My first year as a licensed ham went beyond expectations. I learned a lot and had tons of fun in the process. I met new friends, joined new clubs, chatted with random people in over 100 different countries. I gained experience as a contest operator for several special event stations like Windmills on the Air (PH14MILL) and the International Lighthouse and Lightships weekend (PA35WO), the monthly VHF locator contest (PI4ZHE) as well as a few contests I participated in with my own callsign. RFI hunting became a new challenge to keep my hobby going. Building antennas with the kind help of new ham radio friends was very rewarding. The fun thing about ham radio is that there are so many different ways to enjoy it. To me, DX’ing on HF SSB is the exciting thing to do. The bigger the pile-up, the better. Others are engaged in digital modes, or pursuing ever better audio on the lower bands or do things with satellites. Excitement for everyone!
Happy holidays, merry christmas and a happy, healthy 2015 to all of you out there!
73s Jan PD2H
Did not have the opportunity to fully participate in the 10m ARRL contest due to other important obligations, but still got a couple of hours of single-op low-power contesting fun on the crowded 10 meter band. I recorded 100 QSO’s and just finished converting my paper scribblings to Cabrillo and ADIF formats so the various logs are all updated. I also added DXCC # 100 to my list by working TG9ANF from Guatemala, so my goal of 100 countries before year’s end has been reached just in time!
UPDATE 16 DEC 2014: QRZ lists this as country #101 because a QSO with Kosovo in my log claimed “Republic of Kosovo” as its DXCC while Kosovo is not recognized as a separate DXCC at this time.
This morning , I took the notorious ice machine (see previous posts) apart and installed a R/C filter on the most noisy switch. 100pf in series with 47ohms across the terminals. So far so good, haven’t heard a scratch yet, fingers crossed! Later in the afternoon I had a small hour of CQ DX fun on 10 meters, including a short but nice QSO with Saudi Young Lady Laila HZ1HZ operating a special event station for the International Day of People with Disability with callsign HZ1WDD. I recognized her voice immediately. She is alway fun to talk to, and the only fully licensed YL in all of Saudi Arabia! We had a chat before on 15 meters a few months back but I was operating at the club station, not my with own call sign. Another special thing about today’s QSO was that I heard the last second or so of my words back through the speaker of my radio. I have no other explanation than that I heard myself back over the long path on the back of the G3TXQ hex! Weirdness!
Just about everything went wrong today but a short QSO with the Galapagos Islands DXpedition today on 10 meters added a new DXCC country to my list and brightened things up a bit. I got a nice 5/9 from Alex HC2RAT/8. Only one more to go for the ton which was my goal for this first year as a licensed ham!
Had a short QSO with John King ZB2JK working mobile from his car, adding a new DXCC to my list. It was nice working on 10 this afternoon, 14 stations came back on my CQ, including fellow Dutchman Pier Kaspersma TF3PKN from Iceland, also several stations from Brazil, USA, Ukraine, Russia, Aruba and Turkey reported in. Not bad at all for a rainy saturday afternoon.