1) How did you get involved in Ham-radio and how many years are being a Ham now?
As a child at the age of 6-7 years (I am talking about 1963-1964) I was invited to a birthday party of a girl in my class.
She showed me the room where her father (PA0TL) worked mutinously on radio's, transmitters and on "amateur-TV".
The room was full of equipment.
To impress her, I told my classmate "that is what I will do when I grow up", And actually I did!
I first started as a pirate on the FM-band and after a few " professional encounters" with Cor, PA0VYL (who worked for the government those days, chasing pirates) I started to read the book and become licensed.
I was also still in high school, so it took me longer than I wanted hi!
In 1976 (I was 19) I finally got my license and became PE0DWH.
My first radio was a Philips SRR-296 and I made first contacts on 2m FM with PA0BRT and PA2GDG, who lived just around the corner.
In summertime I worked at the gas filling-station in Scheveningen, near the beach, so soon I had money to expand my shack. I bought a TR-2200 for my /beach operations and a 70cm TV-transmitter.
Two years later I passed the CW test and became PA2DWH.
My first HF-radio was a Heathkit HW-7, soon followed by an HW-101!
In 2003 I cut the "H" off my call and became PA2DW.
This year, (2007) I am a Ham for 31 years!
2) What attracted you the most in being a Ham-radio operator?
To be able to contact someone at the other side of the world, not knowing who that was and how he/she lives.
I was also thrilled about the technology.
Restore and building rig's became my greatest joy.
I also love CW, It is like making music to me!
3) What is your favorite mode and/or band?
My favorite band is 2m, on which I mostly work via EME or Meteor Scatter.
On HF you can find me on 40M/CW!
4) What equipment do you use?
My current shack houses Drake TR7/R7A/L75/MN2700, Collins KWM2/62S-1 (2/6 meter tvtr), Elecraft K2 (with built in DEM 2m tvtr) and KX1, Icom IC7000 for /M /P work.
Also a home made transceiver and GS35B PA for 2m.
I also have a water cooled transvertor for 23 cm (160W) and a 13 Cm transvertor.
When there is enough sun, I try to work "solar powered" QRP with the Small Wonder Labs DSW-40 (with max. sun: 300 mW) and a small solar panel.
Great fun every time a QSO succeeds!
-HF: double Zepp, with MN-2700 balanced tuner
-2m: 16 element X-pol yagi made by I0JXX, elevation to maximum 45 deg.
-23 CM: 14 element Yagi
-13 CM: no antenna yet!
5) Do you hold DXCC and what is the score?
I am no award hunter, but I must have over 200 DXCC on 40 meter and on 2 meter I am now on 81 DXCC.
If I ever get to 100 on 2 meter, I will apply for my first award!
6) What has been your most memorable story related to Ham-radio so far?
I guess meeting N1EA on 40 meter/CW, who started telling me about the heroic deeds of Mr. Jack v.d Zee, the radio-officer of the Prinsendam, a Dutch passenger ship that had caught fire in the Gulf of Alaska, in 1980.
N1EA worked at the coast guard and persuaded me to write a letter to the Dutch Queen, to get v.d Zee a reward for his heroic deeds.
We failed, but had numerous nice conversation, of course in high speed CW!
Also very special was my first EME contact on 2 meter/EME with K1WHS.
7) Do you think CW had it's best time since you don't need it anymore to get a license?
CW will never die!
It is no longer required to get access to HF, but now it is maybe becoming a famous sport amongst Ham's.
I think It has "nostalgic" value as well.
8) How would you explain our hobby to someone not familiar with Ham-radio?
It is a perfect way to learn about technology of wireless communication and about (radio-) astronomy.
It brings people together without boundaries, uninfluenced by age, religion, profession, education level, wealth.
It has enriched my life!
9) Do you have other hobby's besides Ham-radio?
Yes, I am interested in astronomy.
That is why I am heavily involved in the project at the Dwingeloo observatory, see here: www.camras.nl
I am also fond of observing birds and Dutch underwater life (frogs, salamanders, small fishes), together with my sons.
10) Any final words to the people reading the interviews?
Make something beautiful of your life!
Don't think you are here just by coincidence and wait till it is over again.
Hope to meet you on the waves!