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 profile. 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 19/20 October 2019. Joined the WAG contest
(Worked All Germany) in CW only. In total some 2 1/2 hours and made
87 QSO's almost all in a 40 meter band zoo. Saturday evening quite a
few in the 80 meter band. It was fun.
-------- Information from log header
Contest : Worked All Germany (WAG)
Mycall : PC4Y
Category : Single operator, CW, low power
Claimed Score : 9135
Club : VERON
Sunday 13 October 2019. Not much activity lately.
Been busy though. On board the ss Rotterdam, preparing the new
newsletter and also with DARES and its presence at the
Archeon event of the
VRHM (Security Region Hollands Midden). Most of the so called chain
partners were there to get acquainted with one another. And so were
we with two field stations.
Monday 23 September 2019. Every now and then I get
the question: 'what is the fun of a contest ?' 'It is often not much
more then a quick exchange of some data and then on to the next
one'. Well to be honest, this is what I thought in the beginning
as well. But let me try to summarize the fun:
There is a lot more activity in the air than usual. If you
ever doubt if there are still hams around: listen to the radio
during a contest.
It is an art to distinguish the various stations from one
another when they are tumbling over each other. They cannot help
it really because when you participate in a contest and pick a
frequency say in the 20 meter band, you cannot hear your fellow
hams in the same region in that band.
It is a nice addition to your logbook. In one weekend or one
day you can easily add a hundred (or a thousand) QSO's in your
log and receive many eQSL cards (and/or hard copies).
You hear stations you have never worked before.
It is nice to notice so many stations actually hear you!
It proves your setup is working fine.
Often a plaque is provided that can decorate your shack.
A multi operator contest in e.g. a club station is adding to
the fun as you meet fellow hams.
Of course there are also some reasons why NOT to join the
Lack of time. A contest often runs a whole weekend (48
hours) or a whole day (24 hours). If you cannot join the contest
during a couple or hours, you are missing some of the fun, like
# stations worked or # increasing exchange number. This is the
main reason for me NOT to join a given contest.
Lack of experience. Well this is not really an excuse as you
can only build up experience by doing it.
Contests that require a serial number (exchange number). It
can be de-motivating to hear a station giving a serial number up
in the hundreds, where you just fired up your system and starts
Bad conditions, like an Asian contest or Oceanic contest,
where the stations can hardly be heard (in my region).
Nobody hears you. Can be due to poor conditions or your own
system setup. Remember: the antenna is much more important than
the transmit power.
It would be interesting to hear other reactions. So don't
hesitate to contact me: email@example.com
Sunday 22 September 2019. Joined the SAC contest.
Nice. Used the N1MM logger. Just uploaded my log:
Saturday 14 September 2019. Briefly joined the FOC
contest in honour of Bill Windle (SK) hence the CQ BW
call for the contest. But conditions remained poor and I made only
some 10 or 12 QSO's.
And I did receive the PACC contest award. The PACC contest was
earlier this year. Click on the picture to enlarge.
Monday 9 September 2019. As conditions have been
pretty poor lately, only a few QSO's have been made. Nothing
Saturday 3 August 2019. Joined the EUHFC contest
for about 30 minutes and made 19 QSO's. Uploaded the Cabrillo log
successfully. Used N1MM for the contest log. Uploaded the ADI file
to my Ham Radio de Luxe logbook.
Thursday 31 July 2019. Upgraded the PI4HAL PC's
with the new Ham Radio de Luxe version 6.6 and the new
authentication key. It all went very smoothly.
Period 12 July - 21 July 2019. Sailing along the
Bretagne coast from Bénodet to Vannes, via Concarneau, Port Louis,
Ile de Groix and Belle Ile. Good winds, sunshine, mild sea and
pleasant team. Made some HF QSO's using call PC4Y/MM on a Yaesu 897 on
board. Worked the 20, 30 and 40 meter bands.
The operator behind the set above is Ger PC3GER with whom I
joined the skipper on his sailing yacht YOHO.
From left to right: Bert and skipper Peter, s/y YOHO, the sailing
area and the team with the dog at the north coast of Belle Ile.
Weekend 6 & 7 July 2019. Joined the Marconi
Memorial Contest (MMC) between many other activities like gardening,
shopping and so on and so forth. So I guess I have been on air for
about one hour in total and made 32 QSO's. Uploaded the Cabrillo
file with no hassle and I was added to the list of uploaded
files. I obviously don't have high hopes for a high ranking, but it
was great fun.
Friday 5 July 2019. Back from holiday!
The PACC 2019 results:
SO ALL LOW MIX
Which means: Single Operator Mixed mode ranking 20, #118 QSO's 7
penalties, 42 multipliers and total score 4662. And haven't got a
clue as to what the E stands for or the 11% nor the number 21 and 1.
Wednesday 19 June 2019. The final results of the
2018 LZDX contest are in:
Nothing special of course with only 21 confirmed QSO's. But
still.....I wasn't last
Tuesday 11 June 2019. At the monthly DARES meeting
I continued the Morse lessons I started in our Steenbergen event in
May. There were three participants, two of which already showed a
considerable improvement as they also had practised at home. We
practised for about 30 minutes before the beginning of the meeting.
It is nice to notice the enthusiasm of the participants.
Saturday 8 June 2019. Old tug event in Maassluis. A
true heritage. Stormy weather, rain and lots of fun. On board the
Hudson I met an old friend from 'the past'. The pictures about the
radio room are from the Hudson.
Monday 27 May 2019. My CW decoder came in. It is
for the purpose of teaching others the magic act of beating brass.
It is an advantage for the 'students' to be able to see what they
It is called the cheap (not so very good) CW decoder and it comes
from China. Eur. 18.99. Worth trying isn't it. So I connected
the output of my MK-1 Master Keyer from Ham Gadgets to the upper
left corner connector of the CW decoder and a 9 VDC connector to the
upper right connector and started to key with both the paddle and
the straight key. The decoder did what it was supposed to do and
regardless of the keying speed it decoded the messages perfectly.
This was the main purpose of the decoder so I was satisfied. However
one should be able to connect the audio output of the transceiver to
the lower right connector and a speaker to the lower left connector
in order to decode any CW on the air. That I haven't been able to do
yet successfully. Connecting it was no problem, but decoding didn't
work no matter what the position was of the pot-meter at the bottom
of the print. It does require stereo plugs on all connectors (not
the 9 VDC connector of course). So I will keep on trying to find out
how to fix that, although a
shows the same problem.
Wednesday 22 May 2019. My score of the PACC contest
earlier this year:
21. PC4Y 5250
Ranking #21 in a list of 43
in total (SO LOW ALL MIXED). Not bad.
Weekend 17/20 May 2019. Had a long weekend with
some DARES guys in Steenbergen. We had one private home with a large
garden in which we could easily set up 4 antenna masts and some 5
antenna's. We had a few Yaesu FT-897 transceivers, Yaesu FT-450 and
Yaesu FT-817. And I had offered to give some Morse lessons that the
guys participated in with great enthusiasm.
Monday 29 April 2019. Contacted 4X64S who - with
some other Israeli operators - draws attention to the 64th Eurovision
Song Contest in Tel Aviv in May this year. When 4X64S went QSY to
21.006 MHz I had an immediate QSO!
Weekend 20 & 21 April 2019. Joined the CQ MM DX
contest Saturday afternoon. The 20 meter band was open and I worked
stations from Mongolia to Tennessee in the afternoon and Brazil in
the late evening. Used N1MM logger with the special CQMMDX module.
Weekend 14 & 15 April 2019.
On board the ss Rotterdam / PI4HAL a group of operators
participated in the Maritime Radio Days (MRD) 2019. We contacted
over 40 stations with operators who once worked as an R/O on various
ships and/or coastal radio stations. It was fun again.
Weekend 6 and 7 April 2019. Joined the SPDX contest
for some time. Couldn't work the 20 meter band. Heard almost no SP
stations in that band, but worked the 40 and 80 meter bands instead.
An hour here and 30 minutes there; in total 24 QSO's. Using N1MM.
Nothing spectacular I know, but it
was fun. Also worked the garden, mowing the lawn for the first time
this year, planted some new summer plants, and cleaned the flower
And my LZ DX contest results of 2018 came available. Single Op
and low power:
So I wasn't even last. The last number was 377.
Friday 5 April 2019.
Had a 'surprise' emergency call from DARES at 18.45 local time. We were
challenged to go to an observation post in the dunes where we could
only go by foot, carrying our equipment. Reason: people were lost in
the dunes an needed to be found. We needed to provide for the
necessary communication. It was fake of course, but we achieved our
goals and had two field posts working in time. Walking back to our
cars was also a challenge as it had already become dark.
Wednesday 3 April 2019. The past month has been
busy, but not so much with QSO's. The
PI4HAL newsletter for April was finalized and jobs in and around
the house needed to be taken care of. Yesterday I gave a PI4HAL
presentation for PI4VNW in Vlaardingen; the A59 Veron subsidiary.
This evening we have the annual PI4HAL member gathering on board the
Tuesday 12 March 2019. Much to my surprise I
received an 'award' for the Italian Historical Carnaval of Ivrea
contest. Well in fact it was a copy of the award given to IU8HPE. I
wasn't even aware of my participation. I made one QSO in the 40
meter band IQ1IV. It is a nice picture though.
In the past weekend I also participated in a 160 meter band
STEW-PERRY. I only worked two stations in the late afternoon of
Saturday 9 March. My antenna set up for this band is a so called
compromise. So my chances are small for DX on that band.
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:
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
MFJ-1768 Yagi for the 2 meter and 70 cm bands, also 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 188.8.131.52
N1MM for contests
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 September 2019, I have 116 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.
In addition to the 100 DX list, the latest additions are:
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 officer on the s/s Nieuw Amsterdam/PGGF
(/PJRS when under the Antillian flag). There is now also a new
book, written by Matthieu Oosterwijk:
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.