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. 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
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
Weekend 10 and 11 November 2018. Joined the 2018 PA
trophy contest; CW on Saturday and SSB on Sunday. It all was done in
between a variety of other pursuits but it was nice. The contest was
held only on the 80 and 40 meter bands. I used the contest mode in
HRDluxe but I had forgotten to add the STX and SRX fields in order
to properly convert from ADIF to Cabrillo. So in the end I
downloaded the recommended logging programme
VERONPAB2018 and retyped the logs into this programme where
after I could successfully upload both files; one for CW and one for
SSB. The initial results can be seen on:
https://pabeker.veron.nl/index.php?page=results from 1 December
I also received my QRZ.com certificate for having worked at least
one hundred 'Maidenhead grid squares'. I now have this for both my
PD3TRU and PC4Y calls.
Tuesday 30 October 2018. It again has been a while.
Spent a week away from home with children and grand children. The
station on board the ss Rotterdam will be using the PA60HAL call sign
in stead of the PI4HAL call sign. PA60HAL is a
special event call commemorating the launch of the ship 60 years
ago. We will be using that call sign until the end of 2019 as we
also give special attention to the maiden voyage of the ship in
September 2019. A nice QSL card has been developed, both hard copy
and eQSL. And
the PI4HAL newsletter for November was launched.
Saturday 22 September 2018. DARES nationwide
exercise named Enigma. The aim: nationwide coverage with VHF/UHF
stations some of which acting as relay station. The SIGCO team of
which I am part was directed to Zwolle in order to act as a relay
station between Westerbork and Kootwijk. Examining the topology I
found Zwolle to be situated too low in order to work both Westerbork
and Kootwijk. So with the help of an acquaintance in the Defence
organisation we gained access to a military terrain under Zwolle at
a place called Oldenbroek (near 't Harde). That terrain has an
elevation of about 60 meters. So we made a set up of two independent
stations; one working Westerbork and one working Kootwijk. In
addition we had a Winlink station. The exercise worked fine. We
relayed messages from Westerbork that acted as a DRCC to Kootwijk
who had to send the messages to the DLCC in Oegstgeest eventually.
We had quite some rain to cope with but all worked fine. At 13.30
hours local time we were told the exercise was over and we all could
dismantle our set ups and return home.
Pictures of our set up at the Woldberg near 't Harde. We were on
top at the so called Knobbel. Some 60 meters above sea level.
Friday 21 September 2018. The PI4HAL shack was in
use by the International Police Association (IPA) who had a
conference on board the ship. For a whole week. They worked the
shack with call PI6IPA. They made 222 QSO's two of which were made
using the AO91 and AO92 amateur satellites.
Thursday 13 September 2018. Worked the 20, 40, 80
and 160 meter bands in de early evening in CW and SSB modes. All
within Europe. Hadn't worked the station for a while so it was good
to see all is still working fine.
Tuesday 21 August 2018. Annual maintenance of the
external antenna system: lowering mast; replaced the rusted snap
hooks for the guying; inspected the insulators and the dipole ribbon
cable (matching section) connection to the actual antenna wiring.
Fixed the strain relief of the VHF/UHF coax cable near the antenna.
all took about one hour work including buying the new snap hooks,
this time I have chosen the stainless steel version.
The guying was tensioned again and both antennas (VHF/UHF and HF)
were tested and found to be okay.
Click on the pictures to enlarge.
Sunday 19 August 2018. Went sailing on the
Haringvliet waters with the Dehler 37 of Ger Rossel PC3GER together
with Wim Serry PA3CUJ, both mates on board the ss Rotterdam. Wind
force 5 Southwest. Great!
This is not a picture of
Ger's Dehler 37 ; merely an impression of the joy of sailing
Wednesday 25 July 2018. Worked the PI4HAL shack
with temperatures well over 30oC. Quite a few visitors
this day. Conditions were moderate.
Tuesday 24 July 2018. Worked JH1HD in the
afternoon. It has been quite a while since I have been able to work
the Far East. We were both RST 559 but workable. In CW on 14,038
Saturday 21 July 2018.
new flag has been added in my visitors page: Bahrain.
I don't recall having had a QSO with Bahrain though. So it must
have been a random visit to the site. Nice.
Friday 20 July 2018. I know, I know, I know......it
has been too long. I have been away for two weeks on holiday and
thereafter lots of other activities kept me busy. I have been in the
PI4HAL shack though. And....I have now reached the vintage age of
71. A few QSO's have been made, but nothing spectacular. DX
conditions are still up for improvement. And we had a DARES event at
the SAR in Katwijk last week Saturday.
Monday 18 June 2018. Installed Ham Radio de Luxe
version 184.108.40.2066 with no problems. Made only a few QSO's in the
Sunday 10 June 2018. It has been a while! Have been
away now and then and have been in the PI4HAL shack. Nearby thunder
forced me to disconnect my antennas and garden activities had a high
priority as weed was overtaking my flowers and so on. So almost no
radio activities from my home QTH.
Monday 14 May 2018. Installed Ham Radio de Luxe
version 220.127.116.110 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
18.104.22.1686 of Ham Radio de Luxe software. Version 22.214.171.1245 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
126.96.36.1996 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 188.8.131.524. 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.
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.
Some pictures of my shack
Registration number at Dutch
Administration: 6629107. Above pictures are from May 2011 onwards.
Antenna: G5RV junior, best suitable for 160, 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12 and
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.
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
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
90Ah GEL battery system with USB, Neutrik and
Anderson Powerpole connectors.
Software: Ham Radio de Luxe with DM780 software for transceiver
control (CAT), logging and digimodes version 184.108.40.2066
RMS (Radio Mail Server)
(RIG): YAESU FT-450AT 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.
and: YAESU FT-60E
output: 5 Watt VHF/UHF, 144 MHZ and 430 MHz amateur bands. FM
and: BAOFENG UV82-HP
hand held for 2 meter maritime, 2 meter amateur
and 70 cm amateur bands.
Output 8 Watt
FM and FM Radio bands.
and: 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
and: 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
I am a member of the
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
have a team of about 10 operators and 5 technicians. We are
still looking for more operators as it is our 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.
HERE you get
access to the PI4HAL newsletters (in Dutch).
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.
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:
15 watt e.i.r.p.
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 1 March 2018, I have 113 DXCC's though
as a few QSO's from quite some time ago have recently been confirmed, like Bermuda,
Cuba, 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
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
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.
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)
HERE for ancient Morse transmissions from various coastal
All about decibels:
You must have at
Thought into the past,
Where some things go out
While others last
What comes to my mind is
The old Morse code,
That has weathered the storms
From any abode.
To talk with ones
Is surely an art,
Of any info you
Care to impart,
In most conditions
The signals get through,
While the same about phone
Is simply not true.
Those dits and
Cut through the trash,
Of near by noise or
To the sensitive ears
Of the hams receiver,
Who records this data
With ardent fever.
He knows he's
(in such poor conditions,
That's quite a feat)
To roger the message
That came off the air,
These brass pounders
Sure do have that flair
They say Morse ops
Are a dying breed,
But don't despair,
There's always that need,
That when conditions get rough
for the new automation,
Be rest assured,
There'll be need for your station.
CW is dying?
Believe it never,
This mode will be 'round
Forever and ever.
But one thing is sure,
What we really need,
Is to relay our knowledge
To the younger breed.
To carry the torch,
Long after we're gone,
To send Morse code
Through the air like a song.
When at last,
Silent keys pull that lever,
We can rest in peace,
It's CW forever.
Jim Hatherley, WA1TBY (SK)
A promo video about HAM radio. Made in 2014 by VERON. In
Dutch. But pictures speak for themselves.