The kittens on the QSL-card are Angel (L) and Spookey (R), two sisters.
Rig: Transceiver Yaesu FT-990, output power 100 Watts. Antenna ground-mounted vertical 10m long, radial network, ATU SGS SG-230.
I started as a kid listening to SWL stations, later moved to Ham radio stations as there origin was much easier to establish due to the logical callsigns. Triggered by DX reports of rare CW stations in "DXpress", I taught myself CW when I was 14. Also did quite a bit of 144 MHz DX-ing (Es, Aurora, tropo, MS). I enjoyed SWL-ing very much, did not feel the need to transmit. :-) That is, untill I planned to work as an apprentice at Trans World Radio, in then (1982) very rare country Monaco (3A2) and decided to pass my exams.
With the new license (PA3BXC) I got my DXCC-CW and DXCC-Phone in 1 year and started to work towards 5BDXCC. In 1993 I moved to Madagascar to work as Chief Engineer on the shortwave radio station of Radio Netherlands. That was meant to be for a long time, so I did not keep my PA3BXC QSL collection, although I was only short on 80m QSL's for 5BDXCC.
5R8 was great! Loved the country and the work! I enjoyed the massive pile/ups (3/minute in SSB, 5/minute in CW) Worked tons of W6 via 40m chordal hop propagation and made lots of slow and difficult 80m DX QSO's. Made many local friends and started the Madagascar Amateur Radio Society, together with Solofo Randrenjason 5R8ET. As the telephone was never working and internet inexistent, all my contact with the outside worldwere through Ham Radio CW, SSB and PACTOR and Ham Radio messaging via ZS5S BBS. Also am a enthousiastic reader of the OPDX Bulletin since then! Because of deteriorating security situation (having a family with small kids) we decided to return to Holland in 1995. Just short of 5BDXCC from 5R8 :-(
After the pileups as 5R8DS it was hard to get used to normal life in as a Dutch radio amateur again. Really got spoiled ;-) Only QRP DX-ing was a comparable challenge. I worked DXCC on QRP, worked K5ZD on 160m with QRP on a small vertical, worked all Europe with 100 mW. Worked with 100uW. Finally, I'm back to 100 Watts DX-ing again, with a 10m long whip in the back of my small suburban garden. With an ATU at the foot of the whip, I tune it on all bands from 160m to 10m. And the 5 Band DXCC plaquette is now hanging on the wall :-)
Now my next goal is 9 Band DXCC! DXCC Desk has just approved my 24 MHz, 18 MHz and 10 MHz endosements. Don´t know yet how to tackle the BIG challenge: 160m. Ideas are welcome!
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