1) How did you get involved in Ham-radio and how many years are being a ham now?
As a kid I got interested in electronics and radio. Trying to repair old broadcast radio's gave me my first practical experience (watch the 400V/DC with these tub's). About halve way the 70's, me and some friends, build 3 meter transmitters and started pirating on these frequencies. Becoming a HAM was a better choice and so I got my license in 1977 at my first go.
2) What attracted you the most in being a Ham-radio operator?
Our hobby has many different things to offer. This versatility makes me still being a HAM and it's got me in his grip time after time. If been active in many facets like building antenna's, home brewing equipment, literature, experiments, club-meetings, contesting, field day's, ATV, CW, DX-ing on HF/VHF/UHF, DX-peditions, ragchew etc. I still have many new challenges on my mind like EME or satelite communication or building a good DX-station for top band or...... The computer has brought new possibilities to our hobby as well.
3) What is your favorite mode and/or band?
Aurora on 144 MHz! This is really a very special experience. The best mode to use is CW when you wanto DX via aurora on 2 meters. Because of my special interest for aurora I had to improve my CW skills.
4) What equipment do you use?
I use a FT-100MP for Hf with a 400 watt amplifier. Wire antenna's for 160 and 80 meters, a GP for 30 and 40 and a dipole for 10/15/20. On 144 MHz I have a TS-2000, again with a 400 watt amplifier. The antenna for 2 is a long yagi up about 12 meters high. For 6 and 70 cm I experimented with yagi but just have GP's there too. The home brew 23 cm dish found his way to the barn a couple of years ago.
5) Do you hold DXCC and what is the score?
I am not interested in all those diploma's and certificates. I do own a line of trophies, medals and certificates for several VHF and UHF contests.
6) What has been your most memorable story related to Ham-radio so far?
I experienced several nice and less nice things through the years being active with radio. In 1977 the national radio controllers took my home brew FM-transmitter as it seemed illegal to transmit on 3 meters :) My first CW QSO in 1987 was really special to me. Most of my CW had been straight 12 WPM text so far. The OM who answered my call on 15 meters tried very hard but the rhythm went from 5 to 30 WPM. I tried to write down as much as I could but I had to do a lot of guessing too. Along the way I tried desperate to end this QSO the good way, as my own writing went from bad to worse. I felt uncomfortable and the sweat dripped down my chest. A couple months later I got his card and I saw that I did not even have his call correct. The same with his name and country, both different then I had copied to my log. He had probable also send his QTH and WX during the QSO but I missed that due to his bad CW. Along the way I made many other nice QSO's.
Some other goals were:
- VHF/UHF toffee in 1988 at PI4KML contest group.
- The activation of Georgia on 6 meters with our 4L6PA DX-pedition.
- Home brewing of several 13 and 23 cm transvertors, antenna's and amplifiers.
- The field day's at PI4KML.
- Active in many contest from my base station.
- Winning the PACC contest in 2002 with more then 1000 QSO's.
- Several VHF contests from Luxembourg(LX)
7) Do you think CW had it's best time since you don't need it anymore to get a license?
I have fun working CW and as long as other fellow ham's use it, it will be alive more then ever! If next generations will still use it that's a question we can't answer. Working DX via aurora on 2 meters is still my biggest thrill.
8) How would you explain our hobby to someone not familiar with Ham-radio?
This is really the hobby to join if you are into radio technology. My cousin which is 12 years of age made a nice speech about Ham-radio for a school project a little while ago. Uncle Kees tried to explain that Ham-radio is a lot of fun and it has many different sides of interest. My enthusiasm coursed him to have a 'A' for his list!
9) Do you have other hobby's besides Ham-radio?
Of course there are many other things you can do but it must not affect Ham-radio in a bad way,hihi. I like to bicycle, read, follunteer-work and play the organ.
10) Any final words to the people reading the Internet.
I think every ham should try to learn CW. This old form of communication seems to be alive and kicking, even after 100 years. Without a key you will actually always be a ham with a handicap.(hihi)