Name/Callsign: Earl Gyselman – va7ewg
What level of license, and how long have you been licensed? Basic, with Honors since October 2014.
What are your favourite modes? VHF, UHF, HF, and FT8 + WinLink
What drew you to amateur radio? Part of my certificate in Electronics Technology at Red River Community College included a year of Radio because the course was sponsored by the Government of Canada. Although I didn’t work in the radio field I did keep an interest in it and when retirement came around I had the opportunity.
What inspires you to keep going? Aside from the comradery of the club I think the ever changing technical growth in the hobby keep me interested. There is always new stuff to learn.
What was your biggest challenge to enter ham radio and how did you overcome it? Getting my license was not difficult but as there wasn’t a course available at the time I had to self study. But with the help of a friend, Rod Armstrong, va7age who was studying at the same time we had each other to help along the way. There were a lot of useful online resources to help but an in-person course would have been easier and more enjoyable
What career(s) have you had, and did any of them relate to ham radio? As an electronics technologist who worked first in the telecommunications field and later in the medical field I had a strong background on the technical side of ham radio. But as far as regulation, propagation, and operating I had zero experience and had to learn from scratch.
What more would you like to learn about ham radio? I am looking forward to taking an Advanced course one day and learn more about repeaters and digital modes.
What is the farthest you have been able to communicate via ham radio? On FT8 my longest QSO was to to ZS4JAN in Bloemfontein South Africa at 16756 Km.
What is your biggest moment with ham radio? I think it would have been when I built my second HF antenna from scratch, hooked it up to the analyzer and found it needed no modification as it worked very well the first time. Also my FT8 contact to VE8LP in the Falkland Islands that took 4 days of trying on and off before we actually finished our contact.
What kind of equipment do you have/use now? I have an Icom IC7300 for an HF radio, 3 Mobile radios: Yaesu FT7800R in my truck, Yaesu FTM-100D in the shack, and a TYT TH-8600 in my Polaris RZR. I have 4 handheld radios: a Yaesu FT-70, and 3 Baofeng UV-5R. I also have a LDG AT200Pro antenna tuner, MFJ-259B antenna analyzer, NANO VNA network analyzer, and a dedicated Dell laptop for logging and digital modes. Antennas are a Comet GP-3 for VHF/UHF, Home-built OCF dipole for 10-80 meters, home-built 30 meter dipole. And a couple of Browning BR-180 dual band antennas for mobile.
What amazes you about ham radio? I think the fact that the hobby, although many decades old is always evolving and always holding my interest. It is also the only hobby that you can CQ….Anyone out there who wants to talk about anything. Can’t do that with a phone or the internet!