First QSO!

Today I have set up my inverted dipole wire antenna over the roof of our house. A friend of mine lets me use his Yeasu FT-857 so now I can really work.
So after listening for a short while I found clear a station calling on 40 meter. I guess it was a contest caller for he did not waste time with chit chat.
It was SP2EXN from Poland, 842 km (523 mile) from my QTH. Then after I shouted out my PD7MNO a couple of times I experienced for the first time that somebody was repeating my call. He gave me a 5 9 and I was able to give him a 5 9 also. That was it, but still it was good. I will surely send him a QSL and tell him he was my first.

Call PD7MNO officially registered

I just received an email that the exam results were accepted by the official agency “Agentschap Telecom” and that I would receive a letter with the instructions on how to register. Since I already found out what to do to register I immediately did so and now my desired call PD7MNO is officially registered. The official license will be sent to me in the next two weeks.
Official registration of PD7MNO

Passed the exam

Today I passed the exam for Novice. In the 40 multiple choise questions I made three mistakes and I was allowed 11 mistakes. So all is good and now I wait for the official papers from the Agentschap Telecom after which I will be able to request my call and make PD7MNO official. It can take about three weeks before the papers arrive and another couple of weeks before the call is official.

Exam is initiated

Today I filled in the internet form to get enrolled for the examination for Novice on March 5th, 2014. I also transferred the examination fee. So now I have to wait for the important information of where and when I am expected to do the exam.
Meanwhile I am continuïng to study. You should know that I already started my study a couple of years ago using a free service offered by Dutch radio amateurs. It is called DLZA and they provide an online course for both Novice as Full examination. When I did enroll then I thought I would skip N and try F direct. I already had finished studying for N and was working my way in the F matter, but then other interests started consuming my time so I never got around to finishing the study and doing the exam.
Since not getting licensed at all was a huge waste last year I decided to do a fast recall of the N matter and do that exam so that at least I have some license for now. And it looks like that will be working out fine and I will have passed the exam in about six weeks from now.

Almost PD7MNO

Please forgive me dear almost fellow ham radio operators. I am not yet an official certified ham radio operator, but I have already chosen my call sign. I plan to do my exam on the 5th of March 2014 and I feel confident that I will pass and become an official operator.  Of course since I did not pass it yet I am not allowed to choose a call sign and it does make me feel embarrassed that I am already using it off the air. But not embarrassed enough not to use it I do introduce myself as PD7MNO.

Of course there is a chance that before I get to pick my call officially somebody else will beat me to it. If so, I will have to refrain from using it any longer, pick a new call sign and change everything that I have already used it for. But since there is just a small chance that this is necessary I proceed on the assumption that I will be using this call sign in the future.

Here is how I picked my call sign. PD is given since this is the only prefix a Dutch Novice is allowed to use. The 7 is a religious thing, but of course it is not done to speak about this, so I will not. At least not during a radio QSO, but you can always contact me about it off the air. The last three digits MNO are an abbreviation of my first name Menno. I thought it would make me easier to be recognized by friends.

Okay, so I plan to be an official ham radio operator, but I don’t know what gear to start with. It needs to be low budget anyway. In the future I may want to have an installation at my home, but for now it seems more fun to be on the road, pick a spot, setup things and try what QSO’s I can make. So I do need something mobile. And since DX seems to be the most fun I need to use a band that enables me to do so. But I am not sure which band will be best or most practical when I want to setup a mobile installation. Any suggestions are welcome.

To complete my first introduction I can tell you that I am a man of 44 years old, that I am married and that we have a daughter who is almost nine years old now. My home QTH is Lelystad in the Netherlands. (JO22RM) I am a photographer and together with my wife we are building our own business. Also I am still working in ICT.

73,

Menno Manheim
Almost PD7MNO

Holland Ham