A brief history


The interest for electronics had been there for quite a long time but it started to get some real shape the day when I received a little transceiver on the 27 MHz band, somewhere in the beginning of the 80's.. After a short while, my objectives went further and I decided to take a chance on the examinations to become a licensed radio amateur (often referred to as a 'ham operator'), in order to get the opportunity to enlarge my possibilities. In the meanwhile my room, originally intended to be a bedroom, changed dramatically into an electronics workplace and all 'suspendable' furniture was moved to other rooms in the house.


All this resulted in achieving the call ON1BLC on the 24th of May 1985. (With a Belgian ON1- call one was allowed on all bands and in all modes above 144 MHz). Soon after a beam antenna for 2 meters was implemented on the roof and for 10 years, a lot of experimenting was done on DX-ing and trying to get some home-brewed apparatus to work properly. The purchase of a Commodore 64 allowed me to transmit in telex-mode (45.45 baud) on the 144 MHz-band and gave rise to a lot of data-transfer!


From the start of my ham period, I become a member of the local UBA section ON7LR, yielding a lot of friends in the world of hamradio. Especially Staf (ON6UA, unfortunately now silent key)) who had a weekly broadcast on ATV with ON6OW (Mia) and Leo (ON6LK) have earned to be mentionned here.

In the summer season I often joined the contest crew of ON7LT (special contest callsign OT5A) participated in the annually Field Day as can be seen here in the photo published in CQ-QSO, the magazine of the UBA (kioninklijke Unie van de Belgische Amateurzenders, vzw). Cllick on it if you want a really huge version of it with more information).



After leaving the parental home, I moved to a new location and a brand-new shack of about 20 square meter was equipped. Near the house a 25 m high tower was erected and loaded with antennas for use on 2 m and 70 cm. When packet-radio was developed, a modem was built and coupled to the C64. The exploration of the possibilities of direct contacts and the use of bulletin boards (notice that this was the pre-internet era ) took a lot of time and it happened more than once that it was the upcoming sun that reminded me of getting some sleep ...


In the meanwhile, the really 'big' DX-work got my attention and with the help of the computer I learned the Morse code. On the 6th of November 1995, more than ten year after my first ham certificate, the call ON4CAY was dropped into the mailbox. (With a Belgian ON4- call all amateur bands may be used in all modes, finally opening all gates wide open to me).


The following years more and more equipment was home-made or buyed and the antenna tower got heavier and heavier due to all the extra antennas that were attached to it ;) You can see the evolution of my antenna park in the Gallery section.


From then on, hours and hours (a lot of them at night) were spent making DX calls on the HF bands, all in CW. Besides this, the digital modes were explored in depth, and later on even a home-brewed ATV (Amateur TeleVision) RX TX made his entry.