CW QSO's
in the 160, 80, 60 and 40 meter bands. Conditions seemed favourable.
Saturday 11 November 2017. I worked 4U1ITU (ITU HQ
in Geneva) in the 40 meter band and HRDlog.net added one up in the
number entities worked. Apparently 4U1ITU is a separate entity.
And I modified my TNC-X for Winlink usage. The three LED's that
need to go thru the little holes in the front panel had been cut too
short when I assembled the unit, resulting in the LED's being hidden
behind the front panel. So I finally bought myself three new LED's
to replace the others. Then there is the cumbersome task to remove
the old components, trying to remove the solder tin to get open
holes for the new LED's to be put in. If I only had a solder tin
sucker. Well in the end it all worked out fine and the TNC-X is
lighting up like a Christmas tree.
Friday 10 November 2017. Worked my FT-7 with 10
Watt in the 20 meter band with YU1INO. Was given 569 and he wasn't
any better J
Just wanted to see if the 'old lady' was still working. The
frequency isn't very stable I am afraid.
Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 November 2017. Joined the
Ukrainian CW contest. Made quite a few QSO's in the 20 and 15 meter
bands. Very busy, but good conditions. Here
www.urdxc.org you can see the list of participants who uploaded
their logs (updated every evening).
Wednesday 1 November 2017. Another day on the ss
Rotterdam, but this time in the shack PI4HAL, together with Piet
PE0TPD and Wim PA3CUJ. Hadn't seen them for a while so we spent the
morning talking. Had a few QSO's with the Skanti transceiver, but
Tuesday 31 October 2017. Today and yesterday I
labelled yet another 400 QSL cards to be presented to the QSL
bureau. So I have now labelled QSL cards to all parties whom I had
QSO with in 2017 (until now).
The beauty of printing the labels from HRdLuxe is the advantage
of getting them printed in the right prefix order and multiple QSO's
with one station are printed on one label.
Today I heard Japan and Kuwait in the 20 meter band. Hadn't heard
Japan for a long time.
Saturday 28 October 2017. Spent the day on board
the ss Rotterdam; not necessarily in the PI4HAL shack, but mostly
'touring' the ship with a group of neighbours who wanted to see the
ship. The PI4HAL shack also had a visitor group from Veron A21
branch in the east of the Netherlands.
The Veron A21 group on the port bridge wing of the ss Rotterdam.
Henk PA0HPV on the far left; Hans Remeeus PA1HR in the middle. It
was a busy day on board; I have never seen so many people on board;
visitors, hotel guests and alike.
The group neighbours on board the ss Rotterdam
The box with my 160 QSL cards was put on the mail to avoid
Thursday 26 October 2017. Had a nice morning in the
PI4HAL shack with Karel PC3W. As we hadn't seen one another for
quite a few weeks, we had a lot of catching up to do. We also met
with some visitors.
Unfortunately the QSL cards hadn't come in yesterday. Instead
they came in today. So I wasn't able to give QSL cards to the local
QSL manager in the Veron club house. I can send them however to the
DQB headquarters in Arnhem if needed.
The QSL cards came in fine. They look great and I have already
labelled some 160 cards and bundled them in the right prefix order.
It took me about one hour, so that's not too bad. And.....I made
another 160 meter band QSO. This time with the Czech Republic.
Wednesday 25 October 2017. Again made some nice
QSO's in the 60, 80 and 40 meter
bands using my MFJ-914 in conjunction with the MFJ-925 auto tuner.
Super low SWR. Click on the picture to enlarge. To the far left you
see the front of my 90 Ah battery backup system. Then working from
left to right
you see the MFJ-914; on the shelf you can see the
MFJ-925 and under the shelf you see my vintage SAILOR receiver for
the MF and LW bands. The other transceivers are more to the right of
the shack and cannot be seen on this picture.
Real time tracker
I have applied for a registration at
NASA to get an e-mail when ISS passes over my own QTH with a
workable angle. I have already received a few e-mails telling me the
ISS will be passing, but it was mostly at night. There will - no doubt - be next passes
within a more 'acceptable' timeframe.
The following frequencies are currently used for Amateur Radio ISS
contacts (QSOs): Voice and SSTV
Downlink: 145.800 (Worldwide)
Voice Uplink: 144.490 for ITU Regions 2 and 3
(The Americas, and the Pacific and Southern Asia)
Voice Uplink: 145.200 for ITU Region 1 (Europe, Russia and Africa)
VHF Packet Uplink and Downlink: 145.825
UHF Packet Uplink and Downlink: 437.550
UHF/VHF Repeater Uplink: 437.80
UHF/VHF Repeater Downlink: 145.80
Call Signs in Use
The following call signs are available for use on the ISS:
European: DP0ISS, OR4ISS, IR0ISS
Packet Station Mailbox: RS0ISS-11 and RS0ISS-1
Other call signs may come into use as the station and crew change.