My start in hamradio was in 1978 at the age of 19, when I got licensed for VHF and up with callsign PE1DRB.
Shortly after that (1981) I mastered CW and upgraded to "Full License" and was issued callsign PA3BUD.
CW became my main mode of operation; 95% on the key, the remaining 5% in SSB and RTTY.
Most of my equipment was either home-made or converted from army or maritime surplus.
For factory stuff Icom always has been my favorite. After several of the "old line 700s" now an IC735.
Compact (for travelling), reliable and very good performance due to good front-end design and filters.
Low-band DXing became my main passion, which even from my modest QTH proved to be very possible.
Made Honor Roll with 330+ DXCC, 5-band-everything and some more achievements.
In 1999 I grew bored since challenges were not present anymore. I sold all my equipment (both radio
and laboratory), revoked my license and said goodbye to hamradio. The only thing that remained were my logs,
QSLcards and the Bencher iambic.
2010: a new phase in life started and the ham-virus obviously did not die.
My original callsign was still available and I did not bother to get a vanity callsign. I set up a modest station in
the kitchen of my downtown waterfront apartment on the top floor.
Big antennas and amplifiers are not possible, but I manage to work 40 m and higher with fair results.
Antenna at the moment is a 32 ft. vertical, supported by a 40 ft. Spiderbeam fibre pole which I have to telescope
out over the rooftop and retract after going QRT. Works like a charm though! At current 202 DXCC worked and
counting with this poor mans' setup. Actually it is kind of nice to start all over again since it gives jumping
in a pile-up meaning again. And this time without a beam and without max legal power.
Hamradio is definitely not the way it used to be for me with today's digital modes and gadgets but it is nice to
muck around a bit on the bands and meet old friends.
Instead of working rare DX, I now visit rare DX. I have to admit though that I would be more thrilled to actually
enter a (valid) P5-QSO in my log instead of standing on mt. Mansundae in Pyongyang, making a bow to the
statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. But there is hope. Policies are changing in the DPRK, and I would not
be surprised that in 2020 we might be able to work the occasional P5. Remember 25 years ago?
Working BY1PK was an absolute achievement! And how about getting a QSO with ZA. Those were the days!
Related to hamradio is the representation of UX5UO's QSL-printing business. Gennadi UX5UO is a good and
personal friend of me since 1985, and we meet at least once a year in Kiev. I witnessed the "birth" of UX5UO-QSL
in the early nineties and helped shaping it. Check http://www.ux5uoqsl.com to find out what this is about.
73 Onno PA3BUD
Other callsigns owned/used:
PE1DRB (VHF, 1978-1980)
LX/PA3BUD (several occasions between 1985 and 1994)
UT8U/, US1U/, UX7U/, UX1U/ and UT/PA3BUD (several visits since 1990 and counting.)
CT7/PA3BUD (since 2007, while residing in Porto)
ON/PA3BUD (since 2007, while residing in Bruxelles)
My kitchen/shack with a view
and when not QRV on High Speed CW, probably QRV on High Speed Train