VK4EBP
ex SP2EBP, VK2EBP
Jan Jozef Oksiuta
Brisbane QG62lk
Australian Amateur Radio Station

DC to light, homebrewing, minimalist antennas and projects, QRSS, QRPp and less
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About me

Humble beginnings

It was one lucky day in my childhood that an insatiable curiosity led me to an intimate albeit brief relationship with the mains voltage. Somehow I live to tell the tale but that event sparked (so to speak) the beginning of it all and the rest is, as they say, history.

Club IDAn advertisement from the local Maritime Radio Club (SP2PAH) brought together a group of about thirty hopefuls for the Certificate of Proficiency course with the numbers rapidly dwindling as soon as the group learned that we commence the training with Morse code... Dwindling down to just myself - the youngest student - now having to continue studies on my own.
1981
There was a licensing age restriction of 15+ in Poland in those days and I still had about a year to get myself ready for the exams. I wish to acknowledge here the great mentorship of Zbig SP2AVE (SK) and his colleagues from the MRC who patiently guided me through the (then compulsory) SWL logging, to completing the station and obtaining my ticket in 1979. This was  restricted for under 18s to CW only, 20W input power and 80 and 40m. Those were the exciting, solder smoke filled days of glowing transmitting valves and  hours spent ferretting parts out of anything - there were no hobby shops then in that rather grim system.

Sure enough, within two years the system became even grimmer - waking up one Sunday morning in December 1981 to somber music coming from our black-and-white TVs, finding the telephone lines cut off and watching the grim-faced general announcing martial law with immediate suspension of all amateur licensing. The license was duly deposited with the authorities not to be seen again, together with a statuory declaration of not being in posession of transmitting equipment. My homebrew transmitter got promptly dismantled. The old boat-anchor receiver now came in very handy in fishing out news broadcasts from the free world behind the Iron Curtain, playing the cat-and-mouse game with jamming stations jumping from one broadcast band to another. There still was lots fun to be had - how about re-trasmitting Radio Free Europe from shortwave to local FM with a single-transistor wireless microphone circuit?

PIRThe authorities did not give up easily - I still have their entertaining letter demanding the surrender of individual components of my amateur transmitter ("should the aforenamed Citizen not fulfil that obligation then direct enforcement methods shall be employed"). Well I didn't wait to find out the extent of "direct enforcement", surrendering instead a bagful of some common receiving valves to a rather grumpy receptionist, packed all my transmitting tubes in layers of oilcloth, plastic sheets and a metal box and dug them deep in the backyard. They are still there underground at my original QTH over 30 years after, and there are some really good ones - two of QB3/300, QQE06/40s, and lots of 807s....

Life keeps getting in the way - the martial law came and gone, the communism has gone to hell with it, but there still was high school to finish, teenage rebellions to tame, university to graduate from, woman to marry, new homeland to emigrate to, new life to build from scratch... With a skilled migrant visa and just acquired Australian permanent residence status we leave everything behind and travel across the globe, carrying only university books and business suit for job inerviews.


Humble beginnings part 2

station1Fast forward to 1997. Language mastered. Job obtained. House built and mortgage signed. Offspring planned. One thing was still missing and that was addressed with reciprocal certificates and additional code exam. A DC 80m receiver, 5W CW transmitter and a magnetic loop were all constructed over the weekend and VK2EBP was on air. Sincere thanks and credits here to Drew VK3XU whose book of ideas provided endless inspiration for this and subsequent projects.


Now

old_honebrewMore rigs built, some commercial equipment acquired. DX chased, over 100 countries confirmed. A rather typical existence of an average suburban ham, always trying to balance radio with my other life. Since 2000 i've been living in Queensland with a VK4 callsign. My main interests have always
15wSSB40m been in HF operation, usually CW and some attempts at digital modes. I operate very little in the usual sense of the word these days, instead spending most of my free time developing simple practical circuits or generally trying to learn new things. I experiment a bit with QRP, and sometimes venture into some more esoteric fields - QRSS, VLF/ULF/ELF reception, light beam communication, shortwave listening, EMP cannons or high voltage experiments. If you have a weird project idea that you are feeling uneasy to share with your fellow OMs, talk to me - perhaps we can share thoughts and develop something crazy or entirely useless together.


Professional life

I work in a biomedical engineering field and held several related positions including cardiac scientist working with implantable cardiac arrhythmia treatment devices, radiation and laser safety officer, and medical imaging service engineer. Since 2010 I've been working as biomedical engineering manager in a large private hospital.


Not only radio

Yes I do like doing other things - listening to music for example. Very broad range - classical from Bach to Grainger, through lighter fare of ballroom, big band and jazz, through to various shades of popular entertainment. I can even take, in small doses, dubstep and whatever else is on the current teenage menu. Yes, steering our teenager into a worthy and law-abbiding member of the society is probably my  most significant non-radio project (and going quite well so far).
I read books too, I think the one having the greatest impact was Orwell's Nineteeneightyfour. Other recent favourites are the Harry Potter series (no not kidding, read it all several times), Stephenie Meyer's Twilight (not kidding either), and Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. Many more fiction, romance and sci-fi novels. I even managed to read several Danielle Steel's paperbacks... but no, I am not counting them among my favourites.
My heroes:Too many to list them all. But in the world of science and discovery there are some names that speak to me about more than science. Like Galileo Galilei, Nicolaus Copernicus, Maria Sklodowska-Curie, Nicola Tesla. The giants who dared to ask the why, the how; who defied the ignorance, who challenged the established thinking, who strove for answers at the expense of their personal comforts and freedoms. And the heroes of the broader world: M.K.Gandhi; Nelson Mandela; Martin Luther King Jr; Lech Walesa; Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Malala Yousafzai..




Anyway - welcome to my domain, enjoy your stay and perhaps drop me a note sometime. I will try to come here myself from time to time and update the content.

73 de Jan VK4EBP



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Created with CompoZer. Last updated 2012-10-14