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last modified: 31.03.2015

DL3TU - biography


My first radio experiments date back to 1982. I was 13 years old and had a Philips Electronic Engineer kit. I wasn't much interested in Flip Flops and the like but receivers attracted me from the first moment. Every circuit had to be tried. Most of them never worked well but I still remember the day when an Audion came to life: It was jamming all other receivers in the vicinity. A few minutes after its completion my dad appeared and pulled the plug.

At this time I started listening to shortwave broadcast stations with all kind of old receivers and long wire antennas. The sound of Radio Beijing, Radio Moscow, HCJB Quito, Radio RSA, Radio Polonia, Radio Budapest, RFI, BBC, RAI, etc. filled my shack. Every night we went hunting on the airwaves and the next morning, at school, we compared our achievements and exchanged the latest dx news. The only information we had came from an out-dated SWL handbook.

For the demodulation of sideband signals we used two radios: One to receive the signal of interest and the other, usually a tube radio with low IF isolation, served as 'BFO'. Both signals mixed in radio #1 and with a little luck the unintelligible jabbering turned into a clear voice. On a winter's afternoon I heard an EA- station working JA on 40m SSB. This was very exciting!

Around 1984 my neighbour invited us to visit her ham radio station. It was very impressive to see all the shiny equipment and the huge 3- element yagi on the roof. But it was far beyoned reach. We had to stay with our portable CB- radios: 6 channels AM with 0.5 watts output power and radio contacts on distances up to 10km. About a year later I started an apprenticeship as a telecommunication specialist at 'Deutsche Bundespost'. One of the teachers was a radio amateur and he was planning to prepare us for the ham radio exam. However, the training course did not happen and I carried on with occasional SW listening and CB radio.

In 1989 I went to university of applied science studying communications technology. A fellow student borrowed me his Atlas 210 to listen to the bands. With his support and some months of preparation I took the exam on March 27th 1992.

With the callsign DG6SEC I was allowed to operate on VHF/ UHF only. With a borrowed handheld FM transceiver I was QRV on a local repeater. Later in the same year I purchased a second hand Yaesu FT290R and a 16 element Tonna Yagi. With this setup It was possible to work stations from central Europe on two meters SSB. In the following year a second hand FT790 R and a Yagi for 70cm were added to the equipment. Now it was possible to operate some of the satellites. OSCAR 13 was a lovely 'bird' which gave me many happy hours of DXing.

A bit later, on May 27th 1994, I passed the CW exam and got the callsign DL2SFE with full access to all shortwave bands. The pictures below show station and antenna in my parent's house in 1994. All the equipment was second hand.

My station in 1994     My station in 1994

One year later I had to move to another place and the vertical and the X- Yagis had to be detached. More relocations followed and almost always there wasn't enough space to set up 'real' antennas. Without  proper aerials the fun disappeared. Subsequently my interest slowly faded away. In 1999 I finally went QRT for almost a decade with only occasional activities.

In May 2009 my dear friend Ken, G3FVD, passed away. We first met in 1993 and had quite a few contacts on the bands. We also visited each other several times. There were always lots of stories to be told and one or two pints to be drunken up. It was wonderful to have such a friend. I'll never forget him.

Ken and Roman

With 5 Watts CW and a homemade Yagi on the balcony the dx virus bit again in summer 2009. To my big surprise 6m was open on many days and stations from all over Europe could be worked easily with this simple setup.
Being more active on CW I found that the call sign 'DL2SFE' causes trouble with its single dot at the end. I thought about getting a different call sign for a while and eventually, in summer 2011, gave 'DL3TU' a try. Short and no dot at the end. 

At the same time we moved once again but this time we planned to stay for a longer period. Thus a vertical antenna was put on the roof. October 2011 brought the solar flux above 140 units and 10m was wide open daily. As a consequnece I worked more DX in a few months than I did in all the years before.

Today I'm often tuning the bands in the morning, hoping to catch a 'new one'.