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
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:
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
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
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
Tuesday 17 March 2020. The EUR/ASIA contest results
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
Friday 28 February 2020. The UK/EI results are in:
In the EU ranking I ended on position number 376 out of 447. In
the overall ranking it was # 518 out of 658 and in the low power
category I ended on position 290 out of 387. Not bad given the time
Weekend 22/23 February 2020. UK/EI contest from
12:00 till 12:00 UTC. I only joined a few moments and made 49 QSO's.
Conditions on Saturday were limited. I had hoped to work more UK/EI
stations in the 40/80 meter bands.
Sun Feb 23
11:57:50 GMT 2020
But it was fun nevertheless. It is always nice to notice the
system setup is still fine despite the gale force 9 we experienced
this weekend with sweeping antenna's.
Only joined in on Saturday for a few hours. A nice result though.
And the first time I made the CQ instead of me only responding to a
CQ. The results are absolutely much better when one sends the CQ as
opposed to responding to a CQ, so I learned this weekend. However
you cannot decide which station to contact, which can reflect on the
number of multipliers you get. And it is a
bit difficult to find the right frequency though as you cannot hear
other Dutch stations in the 20 and 40 meter bands (too close to me).
So you often have the chance to tumble over an already busy other
station. And as I work non-assisted I don't use the DX cluster to
find that out.
Weekend 25/26 January 2020. Joined the French REF
contest. Nice to notice many French stations used manual CW instead
of computerized CW. Gives room for the personal touch. Uploaded the
Cabrillo file. I only joined for two hours or so and made QSO's in
the 160, 80 and 40 meter bands.
Thursday 23 January 2020. The results of the LZ DX
contest came in:
#365 out of 440 given the time I have participated; not bad. And
a nice certificate:
Weekend 18/19 January 2020. Joined the HA-DX
contest on Saturday afternoon en Sunday morning. Al together
probably 2 hours. Called it a day after 50 QSO's in the 20,40,80 and
160 meter bands. It was nice again. Lots of stations in the air.
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.
It would be interesting to hear other reactions. So don't
hesitate to contact me: email@example.com
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
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 18.104.22.168
N1MM for contests
RMS (Radio Mail Server)
(RIG): YAESU FT-450AT max. output: 100 Watt All amateur bands, incl WARC and (modified for) all maritime bands CW, SSB, PSK31 and FM on 28 MHz and 50 MHz.
and: YAESU FT-60E
output: 5 Watt VHF/UHF, 144 MHZ and 430 MHz amateur bands. FM
and: BAOFENG UV82-HP
hand held for 2 meter maritime, 2 meter amateur
and 70 cm amateur bands.
Output 8 Watt
FM and FM Radio bands.
and: YAESU FT-7900 dualband (2m and 70 cm) transceiver
modes: FM and AM. Output 50 Watts (2 meter) and 45 Watt (70 cm)
Attached to my TNC-X packet modem to work
with Winlink (Paclink) thru the PI8HGL RMS
on 144.850 MHz. Try me on
and: vintage YAESU FT-7 max. output: 10 Watt bands: 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters CW, USB and LSB only.
Extra receiver: Vintage SAILOR R-104 MW, LW and SW 80 and 160 meter bands AM, A1, A2 and USB only.
Straight CW keys (Junker and Kent), a Begali paddle and a HAM Gadgets Master Keyer
MK-1 complete the ability to use Morse during the QSO's.
Click here for the CQ serenade
I am a member of the
association and work the on board
radio-station mostly one day
per week, using a Yaesu FT-897, an ICOM-271, ICOM-765, a Skanti and/or a Yaesu FT-1000. The station is on board the former cruise ship s/s
Rotterdam and is now a hotel/museum ship operated by
have a team of about 10 operators and 5 technicians. We are
still looking for more operators as it is our ultimate goal to
operate the shack every day of the week. So if you are
interested please don't hesitate to visit the PI4HAL site (click
on the logo at the left) and send an email.
Or you can send me an e-mail.
HERE you get
access to the PI4HAL newsletters (in Dutch).
I also joined the DARES foundation in 2011 and
have already done quite a few field tests. I
am part of a so called SIGCO team.
Why is a
ship called she ? A ship is called a "she'' because there is
always a great deal of bustle around her. There is usually a gang of
men about, she has a waist and stays. It takes a lot of paint to
keep her good looking. It is not the initial expense that breaks
you, it is the upkeep. She can be all decked out. It takes an
experienced man to handle her correctly. Without a man at the wheel,
she is absolutely uncontrollable. She shows her topsides, hides her
bottom and, when coming into port, always heads for the buoys. When
you see her lying at the berth, you are proud of her like she is
your attractive girlfriend.
me in the shack
| Gerard in the museum | Wil and Karel at the antenna's
Announcement from Agentschap Telecom:
15 watt e.i.r.p.
At the beginning of this year 2015 I had hoped to achieve this goal
this year and so I did even well before the end of the year. Of
course most of the credit goes to the hams who have confirmed our
QSO's in LoTW. Thanks YL's and OM's.
My chances of getting a 200 DXCC credit Award are small as I have
worked most of the DX's I can reach with my current station set up.
But who knows? Writing 1 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:
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.