On August 2, 2012 I acquired a new callsign: VE3BR. I also hold VE3FDT, but will be using VE3BR as the primary call.
This page will not be updated any more and will remain "frozen in time"; the VE3FDT time.
I will QSL (bureau or direct; LoTW upload is already done) any and all VE3FDT QSOs that you may still need confirmed.
I have held VE3FDT since November 2005, when I decided to come back to ham radio after 25 years of a "hiatus". It was a Canadian Basic license first. I received my "Advanced Amateur" two months later, the Canadian equivalent of the American "Extra Class".
I made my first QSO (on CW of course!) in 1971 at SP2KDT club station and passed my ham license exam soon after. I had to wait until the mid-70s to get my first "ham ticket" because of the minimum licensing age of 15. My call-sign was SP2ADW and until I was 18 I could only operate CW and only on 80 and 40 meters, with the mind boggling maximum power of 20 Watts. Exhilarating times!
I operate on all HF bands, all modes (OK, no SSTV), but CW was the "first love" and will always remain the mode of choice.
Right now I am trying to squeeze some DXing and contesting juice out of a Ten-Tec Jupiter, a roof mounted (on an 8 foot mini tower) 5 band hexbeam for 20-17-15-12-10 meters and an AlphaDelta DX-LB+ multi-band dipole (not even clearing the roof-top of the house) for 160-80-40-30 meters. It is not easy, but doable (after
5 6 almost 7 years I have 277 291 302 current entities confirmed, I stopped counting "worked" since so few QSL any more, and even 64 69 76 -all continents- on 160 m) and, most of all, enjoyable.
I love contesting and DXing, but school (I hold a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Toronto), work (obviously, outside of Physics) and, more than anything else, family responsibilities (and pleasures) took priority over the years.
When I'm not chasing DX, I am working hard (not to be confused with "hardly working".) And when I'm not doing that, I'm spending my time with my kids or trying to convince my wife Anna that I am not entirely a hopeless case.
I am slowly (or rapidly, depends whom you ask) becoming an old geezer. With this hard earned status comes propensity to develop pet peeves and reminisce, always claiming how the "good old times" were better. So, were they better in ham radio?
Having a somewhat unique experience of 25 years of a complete break from the hobby I can say they were not. Today is as much, or more, fun as it has ever been.
With one notable exception: so many do not give a flying fire truck about QSLing.
To me it is as simple as this: if you do not feel like confirming a QSO (not necessarily by a paper QSL card, LoTW is fine), then simply do not make it.
I do not do eQSL (do not want to start a "religious war", but a digital image is meaningless to me, the more so that it can be "trolled" and counts for nothing of substance), but I upload all my contacts to LoTW and QSL directly and via the bureau (even contest QSOs.) Sometimes it takes a while, since usually I wait for at least 3 band-modes per QSL, but it is done. And if you send your card first, I will always reply, even for a single QSO, provided it is in my log. I do not send redundant QSLs for band-modes already confirmed. Neither do I send paper QSLs to those who clearly state they do not wish to receive them; nor do I send cards to those who have not responded to my previous paper QSL for exceedingly long time (currently a 3 years threshold).
It really sends my brain into seizures to see announcements (and by A-1 Op Club and FOC members, too) of the kind: "I only respond to direct QSLs sent with IRC or green-stamps". For Pete's sake, at least (regularly, not with years of delay) upload your contacts to LoTW for e-confirmations.
In Canada the bureau use is included with the RAC membership, similarly for ARRL in the USA; excess volume (weight) charges are more than affordable. If you reside where it is not so easy (and I am not talking about DXpeditions) get yourself a QSL manager. And don't give me the teary-eyed story about the costs (printing and otherwise); I may not be in your league, but over
5 6 7 years I have sent (and printed, and filled in, and paid for the postage to the bureau) QSLs for over 13,000 19,000 22,000 QSOs. Just because I think it is the right thing to do.
The old geezer says: O tempora! O mores!