Sweden from 2000
Activities as SM0/4S7AB from 5th October 2000…..
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This page might look like a diary…Yes it is…
The whole stay in Sweden from October 2001 to December 2002 was a memorable one. I was able to learn many things about a different culture and the Radio Amateurs in there. Swedish hams are not friendly from the very first smile as Sri Lankan hams. But once they get to know you well, they become friendly and so helpful. Thereby I was able to make many friends in and around Stockholm area.
4S7AB / KA5MAL
Author Jun 2002
Having More than 35 years of experience in the Field of Amateur Radio, I have published many articles in prestigious international publications like, QST, CQ-DL, NCJ, Six-News etc.. Here in this web site, these write-ups are intended to give you knowledge about my designs and projects related to the hobby. The articles about foreign HAM activities are intended to share my experience.
The Swedish hams are having diversified skills. Some are mastering on microwaves while others only do satellites. Some have HF antenna farms while others have moonbounce arrays. Some only do their own businuss while some others only help others.
I have to mention here my sincere thanks to all the hams in Sweden who associated with me in various ways. But I must thank the regulatory authority of Sweden for their efficient service in obtaining me the Swedish callsign SM0/4S7AB.
My Very first QSO fromSweden was done from Club station SK0HB located in Tullinge. I was invited by a member Teemu SM0WKA, to operate as a guest under the club callsign. I was able to work few stations in Europe with Teemu’s FT 847. That was the first time for me to operate a FT 847.
The Picture on the Left shows some of the club members of SK0HB
A Very Successful ‘First Day on the Air’ from Sweden as SM0/4S7AB, my own call.
It was 15th October 2000. 2 weeks after arriving in Sweden and 3 days after obtaining my Swedish call SM0/4S7AB.
I was taken to SK0UX, one of the famous club stations in Scandinavia, by SM0JHF Henryk. SK0UX is located about 20 km North-East of Stockholm.
Henryk took his IC 746 for me to operate. On this very first day, ICOM 746 can be used to heat ‘PASTA’ in an operation like this !!!.
I was able to work nearly 40 stations without making any prior skeds. Most of them were DX stns including two, 4S7 stns. Some of the interesting QSOs were;
- 4S7TZ Trevor, Very first 4S7 to work from Sweden
- 4S7DA Denver, Another Ham from Sri Lanka.
- VK6TF Ron, My good friend from Australia who has come to SL in March 2000.
- HS1CKC Winit, My good friend from Thailand whom I met when I visted HS land in 1999.
- ON6TZ Wim, My good friend from Belgium who has been to Sri lanka several times
- LA4LN Tom, My good friend from Oslo, Norway.
And so many other friends from my home neighbour VU2 land (India).
SK0UX Multi Multi
The station SK0UX has several Monoband quads covering the main bands 40, 20, 15, 10 & 6 and Monobander yagis for almost all other bands upto microwaves. Dipoles for top bands. All these monobanders are fixed on seperate towers with seperate rotating systems. To make a long story short, It is a massive antenna farm one can dream to have.
Rightmost in the picture is the 40m quad. Left to that is the HF log periodic. Behind that is the 20m 4 el yagi. On the left side of the picture are some monobander quads for 15 and 10. Behind them is the VHF/UHF stacked antenna system. Then the club house. Behind the club house is the 15m/10m yagis.
One should not miss to pay a visit if coming to Sweden. Specially, if you are a QUAD man, there is a lot of things to learn here. You can climb up the towers easily and see how the spreaders are being attached to the boom. You can see how the boom is made to stay straight in a 10 element 10m quad. You can see how to feed a quad without a gamma match. You can see how to guy a multi section tower properly and you can see many more…
Another speciallity of this shack is the ‘fully RF proof’ room with copper walls and doors. If you bring your cellular phone, you can see the signal strength going down to ‘0’ while you enter this room.
In an article to the Practical Wireless Feb 2002 about SK0UX, Henryk SM0JHF says;
Some of our members are ardent HF contesters. Others consider anything under 1Ghz is DC. Some will design multi element arrays while others can’t get a simple dipole to work properly! And others can apply the latest computer technology and others still don’t know the difference between the front and back of any directional array. There is room for everyone here – young and old, modern and conservative, black and white, rich and poor.
The above phrase describes this station extremely well.
It was 21st October 2000.
On the 2nd visit to this club station, I was able to work KJ6UB (also 4S7UB) from California without much trouble. Also I worked my good friend from Singapore 9V1UV Selva for the first time from Sweden.
Also worked VK6TF and many regular friends from VU2, including VU2SL Dalveer and VU3DJQ Ram.
SK0TM – Technical Museum
During a leisure time, I was visiting the Technical museum of Stockholm. To my surprise, there was fully equipped club station in the musium SK0TM. Local hams operate this club stn almost every day.
One should pay a visit to this club station too if visiting Stockholm.
I had an opportunity to visit one of the active hams in Stockholm Carl SM0XG during the begining of December 2000. I have worked him before, on 12m band on CW.
While operating his FB radio, surprisingly I was able to work one of my good old friends from Canada, VO1MP Gus on 10m.
Carl has a good collection of old time receivers and his shack is very well organized and spacious. He is an active member of the club station SK0HB too.
Antenna Fixing at SK0HB
SKOHB is the place where I did my first QSO from Sweden under my own callsign. I had an opportunity to participate, when the club members were putting up a new antenna onto a 50ft tower using a crane .
On the left is how it looks like from the 100ft crane after fixíng.
Ham Radio Field Day organized by SK0QO- June 2001
SK0QO is a club station located in Stockholm. The club president Goran SM5XW invited me to take part in their club outing in Gola Islands. The event was filled with so many activities including a ‘knowledge contest’. One has to walk through a forest route and find some question papaers hanging on the trees. Then you have to answer the questions in a specially prepared paper. The questions were based not only on ham radio but about wildlife, architecture, medicine and so on.. I also took part collecing 10 points out of 16 and won a ‘voltmeter’….FUN !
A mobile tower was erected at the outing with a 3 el tribander. The visitors including some German hams could work some Dx from here.
Fixing a ‘Lazy-H’ at SM0KCO- June 2001
SM0KCO Carlos is the president of SK0UX. His summer house is located in Stragnas 80 km away from Stockholm. Myself and Teemu SM0WKA helped him putting up a ‘Lazy-H’ using some two tall trees. The major fun was to throw the ‘ice hokkey dish’ over the tall trees. Teemu was an expert on this and suceeded to put it over the correct place after nearly 100 tries !!!. This is called ‘gal mattu’ in Sri Lanka and quite popular too.
Visit to SK0BU Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) club stn -Sep. 2001
Visited the club stn of KTH- University of Stocholm in Stockholm by invitation of SM3LGO Mats. SK0BU runs a 2m packet node with Dx cluster connectivity which is quite accessible from all around stockholm. SK0BU is located in the Electronics building with a very good elevation and a fantastic view of the city of Stockholm.
SM5COP DX gathering
The well equipped and well arranged radio shack of Rune is centered around a TS 940. Backup rigs, QRO devices and PC interfaces for various modes are nicely arranged. This experienced old timer always has a wecoming friendly smile.
Another, attraction of this Dx-ham event was the slide presentation by N4XP Tom about Spartley and K5K Dxpeditions. Tom has been one of the organizers and a member of the team. So much has been covered from the initial planing, fund raising, travelling, operating and problem solving in this kind of events. That was a good experience listening to him specially for ‘less experienced’ hams like me on these events.
SM0CCE Kjell who is in the rightmost corner of the picture is a ham neighbour for me in Stockholm. One day I discovered his ‘thundering’ CW signal on my radio and then I visited him for an interesting eyeball QSO shortly afterwards.
There were nearly 20 hams took part in this event. Most of them are real Dxers from Stockholm area. SM0EWM Bjorn in this picture has already visited Sri Lanka some time ago. The third Dx-lander was KB9EZZ Joe apart from N4XP Tom and myself. Joe has a nice writeup about his visits in Sweden.
I had the opportunity to meet so many interesting hams at this Dx-party. Most of them were ‘worked before’ from Sri Lanka. Some of them have already visited 4S7 before.
Visit to SM0EWM Björn -July 2001
SM0EWM Björn (sounds like ‘beyornne’) is a very active Radio Ham from Huddinge area. If one gives a directional call to him on 145.500, the call frequency of Huddinge radio amateurs, 90% of the time, you get an answer. He has several VHFs listening on this freq from various house locations. Many of us cannot afford to have this luxury becuase of XYL-made-QRM. Luckily Björn’s XYL SM0FI ‘Gun’ is also a ham.
Both Björn and Gun have visited Sri Lanka in 90’s and he has a nice collection of pictures.
He is a Wireless LAN enthusiast. WLAN is an interesting technology which is evolving today which might give us (hams) some desirable and undesirable effects. Various WLAN systems operate in different frequencies increasing the noise floor, making our life a bit harder. On the other hand, it is possible to do a live PSK31 QSO using your ‘WLAN connected’ personal organizer while having the dinner in the garden.
Later, we went to the Nynäshamn harbour festival which is an annual traditionl event about 70km away from Stockholm.
Visit to SK0CC Telia Club station – Sep 2001
If you are in Sweden, but do not visit Telia, Ericsson club stations and KVARNBERGETS SK0UX, then your visit is not complete I must say. I would like to place a record here on my previous visit to Ericsson club station SK0CT with SM0DFP, SM0WCM and SM5DUY where I couldn’t take any pictures.
Telia is one of the biggest Telecom companies in the world originating from Sweden. The club station SK0CC is located in Hanninge, a rather quiet city abt 40km away from Stockholm. This stn is famous for is giant Log Periodic Array covering from 40m upwards to 10m. The massive structure and neat construction is really impressive. I was able to do a few QSOs when I visited SK0CC on invitation of SM0FOB Kjell.
The stn is also equipped with a complete EME station.
Stepping out of home QTH
If the topic sounds nothing much, stepping out from home QTH meant something to me in Sweden. During the winter, I was hiding inside the house most of the time due to obvious reasons. This was my first ever winter I was experiencing and Sweden is one of the coldest countries in Europe. So, I had to be precautious all the time. The below picture was taken during a snowy day when the temp. was around -10 C. My fellows in Sri Lanka took some time to understand that this is not a special kind of an ‘ice cream cone’.
During the winter, the daytime shortens so badly making it really difficult to keep the life going. During the christmas days, I was able to see the sun light only for about 5 hours per day. Most of the days, the clouds cover the sun and takes away even that little bit of pleasure from me. The nature is ‘Black and White’ and looks like a burned forest. People don’t talk much and become serious. Smiles on faces are so rare to see.
Another interesting thing is the snow falling pattern. Sometimes, about 30cm of snow comes down in few hours and after a day, everything melts down. The temperature varies so much.
Most of the sight-seeing activities started with the approach of the spring here in Stockholm. The Nature starts to change so unbelievably with the appearence of the sun. Trees start to get a new life with green leaves and colourful flowers coming up and so do the people. People becomes more friendly and smiling.
During my stay in Stockholm, I had a very rare chance of visiting some of the most remote suburban areas of Stockholm. My guide was Evald SM5DUY who had a tremendous knowledge about the remote areas, locations and the Dx routes. Some times, we were riding bicycles for about 35 km per day to various areas of Stockholm, and some days we were going by his car. Some of these places are never reachabe by bus. Unfortunately, the names of those places were a bit difficult to remember but the memories are simply unforgettable. ( I still cannot remember and apply these few ‘extra characters’ in the Swedish alphabet, ö, å, ä etc…)
The summer in the countryside is very much similar to the Sri Lankan countryside (throughout the year). The picures in the right side will remind any Sri Lankan, the lakes in the hill-country area and the forests in low lands in the Western and Central province.
The flowers are similar to the flowers seen in the central hill country specially in Peradeniya & Nuwara Eliya botanical gardens.
My picture archieve will continue but I am not going to obtain too much bandwidth in this server. Summer is beautiful in Stockholm and a wonderful experience specially for a tropical countrymen like me.