MRD HAM Shop PI4GV HAM Call QRZ.com Radio Marine VERON VRZA SDR HAM Radio HAM Talk Contest calender
WFF SOTA Greyline MUF Bandplans Wiki Bandplans PACC CQWWDX Tropo Upperair VOACAP WSPR (whisper)
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

Thursday 1 October 2020. The HRDL issue has been resolved. Looking in the HRDL problem database I found the exact problem I have when I tried to open the HRDL logbook: 'The operating system is not presently configured to run this application', this must have been Murphy's law: at the same time I installed my FT-991A Windows apparently came with an update and removed the Microsoft Access Runtime. So initially I blamed the FT-991A for the problem, but not so as it turned out. I reinstalled the Access runtime and all worked fine again spot on. Thanks HRDL for the well documented problem database!

Tuesday 29 September 2020. Yesterday I collected my Yaesu FT-991A from Classis International in Roermond (Limburg). Unpacking a new transceiver always gives a thrill. The smell alone of new electronics is very satisfying. Today I started to install and configure the set. Made my first CW QSO in the 20 meter band with LZ3QE. I now have to enter all the VHF/UHF repeaters, but I have the ADMS-991A-U software, so it shouldn't be so cumbersome.

Above you can see the FT-991A next to my FT-450D. The Signalink is for the FT-450D; the FT-991A has its own soundcard.

This is the follow up of the FT-897 all mode, all band transceiver. However all band is not really true as the 70 MHz band isn't there and also the 23 cm band and above are not included of course.

Now I hope to live long enough to be able to eventually offer this set as a vintage FT-991A.

Connecting the set to Ham Radio de Luxe (HRDL) gave some problems in the beginning as HRDL didn't read the FT-991A frequency; instead it took the frequency of the FT-450 (that wasn't even connected I thought). In the end it worked, but now HRDL doesn't want to open the logbook. It also doesn't want to open the logbook with the FT-450, more over; without any set connected it doesn't open the logbook anymore. So that is an issue. The plan now is to reinstall HRDL and if that doesn't do the job I can uninstall HRDL and start from the beginning. But I don't know what data gets lost when HRDL is uninstalled, so that is a risky operation.

Monday 21 September 2020. Made a reservation for the YAESU FT-991A at Classic International. Delivery expected somewhere in October. Not that I am unsatisfied with my current YAESU FT-450D, but I sometimes need a digital mode on VHF/UHF, or CW / SSB. And the FT-450D only goes up to 50 MHz. My FT-7900 only does FM, so that is why my choice was made for the FT-991A. Additional advantage: it will be easier to automatically log VHF/UHF QSO's in HamRadiodeLuxe. So I will get an e-mail when the unit comes in. Unfortunately the YAESU cashback of Euro 80,-- ends in September. Well you can't have them all can you?

Weekend 19/20 September 2020. Joined the SAC CW contest. Poor conditions on Saturday. Sunday was much better. Initially I only heard Finnish stations in the 20 meter band. Later in the 40 meter band also some Swedish and Danish stations. Oh.....and Iceland on Sunday in the 20 meter band. It was fun again. And the Cabrillo file was uploaded successfully. And in the late evening of Sunday I had an exceptional DX QSO on the 2 meter band with Ipswich in the UK. Through the PI2NOS repeater, but still.........

Tuesday 15 September 2020. Returned from my summer holiday. Now ready to go on air again. But this morning the bands seem very quiet apart from the digital mode sections.

Sunday 23 August 2020. Worked a few Lighthouses, even one in Austria (OE4XMF/LH) in the 20 meter band. The others were on VHF and in the Netherlands.

Saturday 1 August 2020. Briefly joined the EUHFC contest. Made (only) 46 QSO's but across all the HF bands

Following contest log(s) were accepted!

Log filename

Callsign

Category

QSO Nr.

PC4Y.log

PC4Y

SINGLE-OP ALL LOW CW

46

 Wednesday 29 July 2020. The UBA CW DX contest results came in:

Place Contest Mode Year Category Call QSOs Score
267 UBA DX Contest CW 2020 Single Operator All Band Low Power PC4Y 63 3624

#267 was worldwide. It was #22 for the Netherlands.

Tuesday 28 July 2020. A new visitor of my website: New Caledonia.

Nice flag!

Monday 27 July 2020. The HA-DX results came in:

#16 of the Dutch participants and # 228 of the European participants and # 251 of the worldwide participants. Nothing spectacular, but it is a nice award.

Saturday 18 July 2020. Participated in the Russian Radio Team Championship (RRTC) for an hour or so. Made (only) 32 QSO's spread over the 28, 21 and 14 MHz bands. It was fun.

Tuesday 14 July 2020. Sporadic E layer opening for the 50 MHz band. I had a 59 USB QSO with IS0BSR on the island of Sardinia. Great!

Weekend 11 and 12 July 2020. Participated in the IARU HF CW contest. Only a few hours spread over the two days. Made 109 QSO's, mostly within Europe though. Conditions still are moderate. Uploaded the Cabrillo log successfully.

Weekend 13 and 14 June 2020. Joined the GACW (SA) contest this weekend. Had hoped to make more SA QSO's, but I ended up making only two QSO's with Brazil. In total only 35 QSO's, mostly in Europe. Only in the evening of Saturday I heard SA stations. It was nice nonetheless.

Sunday 7 June 2020. Only made 38 QSO's during the STAYHOME contest as available time again was limited. Uploaded the Cabrillo file successfully.

Saturday 6 June 2020. Joined the STAYHOME contest at 12:00 zulu. Worked the 10, 15 and 20 meter bands in CW. It is not very busy, but nice nonetheless. Am using the Allasian log in N1MM as one needs to add his or her age. Do get the remark though with every entry, I should add only Asian stations. Well, we will see what the Cabrillo file will look like tomorrow.

Friday 22 May 2020. I must admit I am fascinated by the WSPR technology. Today I 'worked' the 10 meter band (28 MHz) on 28,124,600 MHz with 1 watt and had the result - as shown below -  in only half an hour.

Thursday 21 May 2020. In the late evening I worked FY5FY in French Guyana in the 30 meter band!  Great opening, but also quite an antenna ☺ I passed the 140 countries worked and also passed the 7,500 QSO's.

And the REF contest 2020 results came in:

Place Indicatif QSO Multi Scorefinal Catégorie Réduction

394    PC4Y     26      20     520          SOAB         8,28%

Tuesday 19 May 2020. The WSJT-X programme for e.g. FT8 also includes the WSPR (whisper) mode which I gave a try yesterday and also on Wednesday 20 May 2020.

Using 5 Watt in the 50 MHz band I was heard by Great Britain, Italy, Canary Islands, France and Belarus. What a clever development of modulation and programming.

Saturday 16 May 2020. So I have had my first experiences with FT8. Nice programme. I see lots of DX calls passing by in my 'band activity' window. But so far I have only been able to QSO European stations. So no real DX so far. I understand I should work with (very) low power. But for the QSO's I have been able to make I used 30 watt PEP, which as far as I understand the manual is actually not done. Well......I will keep on trying to make calls with << 10 watt. It is quite busy on that FT8 frequency in the 20 meter band (14.074 MHz) so this mode apparently has attracted quite a few hams. I don't think it will become my favourite. All you do is a few clicks on the mouse. I am pleased to see it is working in my environment (shack) and I find it a fantastic technology, but that is it probably. It may be fun for DX hunting though, but in my case even that didn't work out so well yet Below one of the QSL cards confirming the FT8 QSO.

Below: The same QSO, but with the correct RST data (-14).

Thursday 14 May 2020. Eighty years ago Rotterdam was heavily bombed by the Germans. But the rebuild turned out great.

Today I have spent some time on getting the digital modes to work on my system. With Ham Radio de Luxe I use the DM780 sub programme for the digital modes and a few years ago I had it all working. Then I got my self a new PC and reinstalled HRdLuxe. Over the years HRdLuxe had quite a few updates and upgrades and every time I tried the digital modes to work it somehow just didn't do the job and I left it. It is not that I am a great enthusiast for digital modes, but it just feels good to have it available. I use the Signalink USB as the additional soundcard and put my FT-450 in USB mode and tune in on the 20 meter band around 14.070 MHz and up. I see the waterfall, hear (see) some stations calling CQ but they don't hear me, whilst I see a carrier output. Somewhere deep in my memory I recall my transceiver should be in both USB and DATA mode. But when I select the DATA mode, the transceiver jumps to LSB. Time for the manual. And there I see I should change a setting in the menu called D-type. Selecting D-type I see it is in RTTY mode where it should be in USER-U mode. And then oh wonder I had an immediate QSO in PSK-31. Don't know how the setting apparently was changed. I must have done it myself I guess because no one else has access to my set. Well...all is well that ends well. Also made some macro changes in the messages just to make it more personal. It feels good to be back in digital, although I still will mostly be working in CW.

Then I installed JS8CALL and configured it for my transceiver. JS8CALL might eventually be used by DARES, so I want to familiarize myself with it. I think I have it working, but have not been able to make a QSO yet. Still need to figure out where the received messages appear.

And now that I seem to be in digital modes all of a sudden, I also installed WSJT-X for e.g. FT8 mode and made some QSO's. Logged one QSO with Turkey in the HRD logbook and hence into LotW, QRZ and eQSL. Must learn about all the ins and outs still.

Friday 1 May 2020. Quite a few stations with special call signs to remember 75 years of freedom after the second world war. And also quite a few stations using the STAYHOME suffix to remember the very limited freedom we now have under these bizarre circumstances.

Thursday 30 April 2020. Had a very brief 40 meter CW QSO with 4U2STAYHOME. A call originating from the U.N. warning us to stay home and not to get infected by the infamous Corona virus. Under these circumstances it is great to have the radio hobby.

Weekend 18 / 19 April 2020. Joined the CQMMDX contest every now and then between other activities. Mostly in the 20 meter band. Worked stations in EU, NA, AS, AF and SA. Uploaded the log and was added to the list.

Tuesday 17 March 2020. The EUR/ASIA contest results are in:

Line
Callsign
Score
Final/Clmd
QSOs
Cfm/Clmd
Points
Cfm/Clmd
Bonus points
Cfm/Clmd
Mults
Cfm/Clmd

180

 PC4Y

566865 
581841 

22 
22 

42985 
44649 

20000 
20000 


Wednesday 4 March 2020. I am using the MFJ-925 IntelliTuner for HF. One issue is the fact that there is no power-on LED. My shack is always under power; either from the K-PO power supply or from one of the batteries through the West Mountain Radio PG40S power gate. When I have finished to work one of the bands where I needed the MFJ-925 tuner, I close down the shack by turning of the transceiver and the K-PO power supply and often forget the MFJ-925 tuner as there is no power-on LED. The power button position for on or off has only a very subtle difference; almost unnoticeable. So I need a modification where a LED shows power-on. If not I will again have a flat battery as I experienced already a few times, in cases where I am away from home for a couple of days for instance. Now that seems very simple; drill a small hole in the front panel, insert a LED and connect it somehow to the power switch in a fashion where the LED lights up when the switch is on. Should not be too difficult. However opening up de MFJ-925 the inside of the front panel is difficult to reach without disconnecting the vertical PCB. That PCB seems somewhat vulnerable - I think - and may be damaged when removed. The flat connection cable from that PCB for example cannot be easily disconnected. So my mission failed and I sadly closed the tuner. I am interested to hear if anyone has experienced the same phenomenon.

Tuesday 3 March 2020. My Yaesu FT-7 is still installed and can be used immediately, however I noticed a significant instability; when I have used the transmitter (key down) the frequency of the receiver is changed dramatically and I was told that my transmit frequency was instable as well. So I guess this must be a power issue. I opened up the unit and firstly checked if all the vertically placed PCB's were still properly mounted. I removed these one by one and put them back one by one. I turned on the FT-7: no signal! the S meter though was in the far right corner. I wiggled the various PCB's trying to find one that was causing the problem. No luck. So I now have an FT-7 that isn't working at all. It must be one of those days I guess. Working myself through the manual didn't help either. Work in progress.

Weekend 29 February and 1 March 2020. The UBA contest! I participated every now and then. Few hours on Saturday and one hour and a half on Sunday. 66 QSO's but none with a Belgian station :-(  Not even in the 80 or 160 meter bands in the evening. So no additional multipliers. At 12:00 zulu (one hour before de UBA ends) I uploaded the Cabrillo file. It was a nice contest with many participants.

Confirmed by UBA:

You sent a mail to the UBA Contest Committee with your log for UBA DX CW 2020. 

We have received your log = OK
We have analyzed the format = OK

Saturday 29 February 2020. Joined the last hour of the Eurasia championship contest where the QSO-exchange needed is the full grid square (locator). Mostly worked East European stations in the 20 meter band and a few Italian stations in the 40 meter band. Used the N1MM logging programme.

Total number of QSO in your log is 22, Including 0 QSO with errors, Valid QSO - 22
Band  QSOs Dupes Points Mults Вonus
160      0     0      0     0
80       0     0      0     0
40       5     0   4962     2
20      17     0  39687     7
15       0     0      0     0
10       0     0      0     0
======================================
Total   22     0  44649     9   20
Claimed score is 581841 points

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

Meet the Expedition 62 Crew

Get to know the space station

  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 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:

DXCC Entity Mixed
ALGERIA 7X2ARA
AUSTRALIA VK2DX
BERMUDA VP9HQ
BONAIRE PJ4X
CEUTA & MELILLA EA9/DL7DF
CUBA CO8LY
GUERNSEY GU4FOC
IRAN EP2A
ITU HQ 4U1ITU
MALTA 9H3AK
MOZAMBIQUE C92ZO
PERU OA1F
REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO Z60A
SENEGAL 6V7S
SURINAME PZ5T
THE GAMBIA C5GCJ
TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS VP5/W5CW
URUGUAY CX7CO

 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 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)

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.


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. You hear stations you have never worked before.
  5. It is nice to notice so many stations actually hear you! It proves your setup is working fine.
  6. Often a plaque is provided that can decorate your shack.
  7. 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 contest:

  1. 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.
  2. Lack of experience. Well this is not really an excuse as you can only build up experience by doing it.
  3. 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 with 001.
  4. Bad conditions, like an Asian contest or Oceanic contest, where the stations can hardly be heard (in my region).
  5. 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.

In addition there is a major choice one has to make: do you wish to send out the CQ, or do you wish to respond to the CQ's. Of course you can also decide to do both. But the operating practise differs somewhat between the two options. The option to respond to a CQ is far more relaxed than the option to send the CQ as many stations will then try to make contact with you, often causing lots of QRM. If you want to go for the highest scores you'd better send out the CQ yourself. The advantage to send out the CQ yourself is you can remain on the same frequency or have to change frequency only a few times, whereas if you respond to a CQ you will have to work the whole band in every band.

It would be interesting to hear other reactions. So don't hesitate to contact me: pc4y@veron.nl