In the early 90’s I met an engineer, Aad Smaling (PA3DPI), who also was a HAM radio. During watch course, we discussed always about our PC hobby and he told me about radio-receiving in combination with the computer. Once I went to him at his home and a new world opened for me. After my first visit I went many times to him. (He also made Amateur Television and went crazy about that).
The DPA broadcasted FAX e.g. pressphoto’s, that you easily could receive. I built my own converter for reception but I did not had a receiver yet.
From an old East- German Fisherman, Heinz Priess (Y41E ROS 415), I collected an ships receiver on one of our voyage (we found the receiver in tha radio room of the old ship on it way to scrap) It was reasonable well for receiving DPA and as a supprise to every one it was still working. I was lucky it was working, I had a lot of pleasure with this old receiver, later I made a swap for it to a Kenwood R600 receiver. The old solid German receiver was too big 120x100x60 cm (hxdxw)
On one of my other voyage on a Russian vessel (COBET was actually a vessel from Lithuania build 1963 2000T but at that time Lithuania was still USSR) I collected another receiver. This one was awesome good. It was a tube-receiver and all parts were hand-made. I had a lot of fun with this receiver.
Once I wrote a letter to the Russian embassy for the translation of the textplates and eventually a manual, but they answered “where did you get this receiver from” ? They couldn’t help me (I still have this letter as a memento) Thieu Mandos (NL-199/PA0M) has completed the translation
On the little coastal tug boat and recovery vessel where I went to start sailing the function of the Marconi-man was replaced by giving one of the helmsmen an extra job. Later also the engineers had to follow a course to get a certificate for operating with the ships transmitter and Inmarsat equipment. (Once I wrote a article, which was published in Electron april 1994 page 212 “Satellite Communication at Sea”) The practice learned us that we didn’t have to do anything about it and especially don’t touch the buttons with your dirty hands. We were allowed to check the emergency batteries, which was on the steering cabinet between the chimneys where it was not clean and free of grease. That is why we had to check it every Monday’s, but testing of the transmitter was done by others.
In 1991 I register me at the VERON dep. The Hague for a Novice course, this was given by Michel Wieringa (PA3FPZ). I succeeded in 1992 and got my first call sign PD0RGW. I also tried at the end of 1992 an exam for the full license, but I did not succeed as I made 16 faults.
In this period I operated an Multi 750e and a couple of all mode set, the Kenwood 251e and 451e and a Porto phone THD-7e and of course the receivers. As an antenna, I used a Diamond vertical for the 2m and 70 cm band, a marifone antenna that I collected from a ship and a long wire to listen on HF.
I didn’t do anything any more with HAM radio in early 1996 and I got rid of the equipment. I still went every year to the swap market in the ‘Brabanthallen’ (now a days Rosmalen) with Thieu Mandos PA0MPM/PA0M and to the ‘The Day of the Radio amateur’. I was still in contact with several HAM’s where I weekly went for a cup of coffee (Thanks to Pleun PA3CYS). I still do that but now I go for a cup of tea.
After several years the ‘radio virus’ was heading up again.
I started again in 2003 with a Condor for 2 meter and an ICOM 210. Via several friends from the days when I was sailing, to get some equipment together. In December 2003 I signed up for a full-license training at the club station PI4DEC (Dordtse Elektronika Club) that was given by Arie (PA3A) and Winnifred (Thanks to both). I followed this from January till March 2004 and did the exam in April 2004 which I succeeded. I got the call-sign PH2G for a while and since November 2004 it is PA2G.
As a member of VERON and PI4DEC I joined the contest crew. Last year we were active in the CQWW SSB 2004 and PACC 2005 with the call-sign PI4D and I liked that very much. I also join the Region contest (now it is called Locator Contest) at the second Tuesday of each month on the 6 meter band at 50.135 Mhz with the call-sign PI4D. At home I’m most of the time on HF in phone sometimes with SSTV, PSK31, Olivia and RTTY and other digital modes. I operate with a Yaesu FT857 and also a Yaesu FT1000 Mark V Field. I have a home-made CAT connection with the computer which controls the transceiver.
The Antennas I use (see column Antennas) are a vertical Diamond CP-6, a sloperantenna with a length of 46 feet (one commercial and one home made), a G5RV (one commercial and one home made) but shortly I made my self a W8010 (Diamond). I can use that antenna on 10,15,17,20,30,40 & the 80 meter band (you cab read about it in the column in Electron January 2006, page 4)
The W8010 is an excellent antenna with an SWR between 1.1 & 1.2 on all bands. It cost me a day to adjust it with help of the MFJ 269 antenna analyzer. I installed this antenna with the help of Thieu (PA0M) and Pleun (PA3CYS)
For the 2 meter and 70 cm band I use a Diamond vertical X510N antenna and a modificated Condor 16, for 70 cm. I use a modified Condor 3000 with base.
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