My on-air handle is Richard or "Dick" the short name (nickname) for Richard. I answer to either. My first call sign was W7MHP (1948). After moving from Arizona to Florida, it was changed to WA4HPZ and since 1980 it has been KC4ON. The QRZ.com listing for that callsign has a personal photo and provides some history about my personal evolution from a pre-teen-age BC-DX listener & logger to my present situation as a retired Old (!) Man who enjoys both monitoring the bands and logging a new DXCC entity when one appears.
My geographic location, in Bandung, capital city of the Province of West Java, is many kilometers and 12 clock hours distant from W2-land where I was born. The journey from there to here is a long story. Although it includes a half-century of little on-air activity, it is emphasized that Amateur Radio (its fascinating technology and friendly co-hobbyists) provided the stimulus that would expand and become my life's work (from helping in a neighborhood radio & TV repair shop, as a broadcast engineer, electronics technician, systems engineer and consultant) and would span the spectrum from medium wave to microwave, from ground wave and sky wave to direct wave (terrestrial microwave) and finally to satcom systems. It has been very interesting.
Most "recent" previous activity was in 1956 on 430 ±10 MHz with a converted APS-13 Tail Warning Radar receiver. The transmitter, removed from a different model military surplus tail warning unit, was a lambda/4 line oscillator running about 10 Watts input to a WE-316A "doorknob" tube. Since that time, the technology has changed (!), the surplus is all sold and several solar cycles have passed me by!
In March 2007, with a change in immigration status, I became eligible to apply for reciprocal operating privileges. My local and very friendly ORARI (Organisasi Amatir Radio Indonesia) office helped me complete the forms and quickly provided my callsign, YB1AQD.
The spirit of Ham Radio being what it is, two old friends from high school Radio Shop, KF6AR and KL5R (previously W7RVY and now sk), elated with the news of my immanent return to the air and perhaps with the hope of a DX contact, immediately began supplying, from their half-century accumulations, both equipment and parts (some quite new, some ancient) applicable to properly setting up a station. A 5/8 lambda (on 10 meters) ground plane was built, radials lengthened to allow operation on 20 and the fun began with a first QSO, to Europe, in August 2007.
Since that new beginning, another old (!) pal whose changed situation required finding a new home for some of his equipment (a Yaesu FT-101EE vintage 1966) has contributed and other gaps have been filled in, as needed, with purchases both local and from the USA so that I now have two operating positions. For serious SSB and CW work, ops position #1, in the corner of my workshop located under the roof, uses an Icom 706 Mk II G (it has the filters). And in July 2009, ops position #2 (photo) was added for PSK31 which I expect will dominate activities whenever propagation is poor due to sparse sun spots. Antennas include the ground plane, a sloper and a multiband dipole (Alphadelta DX-EE). Other antennas are always in the dreaming or planning phase. Life is good.
I am just a small fish (only 20 dBW eirp) in a big pond. Sometimes, DX being worked by neighboring country "big guns" cannot even be heard. Although I am only on the edge of the pond, in shallow dBW waters, I find that the pond is filled with other fish which have exotic alphanumeric names, some of which I had never before known, and I'm able to catch a few. I enjoy telling my equipment benefactors about those rare DX "fish" that their old equipment has now caught, some of which they have never heard.
Again, it is noted that ham radio originally gave me a fascinating and fun hobby along with the opportunity to meet interesting people, both on-air and personally. As my interest, knowledge and experience expanded, it provided a platform for making a living. During those years, "working DX" meant traveling to some far away place in order to complete a job assignment and maybe enjoy being a tourist in neighboring places. Now, in retirement I am again visiting some of those 50+ countries (F2 permitting), reviving old memories and making contact with others who have interesting ham radio life stories to tell, many of whom have provided some details about their situation via their QRZ.com call sign listing. Interesting! Thanks.
QSL cards may be sent with an SAE to either my KC4ON QTH, my Bandung QTH (above) or to my local bureau (at least one less local post office stop to transit):
O R A R I
PO Box 1042
Republic of Indonesia
Although my local Post Office offers no IRC's for sale, it does accept them for return postage. But one green stamp is sufficient for direct return postage to almost everywhere. Green stamps are always welcome because although 100's (Franklin) are available locally,1's (Washington) are not.
Any questions or comments may be sent via email.
73 - Dick
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