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 favorite mode, but old-fashioned RTTY with a mechanic Siemens T100 was fun as well.
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 thanks to good front-end design and filters.
Low-band DXing became my main passion, which even from my modest station in the countryside proved
to be very possible. Made Honor Roll, 5-band-everything, the works.
In 1999 boredom struck since challenges were not present anymore. I sold all equipment (both radio
and laboratory), revoked my license and said goodbye to hamradio to concentrate on my other passion:
technical support, maintenance and operating our collection of vintage electric locomotives.
2010: midlifecrisis struck. Instead of purchasing a motorbike like many men do when they reach 50 I went back
My original callsign was still available and did not bother to get a vanity callsign. I set up a modest station in
the kitchen of my current downtown waterfront apartment on the top floor.
No possibilities for big antennas and amplifiers, but manage to work 40 m and higher with good results.
Now it comes down more on operating skills and less on brute force.
Antenna at the moment is a 32 ft. vertical, supported by a 40 ft. Spiderbeam fibre pole which has to be telescoped
out over the rooftop and retracted after going QRT. Works like a charm though! At current 241 DXCC worked and
counting with this poor mans' station. Actually it is kind of nice to start all over again since it gives meaning to
a pile-up meaning again. And this time without a beam and without max legal power... No rubber stamp QSOs.
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. Have to admit though that especially JT65 proves nice
DX with moderate means.
Instead of working rare DX, I now visit rare DX. Have to admit though that I would be more thrilled to actually
enter a (valid) P5-QSO in my log instead of standing on mount 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 making 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...
At least once every year I will visit Gennadi and be on the air as UT/PA3BUD.
73 Onno PA3BUD
Other callsigns owned/used:
PE1DRB, F0HCZ, LX/PA3BUD, UT8U/, US1U/, UX7U/, UX1U/ and UT/PA3BUD, US1U,
Radio corner in the living, next to the kitchen. Very convenient in a pile-up or contest...
42 ft. vertical + maritime tuner. The roof is covered with radials. Not quite symmetric but take-off
on 30 and 40 is beyond expectations.
Living downtown means some signal obstruction by highrises.
The great circle map below shows which areas are more or less affected. (JA on both SP and LP...)
.. when not QRV on High Speed CW, probably QRV on High Speed Train ..