At PI5AH, doing CW on HF

At PI5AH, working some CW stations on the HF bands.

It all started in January 1991. A friend of me showed me packet radio using a simple “Baycom” modem and a CB transmitter. I got myself a CB set and a modem too, and of course an antenna. In these months I got also involved in the educational radio station (PI5AH) at my school. In November I successfully finished my exam for a C-licence (VHF and up). Three years later I did my morse code exam and got the A-licence (nowadays called “full licence”), which opened the complete world of amateur radio for me.

From 1994 to 1997 I was mainly active on 144 MHz. I took part in several SSB VHF-contests, and built lots of antennas for this band. Other activities where mainly related to packet radio. I was involved in the startup of a packet radio node (PI1ANH), and ran a packet radio mailbox (PI8TFA). I was cofounder of the HTS Arnhem Radio Club to promote amateur radio to the students.

My homebrewn VHF yagi antenna's in Elst, stacked, about 12m above the ground.

My homebrewn VHF yagi antenna’s in Elst, stacked, about 12m above the ground.

In 1999 I moved to Utrecht (early 1999). From that moment my radio hobby was almost frozen. But in December 2001 I bought myself a secondhand HF transceiver (IC-730), and I picked up some digital modes, includinmg RTTY, SSTV and weatherfax. However, my antenna situation was really poor, resulting in long periods of radio silence.

I got married in 2003, and in October 2005 we found a new home in the country, which happened to be a really neat place for amateur radio: free sight in all directions, mud for a perfect ground plane, no close neighbours, etc. From that moment I installed my radios again and nowadays I’m quite active, merely in building antennas and stuff. Homebrewing is one of my favourite activities. I joined some local radio clubs (REC Culemborg, VERON Nieuwegein). I was REC chairman for 5 years, did some workshops and presentations on related subjects, like a CW lecture, VNA lecture/demo, Arduino workshop, and a RF-connector mounting workshop.

My friend Adrian PA0RDA and I share a common interest in antenna technology. So we build mostly antennas for HF bands, which we test during the REC Field Days and the PACC contest. Meanwhile I’m also trying to start doing amateur television. The first transmitter is currently being built…