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1) How did you get involved in Ham-radio and how many years are being a ham now?
It's a long story!

When I was a kid I used to go with my dad who was a medical doctor to small, isolated villages in the Carpathians.

I used to stay in our car whilst my dad was taking care of his patients, and I was listening to our car radio.

Sooner or later I figured out there where foreign broadcasting stations and very interesting interferences between.

I've fallen in love with those interesting sounds and since then, I always kept a small BC receiver close to me,

listening to it for hours.

When I was 16, I asked my parents whether I could get a walkie-talkie for my birthday.

They never used to limit my interest in my hobbies, but rather helped and supported me to explore new things.

Then I discovered there were other ways of radio communications and this is how I learned about amateur radio.

I got my first, limited VHF/UHF license in 1992, then upgraded it to full HF one in 1997.

Unfortunately I had a 6 years long break in the hobby - I lost my parents and I was suddenly forced to manage

everything on my own when I was 21.

I was forced to sale all my equipment.

But finally, in October 2006 I managed to buy a new transceiver and I'm back on the air waves again :-)

 

2) What attracted you the most in being a Ham-radio operator?
Since I discovered radio, I've always  been keen on learning something more about what is behind those signals.

How are their countries like, languages, cultures, everything.

So ham-radio stands for something I could name self-development and exploration, meeting new interesting

people, learning more about how fabulous and interesting the earth is.

Amateur-radio is a sort of traveling without a passport to me.

I could never visit all those places in my life but radio makes it partially possible.

I just love all those things matching together into a jaw-dropping vision of the world.

In addition, ham-radio gave me a fantastic way to learn English.

I can speak this language and I owe that to ham-radio.

And this resulted in getting interesting jobs, meeting people from other countries etc. etc. etc...

3) What is your favorite mode and/or band?
I work most of the times in SSB mode.

But lately I decided to come back to CW because I felt I've been missing something.

My most favorite bands are 17 and 15 meters where their "dead zones" are a bit larger than on 20 meter

and there are no loads of European QRM like on 20 meter.

4) What equipment do you use?
My first TRX was a Kenwood TS-850S/AT, then, before the break in my hobby I used a FT-920.

I used a Cushcraft R7 those days.

Today I use a barefoot Icom IC-746 PRO with a vertical multibander GP7DX made in Poland (it's a bit similar to

HyGain AV-640 but it differs a little bit).

There is a 7 elements log periodic yagi waiting in my garage for late spring - and I am going to set up a 12 or 18m

tower in several months :-)

5) Do you hold DXCC and what is the score?
It seems I don't take diplomas and other prizes as a point of reference.

I really don't feel I need to prove things to someone or myself.

I rather want to point my attention on learning something new, on developing my station and skills than counting

always "new ones".

Nevertheless I am quite satisfied with recent contacts I made with my vertical at the bottom of the current sun

cycle minimum e.g. VP6TD or FO5JV.

Currently worked 278 DXCC entities, confirmed 230 (I wasn't able to send cards during my break unfortunately,

so I missed many confirmations then, now I am  trying to resend any possible cards again).

6) What has been your most memorable story related to Ham-radio so far?
The "new ones" aren't always those unforgettable ones to me.

Sometimes it is having a nice rag-chew QSO which makes my day for a long time.

If I had to point particular rare DX that would be a recent QSO with E51JD who responded to my CQ call.

I also remember my contact with VP6TD in July'07 - I spend almost 2 sleepless weeks (having naps in the middle

of a day instead) chasing him.

There were very short selective openings in the early morning hours between 1 and 4 o'clock a.m. local time

lasting for only 10-15 minutes.

But finally I got him and he vanished in QSB right after our QSO.

Yesterday I contacted a place I always dreamed of as well: KC4AAA - the Scott-Amundsen base at the

South Pole.
I also used to assist with ham radio operation of a friend of mine - Brian ZD9BCB - during his stay on Gough island

in 2006/2007.

Bringing him on the air for the ham-radio society was a wonderful experience.
Another story I could name was a visit of BV4MU Nori from Taichung, Taiwan.

After 7 years of our ham-radio friendship he came to Poland to visit me in person. Wow!

7) Do you think CW had it's best time since you don't need it anymore to get a license?
CW is definitely something that nobody can deny - the amateur radio heritage.

However it's very difficult to discuss about it because it depends of many points of view.

When I made my attempt to get the full HF license, I felt like being forged to learn CW which I didn't like too much.

I passed my exam but I quited using CW......what a terrible mistake it was!

Now, from a perspective of time I can see it clearly... So when I managed to become "radio-active" again, I

promised myself to relearn CW and use it.

Well it's a bit though since I can't dedicate such loads of time for my hobby as I used to before.

It took me a while to practice the Morse code again but I found it so enjoyable.

I already managed to make a few CW QSO's inc. R1AND on 17 and 30 meters.

There is always one problem I bother with - there are very few active hams in my area.

I need someone to help me to break through being a bit ashamed to run more contacts.

But I'm sure I'll make it one day :-)
There is one more thing I'd like to tell about CW.

I don't think that going a bit "snobby" reg. CW is a good idea - this will never ever convince beginners to get interested.

Saying "you're not a real ham without knowing CW" is NOT true.

CW is an option - one of many others one could choose from.

From my perspective, it is so clear one could get interested in CW only when encouraged by a friendly person who

shows how great the features and possibilities of CW are.

CW's time is definitely not passing by.

There will still be many enthusiasts using it since it's something very challeging.

It's definitely up to you if you want to use it or not, It is your choice.

8) How would you explain our hobby to someone not familiar with Ham-radio?
Somebody could describe it as the Internet of the mid 20th century.
I'd rather say it's a great source of inspiration, knowledge, acquaintances and a chance of seeing the world from

another, challeging perspective.

We have hunting in our genes and I chase DX, therefor I am happy!


9) Do you have other hobbys besides Ham-radio?
Yes, I get easily unsatisfied if I don't invent something new to do.
I'm a great fan of photography and I started to do freelance jobs recently.

I live in a very scenic region full of fabulous nature and this is what makes me willing to go hiking for a few days,

taking a rest from high technology's smog and everyday problems.

Photography has let me work for famous filmmakers recently.

It was a fantastic experience.

I also work as a web/DTP designer and this is also a result of computer-related hobbies.

I could also name geography, music (of different kinds, recently Radiohead, Sigur Rs, Bjrk), definitely

hiking/sightseeing and amateur meteorology.

10) Any final words to the people reading the interviews?
I'd like to encourage people to learn more and more about the world that is surrounding us.

It is fantastic and inspiring.

There is always something beyond you can dig through that will make your day.