Ben Stienstra, PA2ST

Hello Morse friends! How cool that I was admitted to the CW Operators Club. A real surprise. Many thanks to my advisors, class mates, friends, sponsors and my wife for letting me spend much time training Morse code. I’ve met really great people in the classes, on air and CW!

Radio was of interest to me since I was a kid. I played with 3 meter FM, and had a packet radio BBS on 27 MHz. We even had made up callsigns with the prefix NL. Mine was NL1BSM. The internet never forgets… It was until much later that I learned about the real radio amateur prefixes, and NL was not that of The Netherlands. I got my license in 2002. By the way, I met my wife while fox (transmitter) hunting with friends. Still married and we have two great sons.

As for other hobbies, I’ve had my private pilot license. Flown a Cessna 152 and Piper Archer III from EHRD. Have been engaged in analog and digital photography. And I’ve always worked in IT, so we’ve had all sorts of computers and networks at home. I have the tendency to start a hobby and learn everything about it. But out of all hobbies, the radio one stayed! There is still a lot to learn.

I like to build antenna’s and kits (mostly transceivers) and have an assortment of QCX’s. In the last couple of years I collected a number of Morse keys, CW-only radio’s, Morse training devices and a few failed attempts to learn Morse code. That is when I found CWops and took all courses. I’m now in the Advanced class. My latest addition to the shack are up- and down converters and a dish for working with the QO-100 transponder in the Es’hail-2 geostationary satellite. I’ve had some nice CW QSO’s via the satellite. It’s like a repeater (transponder) in the sky, there is no QSB there, only some drifting stations.

Becoming member of CWops was my goal. With the help of you all, that goal is achieved! My next goal is improving head copy, accuracy and giving back.

I hope to meet you on the air for a chat or in a contest!