My Ham radio stuff as of March 2022

My Ham radio stuff as of March 2022

Welcome to my shack, I know this is the first post and maybe it should be a bombastic “look at this awesome stuff”, “unboxing of an IC whatever”, but well it is not…

I have been interested in ham radio since forever, well that should be 1995 or so, when I was still a volunteer at the German THW (Technisches Hilfswerk), but it took 25 more years for me to get a license. Now I have a novice license in the Netherlands and my call sign is PD8JO.

Learning for the novice license took me maybe longer than it should, but I also took the harder route I suppose. I started learning in German (my native tongue) to understand at least something, after that I switched to Dutch learning books and went on doing the prep exams. I gave myself a hard stop by scheduling the exam way in advance, so I had 7 months to prep myself, of course, most of the learning was towards the end of that time line.

Since then, I am working on getting my shack into shape, on the radio site:

  • The first radio I bought was the (infamous) Baofeng UV-5R. I actually bought it during learning for my novice license, it was quite nice to listen to the different coffee rounds the PI3ASD is hosting very morning, while doing some prep work.
  • The radio was followed by an “Anytone D878UV Plus” together with a pi-star (raspberry zero + MMDVM board).
  • MMDVM — with Raspberry Zero (single Antenna)
  • MMDVM Jumbo Spot — with Raspberry 3+ (dual Antenna)
  • In Dec. 2021 I got my first “real” radio, a very old Yaesu FT-270R(H), which is a 2m single band radio from the 80s. I was scouting Marktplaats (a dutch ebay of some sort) for quite a while and this one popped up for 30,- EUR, so even as it is old I think it is a fun start.

Of course I also added some basic electronics and testing gear like:

  • Soldering station
  • Nano VMA antenna tester
  • Multimeter

So, why do I do just another boring blog about technical stuff, there are so many out there. Well, for one it isn’t really boring, it is rather an amazing hobby.

I am a Nerd, of some sort and yes not all nerds are the same, I am the kind of space and electronics nerd, were electronics is largely occupied by computer stuff. But anyway, as I am not Elon Musk (Side Note: I may could be Elon Musk but my parents did not have an Garage) ham radio is the closest I can get to space. And yes, if you guess, satellite communication and Earth Moon Earth (EME) communication is part of the stuff I really want to get my head into.

Anyway, with buying the Yaesu I got myself into two challenges I wasn’t really aware of, or slightly aware of but I wanted that thing anyway.

  1. Antenna. I had an small antenna lying around which was part of one of the SDR I bought in the last years, but that isn’t really a good thing to use. SoI did build my own antenna (and of course make a blog post about it), my mind has settled on a 2m Delta Loop for now, seems to be fairly easy. Bu,. there comes a twist, as I know that polarisation is a thing (horizontal better for FM and Vertical better for CW), I want to mount it on a wheel, so I can adjust the polarisation if I ever would need it.
    Overall the antenna worked nicely, but the “shielded” widows make it hard for an internal antenna to get connections.
  2. CTCSS or Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System. Well, like I tried to explain to my wife, thats a tone the radio sends to a repeater station which will then start repeating your signal. Quite handy when you live in Amsterdam and want to do 2m communication. 
    But, the repeater in Amsterdam wants a 110,9Hz tone, actually all modern repeaters are in the range of 88,5Hz to 110,9Hz, but that wasn’t the case in the 80s (remember the radio is from around 1985), so my radio can do a 1750Hz and 1850Hz tone. So I wonder if I can build my own CTCSS tone generator, maybe a pi zero and start triggering the repeater “manually”. Anyway so this will be the second project

In any case, if your read this, know the radio and have some ideas what can be done with it, please leave a note or comment, the specs are like:


  • Type:Amateur VHF transceiver
  • Frequency range:144–146 MHz
  • Mode:FM
  • RF Power output:Hi: 45 W / Lo: 5 W
  • Voltage:13.8 VDC
  • Current drain:RX: 600 mA
    TX: Max 9 A
  • Impedance:50 ohms / SO-239
  • Dimensions (W*H*D):140*40*162 mm (5.51*1.58*6.38″)
  • Weight:1.2 Kg (2.65 lbs)
  • Manufactured:1985–19xx (Discontinued)

With that, I wish you a wonderful day, please be excellent to each other, 73