PRE - ON4WW : The Shade of Grey

When I was a kid, it was not obvious for youngsters to get in contact and acquainted with, Amateur Radio. It still isn't, and with the Internet and smartphones nowadays, forget about it.
With a Ham community of only a couple of thousand in Belgium, your dad or neighbour had to be a ham, to learn about it. Mine were not.
My interest in communications came about around the age of ten. Lots of TV-series showing walkie-talkies, waw, that would give an advantage when doing those forest reconnaissances with my friends !

When my aunt asked me what I'd like for my birthday present, the obvious answer made me the proud owner of a set of walkie-talkies.
Hearing strange voices from time to time, my imagination carried me away and I wondered who they were and where they could be.
Soon I started constructing big antennas, along wooden frames, I had no idea what I was doing. Looking back at it now, it sure had something !

Over the years, bigger walkie-talkies and CB-rigs, homebrewing etc...finally brought me in contact with a group until then unknown to me, the Ham Community.
From there on the story is short. Moral of it is, whoever is interested in communications, will finally get in touch with Amateur Radio.
For those of us living in countries where not many hams are around, it just takes a bit longer if you don't have a ham dad or neighbour.

The below photographs show some of the pre-on4ww activities, let's call it the SWL period.
I asked and got permission from my brother in crime to include pictures of him on this page.
Surely some of you will recognize him. Communications and DX-peditioning has been ever present in our genes.

Click on the photographs to see the full size pictures.

Expedition vehicle Ready for another adventure
Overloaded vehicle Will this vehicle withstand the load ?
Burned clutch No, it didn't ! A burned clutch, and this half way to the mountain top. The number plate describes the emotions
Tow truck Pffff...finding a 4x4 towing company on a Saturday wasn't easy !
Dirty vehicle Is there a car wash in the vicinity ?
Generator Ah, how nice. The advance party installed some kind of power device
Big headphones The size of headphones was not important. But they actually helped to keep the ears warm
Cigarette kills gravity Cigarette defeats the gravity theory
Big family Who knows where this picture was taken ?
Where is picture taken ? I'll buy you a beer at the next hamvention if you know...

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