1) How did you get involved in Ham-radio and how many years are being a Ham now?
I started DX-ing in 1945 at the age of eleven. Two years later I learned telegraphy on my own, partly with the help of the Long Wave ND Beacons and I became an SWL member of SSA - The Swedish Radio Amateur Association. I have always been first of all a listener except the periods 1964-1970 and 1974-1978 when I was very active in transmitting as SM4DXL plus occasional operations from SK4HV and SL4AQ. Nowadays I am just an SWL and have no intention to regain my ham radio license again.
2) What attracted you the most in being a Ham-radio operator?
I love CW and have a genuine interest in antennas and in experimenting with different arrays. On the other hand I am stupid with regard to many technical aspects. I did construct my first tx, a small CO-PA at the time, but I am not of a practical nature, my skill in life is in linguistics/translations and in general writing. Today as an SWL I am attracted by listening to CW traffic, collecting QSL cards and having contacts with hams through e-mail and letters.
3) What is your favorite mode and/or band?
Only CW and the bands I prefer are 7, 10 and 18 MHz. When the sunspot cycle moves on, I am likely to return to my old main interest: 28 MHz.
4) What equipment do you use?
I do have a JRC NRD-535D which is a nice receiver, but I do not use it regularly. I have to change my outdoor antenna for more undisturbed reception (to limit local electric noise) before using the NRD-535 in the basement full scale again. At present I mostly use a SONY ICF-7600G together with an indoor vertical antenna, built on a curtain pole with closely wound 50 m of wire! This array gives me surprisingly good results and it's real sports - a DX station who gets my reports will be convinced that he(she) is getting out OK when heard with such rx/antenna in Sweden!!
5) Do you hold DXCC and what is the score?
I have 160 countries confirmed on the broadcast bands.
I started collecting Ham-radio QSL's again only in 2006 so I am just at a start there.
6) What has been your most memorable story related to Ham-radio so far?
My greatest thrill was in January 2007 when hearing F3NB on 7 MHz CW. I was very surprised, went to the basement and found my childhood logs from 1945-1947 and 1947-1951. After searching for one hour I found him: December 19, 1949! I wrote to Andy (F3NB) with all the details, and ten days later his reply arrived, with seven cards and photos, including a photo of himself with his first rig from 1932! Also the QSL's for my 1949 and 2007 SWL reports! A very nostalgic, touching moment in my life!
Andy who is 90 years old and still going strong on CW had written down the essentials of his life story on the cards and this was material enough for a full page article in QTC - the SSA monthly publication - this month. This was an event with stronger feelings than even my first QSO in 1964 and other interesting things which have happened in my "radio life".
7) Do you think CW had it's best time since you don't need it anymore to get a license?
It is very strange and also a wonderful fact that CW is alive and sparkling! It is not necessary for a license any more in most countries, but I think in a way the CW operations have got a special status. You can shout into a microphone any time, but CW requires learning, skill, it is a work of art! And to listen to the different styles in CW operating is fascinating.
8) How would you explain our hobby to someone not familiar with Ham-radio?
It is the unknown - the letter X in the expression DX - that counts. To find rare stations, to listen through disturbances to weak signals, to follow the changes of ionospheric conditions, that's the thrill! This is quite different from surfing on the Internet-. In our hobby it's your personal skill and your constructive imagination that counts - just like in art and handicrafts. Information, education and entertainment are given in an excellent way through the Internet, TV, broadcasting - but our hobby, Ham radio and SWL/DX listening is something different! It has got a special value of its own.
9) Do you have other hobbies besides Ham-radio?
Yes indeed. I am also a stamp collector and I am interested in literature, especially poetry. I have also an old interest in nature, especially insects, where I was engaged in amateur scientific work in the past.
10) Any final words to the people reading the interviews?
I join in SWL Eyran's (from Israel) words: Those of you licensed radio amateurs who understand that listening has got a value of its own and that SWL's are no second class radio fans have got a realistic attitude. Personally I have had excellent relations with radio amateurs, their friendliness and very nice comments on my reception reports are a source of joy in my life. But some hams seem to believe that our happiness cannot be complete without a ham license! But this is not the fact.
SWL's on the other hand should never act like "beggars", sending useless reception reports without interesting details, just to obtain a QSL. Writing SWL reports requires effort and imagination - try to find out what will be of interest to the Ham you send your report to.