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F-exam issues Dave Casler eQSL cards HAMNET IOTA JOTA DARES ARRL HRDlog.net QRZnow QRZCQ DX MAPS


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 

Country:
The Netherlands
Les Pays Bas
Die Niederlande
Los Países Bajos
I Paesi Bassi
荷兰
ネザーランド
नीदरलैण्ड
הולנד
هولندا

 

 

 

Welcome to the PD3TRU & PC4Y webpage

 A SUMMARY

 

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.

I 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 HAM-Radio.nl 

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 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, 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 QRZ.com (18%).

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

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 have sent.

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 YouTube video 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. Super simple.

PC4Y 2019-04-21 06:56:03 ANALYZING

Weekend 14 & 15 April 2019.

MRD-Banner

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 beds.

And my LZ DX contest results of 2018 came available. Single Op and low power:

Nr Call QSO Score
Total Conf Points Mult Total
356 PC4Y 23 21 102 12 1224

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 ss Rotterdam.

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 contest from 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.

 

 

 

Friday 8 March 2019. The results of the UKEICC SSB contest:

Contest: UKEICC 80m using 4 character QRA exchange
Date: 06/03/2019
Mode: SSB
Assisted: ASSISTED
Power: Low

Callsign: PC4Y
Operator: PC4Y
Locator: JO22

Total QSOs: 7

Potential Points: 13
Actual points: 13.00
Points per QSO: 1.86
Longest scoring QSO: 755.71 km with GM4Z
Highest points QSO: 2.00 points with G5UM

Wednesday 6 March 2019. Joined the UKEICC SSB contest in the evening from 20:00 - 21:00 UTC. In the 80 meter band. The conditions were poor for my location as I only heard seven stations and thus only made seven QSO's with UK/EI stations. In the uploaded logs I saw operators who made well over 60 QSO's, so other locations must have had better conditions or a far better antenna set up. Never mind. It was fun all the same. I had to download a User Defined Log to be imported into N1MM, which all worked out fine.

Monday 4 March 2019. In order to be able to hoist the mid point of my dipole antenna in the new extendable mast (ex military), I installed the following 'modification': see picture.

A piece of rope thru the pulley connecting the mid-point of the dipole should do the trick of hoisting the dipole into the fully extended mast.

It is a preparation for an upcoming event in Steenbergen where we will spend a long weekend in May with 5 DARES members working the HF radio. I will install my G5RV antenna and also an NVIS antenna to work short distances on HF. See how it all works out.

 

Saturday 2 March 2019. DARES field test near Reeuwijk. Four field posts. Testing intrapost interference working the same band on all posts, including Winlink. Using Yagi antenna's should reduce interference if and when these all point in a different direction. And so it did. Satisfactory results.


The above pictures may give an impression of the field set up.

Initially it was very cloudy and 7o C, but at 11.30 the sun broke through the clouds and it became very agreeable. At 14.30 all test were completed and we went for a drink in the nearby cafeteria.

Monday 25 February 2019. Installed the new software release of Ham Radio de Luxe 6.5.0.199. It presented no problems.

Weekend 16 and 17 February 2019. I intended to join the ARRL DX contest in which US/Canadian stations contact as many DX stations as possible and vice versa. There were to many interruptions though. Visitors, phone calls and other activities. E.g. I needed to finish the assembly of my MFJ-1768 Yagi antenna in order to join the DARES field test on March 2nd. When the assembly was done, I tested it from a small post in my back yard, using the PI3RAZ 2 meter band repeater in Zoetermeer. And the PI2HGL 70 cm band repeater in The Hague. Both connections worked very well, so I concluded: a job well done. The Yagi also fits in my car for transport, so I am all geared up for the field test. The field test is set up to investigate the significance of reduced interference from one another where a field station has more than one active transceiver working the same band, e.g. FM voice and Winlink in the 2 meter band using Yagi antenna's. Eager to find out.

Weekend 9 and 10 February 2019. The infamous PACC contest. It was fun again. I made 127 QSO's in all together about 3 hours. There were of course many EU stations, but also NA, Canadian and Japanese stations.

The provisional result:

Call sign: PC4Y
Category: SINGLE-OP ALL LOW MIXED


Band     Qso    Cancelled  Dup  Point  Penalty  Mult    Score
160M       0            0    0      0        0     0
 80M       7            0    0      7        0     6
 40M      23            0    0     23        0    12
 20M      96            0    2     94        0    23
 15M       1            0    0      1        0     1
 10M       0            0    0      0        0     0
-------------------------------------------------------------
         127            0    2    125        0    42     5250

The final result will be available when all logs have been received. I used the N1MM logging/contest programme much to  my satisfaction. For contests HamRadioDeLuxe is less user friendly. For logging only I'd rather use HRdLuxe.

Saturday 2 February 2019. Spent the morning and part of the afternoon on board the s/s Rotterdam PI4HAL for a photoshoot. The website is due for an upgrade, so new photo's needed to be made.

Berrie PB8B was the photographer and is heartedly thanked for his efforts.

And of course we have spent some time working the radio on HF and VHF. From Tuesday 5 February we will be using the special even call PA60HAL until the year end. Sixty years ago the build of the ship was completed and in September the maiden voyage to New York was made.

Wednesday 30 January 2019. Worked PJ4P around noon in the 20 meter band and was able to get thru the massive pile-up. Great. I believe it is a new DX for me. And I had my weekly QSO with the PI4HAL via the PI3RTD repeater in the 2 meter band. I'll be on the ship coming Satyurday.

Sunday 20 January 2019. Joined a N1MM training with some other folks of PI4HAL in Dordrecht at the PI4DEC shack. Given by PA3A who is also a member of the PI4HAL club. Interesting presentation. Learned a lot. Great.

 
PD2GG and PC3W in the classroom     PA3A giving the master class N1MM

Monday 14 January 2019. It has been a while. Happy New Year! I have had the occasional QSO in the 20,30 and 40 meter bands in the past few weeks but nothing spectacular. I have also been on board the ss Rotterdam each week operating the PI4HAL shack. Conditions are still moderate to poor, but occasional DX has been experienced. So I guess we are all waiting for high SFI and low K.

Thursday 20 December 2018. Spent the day in the PI4HAL radio station; still working with the PA60HAL special event call. The FT-1000 transceiver was removed for repair and maintenance. The TS-450S temporarily fills that vacancy. Was on board with PA5PIL. Lots of mry xmas and hny exchanges. Some alterations in the antenna patch panel now allow the operators to work any transceiver on any antenna. The long dipole remains favorite.

The ARISS tracker

Real-time position Space Station

Real time tracker

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: RN3DX
  • USA: KG5FYI
  • 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.

Antenna:
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.
MFJ-1768 Yagi for the 2 meter and 70 cm bands, also 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.

Software:
Ham Radio de Luxe with DM780 software for transceiver control (CAT), logging and digimodes version 6.5.0.199
N1MM for contests
Winlink 2000
RMS (Radio Mail Server)

Transceiver (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 PC4Y@winlink.org

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

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 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.

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.

F

15 watt e.i.r.p.

5,351.5

5,366.5

s

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.
 

DXCC
Award
New LoTW QSLs LoTW QSLs in Process DXCC Credits Awarded Total
(All)
Total
(Current)
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 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.

PA0LUX, PA1JIM, PA3MRO, PC4M, PC4Y, PC5ACO, PD0JMH, PD1AKL, PD2J, PE1PRP

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:

 

CW Forever

 

  • You must have at times,
    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 fingers
    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 dahs
    Cut through the trash,
    Of near by noise or
    Lightning's crash.
    To the sensitive ears
    Of the hams receiver,
    Who records this data
    With ardent fever.
     
  • He knows he's doing
    Something unique,
    (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.

 

 

 

Written by:
Jim Hatherley, WA1TBY (SK)


A promo video about HAM radio. Made in 2014 by VERON. In Dutch. But pictures speak for themselves.