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The three generation Spelier-family ham story started in 1933 when my grandfather, Leo, passed his radio amateur exam at the Belgian post and telecommunication.
He held the following consecutive callsigns: ON4SP, 9Q5EH, OQ5EH and EA5ASN.
Very unknown is the fact that he was the first president of the Belgian Congolese Radio amateur association. In the middle of the 20th century, many Belgian citizens were at work in this Belgian colony. At that time, he was located in Elisabethville. He died too early in 1987.

Midwhile, my father Roland continued in his fathers footsteps and started as Short Wave Listener, ONL 1568. He passed his VHF and up license in 1973 and became ON1SR, followed some time later as ON5SP, acquiring the full license in Belgium, including a high power permit for HF operation. I am not aware he's ever transmitted with more power than 120Watt...
He has sucessfully built several high performance antennas such as a multi-element UHF beam for ATV-reception and the 2m Ringo Ranger based on the original US-description leaflet. My father passed away in november 2005.

Within an illness period during winter time in the mid-seventies, I hooked up an inverted-L through 25m of RG58 to a Kenwood R-599 with 2m converter and CW filter, in the living room.
In this week, I logged several hundreds of contacts of hf stations around the globe, mainly on 20m, 40m and 80m on both CW and SSB, on both short and long skip. This was my official start as ONL3775. Till many years after, I received plenty of worldwide QSL's from this operation...

Gradually, my father further built up the station on the attic and a first boost was given through the acquisition of a  self supporting 24m tower with a 3 element tribander, a VHF and UHF beam. The main transceivers being the Kenwood TS515 and the TS700G.
In that time, the location was very favorite being located close to the Kenwood European headquarters and repair centre. I have profound memories of a kind Japanese ham running the all-Asian contest with a TL922- alike PA at the Vilvoorde canal, on a saturday morning. Also a family member was working as a sales-man for Kenwood Telecom and that helped to keep the prices and hobby cost down.

I passed the full exam in the late seventies and became ON7EH, the suffix granted in honour of the callsigns held by my granny.
In the early 80's, I had two major occupations: ham radio and football. (both as a player and trainer of the youngsters)   
In 1982, I participated in the 10m CQ WW QRP SSB contest and although I had to quit for five consecutive hours on the sunday afternoon (football game !), I did quite well and I still have some kind of record for Belgium...
It is arguable whether  we can speak of QRP operation with a 3 element multibander (Hygain TH3MK3) sitting at a heigth of 2.5 wavelength. (25m agl)
On the other hand, at that time, the QTH was excellent for all kind of serious ham operation.
In the North to NorthEast, the football stadium and the Machelen Parc, in the East to SouthEast Brussels airport, less optimum but still acceptable in the South west, Brussels with its much higher in altitude but already many kilometers away, so not harmful for radio propagation.

In the late 80's, early 90's TV-sets, VCR's, computers and other, necessary, electronic equipment started making its appearance in the many households seen by the antennas; as most suburban villages, Machelen, became very build-up and  serious weak signal operation in this place became unpractical for traditional equipment. Ironically enough, the hams were offended by the many birdies caused by modern civilisation appearing on their radio receivers!

To be continued...

 

The picture, hereunder, shows the three generation Spelier ham family. It was taken in the late seventies.
I added my grandfather's QSL card from his activity in Belgian Congo, Africa dating 1958, the same year the world fair was held in Brussels, Belgium.
It does not surprise me the QSO was held in CW. The QSO partner was the late Johannes, ON4HX.
Please note, my granny used the famous HRO as Rx and a final with a push-pull pair of 809's for 100W output. He was very active then providing to many Dx-ers worldwide their first QSO with this rare country.

 

From left to right: my daddy Roland, ON5SP (ex-ON1SR, SK 2005), my granny Leopold, EA5ASN (ex-ON4SP, OQ5EH,  9Q5EH, SK 1987) and myself ON7EH (ex-OS7EH, OR7EH, OO7EH)

Followed by the original license paper of my granny in dutch and flemish, dated Brussels, 13 january 1933.  (At that time, 2.8 belgian francs of tax stamps were required)

In french:
Certificat de Radiotelegaphiste de station mobile, certificat de I classe.
In dutch:
Getuigschrift van radiotelegrafist op een mobiel station, getuigschrift van Ie klas.

 

The shack in the attic , pictured after a successful 2m WSJT QSO with 3V8SS (operated by DL8YHR-QSL manager ON4IQ)
Remember: this is a well insulated, wooden house.