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
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.
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 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
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
Weekend 24 and 25 November 2018. The 'infamous'
CQWWCW contest. I used the N1MM logger to make the log list. Super
programme for this contest. I worked for two and a half hour on
Saturday and two hours on Sunday. And I had 181 QSO's: Non-assisted!
I worked the 15, 20, 40, 80 and 160 meter bands. Many US stations,
also west coast and counties like Texas, Illinois, Missouri, New
Mexico. I also worked Surinam PZ5T which was a new DX for me. Very
busy contest and I bet many worked ASSISTED. My CLAIMED-SCORE:
27648. On 1 December 2018 the final results will be available.
Weekend 17 and 18 November 2018. Joined the
Bulgarian LXDX contest for a short period. Had some QSO's in the 20,
40 and 80 meter bands. Uploaded the log successfully.
A new flag has been added: Egypt. I now have a total of 128
flags. I believe I have had one QSO with Egypt some time ago.
Friday 16 November 2018. Upgraded my MRdLuxe to the
latest version 220.127.116.112 without problems. Also installed N1MM for
contests especially for the upcoming CQ WW DX (CW) in the last
weekend of November. I have found HamRadiodeLuxe to be less pleasant
for contests. N1MM instead seems to be especially build for
contests. All I will have to do is to upload my N1MM logs into my
HRdLuxe logbook, but that is no real hassle. I am still
investigating the AutoHotkey of N1MM in order to use the speed
buttons, but that is only extra. I don't really need them for the
contest. The QRZ button is a nice feature.
I have also printed the QSL labels in HRdLuxe in order to send my
hard copy QSL cards. It was a full box again. One of the later
versions of HRdLuxe turned out to have improved the printing feature
of the QSL labels. The settings can now be done in centimetres
rather than inches. So printing was a lot easier than with the
previous printing batch.
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 18.104.22.1686 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 22.214.171.1240 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
126.96.36.1996 of Ham Radio de Luxe software. Version 188.8.131.525 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
184.108.40.2066 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 220.127.116.114. 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.
The ARISS tracker
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
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.