1) How did you get involved in Ham-radio and how many years are being a ham now?
My father is a Ham. For almost 60 years he is PA0QT. He learned me the Morse code when I was a boy.
My first (illegal...) activity was with his station, CW on 20 meters.
He did not know it, but received QSL-cards from stations that were not in his log. He is 88 years old now and no longer active. In the sixties I made QSO's during field day and contests. Often with surplus equipment like the famous R-107 receiver.
I got my license in 1971 and started building receivers and transmitters. Commercial equipment was too expensive, and besides that, I have a technical background.
My first receiver was build around a Philips kit, Double Super with tubes.
My first transceiver was a 5-bander (80-10) with a 6146-B in the final and a 12BY-7 as driver.
The rest of the circuits was solid state.
The VFO was stabilized with the well known PA0KSB-stabilizer (called: 'huff-and-puff' stabilizer).
During the years I moved several times and had to rebuild the station from time to time.
In 1976 I got my first DXCC (CW) and in 1979 my 5 band DXCC.
WAS and WAZ were also completed during the mid-seventies.
All contacts with home made equipment and without a beam, only wires.
My first amplifier had 4x PL-519 tubes, later replaced with 811's, 813's, and QB3,5/1100 amplifiers.
I still have two 813's in use, besides a commercial amplifier.
I did build quite some transceivers, HF as well as for 144 MHz.
In 1983 I bought my first (secondhand) commercial equipment, the FT-101E.
No WARC, but I modified it for 30 Meters, and more important, it had 160 meters!
Since 1977 I am using directional antenna's on the higher HF-bands, Quads, beams and a log-periodic.
On 144 I had long-yagi's.
2) What attracted you the most in being a Ham-radio operator?
The combination of experimenting with antenna's and equipment and working DX, special the rare ones on the
'wrong' (read impossible) frequencies (160 and 6 (2)meters).
Meeting people from different countries, discussing equipment and propagation items etc.
3) What is your favorite mode and/or band?
Over the years, 80 meter was my favorite band. My target was to work at least 300 countries on this band and
with the help of the ARRL (creating a couple of new countries) I got them.
Some 20 years ago I discovered 160 meters.
And now, I prefer this band. In 1979 I made cross-band QSO's with the USA on 6 meters (my tx on 10 meters).
I was one of the first Dutch amateurs active on 6 meters (with home made equipment).
I also hold DXCC on this band and I still like it.
CW has always been my favorite mode, however, I have nr. 1 Honor roll on SSB (and mixed) , and I am still
missing 7O and P5 on CW.
4) What equipment do you use?
Antenna's on 6 meter-20 meters: 3-Element Steppir, +/- 18 meters over the fields, with the 30/40 meter dipole;
Antenna on 40 meter: temporary Bobtail, also for 30 meter.
Antenna on 80 meter: vertical; I have a 1/4 lambda over 30 radials and the top-loaded tower over the radial system also used for the inverted L on 160 meter.
Separation between these antenna's is 45 meters. Horizontal: I can switch, with a remote controlled vacuum relay, the 160 meter 'L' into a horizontal wire for 80 meters.
160 meter: inverted-L, 18 meters vertical and 30 meters horizontal, with a tuner and a radial system.
For receiving: K9AY and beverage (230 meters, NW/SE), Temporary beverage N/E.
Transceiver is a simple TS-480 SAT, modified with an external RX antenna connector.
Backup is a FT-100, also modified with an external RX antenna connector and low pass filter.
Linear's are 2X 813 and Emtron DX-2.
I never owned a 'top off the line' transceiver, too many knobs!
5) Do you hold DXCC and what is the score?
Yes, 13 DXCC awards, 160-6 meters, mixed (nr.1 HR), SSB (nr.1 HR) and CW (HR, but missing 7O and P5) .
RTTY will be next (worked almost 200 countries).
Challange score is about 2936.
160 meter: 269, 80 meter: 302, 40 meter: 326 etc.
I refer to the ARRL site.
6) What has been your most memorable story related to Ham-radio so far?
1. My first QSO with the USA on 40 meters.
I was so nervous that I broke the cable of the headphone and lost the station....
2. On April 25th, 1975 I made a QSO with XW8BP in Vientiane, Laos in CW on 20 meters.
It was my first QSO with this rare country. Shortly after this QSO, amateur radio was forbidden by the new communist regime. I heard the last, dramatic, transmission from Vientiane. ''We have to stop, soldiers are in the streets.... ''.
10 years later (on october 5th, 1986) I made a QSO with BV2DA, Taiwan on 40 meters.
This was the former XW8BP.
I will never forget the dramatic words of the last transmission from Vientiane in 1975.
7) Do you think CW had it's best time since you don't need it anymore to get a license?
It may be even worse! Without young people taking over the place of the older generation, the future of amateur radio is uncertain.
As long as there is amateur radio there will be interest in CW (you have to learn it, but for EME, digital modes ,
8) How would you explain our hobby to someone not familiar with Ham-radio?
Some years ago I stopped explaining it. GSM, Internet...I was not able to explain it better then: compare it with fishing.
Most people go to a supermarket but some like fishing.
9) Do you have other hobby's besides Ham-radio?
Yes, I like climbing (did a lot of 4000-ers) and long distance walking (backpacking) in the wilderness.
In- and outside Europe. Last years I walked the GR5, 2500 km from the North sea tot Nice in France, 1600 km in the UK, Lake-district, Scotland and Wales. Walks in South Africa, Japan and I even crossed Reunion (FR7) over the
highest mountain's (Piton de Neige, >3000 meter), I also like sailing.
10) Any final words to the people reading the interviews?
Always look for a second hobby, there is more then only amateur radio!