• [Article 77]10 Meter band intruders – Russian taxi companies

    As you may already have noticed, Russian cab companies are booming with 59+ in FM on the 10 meter band. Even the freebanders on 27 Mhz (27.415 – 27.855) are bothered by these commercial users.

    If you want to know how these stations sound – Russian taxi on 10 meter band.
    Wife behind the mike, husbands driving the cab, it is said.

    There are many discussions going on on the forums. Take a look at the one on the QRZ.com here and the other post.

    It seems that the IARUMS (Intruder Watch of the IARU) has taken appropriate measures. The Russian FCC has answered with the following: fax to DARC / IARUMS.

    Well, I hope that everything works out. I had a QSO today with a Puerto Rican station and it was a bit messed up by a FM transmission on the same frequency 🙁  If the conditions continue to increase and nothing is done – we are in for a big, unpleasant surprise.

  • [Article 80]Pirate stations, number stations and other SWL

    As long as I can remember I like to listen to short wave. Not only normal music stations or informative ones (I like to listen to Radio Wereldomroep Netherlands on SW), but strange stations too, like number stations or broadcasting radio pirates.

    If you thought that pirate stations disappeared on the bands, you are wrong. There are different types of pirate stations.

    • Music (broadcast) stations – mainly operation on 3 meter band (FM), 48 meter band, 85 meter band and around the 185 meter band (all AM). Fun fact – at least 60% of these stations in Europe are of Dutch origin (!).
    • Freebanders – pirate stations operating outside radio amateur bands. Examples are the well known 27 MHz ‘division’ freebanders, around 27.555 MHz USB or the 48-meter band, running at 6.635 MHz LSB.
    • Fake amateur stations – using a fake call and trying to participate in ham activities like qso rounds, contests and normal DX work.
    • And a special group – the number stations and out-of-band military data stations. But as they are operated by governments, well, we just have to tolerate them 😉

    The last few weeks I am quite active on the listening part. There are many fine sites on identifying a station (music, military,number stations, illegal beacons on HF, etc.). One very fine source of information is the HFunderground.com website.

    If you are into irc (you should be, it’s old but very effective) you should be on StarChat. On StarChat there are two very nice irc channels regarding swl, ham radio and pirate stations : #pirateradio and #wunclub. Both of them full with swl enthousiasts and hams.

    On the left side of this page, I have put a number of links to different SWL and pirate radio related sites.




  • [Article 72]Summer holiday 2011 – France

    Yes! Finally some holiday! Frank PA2DKW and I decided to go to the southern part of France. First, we stopped in the Ardêche, but all campings were booked completely full 🙁 Frank had a very good tip – a camping near the Pont du Gard (locator JN23gw), La Sousta, became our main base and a terrific place with lots of shadow and sun to stay for a little bit more than a week.

    Beer and ham radio, what a combination.
    Beer and ham radio, what a combination.

    We used the well-known FT-857D mostly without the tuner as the multiband HyEndFed Antenna by Rob PA3EKE functioned perfectly on 10, 20 and 40 meters.

    Rens PA3RC tried to make contact with us from his home qth in JO22ia, but unfortunately, he was not able to reach us on the 20 meter band. To our astonishment, the 10 meter band was open (!). We had a nice qso with Rens and at the end of our conversation, Dutch hams started to shout their call – we were booming with 59+30dB in PA-land. And this with a simple setup running 100 Watts.

    Frank PA2DKW talking to a Dutch amateur.
    Frank PA2DKW talking to a Dutch amateur.

    Frank PA2DKW took over and the Dutch ham asked if we wanted to be put on the the DX cluster. Of course! But that was a little bit too much for us – a large pile up was created and many qso’s were made before we had to go qrt, regaining strength with some support of a nice French 1664 beer.

    Besides ham radio we made a lot of trips in the area. After this camping we went to another camping more to the center of southern France to meet two friends of us.

    The Pont du Gard lit by special LED lighting.
    The Pont du Gard lit by special LED lighting.

  • [Article 47]Normandy early summer 2011

    On the first of june I went to Normandy with friends. Operating from the attic of their cottage I made a lot of nice qso’s.

    The operation of my set in Normandy went quite well. The noise floor was surprisingly low after we had dismantled the electric fence :p . I used a Yaesu FT-857d as usual,  OCF Windom antenna and a paper log (easy to write down, difficult to move to a pc ;-)).

    Next time  I will use a laptop to log the qso’s, much easier, and use the HyEndFed Antenna by Rob PA3EKE. I have had quite a lot of good experiences with this reasonably sized end-fed antenna of only 12,2 meters long.

    The FT-857d portable set and the LDG 200 Pro 2 ATU.
    The FT-857d portable set and the LDG 200 Pro 2 ATU.
    F/PE1MR operation on the band.
    F/PE1MR operating on the band.
















    Windom OCF antenna working 10-20 meters.
    Windom OCF antenna working 10-20 meters.

  • [Article 46]Back on track – qrm gone, busy in the field

    It has been quite a while since my last posting here. I really should change all that 😉

    A lot has happened in radioland since then. The strange qrm on the 10 meter band is permanently gone, yes!! 😀 😀

    In the following posts I will tell about my trip to France in two parts. First the one during spring in Normandy. Made a couple of qso’s there.
    The second post is about my holiday stay in the southern part of France near Nîmes.

    Enjoy the read!



  • [Article 34]Local QRM still at large

    A nasty local QRM is bugging me for a couple of weeks now. Together with PA3RC we tried to find the source. It was very difficult. It seems like a 50 Hz modulated buzz, so a wall wart or something else working on 220V/50Hz is the culprit. Our receiver was not too sensitive, so homing in on the signal was a bit awkward. The volume of the sound got stronger, but still no signal reading. Hmm, better luck next time.


    Update 29th of May – it seems the qrm is gone. But it’ll be back. Let’s wait this weekend …


  • [Article 15]Updated callsign

    Rens (PD3RC, now PA3RC) and I discovered that a full registration could be interesting with a lot of more bands to discover (and somewhat more power). So we started learning and training and did the exam on the 12th of May.  Finally, the 26th of May, we heared we passed and my new callsign PE1MR is a fact. Beware 80 meter band! Now getting a good cw-key…

  • [Article 10]Story in Normandy

    Between the 5th and 8th of May, Frank PA2DKW and I did a little portable working in Normandy.
    Across the pond worked quite well. Reception was good with a minimum of local QRM.
    There were quite a few openings on 10 meter. 
We used a Windom Fritzel FD-3 and a Hy-End Fed Antenna which performed very nicely. PA2DKW will make a report of his findings on his website (see links on the column on the right).

    Some connections with other stations by F/PA2DKW in company of F/PD1MR.
    06 / 05 / 2011Working mobile in Normandy with the FT-857D.PG6N/qrp
    (International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend, op Berend)
    40 meterTX:57 RX:59

    06 / 05 / 2011See above.LU4DJB20 meterTX:59 RX:55
    06 / 05 / 2011See above.PP5EG10 meterTX:59 RX:57

  • [Article 8]On air

    On the 30th of March I got my novice registration after a long waiting, because the Dutch Agentschap Telecom (Telecom Agency in The Netherlands) was quite busy. Together with one of my best friends, who also got his novice registration, PD3RC, we started making QSO’s on VHF/UHF and HF in SSB and digital modes. A little blog on my ham stories to share knowledge and experiences seemed like a good idea and voilá, here it is.