About me

My first QSO - PA8S

Just a short story about how I became a radio amateur…

First QSO

My first radio experience was at a young age. When I was a toddler I already knew how to use a microphone as I found my way to my father’s (PA0YQY) radios early on. I always jokingly say that I already made my first QSOs back then.

Experimenting

As I got older I developed an interest in electronics. Around my 10th birthday I received an experiment box and extension set from the well-known Philips EE series. I enjoyed it for years and I still have it, including all the books and diagram sheets. Hopefully in a few years my sons will find this interesting enough to play with.

CB years

In my teens I discovered CB radio. It was nice to make contacts in this way with other people in the city and the surrounding area. Together with my father I have used various CB radios e.g. Midland 7001 and KP 4000 Colonia. The latter I still have in its original box and the Midland is stored at my father’s attic.

Packet radio

With the arrival of the CB radio I also came into contact with Packet Radio. The first digital connections were made with a Baycom interface between the parallel port of the PC and the CB radio. After some time the Baycom was replaced by a TNC2S made by DK9SJ. With this I made many contacts for years and even ran an F6FBB Bulletin Board/Mailbox for some time. The TNC2S is still sitting on a shelf here. I think my preference for digital modes I have today originated here.

QRT?

Then it fell silent. I’d finished school and went to work. Interests changed and other hobbies emerged. But the interest in electronics and radio has never completely disappeared. Due to a change of work I came into contact with electronics again and eventually started with a study in the field of embedded systems engineering. During this study I built up a modest but well-equipped electronics lab and, with some luck, I was able to take over almost the entire, albeit small RF lab at my university for a symbolic amount. This encouraged me to regain my skills in RF technology.

Hurray, got my license

In the course of 2019 I thought it was about time to finally get my radio amateur license. By thoroughly reading a course book and trying to correctly answer as many questions I could find in online courses, I obtained my Full license in January 2020. Directly after my exam I became a member of VERON, the Association for Experimental Radio Research in The Netherlands.

And so here I am… PA8S, just another Dutch radio amateur filling the sky with radio waves.