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Long : 4.30664 E (004° 18' 24'' E)                              
Lat : 52.05249 N (52° 03' 09'' N)

QTH locator : JO22db
ITU Region 1
ITU Zone: 27
CQ Zone: 14
DXCC zone: 263

send me an email     Write2Me Gastenboek 

The Netherlands
Les Pays Bas
Die Niederlande
Los Países Bajos
I Paesi Bassi




Welcome to the PD3TRU & PC4Y webpage



Map showing my location in The Netherlands (Europe)


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 (entities) worked

My career started as a wireless officer. 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.

come inI did my N exam in 2011. My call sign then was PD3TRU. 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. On 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 PA0WV.

F-exam issues 

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 account. It didn't help to adjust their locator coordinates afterwards.

Ask Dave

Clicking on the above button gives access to a series of interesting
HAM Radio topics and answers from Dave Kesler KE0OG

My logbook is updated in HamRadioDeLuxe with daily updates to LoTW,, eQSL, and QRZCQ. LoTW clearly gives the most QSL's but no QSL cards. eQSL gives nice electronic QSL cards and 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 (18%).

Some of my latest activities during the past months.Latest days now on top as per request from many visitors J

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 deck.

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 every deck.

Wednesday 6 December 2017.

MFJ 816

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 was immense.

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 added one up in the number entities worked. Apparently 4U1ITU is a separate entity. Nice.

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 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 nothing spectacular.

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 further delay.

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. RST579.

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.

Tuesday 24 October 2017. In the afternoon I heard a Brazilian station and made QSO's with a few East Coast Americans. Are conditions better today or is it my new coax cable giving such a good result? Again the solar terrestrial data didn't show a significant improvement.

As I expect my new QSL cards to come in tomorrow, I started to print the labels for the cards and noticed yet another advantage of HRdLuxe version 6: the labels are printed in the order of the prefixes and multiple QSO's with one station are printed on one label! So I now have almost 200 labels to get started. I hope to be ready around the end of the afternoon as I want to meet the QSL manager at the Veron club house in the evening.

Monday 23 October 2017. The shipment from Classic International came in around 10.30 AM. I installed the MFJ-914 and I could successfully tune the 80 meter band with an SWR <1.5. Haven't tried the 160 meter band yet. Then I replaced my RG58 coax by the new H-2000 coax between  the transceiver and the G5RV antenna. When I tuned the 20 meter band I heard quite a few stations and I have the feeling (wish full thinking?) that all of them gave a better signal strength than before. So I feel satisfied with the results.

Later in the evening I also made a 160 meter band CW QSO with France F5IN. SWR < 1.5. The very first one I made since I started this hobby in 2011. He gave me 599 and so was he. In the afternoon I accidently joined a chat group in the 60 meter band; all guys within the Netherlands. I was given some critical comments on my MFJ-914 / MFJ-925 combination setup. And I know some (or may be a lot) of my transmit power will get lost in the tuner system, but what the heck; I can now work the 80 and 160 meter bands! I was advised to use a manual tuner for even better results. Well we´ll see about that. For the moment I am happy as it is.

Sunday 22 October 2017. During the WAG contest (Worked All Germany) I noticed all bands to be open: heard stations in the 10 meter band, 12, 17 and 15 meter bands and of course the 20 and 40 meter bands. The solar terrestrial data though didn't show any significant improvements. It has been quite some time ago that I heard the higher bands to be open.

Flag of KosovoIn the evening I had a QSO with Kosovo Z68BB. It appeared to be an unrecognized DXCC. Kosovo that is.

Was informed by Maxi-Print about my ordered QSL cards. These will be delivered next Wednesday. My H-2000 cables and the MFJ-914 will come in tomorrow.

Wednesday 18 October 2017.

MFJ 914Today I ordered H2000 coax flex cable to replace my RG58 cable between my HF antenna and the tuner/transceiver. I also ordered an MFJ 914 auto tuner extender to see and try if I can get some better SWR results in the lower frequencies. The H2000 cable should give lower loss, so in the end I should be better off. But I know it is a gamble. I'll let you know the outcome shortly.

During the month of October one can hear many special event calls from Hungarian stations with the prefix HA500 or HG500 and the suffix ranging from A till Z. I think I have worked most of them in the 20 and 40 meter bands by now. They all refer to Martin Luther who nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg (Germany) on 31 October 1517; 500 years ago, hence the 500 number in these prefixes. It can be seen as the beginning of the Reformation. In somewhat more detail:

On 31 October 1517, Luther wrote to his bishop, Albert of Mainz, protesting the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his "Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences", which came to be known as the Ninety-five Theses. Hans Hillerbrand writes that Luther had no intention of confronting the church, but saw his disputation as a scholarly objection to church practices, and the tone of the writing is accordingly "searching, rather than doctrinaire."[32] Hillerbrand writes that there is nevertheless an undercurrent of challenge in several of the theses, particularly in Thesis 86, which asks: "Why does the pope, whose wealth today is greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build the basilica of St. Peter with the money of poor believers rather than with his own money?"[32]

Thursday 12 October 2017. I am happy with the paid version of Ham Radio de Luxe which I am using now. Found out how to print labels from the QSO's in the logbook, which is a nice feature whereby filling in of QSL cards becomes a piece of cake. Just print the labels and off you go. I have approached ON5UR which is famous for the design and printing of QSL cards and they will shortly send an example for review. It will look somewhat like this:

I have received quite a few nice QSL cards in the past 6 years but I have always been hesitant to send hard copies myself. But I must admit it is a nice addition of the hobby. Now that I can simply print the QSO data it will be less cumbersome to send hard copy cards myself. I have already checked with the Dutch QSL Bureau how the cards should be presented and now all is geared up to get started when the cards come in.

Thursday 28 September 2017. Still practising the Begali paddle. Getting better by the day, but I still haven't had the guts to use the paddle in a QSO. Still working the straight key there. Most of the mistakes I make is when I send a call sign, but that also is getting better. It just takes more time.
Today the DX conditions are terrible. All bands show the poor qualification
in red. Geomagnetic indicator: K=7. Never seen that before.

See the contest calendar or the Dutch equivalent

International Space Station.

Real-time position Space Station

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 (Worldwide)
    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:

  • Russian: RS0ISS
  • USA: NA1SS
  • 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.


  Some pictures of my shack

Radioshack information: Registration number at Dutch Administration: 6629107.
Above pictures are from May 2011 onwards.

G5RV junior, best suitable for 160, 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 meter bands with an external ATU and ATU extender, sloping dipole. Highest point apporox. 10 meters. Lowest point: 4 meters.
Diamond V-2000 vertical for VHF/UHF (6 m, 2 m and 70 cm) usage. Height of the antenna: approx. 10 meters.
Diamond X30N VHF/UHF (2 meter and 70 centimeter) antenna for field work.
MFJ1022, active indoor antenna for receive only.

ATU and other auxilliary equipment:
MFJ 925 autotuner, MFJ 914 auto tuner extender.
Tigertronics SignaLInk USB to connect the audio from FT-450 to PC and vice versa. For digi modes.
SWR meter
TNC-X modem for Winlink usage
SignaLink USB for Digi modes
Dummy HF antenna
K-PO power unit
13.8 Volt distribution panel  MFJ-1128
West Mountain Radio PWRgate PG40S, allowing automatic battery backup when regular power fails.
90Ah GEL battery system with USB, Neutrik and Anderson Powerpole connectors.

Ham Radio de Luxe with DM780 software for transceiver control (CAT), logging and digimodes version 6.40.787
Winlink 2000
RMS (Radio Mail Server)

Transceiver (RIG):
max. output: 100 Watt
All amateur bands, incl WARC and (modified for) all maritime bands
CW, SSB, PSK31 and FM on 28 MHz and 50 MHz.

output: 5 Watt
VHF/UHF, 144 MHZ and 430 MHz amateur bands.

hand held for 2 meter maritime, 2 meter amateur and 70 cm amateur bands.
Output 8 Watt
FM and FM Radio bands.

YAESU FT-7900 dualband (2m and 70 cm) transceiver
modes: FM and AM.
Output 50 Watts (2 meter) and 45 Watt (70 cm)
Attached to my TNC-X packet modem to work with Winlink (Paclink) thru the PI8HGL RMS on 144.850 MHz. Try me on

vintage YAESU FT-7
max. output: 10 Watt
bands: 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters
CW, USB and LSB only.

Extra receiver:
Vintage SAILOR R-104
MW, LW and SW 80 and 160 meter bands
AM, A1, A2 and USB only.

Straight CW keys (Junker and Kent), a Begali paddle and a HAM Gadgets Master Keyer MK-1 complete the ability to use Morse during the QSO's. Click here for the CQ serenade

HomeI am a member of the PI4HAL association and work the on board radio-station mostly one day per week, using a Yaesu FT-897, an ICOM-271, ICOM-765, a Skanti and/or a Yaesu FT-1000. The station is on board the former cruise ship s/s Rotterdam and is now a hotel/museum ship operated by WestCord hotels.We have a team of about 10 operators and 5 technicians. We are still looking for more operators as it is out ultimate goal to operate the shack every day of the week. So if you are interested please don't hesitate to visit the PI4HAL site (click on the logo at the left) and send an email. Or you can send me an e-mail.

I also joined the DARES foundation in 2011 and have already done quite a few field tests. I am part of a so called SIGCO team.

free counters


Why is a ship called she ? A ship is called a "she'' because there is always a great deal of bustle around her. There is usually a gang of men about, she has a waist and stays. It takes a lot of paint to keep her good looking. It is not the initial expense that breaks you, it is the upkeep. She can be all decked out. It takes an experienced man to handle her correctly. Without a man at the wheel, she is absolutely uncontrollable. She shows her topsides, hides her bottom and, when coming into port, always heads for the buoys. When you see her lying at the berth, you are proud of her like she is your attractive girlfriend.

          me in the shack     | Gerard in the museum | Wil and Karel at the antenna's

Announcement from Agentschap Telecom:

On 3 December 2015 at 00:00 hrs the 60 meter band became available for Dutch hams.

As per 1 April 2017 significant limitations have become effective though.


15 watt e.i.r.p.




So the usage of the band is now limited to between 5,351.5 MHz and 5,366.5 MHz with a max power of 15 Watt EIRP. We used to have the band from 5,350 MHz to 5,450 MHz with 100 Watt PEP. So I don't think this band is still very attractive for DX. The full legislation can be read HERE (in Dutch). Want to know how much EIRP is in relation to PEP? HERE you can find the calculator.

On Tuesday 24 November 2015 I saw Andorra station C37N had confirmed our QSO in LoTW completing my 100 DX count in my DXCC Award tally from ARRL LoTW. So I have applied for 'the Certificate'. See below.

New LoTW QSLs LoTW QSLs in Process DXCC Credits Awarded Total
Mixed 0 0 100 100 100

At the beginning of this year 2015 I had hoped to achieve this goal this year and so I did even well before the end of the year. Of course most of the credit goes to the hams who have confirmed our QSO's in LoTW. Thanks YL's and OM's.

My chances of getting a 200 DXCC credit Award are small as I have worked most of the DX's I can reach with my current station set up. But who knows? Writing 2 December 2017, I have 112 DXCC's though as a few QSO's from quite some time ago have recently been confirmed, like Bermuda, Albania, Ceuta and Melilla, and San Marino. So I am still adding to my list. Like the one from ITU HQ.

The following Dutch call signs are also listed in the ARRL tally for 100 DXes worked.


On the top of the list is 4X4DK who has worked 394 DX entities! I wonder though how that can be as ARRL says they have listed 'only' 340 DX entities. Wim PA0WV explained me how: in time quite a few entities have disappeared (like e.g. the DDR) and others emerged.


See above video to learn more about DX-ing.

Lesson to learn and use Morse code:


Much to my surprise I received a 'worked 100 grid squares' award on my old call sign: PD3TRU, which I have not been using since March 2014. The big black dot in the lower left corner is in fact a golden 'Certified QRZ authentic' stamp that my scanner wasn't able to reproduce apparently J.

Image of QSL card with burning ship ms Prinsendam

Click on this picture about the engine room fire on board the m/s Prinsendam/PJTA and the rescue of well over 500 passengers and crew on 4 October 1980 in the stormy Gulf of Alaska. It still took a week for the ship to sink beyond salvage. Listen to the MP3 audio file with the SOS transmissions starting with the transmission of 12 long dashes of 4 seconds each (twice) to activate the Automatic Alarm Systems which ships had installed those days giving an alarming chime in both the radio room and the bridge during times the R/O was off duty. See also this article. I remember to have sailed under captain Wabeke when he was a first mate on the s/s Nieuw Amsterdam/PGGF.

PC4Y as a rookie R/O on board s/s Nieuw Amsterdam (1969)

Click HERE for ancient Morse transmissions from various coastal stations

All about decibels: