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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 And only the last 12 months or so are published. Older data is removed.

Thursday 17 November 2022. Joined the NTC QSO Party at 19:00 zulu. I experienced poor conditions in the 40 and 20 meter band. The 80 meter band was somewhat better, but I wasn't heard by many stations. Below you can find the map with the small number of QSO's

Saturday 12 November 2022. Participated in the so called PA Beker contest. A Dutch only contest. Worked 34 stations in the 40 meter band CW only. The 80 meter band was dead (for me). Below the map with the destinations:

Always nice to see almost all of my country was covered.

And oh....I should also mention that my Yaesu FT-7 has been re-installed in my shack after repair by Hans PA0JBB in the Veron club The Hague. Well, in fact it only needed contact cleaning. There were no faulty components. And I made the first QSO in the 20 meter band with IN3LQB in Italy. He said: 20 dB over 9. Well that is a great score with only 10 Watts.

Thursday 20 October 2022. Participated in the NTC QP event. No contest but a QSO Party. Worked 20 stations; 19 in the 40 meter band and one in the 80 meter band. As you can see mostly outside The Netherlands. I only heard one station in the 80 meter band and the 40 meter band only showed DX stations. Propagation remains an interesting subject.

Tuesday 11 October 2022. Joined the AGCW-NTC QSO Party in CW from 18:00z till 20:00z. In the 20, 40 and 80 meter bands. Only worked the 40 meter band and had some nice QSO's.

Thursday 15 September 2022. Joined the Bavarian QSO Party on the 80 meter band in the early evening and the NTC QSO party in the 40 meter band later in the evening. In total 27 QSO's. It was nice again. Both parties only last for one hour.

BCC QSO party above picture

NTC QSO party above picture.

Saturday 13 September 2022. Briefly joined the WAE contest. But is was to darn hot in my shack. And I am still figuring out how to make up those so called QTC's that give extra points. So I made 18 QSO's and then I called it quits. I used the 20 and 15 meter bands.

See also: Log: 425208

More info about setting up QTC traffic in N1MM. Click HERE .

Wednesday 13 July 2022. Bought myself a new car. Well, second hand in fact but only 24,500 km on the teller. It is a Kia Venga, classified as a mini MPV. Somewhat more space than in my previous Kia Picanto.

Now I have to find a way how to install my FT-7900 transceiver for field work.

Tuesday 5 July 2022. Just worked JX/LB4MI  on 14043 kHz. with split frequency. Jan Mayen Island. East of Greenland and North of Iceland. It is my 145th DX.

Station
Call Sign   JX/LB4MI
DXCC   JAN MAYEN (118)
CQ Zone   40
ITU Zone   18
IOTA   EU-022
Grid   IQ50OV
Worked Station
Worked   PC4Y
DXCC   NETHERLANDS (263)
CQ Zone   14
ITU Zone   27
Grid   JO22DB
Date/Time   2022-07-05 17:26:02
Mode   CW (CW)
Band   20M
Frequency   14.04300
Receive Frequency   14.04404
QSL   2022-07-05 18:32:21

Record ID 1544513190 Received: 2022-07-05 18:32:21

WARCA rating year 2021-2022

Place Callsign Sum of places Best place

21033

PC4Y

519756

20186

Saturday 25 June 2022. The results of the Bulgarian contest in November 2021 are in. I ended up as # 71 with 76 QSO's and 4876 points. In 2019 I ended up as # 365. So you could say there is some improvement ☺.

Thursday 23 June 2022. The King of Spain contest results came in:

Call Category Claimed QSO Valid Points Mult. Total
PC4Y SINGLE-OP ALL LOW DX 3,838 61 59 99 38 3,762

Thursday 16 June 2022. After two weeks holiday I joined the NTC QSO party tonight and made 12 QSO's in the 40 meter band with NTC members and non-members. It was fun again. See map below:

Weekend 21 May - 22 May: King of Spain contest. Lots of participants. Great. See map below for my 61 QSO's. I only joined now and then. Had hoped to work with the King himself, but I only found his subjects

Thursday 19 May 2022. Joined the NTC QSO Party from 19:00 - 20:00 zulu in the 40 meter band and made 11 QSO's with Dutch, Italian, German and Belgian stations. It was fun again.

Weekend 30 April / 1 May 2022. Joined the UKEI DX CW contest for some time. Made 51 QSO's but no real DX. Propagation was poor.

The QSO to Indonesia is wrong. This was a station in Finland. Apparently that station had entered the wrong grid square.

Sunday 24 April 2022. Joined the DARC Funk Tag contest during one hour in the afternoon in the 40 meter band. Made some 16 QSO's only with German stations.

Thursday 21 April 2022. Joined the monthly NTC QSO Party (CW) from 19:00 - 21:00 UTC. Mostly worked in the 40 meter band which was open even for nearby stations. The 80 meter band opened at around 20:00 UTC.

Wednesday 20 April 2022. The HA-DX January contest results came in. I ended up as # 164 out of # 280 participants in that category (3 bands CW low power). Not bad.

Saturday 16 April 2022. After uploading my MRD log I received my certificate at once.

Thursday 14 April 2022. Joining the Maritime Radio Days (MRD) for ex R/O's or coastal radio station operators from the past. Conditions were very poor. Only worked 10 or so stations in the 20 and 40 meter bands.

Friday 1 April 2022. Had a DARES field exercise in the snow, working with stations of the Dutch Defence organisation. It was freezing cold, but fun nevertheless.

Monday 7 March 2022. Feeling extremely uneasy and uncomfortable, sad and angry, worried and scared about the 'conflict' in Ukraine. Listening now at the BBC world service news on 5,875 kHz at 20.00 UTC. At day time BBC can be heard on 15,735 kHz. BBC has reinstalled their HF world service in order to inform both Russian and Ukrainian people about the truth behind this war and the consequences.
Under these circumstances it feels not relevant to receive the Italian WRTC award for working them in the various HF  bands.

Oekraïne

Saturday 26 February 2022. The planned UBA CW HF contest was cancelled due to the Russian/Ukrainian war that has 'exploded' the past few days. My prayers are with the Ukrainian people.


Sunday 20 February 2022
. Made a few more QSO's in the ARRL DX contest. But my time was very limited, so in the map below you won't find many more lines. In total - yesterday included - I only made 15 QSO's. But I uploaded my Cabrillo file anyhow.

Saturday 19 February 2022. This weekend we have the ARRL DX contest. Only working with North America stations (US and Canada). Joined in for an hour here and there. Worked mostly East coast and some in the middle like Illinois.

After storm Eunice my antenna is performing differently than before the storm. The tuner has frequencies stored, but I needed to retune on each and every 20 meter band frequency. Checked the antenna, but couldn't find a problem. Will look again when the weather has improved.

Sunday 13 February 2022. Spent some more time on the PACC contest and added 33 additional QSO's. You won't be able to see much difference in the map below as there were no more real DX stations. And......I have reached well over 10,000 QSO's since I started this hobby in 2011. The two islands in the Caribbean are: Antigua and Barbuda. I have been there once a long time ago. Beautiful islands with beautiful people.

Log: 920735

Saturday 12 February 2022. Spent the afternoon doing the PACC contest for some time. This time I was the one that did the CQ, resulting in 136 QSO's quite rapidly.  Worked the 15, 20 and 40 meter bands. The result so far:

Log: 555946

Wednesday 9 February 2022. The NTC anniversary party results of 31 January 2022 came in. There were 38 participants. I ended up somewhere at the bottom of the list as I only worked the 80 meter band and only made 10 QSO's. Never mind, It was fun anyway.

Monday 7 February 2022. So today I reached my 9,900 score. Total number of QSO's made since I began in 2011. Only another 100 more and I have 10,000.

Sunday 6 February 2022. The EU-DX contest. Only participated for 45 minutes. Made 23 QSO's in CW only. See the map: Log 421688 or look below. Had to download a specific UDC file for within N1MM logging programme. Presented no problem whatsoever. This contest was competing with the FOC contest or party.

Saturday 5 February 2022. The EUAS contest was there. Mostly eastern European stations. Worked them for an hour and a half. Made 45 QSO's. You can find the map here: Log: 827872 or below:

This contest requires the contester to exchange the RST and the full locator figures (6 figures). Nice exercise to copy Morse coded strings.

Weekend 29/30 January 2022. Briefly participated in the French REF contest. The first station I heard in the 20 meter band was FY5KE in French Guyana. I only needed to hit the key once and it was spot on. Nice. In total I only made 10 QSO's as there were so many other thing to do.

Thursday 27 January 2022. The results of the HA-DX (Hungarian) contest came in: PC4Y # 149 out of 269 participants in the 3 band CW category. Not bad at all, I think.

#149 PC4Y 20M 60 292 31 9052 40M 9 42 9 378 15M 12 36 7 252 81 370 47 17390

So the total score is # 17390 points. With a total of 81 QSO's. Great.

Thursday 20 January 2022. NTC QSO party in the 80 and 40 meter bands. As I had a video meeting at 20.30 hours I only could participate for 25 minutes or so. I worked four stations of which only two were member of the NTC and thus didn't count for any points. Although I have been calling CQ NTC frequently I have no other qualification than disappointing results! I didn't even bother to upload the log. I only worked the 80 meter band by the way. From the NTC results log I learned many others were more successful. Well....there is always a next time.

Weekend 15/16 January 2022. Joined the HADX contest for short intermittent periods in the 40, 20 and 15 meter bands. It was fun again and very busy. Competition from Russian WSEM contest. Made some 80 QSO's. See map below. Conditions were moderate to good.

Evaluation category

QSOs

Points

Multipliers

Claimed score

Single Operator 3 Bands

81

370

47

17390

Weekend 11/12 December 2021. Joined the ARRL 10 meter CW contest. Unfortunately with a low MUF and low SFI. So I didn't work any DX. See map below. But I only participated every now and then as it became apparent that no significant results could be achieved.

Thursday 9 December 2021. Resolved a long lasting issue: printing labels from the HamRadioDeLuxe logbook. Some years ago I had that working to my satisfaction: 16 labels per A4 size page, divided into two columns of 8 labels. After one of the HRdLuxe updates this didn't work properly anymore. No matter what I tried, 16 labels per page with proper separation seemed impossible. But in the mean time HRdLuxe has had a few updates and in one of the updates the label printing issue was addressed. So I figured 'what the hack, let's try it again'. And after configuring the HERMA 4620 label format and other settings it turned out to work fine again. So I can now print my QSO labels satisfactorily. I will have to order new QSL cards though as I did run out of those two years ago. Remains the issue: does one send hand written QSL cards or does no one really care if I use labels in stead of hand written info on the back of the QSL cards. Is there a certain protocol for that? Writing info on the back of the QSL cards may be a cumbersome task when a contest was done with over a hundred QSO's. But I have also seen remarks of hams to NOT send QSL cards of a contest. Anyone who knows, please let me know pc4y@veron.nl .

Weekend 4/5 December 2021. Romanian PCC contest. Poor conditions on Saturday. Only made 41 QSO's in the 20, 40 and 80 meter bands. No real DX. All with nearby countries in Europe. And another 20 QSO's on Sunday morning. Looking at the picture below, it is remarkable that the band openings apparently were directing towards the east and southeast. For example I haven't heard any British or Irish stations, let alone the US

start : December 4,  12:00 UTC ,  end: December 5,  11:59 UTC

Saturday 4 December 2021. The ARI contest details of 1 and 2 May came in today:

ARI International DX CONTEST 2021
Band QSOs Pts Mul

160m 0 0 0
80m 2 11 2
40m 26 107 18
20m 79 280 40
15m 1 1 1
10m 0 0 0

Total 108 399 61 ==> 24339

No errors found! And #13 of the Netherlands! Wouw. And #274 out of # 459 within the class SOPCWLP (single operator CW low power).

Weekend 27/28 November 2021. Joined the CQWWDXCW contest. Made 93 QSO's in the 15,20 and 40 meter bands. It was busy and great fun. And at times a very good propagation.

CQ Logo

CQ WW Contest Dates

CW: November 27 - 28, 2021

Starts: 0000 UTC Saturday
Ends: 2359 UTC Sunday

Weekend 20/21 November 2021. Joined the Bulgarian LZDXCW contest. Two hours on Saturday and 20 minutes on Sunday. 76 QSO's. 15, 20 and 40 meter bands. No exceptional DX, but lots of participants. It was fun to work them.

Sunday 14 November 2021. PA Beker contest SSB. Tried the 80 meter band, but no one heard me, so I only worked the 40 meter band. Made 23 QSO's. Lots of QRM. Conditions improved after around 11 AM. So I ended up sending my Cabrillo file, which was accepted.

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: 437.800
    UHF/VHF Repeater Downlink: 145.800

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 991A
YAESU FT-450AT

max. output: 100 Watt
All amateur bands, incl WARC and (modified for) all maritime bands
CW, SSB, PSK31, FM and C4FM on VHF and UHF incl. 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

I 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). Every Wednesday at 09.00 UTC we have a VHF round thru either the PI3RTD or the PI3RAZ repeater (2 meter band). The PI3RAZ repeater can also be accessed thru echolink. So one week is thru PI3RTD and the next week is thru PI3RAZ visa versa.

I joined the NTC in November 2021. They have a QSO party every third Thursday of the month from 19.00 - 20.00 zulu, in the 80, 40 and 20 meter bands on frequencies around the official NTC frequencies, 3.568, 7.038 and 14.068 kHz. Any HAM operator can apply for membership. https://www.qsl.net/ntc/

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.

Extra proof:

Why she is a ship, or a ship is she:

We always call a ship a She, And not without a reason, For she displays a well-shaped knee Regardless of the season. She corns the man whose heart is faint And does not show him pity And like a girl she needs the paint To keep her looking pretty. For love she’ll brave the oceans vast, Be she a gig or cruiser, But if you fail to tie her fast You’re almost sure to lose her.


          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 2021, I have 121 DXCC's though as a few QSO's from quite some time ago have recently been confirmed, like Bermuda, Cuba, Albania, Ceuta and Melilla, Uruguay 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 27 additions as per July 2022 are:

DXCC Entity Mixed
ALGERIA 7X2ARA
AUSTRALIA VK2DX
BERMUDA VP9HQ
BONAIRE PJ4X
CAPE VERDE D4Z
CEUTA & MELILLA EA9/DL7DF
COSTA RICA TI7W
CUBA CO8LY
FAROE ISLANDS OY1CT
FRENCH GUIANA FY5KE
GUERNSEY GU4FOC
IRAN EP2A
ITU HQ 4U1ITU
JAN MAYEN JX/LB4MI
KYRGYZSTAN EX8MJ
MALTA 9H3AK
MOZAMBIQUE C92ZO
NEW ZEALAND ZL1BBW
PERU OA1F
REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO Z60A
SENEGAL 6V7S
SURINAME PZ5T
THE GAMBIA C5GCJ
TUNISIA 3V8SS
TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS VP5/W5CW
URUGUAY CX7CO
UZBEKISTAN UK8IF

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. When you send out the CQ there is yet another consequence: you will have to take and send the call sign of the one who responds to your CQ. If you only respond to a CQ all you most often will do is send out your own call only once, where upon the contester will answer you by sending your call and RST and additional info that is required by the contest rules.

Form my own experience: you can make far more QSO's when sending the CQ than when you only respond to a CQ within the same time frame.

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