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
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.
Friday 8 March 2019. The results of the UKEICC SSB
Contest: UKEICC 80m using 4 character QRA exchange
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
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
Monday 25 February 2019. Installed the new software
release of Ham Radio de Luxe
22.214.171.124. 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 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
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
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
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 126.96.36.199
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 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.