www.pg2p.nl
It's all about hamradio

Welcome to www.pg2p.nl; here I will try to inform you about my activities as hamradio amateur. 

Who still remembers the famous date August 31st, 1974? That was the day radio died as they say at radio Veronica.

But for me that was the day radio started because somehow it triggered my interest to everything related to radio. The neighbour of one of my aunts had an FM transmitter and I really loved to be there when he was transmitting. I also started to listen to the local radio pirates and their DX-ing during the late hours. Unfortunately my parents didn't want me to get a transmitter or get involved so it was a no-go area for me for a while...

So it took some years (I guess it was 1981 or so) when a schoolfriend got a Senfor Skyline SM-2008 27MC transceiver. What fun it was to talk to other people without knowing them or even knowing who you would be talking to in the first place. Of course I spent some time after school at my friends place. But again my parents told me I could not have a CB transceiver...

Time went by and it was around 1989 that I bought my first 27 MC transceiver, a Midland 77-104. In the meantime legislation allowed us to use 4W FM and 40 channels so it was even more fun (though I still like QRP operation hi!). Two years later I got my first car, a silver coloured Ford Fiesta and of course I had to put a big magnetic mount on top of the roof. 


I was studying electronics and of course it didn't take long for me to start building a 3m transmitter, the (in)famous Stentor. It was a matter of time before I wanted something else so with aid of advertisements in Free Radio Magazine I found myself a schema and PCB for a 50W PLL stereo transmitter. Those were the days a lot of solder was spoiled, hi!

Via one of my friends I also got involved into a local radiostation and I spent quite some hours there. Years went by, different radiostations, different places to work, different work environment and somewhere in 2006 I finally decided to go for my novice license.

So I started to study the materials and passed the first time. PD0PRS went on air and since I had a day-to-day commute of 45 minutes single trip I have made quite some nice QSO's on one of the repeaters around here (PI3AMF). But as the novice license restricts you to a couple of HF bands (40m (partially), 20m (partially) and 10m) and the 2m and 70cm bands with a power output of 25W ERP I decided to take the (for me at least since I am not interested in CW yet) last hurdle by going for the full license.

In november 2011 after a non-optimal time of preparation I took the test but failed; 16 errors which means one too much. After checking the results I found out that there was a mistake in the exam and one answer was counted to be false while it was true. Of course I objected but couldn't wait for the official answer so in the beginning of december I re-took the exam and passed with 6 mistakes. The day after Christmas I finally could exchange my old callsign for a new callsign (PG2P).

And since then I've got the possibility to discover even more new aspects of this great hobby.

73! Paul, PG2P

Comments (1)

Last week I mentioned that I bought two transceivers for 23cm via a Japanese auction site..

My initial planning was to keep one of them in the shack, the Icom IC-3700 (the lower one in the picture) and use the other one (Kenwood TM-541) for mobile fun.

As I found out yesterday this might be the best way forward since the Icom is lacking a UT-84 CTCSS board meaning I cannot generate CTCSS tones with the set; luckily the nearest 23cm repeater, PI6NOS, does not make use of repeatertones (and I hope they will not for a very long period of time, hi!).

The Kenwood set has the ability to generate CTCSS tones so that would be my choice for going mobile.Because both transceivers are quite old they have some quirks like a restricted number of memory channels. Especially the Kenwood is disappointing because for being able to program the Dutch 23cm repeaters (with 28 MHz shift) you need to choose one of the split channels; reason for this is the Kenwood assumes the default shift is 20 MHz. Whatever we always have the VFO mode and a list of repeaters like this one: https://www.hamnieuws.nl/repeaters/uhf-repeaters-1298-mhz/ so enough to experiment I would say :-)

 

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Last year I bought a used Motorola handheld transceiver for TETRA; unfortunately the handheld transceiver was not programmed as I wanted it to be. There are some hamradio amateurs around who have been experimenting with this type of digital communication and somehow agreed upon the following specific settings: MCC (the countrycode) should be set to 204, the MNC (networkcode) should be set to 7373 and the GSSI (groupcode) should be set to 1000. 

Unfortunatelly I could not check if the contents of the codeplug were correct since my computer refused to read the radio due to a missing RPG for the firmware being used in the handheld. After a lot of research I decided to leave the radio for what it was and put it aside.

But yesterday I started digging around an found a link to a side containng a huge archive of RPK files including the ones I needed. After I imported the appropriate RPK files into the CPS software I was able to read the contents of the codeplug; as expected the settings were incorrect so I decided to change the settings and write them back to the radio.

In the meanwhile just before New Years eve I noticed a remark in the TETRA Digital HAM repeaters NL facebook site that someone was offering an MTM-800 transceiver. So today I was able to pick it up and started to play around; the set is in an excellent condition, was sold with the remote head mounted to a plate and an almost new micropfone. Wow, this is fun! Now I am looking around for other hamradio amateurs around Almere to have a QSO with to verify if the codeplug is correct...

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I mentioned a couple of articles ago I want to become active on 23cm; nearby there is an excellent 23cm repeater (PI6NOS) which happens to have been rebuild a couple of months ago. 

So after having played around with the Alinco HT I decided I wanted to have a mobile rig with the main possibility to work 23cm; the biggest question however is where to find one as they seem to be very rare within Europe. As a matter of fact I overheard a conversation on PI6NOS about acquiring second hand rigs via an auction site in Japan. So I sniffed around an found a nice Icom IC-3700 (not to confuse with the SDR transceiver Icom IC-7300 :-) )

The rig seemed to be released for the Japanese market only (the user manual is written in Japanese so very hard to understand hi!). I was curious to see what state the rig would be in, but it was absolutely in as good as new state.

When I tried to make a first QSO with it the transceiver switched frequency as soon as my counterpart wanted to answer. Oh oh, did I in the end buy something that was not in a good shape after all? But when I turned the microphone around the mystery was solved; the microphone apparently has a alpha numerical keypad on the back of it, including a LOCK key...

After having pressed the LOCK key I was able to make a QSO, and to be honest I am very glad with this purchase... So glad that I decided to keep this rig within the shack and look for another 23cm only mobile rig to be able to play around with it when in my car.

The auction site also showed a Kenwood TM-541. The price was okay so I ordered it as well; it arrived just before New Years eve. The set clearly was in a worse shape than the Icom but all by all it still looks good. The only bad thing is a "nervous" PTT switch and a small piece of plastic broken of of the frontpanel. Now the next problem would be what antenna to use. With a bit of googleing around I found a Diamond SGM-805N; and together with a Diamond magnet mount it accomplishes my mobile setup for 23cm.

Time to play around I would say...

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