1) How did you get involved in Ham-radio and how many years are being a ham now?
I am 80 years old and got involved in radio during WWII, trying to listen to the military and to the BBC on home built receivers made of number 30 tubes; ham radio was unknown in this Dutch colony. Only in 1952 a law was passed permitting radio amateurism in the Netherlands Antilles.
My neighbor was a professional telegraph operator and he used to practice at home, I was mesmerized by the tones I could hear coming out of his house and I became very interested in finding out what he was doing. Much later I suspected that he was operating as a clandestine radio amateur.
In 1963 I became a radio amateur with the call sign PJ2CY. In 1964 I was transferred to Sint-Maarten and got my present call sign. In 1968 the government gave every island in the Netherlands Antilles their own prefix and I became PJ7JC.
In 1971 I returned to Curaçao and I was able to use PJ2MI again as PJ2 had been allocated to this island.
2) What attracted you the most in being a Ham-radio operator?
Ham radio attracted me because of the 'real' friendship between people without any distinction of race, religion or any other type 'filter' humans apply to each other.
Ham radio has a lot of experimenting with new systems, circuits and nowadays computer programs. I have participated in may beta tests, like the very first packet [mailboxes] radio programs on HF between North and South America, and later between England and the Caribbean.
3) What is your favorite mode and/or band?
My favorite mode used to be RTTY, but nowadays I like to play with the digital modes like BPSK and Olivia, my favorite band is 20M and 17M.
4) What equipment do you use?
I am using an ICOM-756 Pro and a Moseley PRO-67B, I built by gradually converting an
old Mosley-36, by adding elements etc. It was a complicated job to get it to work. This was done during the Gulf War and it was not easy to get assistance from the US.
5) Do you hold DXCC and what is the score?
- ARRL 5 band's WAS + 12 and 17M # 2591 Sept. 27-1995
- ARRL 5 band's DXCC +12 and 17M # 4000 Sept. 27-1996
- 30 Meter DXCC
- ARRL DXCC Honor Roll Mixed
- ARRL DXCC Honor Roll Phone
- ARRL DXCC Satellite
- ARRL WAS Satellite
- DXCC total's Mixed 331, Phone 330, CQ 307, RTTY 281, Satellite 132
- DXCC Challenge total 1968
- CQ-Magazine WAZ # 39 on RTTY
6) What has been your most memorable story related to Ham-radio so far?
One morning on 20M during a QSO with a lady, I have forgotten her call and name,
I found myself giving her words of support as if I was a clergyman, I never know where the words came from, but the lady was very happy. I was shocked after not knowing why I had to speak to her the way I did, I only remember the frequency 14200KHz.
7) Do you think CW had it's best time since you don't need it anymore to get a license.
CW must be regarded as all the other digital modes, a personal option for the user and not as a legal requirement.
Knowing CW can be an asset during emergencies!
8) How would you explain our hobby to someone not familiar with Ham-radio?
When I went to Sint-Maarten Island in 1964, my neighbors asked me what I was doing, talking to people I do not know and giving them my name and location.
My answer was, I use this hobby to develop my skills in communication to be able to give service to the community when everything goes wrong. Ofcourse this is an asset in the Caribbean on an island plagued by hurricanes, people did well understand!
9) Do you have other hobby's besides Ham-radio?
10) Any final words to the people reading the interviews.
Do not let the Internet kill amateur radio, combine them into a happy marriage, enjoy the good things of both and be ready to serve your community when the chips are down.