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Surfin’: Missing the Netherlands Antilles

10/22/2010

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ waxes nostalgically about Bonaire and the dissolved Netherlands Antilles.

When I started out as a shortwave listener (SWL) with my Hallicrafters S-200 receiver and 35 feet of copper wire strung between my bedroom window and the telephone pole that supported my family’s clothesline, one of the first foreign stations I logged and sent me a QSL card was Trans World Radio on Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles.

Wow! They had a strong signal in the South End of Waterbury, Connecticut.

That log entry seemed so exotic to me because until then, I had never heard of the Antilles or Bonaire.

It was the beginning of my shortwave radio geography lesson. Fast forward 15 years: I had become a geography expert by working contests and chasing DX on HF and could tell you the location of every country on the DXCC list and then some.

Getting back to the Antilles, the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles last week was good news on the DX front because the break-up adds four new entries to the DXCC list, but I felt a little pang of sadness. It is something else from my radio youth that is no more.

Sometimes I wish I could do like Dennis Quaid in the film Frequency -- that is, power up that Hallicrafters receiver and hear those same stations I heard back then.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, has nothing to pun-ish you with this week. Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog.



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