My amateur radio story has started at the age of 11 years in Anyksciai town, Lithuania, where I was born. My first elmer was UP2BAI, Danielius. I have learned Morse code from him during a couple of months. Then the doors of magic ham radio world have opened wide for me… First radio contacts were made from UP1BXF club station in the town. Once amateur radio spark gets into your blood, it will never die! (Although it is something I always fail to prove to my girlfriend)..  The first receiver I made with the help of UP2BAI was 3.5 Mhz direct conversion, assembled from UP1BXF “junk-box” parts (new radio parts were not available at that time in our town). The receiver did not work well, was very sensitive to the power supply noise, had very unstable VFO. No surprise- all coils were wound on soft plastic shampoo bottles… However it was MUCH less noisy than my new FT-897D bought 20 years later.



It is a pity this receiver did not survive throughout the years, but schematic has left in my log, I have scanned it; if someone wants to rebuild it, feel free to use the schematic (no copy rights restrictions nor green stamps required- hi-hi…)

The next step in ham radio- I have got my first SWL callsign UP2-038-2500. Soon I was licensed as UP2BHD.

Later on I’ve got into contact with UP3BP, Albertas (his callsign later- LY3BP and LY5R). His big-gun station was located a few hundred meters down the street. In fact, if you look at the old UP callbook, you’ll see that most of hams in Anyksciai town used to live at the same Biliuno street. My LY mailing address is also at Biliuno Street! Be sure, there are many more streets to live at this lovely town...

I have started learning ham-radio secrets from Albertas, UP3BP. At that time he owned a big-gun station, with huge antenna farm.


This is an old scanned photo (right) of his 3 elements antenna for 40 meters band one from the total 10 antennas of such size in the world at that time… (sorry for the poor quality of the photo, 3 el. looks like 1 el. hi-hi..) The antenna was located on the top of a flat roof of a local wine factory- over 1km2 flat lifted area for HF antennas. In parallel to antenna you can see the factory chimney.

In the left photo you can see the 160 meter band vertical with some 125 radials soldered to a copper plate. Everything home-brewed, of course.


And here goes the photo of me (standing left), together with LY3BP (seated) in his shack. Homebrewed equipment on the table, (l-r) is: PA (enough Kws), PPA (about 100 w), one of his antenna rotator controllers, HF transceiver, another preamplifier, a solid weight military receiver “Volna”, which was originally used in Soviet submarines in 1970s, and LY3BP transceiver, schematic of which is based on famous Russian Drozdov transceiver architecture. It offers superb IP and dynamics on LF bands, especially if you are interested in long-path 160m QSOs. I hope that unbelievable parameters of this transceiver will be obtained in some of commercially built transceivers by the end of this century; however so far none of the three amateur radio manufacturers could afford that quality. Well, anyway, you will not understand what I mean if you haven’t heard how it sounds! Everything in LY3BP shack is home-made, of course (except the military “Volna”).

The photo (on the right) displays LY1DF and LY3BP, pictured several years later, at one of  LY3BP yagis. We look like the same way we appear in The  DX Magazine (1994?), courtesy of Bob, NR8U (thank you, Bob!). I have built my first transmitter at the age of 15 years. All the parts were obtained from LY3BP shack “junk-box”. The chassis of TX is made from Aluminium alloy boards that were originally used in Soviet “Xerox” copying machines of the 1960s- generation.

These boards were approx. 1m X 0,5m in size, covered with FeO, creating a mirror- like surface. I had to scrape away that mirror surface with sandpaper, to have boards prepared for the   drilling of holes.   Every month I could get only one such used board from the local factory where my parents worked. Waiting for one more month was killing!


         My first antennas were dipoles for 80 and 15-meter bands. Pictured is an 80-meter band dipole, on the roof of the multi-story building where I used to live. You can peer it in the scanned picture- me in the far centre, close to the central 10 m mast. The panorama of the famous Anyksciai town Biliuno Street, where most of the hams lived, is also seen!




Just another sleepless night (photo on the left), spent over the radio in my bed… Did we have a QSO?

Antenna (r) repair works at LY3AV- club station at “Anyksciu Vynas” wine factory. Me and LY3BIF, op. Arvydas, pictured on the yagi.




Car No.1 in LY land- with ham radio equipment aboard, and the antenna on the roof. Actually, it’s an old car of LY3BIF. It is worth to be conserved and demonstrated for future generations of radio-amateurs. In the picture: LY3BIF together with LY1DA, op. Rimas, measuring antenna SWR.

After finishing secondary school I have moved to Kaunas city and entered Kaunas Technology University. Of course, I took my opportunity to become a member of LY7A - Kaunas University of Technology Radio Club (KTU RC)  (LY7A together with LY2ZO and LY3ZM club stations). The club has a great history, worth of a separate discussion, but not to be discussed here in details!


Here you can see the Final PA at LY7A. Two ~half a kilowatt engines are used for making cooling air circulate. PA was used as standby reserve.

Some activists of KTU RC meeting some visiting hams from USA and Israel: (l-r) standing LY2NK, LY3BU, LY2DX, LY2PU, LY1DR, LY3BH, me-LY1DF, LY3DA, LY2FN, LY3MU.

This is LY7A contesting position, pictured some years ago.  Now the antenna forest has grown significantly, with multiple stacked yagis… certainly a dream for semi-detached house owners…

During the WW DX contest. LY3DA handling the pile-up, LY1DF discussing tactics         Inside the 20 m band room at LY7A. Keep silent! The DX is coming…

with LY2NK.               

  During the Baltic DX hamvention (1993?). LY3BIF, LY3IL, LY1DF.

QRP/P “expedition” to LY peninsula of Neringa. LY1DF, LY2FN, LY3MU.



       Antenna  and sky romance. Sorry, life is hard and I spend most of

       my days at the office in front of PC, not atop this yagi!

In the photo above you can see my PA, schematic is based on military Russian tubes GMI83V. (Anode current in pulse- 20A). Below- there is my temporary shack in Kaunas city, KO14XU, Lithuania.



Upstairs the Juodkrante lighthouse, during the  International  Lighthouse

Weekend 2002 LIT 001, LY1DF/LGT. Just about to try an overnight

made 6 el. yagi. Far left- Kursiu sea, far right- Baltic sea. Nice place to

spend a weekend!