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Peters´ Hobby: Radio Amateur............................................................................................Back to German page: German
DJ 4 XN – HAM-Radio since 1958
Because we sold our house in April 2013 and moved into an "age-appropriate" condominium to Bensheim-Auerbach, the antenna system was complete and very reasonably priced. Nobody wanted it in DL. UT1KP responded to my ads and was very keen on it. Sergey drove here for 2 days 1700 km, dismantled and drove back 2 days back to Ukraine. One week later it was rebuilt there and to the complete satisfaction of Sergey UT1KP qrv! I was not able to help much for health reasons, so Rudi DB5ZB helped a lot with the dismantling. Thank you Rudi!
then I have no antennas at the 6-family house. But I can still be
on the transceiver at Rudi, DB5ZB, remotely controlled via the
Internet on shortwave qrv. Or via the SW transceiver at DL0RB in
Böblingen. I also run Echolink and Skype. So I'm not
completely "out of the world"!
Later, this hobby became even my main occupation and the reason for my move to Southern Hessen - almost 10 years transmitter engineer as a group leader for maintenance and operation of a short wave station with several high power transmitters. Afterwards, in close cooperation with our customers in Germany and our technical departments at a well-known Swiss manufacturer of electron tubes, I was responsible for sales and application for use of tubes up to 1 megawatt anode power dissipation as well for the parameter specification for the development of special tubes. Applications included broadcasters, high frequency excited high power lasers, nuclear research facilities and industrial high frequency generators, partially with over 500 kilowatts of high frequency power. Thus, by my very good contacts to the development department, also the legendary high-μ triode BBC T510-1 emerged as an equivalent to the Eimac 3-500Z.
Excerpt from my speech in 1997 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of OV-Pfronten-Füssen T11:
"Bacillus Amateur Radio" - building radio equipment
yourself and talk to radio friends worldwide
also remember today a booklet that fascinated me at the time: It
described how a radio operator during the great earthquake in
Tokyo in 1923 on the top floor of a skyscraper sent calls for help
until the building collapsed with him. Surely he has been able to
save many people's lives; but his sacrificed for it.
So since I just could not sort it out, I decided to leave it alone and get older and smarter - but keep watching this miracle closely.
finally came my key experience:
day, it was probably around 1955, I heard a speech from DL0DI,
Diez at river Lahn, in which the address was given and was asked
for hearing reports. I wrote down a postcard and was mentioned and
greeted at the next round by name "praising"! Man, what
was I proud of !! Like our dachshund "Burschi" when he
had pregnated the noble miniature poodle lady with a special
pedigree, of the Newrich family in the neighborhood.
Then I saw the "Old Man" Herbert - sitting upright, right in front of his altar! Herbert looked still young - and like a human! Should that be the radio operator? Yes! Herbert immediately interpreted my excitement correctly and at first tried to explain a great deal to me in simple words; the lights on my chandelier were getting brighter! His altar was about 2 m high (at least that's how it seemed to me). Below a black box with lots of knobs and on top of a larger box with wooden frame and front metal plate and also with even more knobs, instruments, etc. - and again this wire on it, which disappears in the void - and in front of it, this ominous little can with a hole to chat. I was also allowed to say in the box "Gruess Gott" and the one who spoke from the black box said: "Juten Dach Old Man Hans Peter". Old man - to me ?? - What a day! From then on, my decision was clear: I'll become a radio amateur!
my parents realized that I was relishing this hobby even though
they still hoped that I would become bookseller and take over the
parental paper shop, they gave me amateur radio literature - "THE
SHORT WAVE AMATEUR" by Karl Schultheiss. I almost learned it
by heart and from then on everything went relatively fast. The
teachers at school had described me as very lazy and recommended
that I better separate from it. At any rate, my knowledge of the
secrets of the wireless communication grew faster than that of
schooling - from day to day and night to night. But after I had
the "middle maturity" I wanted to learn radio
technician, but no apprenticeship free. So I learned by necessity
precision mechanics just around the corner till to the
At some point and somehow I came in contact with Juergen (Sonny), today DF1CF; He was also such a "stupid spinner" (my fathers words) and lived in Fuessen.. Together and secretly, we built and tested transmitters. In order not to attract attention, I also had to use a call sign. DL4ORD, the American club station in Fuessen, was never at 80m in AM qrv ... So no problem - so we thought .... Only that I just the holy Sunday service on the radio of the Saint statues carver in the neighborhood superimposed with "CQ 80", I had not calculated. Short and bad: Two yellow cars were one day at the door when I came home for lunch - as an apprentice at Reisig and Ullmann, with 35.- DM a month (that was called at that time "education aid"), which I still had to deliver at home! Then came the question: "Do you transmit"? Denial purposeless. The very clever officials simply followed my ominous wire from the isolation egg in the opposite direction and so inevitably ended up in my sanctuary. Like the orchestra back then - just not so emaciated, I thought softly ..
Then they just packed in everything - and took it with them! Even our dog, who was on my side and scolded vigorously, could not prevent it.
Juergen, however, had somehow gotten wind of the matter in good time - and before that disappeared all his equipment and he tidied up his room - "this can not be a Pirat". From my dad, I got a juicy slap. I still do not know why; because I did something wrong, or because I let me got caught?
of torment went by ... then came a letter from the Central Post
Office: "In according your adolescent age and because we see
that you are seriously preparing for the license exam, we look off
from a criminal complaint and save the devices until to the final
licensing". Me fell a stone, oh what - a whole scree, from
the heart ... How did that happen: Erwin, DJ2WJ my local club
chairman and DL1BA Heinz Pankow, the former QSL mediator from
Munich with holiday residence in an ex-bee house near Weissensee,
talked as long with the post office, until they had pity at me!
Thanks Erwin, thank you Heinz (both unfortunately sk)!
On the 6th of December 1958, after having had a good lunch, my parents handed me the long-awaited paper! I've never been runing so fast to the garden shed, my shack. Everything was ready - and finally the time had come: My first QSO partner was DL1EI, Mike (sk) from Munich, on 6th of December 1958 at 12:50, 80m, AM. Rapport: R5 and S9! With homemade RX, TX, homemade modulator and antenna - and under my own call: DJ 4 XN!
first homemade tube transmitter: ECO VFO with RL12P2000, amplified
with a LV30 to about 15W HF, screen grid modulation with EF12 and
EL11. VFO and PA in the 80m band. 40m, too by doubling in the LV30
(igit ..). Kristallmike - that's what DK2LR (sk), at that time
still not licensed sold at Radio Moest in Fuessen and asked
curiously what I need it for, hi .. That he was also a "Pirat"
back then, unfortunately I did not know - that's why I have to be
on the safe side nothing said ..
At that time for radio amateurs still applied:
"Amateur Radio is: If it's made yourself and it operates anyway!". That was the charm! They introduced themselves to a new radio connection with their first name and place of residence, described as accurately as possible his own radio station and discussed technical details, gave rapports and even exchanged some personal information. Political discussions were frowned upon, even forbidden! When you realized that you were on the "same wavelength" as your radio partner, you arranged your next contact and even, if possible, a personal meeting. Even marriages have come about! 1958/59 was a sunspot maximum as till now never again. Even e.g. on 10m with only 10 watts of transmission power (at that time still in amplitude modulation, also on the partners side) and a simple wire antenna I could make connections with the whole world. There was only a license class "A" (tubes were allowed in the final stage with a maximum of 20 watts anode power dissipation). The Exam: Telegraphy 60 characters / minute a "must", no questionnaire to memorize; everything could be asked. You had to be at least 18 years old and was not allowed to have a criminal record (police certificate of good conduct!). After a year without being noticed negatively, you could apply for the highest class "B" (allows a maximum of 50 W Pa in the transmitter output stage).
By the way: The 40m band was 7.000 to 7.150 MHz at the time and was cut at the end of 1960 by 50 kHz (only 7.000 to 7.100 MHz) to make room for the broadcasters, whose maintenance and operation I later applied for. Also thanks to amateur radio license, I became responsible for this in October 1961, could complete my distance learning "HF-Technik" here and thus came to my second and main occupation. The ideal measuring devices there facilitated the self-construction of several devices such as Mobil-TX 80m AM incl. mobil antenna, SSB filter type transmitter using five FT243 crystals with the same fundamental frequency drawn to the necessary frequencies for SSB with laundry detergent "VIM". A diode ring mixer and otherwise only with tubes up to the 807 in the final stage. Then an 80m 100 watt SSB transceiver to DL9GU (sk) with Collins VFO, a mechanical 500kHz filter and a 6146 in the power amplifier, a 1kW shortwave PA with 2 x 813 tubes in GG circuit and many others...
Radio amateurs, as pioneers of innovations that are then taken up by the industry and further developed to series maturity, there are now almost no more. Technology has overtaken HAM amateur radio. This affects hardware and software alike.
Admittedly: With today in the trade, usually only in large minimum quantities, available components (SMD technology and the like) is only a few specialists a self-construction of the complete radio station possible. This already lost most of the stimulus. The term "Plugin Amateur" emerged after the commerce discovered the market and offered complete equipment which are hardly mastered by simple radio amateurs or even to repair it. It is almost only about ICOM, KENWOOD, YAESU, etc. in x different versions and price ranges. It is interesting to note that "improved" models are constantly coming onto the market, with the smallest differences in design and more unnecessary buttons and menus. But not a cheap and very simple SW transceiver that the "common" radio amateur can afford and possibly immediately buy a new one if it is defective because no one can fix it at prices below the original price? The Chinese already make it to us with 2m / 70cm handheld radios!
Ripple noise (QRM) in the receiver by all sorts of "modern" semiconductor devices such as powerline internet, plasma televisions, and LED lamp switching power supplies a.v.o.m. (even dogs and cats today are "chipped") affect the reception, hardly enough with 100 watts at the partner station.
Radio contests block bands for "normal" QSOs almost every weekend. Every little club, federation, region or country, etc. has its own contest today. Sometimes several contests on the same day! They are characterized by real material battles: Maximum permissible transmission powers, bandwidths and band schedules are often ignored and only the same short repeats "... fife nine - qrz" from the machine. That was then QSO s and this is called "amateur radio - a hobby connecting peoples", hi. Personal friendships, even worldwide, as they used to be often, are hardly possible anymore; you do not talk anymore. If today a prospect listens to what's going on, he turns away with horror. "Is this amateur radio? No ... ", and turns on his smartphones again.
Keyword new: Digital Technology; so a "QSO" takes only about 1 minute; then the next one, automatically from the PC without operator's do!
holiday travelers or "antenna-damaged" ECHOLINK is a
nice thing. By own PC or a cheap FM handheld for 2m and / or 70cm
one can over converter and from there over the Internet directly
with stations i.e. in the home, or other converters which emit the
signal in turn FM and of course also receive and return the radio
partner, worldwide connect themselves. But even there is only
converted to digital radio and the mode FM simply turned off. For
this you need radios, which digital operation and of course the
respective system must be able to work with (there are several
systems that are unterunterader usually not compatible) and cost a
multiple of an FM handheld. The dealers are well received with
their lobbying work or provide even partially the digital
converter only for "their" system for free. I make my
thoughts about that...
Side effect of the digital radio: Interested ones in amateur radio, as I did, can not even listen with simple equipments.
The commercial radio, long-, medium-, short- and ultra-short wave, are being mined more and more in favor of the Internet. The interest in amateur radio is disappearing more and more among the young people of the smart phone generation. But what if i. e. in natural disasters, the Internet and / or the power grid collapses, days or even weeks no longer works - barely radio reception , no e-mail & Co, no cell phone, no phone, no reasonably functioning communication of emergency services and with each other is anymore possible? Even the hackers are already making every effort today (and they succeed more and more often) to disturb the Internet or partially lame it. The so-called network monitoring can only react if again a new virus appears and already causes damage, because they can not know in advance how it works! These attackers are always at least one step ahead! Were it then again "only software errors", as they want to make us believe or even their tests for a major cyber attack? Radio amateurs have unfortunately often have to prove that they can put up a functioning AM, SSB or FM net for short and long distances, operated on battery or emergency power generators, even with home-made amateur radio equipment and simple wire antennas set up in no time. Maybe then they will be happy again, if there are still HAM radio amateurs!
Some episodes on the edge:
The story of the "Fischdosen-Sender": It was still close to my licensing, as at the club evening in Pfrontener "Dampfross" Sepp Brunnhöfer DJ5PX (sk), in a beer-loving round with me a bet: "If I give you one fish tin and you mount a functional transmitter in it until the next club meeting, then you get a box of beer from me. If not, I get one from you". The oval fish can was a Hering (fish) embedded in tomato sauce (previously eaten, of course), then upside down with base for an EF80 and an EL84 on top, coils, resistors, capacitors inside. Sidewise banana sockets for a morse key, external power supply and one for the antenna. RF power unknown, but a small bulb lighted in the antenna lead. The "fish can transmitter" worked on 20m and was tested by DJ5PX before the next club evening in CW. Result: RST 5/7/8c from a Russian station! The box of Sepps´ beer we have killed together with some club members. See my rediscovered circuit diagram: Tx-Fish
Short time in the winter Qartier: In the winter of 1958/59 it was freezing cold in the garden house. Due to the cold that I suffered, my parents allowed me to set up the radio (mostly open construction) in the living room on newspapers as a protective underlay on my desk. It went well for a few days, until: With a loud bang a big Electrolytic capacitor exploded and the entire contents, scraps of paper, sticky stuff, etc. and a foul-smelling brown cloud of smoke, were scattered in the living room. Immediately again move to the garden house.
One day (still in Schwangau) the MAD (Military Secret Service) came to my QRL and asked me "politely" to come along to the city hall of Schwangau. There were already waiting several men in the "secret service look" with hats, sunglasses and long coats on us. I was accused of sending with a "Soldier Transmitter Peter"! Based on my logbook and the Lis certificate, the explanation of the problem was found: My QSO partner was a soldier (with license) in the barracks in Murnau. A sergeant heard him partially and indistinctly on his radio, dutifully reported this to his forerunner, who in turn was following his lead (strictly according to hirarchy), etc., up to the MAD. After long back and forth, the matter was clear and I was allowed to go again. Not without the hint that they will "keep an eye on you"! How long, they did not say that; maybe until today?
It was in 1960 when I had to do my military service with the German Armed Forces in Landsberg-Penzing. There was also DJ4TZ, a Sgt., as a radio equipment mechanic at the local tower, We both visited my home club T11, which organized a trip to the Breitenberg over a weekend. From the fundus of the radio workshop we armed ourselves with two so-called "bananas" PRC6 to keep connection between the Ostler hut to to our mountain climbing group. At the same time, the Olympics took place and was televised on Kanal 2. The bananas, however, worked on the same frequency! What happened when we arrived back down the cable car, we had not expected. The good OM Sepp, DJ5PX, after many verbal combats, was able to avert an ad of the angry assembly, which he personally knew well. These had been listening and knew "aha, now they come back down"!
Holiday in South Tyrol with VHF mobile radio around 1965. At that time it was a very critical time in which electricity pylons and the like allegedly were blown up by frustrated South Tyroleans. They wanted to get more confidence. An amateur radio guest license did not exist in Italy at that time. A radio license did not even exist in South Tyrol at that time for the locals. They transmitted cheerfully black and gave themselves, me too, real-sounding call signs. Mine was: I4XN. Even an Italian Carabineri-Major, I still remember his "real" call sign I1CBZ, mixed in cheerfully, although he knew the circumstances. In order not to attract attention, I dismounted my 5/8 antenna at the rear of the car before we reached the borders. Only the antenna base was still there. On the way back across the Italian-Swiss border, the Italian borderman noticed the antennae and he traced the connection cable to the KFT160. Now he was probably looking for where and how the radio station was sealed when I made it clear to him in my super-Italian "Io radio amatore, non transmittore in Italia". - "Plomba"? - "non plomba" - "entrata a Italia"? - "Brennero" – head shaking "hm-hm-hm - collega Brennero, avanti presto"!
RF control with consequences: Richard, DJ3GR (sk), also had a radio station in his VW Beetle. One evening, it was already dark, he had to stop at the railway barrier in front of Gross-Rohrheim. I sat on the passenger seat. Because nobody answering our CQ shouts, Richard controlled the RF power of his transmitter with a long fluorescent tube on the rear antenna. The tube flashed at some distance from the antenna in his hand. The one standing behind him was so startled that he immediately wanted to increase the distance in reverse. However, he overlooked the fact that even someone stood behind him who abruptly slowed him down with a dull thud. His driver got out with angry shouts. What he anwered to him when he heard "..there was one in front of me holding a burning fluorescent tube in his bare hand!” ? We do not know. The railroad crossing was free again - quickly away!
The first W3DZZ for 250 watts maximum allowable power was for me the ideal antenna for our rental apartment in Lorsch. It worked on almost all SW bands and was good enough for my Galaxy V. Stretched over the house roof, feed in the middle of the roof supported by an aluminum tube mast. The QRL regularly renewed used tubes of the type 813, which were still useful for amateur purposes. So I decided to build a power amplifier with 2 of these tubes and 3 KV operating voltage myself. At some point this was finished and should also go into operation. At home, I then connected it to my Trx Galaxy V and the W3DZZ. I had probably forgotten or did not want to believe that this antenna was not intended for this performance of almost 1000 watts. In the Traps, at that time hermetically sealed plastic construction, had somehow crept in condensation. This I brought to boil and a trap of the good old W3DZZ exploded with a loud bang above the house roof and the items rumbled audibly over the roof in the front yard. I can never forget how neighbor's cat "Hund" flew in search of space and since then has always made a big turn around our property
How did we get to know each other: In a QSO with W2JQ, Sigi (sk) told me in German, but with cruel Saxon dialect, that he came from Dräsdn and lived after the war with his parents in Bensheim. Around 1955, he emigrated with his wife and their very little son Wolfgang to U.S.A. Sigi´s father was seriously ill and he wanted to visit his parents again. His dialect was his trademark; many German OMs and (x)YLs knew him that way. One evening there was a ring on the front door and I opened the unknown who asked me "Are you dr Bäter"? - "Yes, and you are Sigi"! We had a lot of fun together; also with his wife Hanni and now big son Wolfgang. Also when we accepted their invitation to U.S.A. With Wolfgang and Hanni (93) joins us till today a big friendship.
Border problems. Many years ago we spent our holidays again in Schwangau. I visited the OV (Club) evening of T11, which I co-founded. For this purpose, I removed my KW-Mob antenna from the car. An approximately 1m long stub stopped. At that time foreigners were allowed the amateur radio in OE only with guest license. I drove the shorter way via OE and Vils to Pfronten-Steinach. No problems, but back I was at the German Controll Station to OE by a very dedicated young border officials after much discussion because of my stub antenna on the car in the customs building cited, where the discussion went on. My objection "I can not transmit with that" did not interest him. Away, not to be seen by the young officer, stood an old experienced official and showed me with a thumbs down, what he thinks of the discussion. It was getting too stupid for me and I told the young officer to call his boss. It was now about 2 am in the night and the boy was slightly embarrassed. He said he could not get his boss out of bed at this time. So I said "I'm going on now," which he reluctantly did not prevent. The last words: "but the antenna must be dismounted"!
Many years later: I had an appointment in the afternoon with a customer near Tübingen. Since I was too early and hungry, I bought 2 pairs of Wiener sausages, parked on a track across the fields, made a 80m mobile QSO with a long antenna on the car and enjoyed my sausages. Suddenly a green VW Beetle was standing right in front of me and two strict-looking police officers got out and put on their uniform caps as a sign of their potency. One came to me "What are you doing there"? Me: "Lunch break, doing a QSO and eating sausages. Would you like one too? " The latter he denied. "Your papers please"! The Lis certificate interested him the most and brought it to his colleague. He telephoned with his mobile device for an eternity, then returned my papers to me and said goodbye, but saying that I should not park here. The 5 DM warning fee he released me "this time exceptionally".
How to get to know locals: Shortly after moving to Zwingenberg I had a radio connection with the Georg-von-Neumayer station in the Antarctic DP0GVN. After the presentation with location "near Darmstadt" I was asked: "Where exactly"? - "Zwingenberg" - "Do you know the Obergasse"? - "Yes". - "Do you know xxxxx, he was a study friend" - "Do not know him, but I call him and greet him from you". Made, done. Me again: "Have reached him and he was very happy!" Days later I went to the pub "Eis-Lui" with my friend Manfred to have a beer. The pub was almost full, but we found a place at a table where a couple was already sitting and we talked about amateur radio. The unknown to us at the table suddenly intervened and asked: "Are you radio amateurs?" - "Yes" - "One day someone called me and greeted me from a friend at the South Pole" .. It did not stop at one beer.
Lea (4), our granddaughter, watched TV in our living room on St Nicholas Day. Since we wanted to sleep late on the couch, I gave her wireless headphones on 433 MHz from the TV broadcast the sound. The TV internal speaker was off. It occurred to me that this is also the frequency band allowed for radio amateurs. I went quietly down to my car and searched and found in the mobile station TM733 the transmission frequency of the TV. When I spoke with high transmission power "Lea, this is the St. Nicholas, turn off the TV" cracked, as my xYL told me later, Lea the headphones off her head, ran to the TV, turned it off. Then she sat petrified and stunned in the chair. She pondered for a long time and suddenly stood up, "Grandpa, you have been this!"
QRV from Gozo Island (Malta): In our first holiday, one of more than 20 in the Hotel Atlantis on the island of Gozo, I asked the hotel owner if I could span an antenna (G5RV) for my radio station. Reluctantly and long-thinking, he allowed me that. I realized he was not very well in the matter. (Wireless transmitions? With whom? What for?). The next day, I invited him to our room, showed him the Maltese license, and spelled my call with 9H3 Hotel Atlantis. Both have calmed him a lot and made him very proud. The entire staff in the hotel he showed the certificate so that everyone knew that I was doing nothing illegal! The next holiday in his hotel, he showed me first, where his ladder is for antenna construction!
Excursion with a contest to Tegelberg. For our local association, when it was still very active, I organized from the early 80s and later, several trips once a year to my old home up to the Tegelberg mountain. The first trips always took place on the first weekend in May to join the 2m and later the 70cm contest from this location. Many members, especially Rudi, DB5ZB, were also enthusiastic, built antenna masts for weeks and of course a lot of different antennas. Rudi transported everything with his Land Rover and trailer to the cable car in Schwangau. Then all this had to be brought up to the mountain and there built together. Also the radios. After the May-Contest mostly took place in the snow chaos we postponed the trips later to September. The interest of starting more than 20 OMs and (x) YLs dwindled slowly. Due to our age and financial reasons for the few "involved", these trips were discontinued a few years ago.
Sorry for my mistakes, my English language isn`t perfect ! I missed in shool some lessones because of more interest in HAM Radio hi...
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