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
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
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
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
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...
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
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