Peter Wittlin, Basel

Amateur Radio

Amateur Radio

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Originally I was far away from thinking ever to become an amateur radio operator. It just happened somehow. It all started when I decided to buy a descent stereo equipment. A real good tuner (Revox A76) and no sensible aerial? You just couldn't do that! Finally a 6-element-yagi together with an antenna booster under the roof top was the result. This was no doubt the origin for my later interests.

4-Element Yagi
4-Element Yagi


Apart from the fact that this was a real great improvement as far as the reception quality is concerned it also meant that I could now suddenly receive stations which were completely unknown to me.

By clicking on some of the pictures you may get further information.

The next item I bought was a Schwaiger-UHF-Converter. In order to get the 70-cm-band I had to add it between tuner und antenna; among various other stations I could also receive the amateur repeater HB9BS thus creating the first contact to amateur radio. A Koyo-World-Receiver bought shortly afterwards extended the range to short wave and 2-meters. That receiver was far away from being good, however, it caused a growing interest in amateur radio and everything that had to do with it.

At the beginning I was far away from thinking ever to become an amateur radio operator myself. The only purpose was to acquire a little bit of technical know-how. Being confronted with technical data which were largely meaningless to me was unsatisfying - to say the least.

In 1973 Switzerland introduced the citizen-band-radio (CB). Next year, it was in the middle of February, I got my own license. As a result I bought a Zodiac P5024 - an 11-meter-handy with 24 channels and 500 Milliwatt output. Not too much - but I could get into contact with people having similar interests.

Sommerkamp (Yaesu) FR50B
FR-50B

In addition to the above mentioned "world receiver" I bought a little bit later a short-wave receiver - a Sommerkamp FR-50B (same as Yaesu FR50B). That was something completely different! A simple piece of wire not meant for that purpose had to be used as an "antenna". Nevertheless, I was more than just satisfied! It couldn't be compared with what I was used to up to this moment.

FR-101

One day I decided to replace the old gear. I bought a Sommerkamp FR-101 short wave receiver (same as Yaesu FR-101). Being equiped with a converter it was possible to listen to the 2-meter band as well. A receiver that was as steady as a rock! So far there were not many wishes left open.

Finally, in 1977 it happened: in Zurich I passed the examination that was necessary for becoming an amateur radio operator. My Call Sign: HB9PAW. This is a license without CW (Morse-code) that entitles you to use all amateur-bands from 144 MHz and above. Consequentially I decided to quit my old CB-License (FAX 62), partly because I had troubles with radio interference and partly because most of my friends also moved to the amateur bands.

Icom IC 202
IC 202

The first transceiver Iv'e ever used on 2-meters was a Icom IC202. That nice piece of equipment belonged to Bruno, HB9BHS, an old friend of mine, and was a pure portable SSB-transceiver. This was especially interesting because I was living in the basement without having a proper antenna at that time. With a HB9CV-Beam directly from the living room... you may well be aware of all the problems I had. However, it was very interesting and partly surprising to see what distances could be bridged anyway. The influence of the local topographic situation was also a matter of interest.

TR-2200G

Shortly afterwards I could buy an old Trio 2200G, a 2-meter FM-portable with twelve channels and one watt output. It was a well-known transceiver at that time and a real bargain. A real giant compared with nowadays handies. Because I had a very limited interest in repeaters and FM-traffic this was just what I needed - and no more.

SE 402

If you want a descent shack you need an appropriate transceiver. Hence the Braun SE402, 10 watts output, was just the right thing - a 2-meter transceiver of outstanding quality. No unnecessary gimmicks - just what you really need. With a 2x six-element cross-yagi most parts of Europe were within your reach.

Standard C520
C520
Standard C520
C520

Going outside with a Trio 2200G makes one thing clear: it's no doubt too big. Considering this, there was only one solution - I had to buy a handy: the Standard C520. Nowadays handies usually have a variety of possibilities and functions you can hardly ever use. At least not all of them. The best thing however is that it's small and you can easily take it to wherever you want to go. In the meantime my main interests moved to computers. But nevertheless, amateur radio is and remains a most fascinating hobby!