My career as an amateur radio operator
I came in touch with the short wave in my earliest youth already. My father was an editor-in-chief with the Austrian short wave foreign service for many years and thus we always had SW radios standing around somewhere at home.
Personally, I never listened to the respective foreign services but was interested in the usually weak amateur radio actions in the individual SW bands – in contrary to my father, who was never particularly fond of amateur radio. Several attempts to raise his enthusiasm for the exam pitifully failed!
I was particularly fascinated by the dot-and-dash signals, since I could not explain to myself just how one can interpret these fast individual tones as a language.
My first “live” visit to an amateur radio station must have been around 1980, at Professor Wolf Harranth’s, OE1WHC, a dear colleague of my father.
Wolf led a QSO with a station
far away in Colombia (HK), many thousands kilometres from
I was completely inspired and "infected".
On this day, it became clear to me that I had to become an amateur radio operator one day!
My first contact with amateur
radio was therefore actually in 1988. At this time, right after my
engineering final exams, I got my first job at the United Nations in
Unfortunately, I still had no license at this time and thus spent my lunch times (usually alone) as a SWL before a YAESU FT-767GX.
I had to change this circumstance fast, which I did a few weeks later....
John Oakberg (NK4N) and Richard Olsen (KH6DO), both amateur radio examiners, took my exam for the first license class "NOVICE," in accordance with the American statutes. I was thus "radio amateur" and some weeks later I was assigned the callsign KC4EKG.
I still remember well my first QSO's. I came straight back from the U.S. with the license in my luggage and on the same day, totally overtired from the long flight, I drove to the U.N., in the northern part of Vienna.
Up to the shack (28th floor), starting the amplifier, tune the antenna, and off we went...
I spent the whole afternoon and the entire night in the Shack, processed on different bands one Pile-Up after the other, naturally preferably in Spanish. It was of course special fun to sit "on the good side of the pileup."
From this moment on, I spent each free minute in the shack and was certainly the most active 4U1VIC-Operator (also with some first contacts on different bands) in the years 1988,1989, and 1990. Within the shortest time, I took all American classes (Technician - N4TGW, General, Advanced) up to US Extra.
Finally (approx. one year after my first license), I had the callsign KM4NA and was accredited as an examiner for all American license classes myself.
Before my Austrian exam, I was assigned the temporary callsign OE3ZAS by the local communications authority, which I actively used until the end of 1990. After having successfully passed the examination in April 1990, I was assigned, on my own wish, the callsign OE3NAC, so I had for half a year two fully valid Austrian callsign. After I received OE3NAC, I continued to transmit with "my" old call, made my farewell from my radio friends as OE3ZAS on 31.12.1990 and welcomed them on 1.1.1991 as OE3NAC.
At this time, I also got acquainted with a radio listener of my father, Jose Ismael (EC8ARG), a Sea-Radio Operator, who had little notion however of amateur radio. I persuaded him to pass the Spanish amateur radio examination which he did in shortest time and so we spent many evenings on 15m in QSO, no matter where he just happened to be. Jose Ismael was really a “God” with the key and it was also him who taught me the Morse code. Jose was an extremely introvert man, who never learned to deal with the rough customs of navigation. One evening, in October 1989, he committed suicide in my girlfriend’s apartment leaving a large gap with his family and friends.
In the 90’s, I had to establish my radio station in Mödling where, thanks to a large garden, I had the possibility to install different antenna types. Unfortunately, the neighbours were equipped with cheap broadband tv-amplifiers, and my FL-7000 with 400 Watts kept finding his way inside! Bad luck for me that these neighbours were very good friends with my parents (in particular my mother), which means that, very unfriendly though, the mains were repeatedly switched off during a QSO.
I know: I should never have shown my mother this switch.........!
From the middle of 1991 to
the end of 2002, it was very calm around me. I moved to
At the end of 2002, I moved to Simmering, to a beautiful maisonette apartment.
Its flat roof offered an easy mounting possibility and re-sparked my desire. Since this building belongs to a cooperative, I did not figure out large chances concerning an antenna permission. To my big surprise, I received a positive answer and without any editions, just a few days after my submission.
With the help of OM Ing. Heinz Schwarzott (OE1ZO), I installed a Titan DX of GAP on the roof of the house.
From that time on, I was QRV very regularly and managed to establish nice connections until June 2005.
In May 2005, I launched my next large antenna project: Under the direction of OM Walter Weiss (OE3WWS, ex. WB2TJB), an antenna installation with a beam antenna by OPTIBEAM ( www.optibeam.de ) was realized.
With this antenna, I was QRV with a beautiful signal until August 2006.
In the fall of 2006, it was time for me to move again: In my new apartment, however, I unfortunately do not have the possibility of placing an antenna on the roof.
I am therefore QRV, as OE1NAC, via the amateur radio station of a friend of mine, Roberto, OE1HOW, by a remote access (Internet).
The program we use is "HAM RADIO DELUXE," and we enjoy it a lot, together with a Kenwood TS-2000 and the "monster antenna" Optibeam 18-6.
I am interested in DX traffic both in phone as well as in CW, my favourite frequencies are the 15 and 17 meters band. Since I am interested in the complete range of the amateur radio service, I am to be found also on the new digital modes of operation like EchoLink. So far, I have processed approximately 210 countries, but not so many have been confirmed, since I am not interested in QSL cards at all. I had to answer so many QSL cards in my time as 4U1VIC-Operator that I have completely lost the desire.
I would like to express my thanks to the following amateur radio stations:
NK4N, John - just THANKS
KH6DO, Dick - just THANKS
OE1KTS, Tom - my oldest (radio -) friend
EC8ARG, Jose - he unfortunately left us "voluntarily" much too early
OE1ZO, Heinz - antenna-guru, I often annoy him with technical questions
OE1HOW, Roberto – what would the 2m-Band be without our QSO's?
OE1WHC, Wolf – was lucky 1 x to lead a personal QSO with him
OE4MXB, Michael - rescuers of my cars, thanks for your helpfulness
OE3WWS, Walter – without Walter I would never have got the beam antenna on to the roof, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
OE3BMA, Fred (Mr. EchoLink) – I have to owe him my EchoLink-knowledge
HK7FSA/4 Jorge – my friend in Medellin
HK3JJH, Pedro – our Austrian friend in Colombia
Without them, amateur radio would be only half as nice.
73 de Carlos OE1NAC / HK1NAC / KM4NA