© Egbert Hertsen
EgbertHertsen

History

From ONL4003 to ON4CAS

Before I got my license back in 1994, I enjoyed more than a decade of SWLing. I soon found out that monitoring the amateur radio bands was much more exciting than listening to the propaganda machine international broadcasting services were transmitting. The belgian IARU society UBA attributed me the SWL sign ONL4003. I did "all" the things many HAMs do: begging for QSLs, chasing new countries and collecting awards. Over 30,000 QSLs confirming my reception reports were packed together in shoe boxes. Having never studied electronics at school, I thought the licensing exam would be an insurmountable burden. For more than a decade I never gave it much thought, especially as I had a great time being ONL4003. It must have been springtime of 1994 that I coincidentally got a copy of the ARRL's "Now You're Talking" book. Even for a novice like me, the questions for an american Technician license seemed rather elementary. Later that year, I passed the exam at the american airforce base in Bitburg and got my Technician Plus license with a CSCE (Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination) for the written part of the General test. The perfect incentive to practice the morse code! A few months later, I upgraded to Advanced with yet another CSCE for the 20 wpm code exam. I had been issued the N1TOI callsign by the FCC and did not change it after the upgrade. The Amateur Extra theory was really difficult to master... but I relentlessly kept studying until I felt comfortable to pass the test. So I ended up with the highest possible grade of the US amateur radio license. Being a belgian citizen, I got a reciprocal license on basis of my US license in many european countries I visited, but I was forced to pass the belgian examination to get on the air from at home. After the theory exam at the belgian authorities I immediately asked for permission to take part in the morse code exam. Just a few days before the CW part of the 1995 CQ WW DX Contest, I got my ON4CAS license in the mail. That weekend I joined the fun and made some 500 CW QSOs. It was one of the biggest thrills in my life... since then, over 180,000 contacts have been made.

Current equipment

HF Icom IC756PRO3 @ 100 W VHF/UHF Yaesu FT480R, FT8800 HT: Yaesu FT51R, Icom ID51EPlus, Anytone868UV Openspot 3 hotspot for D-STAR, DMR & C4FM Other Hardware Bencher BY1 paddle MFJ 949E tuner Yaesu G-1000SDX rotor microHAM microkeyer Antennas on 12m rooftop mast (+/- 20m AGL) Cushcraft A3S+40m addon Cushcraft D3W (WARC) Kelemen dipole 40/80m Kelemen short 160m dipole Diamond X-300N 70cm/2m

My main interests within

amateur radio

Plenty of choice to make as amateur radio offers so many great facets. I particularly got hooked on: Chasing DX with a passion for DXCC & IOTA. Collecting QSL cards. Working special event stations, unsusual prefixes, etc. Award & Certificate chasing, including having fun working the “outdoor guys” activating castles, lighthouses, mountaintops, … Joining a contest now and then. A particular interest in telegraphy without ignoring the other transmission modes.
Member of the following IARU societies:

Logbook Statistics (April 2021)

181.095 QSOs 181.095 QSOs
© Egbert hertsen
EgbertHertsen

History

From ONL4003 to ON4CAS

Before I got my license back in 1994, I enjoyed more than a decade of SWLing. I soon found out that monitoring the amateur radio bands was much more exciting than listening to the propaganda machine international broadcasting services were transmitting. The belgian IARU society UBA attributed me the SWL sign ONL4003. I did "all" the things many HAMs do: begging for QSLs, chasing new countries and collecting awards. Over 30,000 QSLs confirming my reception reports were packed together in shoe boxes. Having never studied electronics at school, I thought the licensing exam would be an insurmountable burden. For more than a decade I never gave it much thought, especially as I had a great time being ONL4003. It must have been springtime of 1994 that I coincidentally got a copy of the ARRL's "Now You're Talking" book. Even for a novice like me, the questions for an american Technician license seemed rather elementary. Later that year, I passed the exam at the american airforce base in Bitburg and got my Technician Plus license with a CSCE (Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination) for the written part of the General test. The perfect incentive to practice the morse code! A few months later, I upgraded to Advanced with yet another CSCE for the 20 wpm code exam. I had been issued the N1TOI callsign by the FCC and did not change it after the upgrade. The Amateur Extra theory was really difficult to master... but I relentlessly kept studying until I felt comfortable to pass the test. So I ended up with the highest possible grade of the US amateur radio license. Being a belgian citizen, I got a reciprocal license on basis of my US license in many european countries I visited, but I was forced to pass the belgian examination to get on the air from at home. After the theory exam at the belgian authorities I immediately asked for permission to take part in the morse code exam. Just a few days before the CW part of the 1995 CQ WW DX Contest, I got my ON4CAS license in the mail. That weekend I joined the fun and made some 500 CW QSOs. It was one of the biggest thrills in my life... since then, over 180,000 contacts have been made.

Current equipment

HF Icom IC756PRO3 @ 100 W VHF/UHF Yaesu FT480R, FT8800 HT: Yaesu FT51R, Icom ID51EPlus, Anytone868UV Openspot 3 hotspot for D-STAR, DMR & C4FM Other Hardware Bencher BY1 paddle MFJ 949E tuner Yaesu G-1000SDX rotor microHAM microkeyer Antennas on 12m rooftop mast (+/- 20m AGL) Cushcraft A3S+40m addon Cushcraft D3W (WARC) Kelemen dipole 40/80m Kelemen short 160m dipole Diamond X-300N 70cm/2m

My main interests within amateur

radio

Plenty of choice to make as amateur radio offers so many great facets. I particularly got hooked on: Chasing DX with a passion for DXCC & IOTA. Collecting QSL cards. Working special event stations, unsusual prefixes, etc. Award & Certificate chasing, including having fun working the “outdoor guys” activating castles, lighthouses, mountaintops, … Joining a contest now and then. A particular interest in telegraphy without ignoring the other transmission modes.