The true story about DU1/DL5ZAH

As I started to become active again in Amateur Radio on HF (born again) in December 1996, Ben, DL6FBL, announced his first visit early enough to search for my rig, which in fact I had stored for many years in a big „Zarges Box“. The reciprocal license DU1/DL5ZAH was available for over one year, but I never used it before :

To please my friend I put some wires in the garden. I must admit I did this very uninterested. The wires didn’t work so good, Ben later said they didn’t work at all. He was right :-). After his arrival in Manila my peaceful time was over, for more then seven (7) years I had not been active on HF. I had to buy four Bamboo Sticks 10m long each, two of them I set in the backyard and installed a G5RV antenna, which served me for one year. (The other two served as a raft in the pool for my daughter, responsible for very quick QRTs during pile-up, hi).

But I was not satisfied with this situation, since I discovered the nice feeling to run CW. So I asked Ben to suggest some small improvements. It didn’t take long to get the answer: Tower, Beam, Amplifier, new Transmitter were the main subjects. I took the option „Tower and Beam“. Ben was responsible for the antenna, since I live here in an „Amateur Development Region“ (nothing available locally). I had already joined the PARA (National Radio Society) and met some very nice and helpful OMs from radio club DX1RPI (sure you never worked this call, but wait for the next future…) Specially Greg, 4F3GLB, was very willing to help me and he was becoming one of my first ham friends in the Philippines. I asked Greg to go to Hong Kong and buy an Antenna Rotator, Yaesu G-800SDX, which was not available locally. Besides this he constructed and welded a 15m tower. January 1998 we put it up behind the house. The owner of my house (I only rent it because of the exorbitant prize of US$ 600,000) is not very strict and supported me, too.

My Amateur Radio License in the Philippines allows me to put up a Radio Tower without further permit of the local telecommunication authorities. Building regulations only exist in theory and are followed or not on a case to case basis. Some DL hams might start crying now since EMV discussions are becoming quite seriously in DL. I am really happy to be here :-)).

One day in January Ben, DL6FBL (wearing the white T-Shirt) shipped a KLM KT34A from Frankfurt to Manila. It arrived the very next day and was custom cleared within one week. I had to assemble it while standing in the swimming pool, no other space was available.

In the end of January my friend Ben and his girlfriend Karin came to Manila and joined me for a couple of days. He told me that he was not coming for Amateur Radio – who can believe this? He helped me with the beam. First we had some trouble to get the KT34A working – but the trouble was all home made: while assembling the beam a few inches over the pool, it once stipped into the water. We learnt: all the water in the Capacitor elements must be removed – one small trop is already a disaster for the SWR. The beam should be measured a minimum of 2 meters above ground, the SWR improves with each inch you move it higher.

Shortly after fixing that, Ben and me raised the antenna to the tower. Once on the top it was very acceptable in the lower portions of the bands. Only on 15m (above 21,300 kHz SSB) there is high SWR. On Ben’s last day in the Philippines, I gave a small party to the members of the Radio Club DX1RPI. Some of the members are now considering to get on HF, but CW is still a problem for most of them…

Now I enjoy the fine new feeling to be a semi rare DX station. There are only a few DU hams operating CW. Before the next contest I still have enough time to practice CW and Pile-Up. Next contest my QSO numbers will be much higher than before, I hope…

Here is a short station description:

Transceiver : Kenwood TS-830S (with 500 Hz CW filter only)

Amplifier : 400W (defective for over a year, on repair)

Tower : 15m self-supporting

Antenna : KLM KT34A beam

Rotator : Yaesu G-800SDX

I still hope to get a local callsign DU1… or 4F1… before the next contest, but the negotiations with the local authorities are very difficult.

Hope to meet you in CW (SSB only on special request – the microphone is stored in a wardrobe).

You can contact me also by E-Mail : DL5ZAH@HOTMAIL.COM.