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
only the last 12 months or so are published. Older data is
Weekend 30 April / 1 May 2022. Joined the UKEI DX
CW contest for some time. Made 51 QSO's but no real DX. Propagation
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.
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
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.
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:
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:
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
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.
So the total score is # 17390 points. With a total of 81 QSO's.
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.
Single Operator 3 Bands
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
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 email@example.com .
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
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 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
Saturday 13 November 2021. PA Beker contest CW. 80
and 40 meter bands from 09.00z till 11.30z. Lots of stations. Worked
22 stations in the 80 meter band and 35 stations in the 40 meter
band. Only Dutch stations could work with one another. It was fun.
So the conclusion: In CW mode more QSO's can be made in a shorter
period than in SSB. And with stations that cannot be worked in SSB
mode. And with fewer mistakes. In SSB mode pronunciation can be
quite a hurdle. Not that I am surprised about this, but it is always
nice to see it confirmed.
Friday 12 November 2021. I applied for a membership
of NTC: Netherlands Telegraphy Club for which I had to make a CW QSO
with at least 2 current members of that club. I chose PA7RA and
PA1CW and worked them in the 80 and 40 meter band. So I could sent
my application form. Now I guess it is a matter of wait and see. I
have been given member number 085.
Weekend 6/7 November 2021. The VERON 144 Mhz CW
contest! I only made one QSO unfortunately. With PA5WT. Others said
they worked hundreds of stations. Well......my omni-directional
vertical antenna is only up 9 meters. So that may have been the
reason. And I learned I should have used an antenna with horizontal
polarisation. Which I don't have other than my HF dipole antenna.
Weekend 30/31 October 2021. Briefly joined the CQ
WW DX SSB contest. Only made 15 QSO's in the 20 and 15 meter bands.
Pity I only had half an hour. But is was nice all the same. Uploaded
the log and received a confirmation.
Weekend 18/19 September 2021. Joined the
Scandinavian SAC contest and worked some sixty stations in the 20,
40 and 80 meter band with my Yaesu FT-450. I still prefer my FT-450
above my FT-991A for CW contesting for some reason. The bands were
very crowded but still workable.
Successfully uploaded the cabrillo file.
Saturday 4 September 2021. Joined the German AGCW
'handtasten party' for one hour. The participants need to use
a manual straight key. I worked mostly German stations and two Swiss
stations. Participants also needed to give their license level, name
and age. The ages varied between 52 and 99. And to be honest; the
quality of the hand keyed Morse was questionable. But it was fun
Wednesday 1 September 2021. Have been operating the
PI4HAL radio station for the first time since March 2020 when the
corona pandemic started. It was fun again and I met quite a few
'old' acquaintances on board who had also been suffering from
a lack of ship activities. Spend the day though mostly updating PC's
and HamRadioDeLuxe software. Couldn't get an adequate SWR on the
FT-897 using the starboard long wire with tuner. So that is
something to look into next week. The crew mess was still
closed, but the Lido restaurant was open, so lunch was pleasant but
more expensive ☺.
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: 437.800
UHF/VHF Repeater Downlink: 145.800
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 188.8.131.52
N1MM for contests
RMS (Radio Mail Server)
(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
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). 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.
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.
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
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 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 26 additions as per March
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 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)
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.
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:
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.
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.
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).
You hear stations you have never worked before.
It is nice to notice so many stations actually hear you!
It proves your setup is working fine.
Often a plaque is provided that can decorate your shack.
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
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.
Lack of experience. Well this is not really an excuse as you
can only build up experience by doing it.
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
Bad conditions, like an Asian contest or Oceanic contest,
where the stations can hardly be heard (in my region).
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: firstname.lastname@example.org