Interview with YO9RIJ, new President of EURAO

YO9RIJ Petrica Stolnicu, YO9RIJ, 43, is the brand new President of EURAO, elected at the last General Assembly for the period 2017-2019. YO9RIJ has been previously Vice-president of EURAO since 2015 and founding Vice-president of ARR.

In this recent interview conducted by the journalist Simona Ungureanu, YO9-0158, you can discover more about him, his career as radio amateur, his interests and objectives.

First of all, let me congratulate you on your appointment as President of EURAO.

Thank you very much. It is a great honor and responsibility for me to represent ham radio from around Europe and beyond.

For sure a lot of hams are asking who is YO9RIJ and how did he come into being?

About the current callsign YO9RIJ, I can say that the fascination for electronics and radio constructions arose in middle school, where a professor of electrical engineering, a subject taught at school at the time, had the courage to organize an extra-curricular electronic activity for children in the communist years.

It was when the radio ham spark was kindled in my soul. Things have evolved over time, as it is natural, and I have come to know and experiment new things. I enjoyed every new thing I discovered. I had heard of the Morse code that fascinated me instantly and by the end of the electronics course I started building my first Morse code transmitter with wood-based chipboard cutouts, a battery, a bulb and a switch used as an oscillator and manipulator. It was the spark that opened my way to today's radio amateur callsign YO9RIJ.

How have things evolved since the first contact with ham radio?

I got in touch with ham radio in the communist era at the beginning of high school and discovered this hobby as a gateway to freedom. The feeling still persists even though we live in different times now.

Certification of ham HAREC is much easier compared to the time that I got it. Perhaps lack of political freedoms in those years made the beauty of amateur radio hobby more exciting. Of course, it is the opinion of an OM who lived these during a totalitarian regime and who now speaks from an early democracy.

How did you get from YO to EURAO?

Ham radio has always been a hobby, but in Romania this is still a taboo topic. Most of hams know the ham radio is a hobby but the representatives consider a sport. A comunist idea that is a toxic presence in our days. Ham radio takes place under the umbrella of a sports ministry and this intrigued me because I saw how the management of such an institution suppresses the free spirit of knowledge that ham radio as a hobby promotes. A few years ago, along with other hams who share my point of view I founded the Romanian Radio Club Association - Asociatia Radioclubul Romaniei, A.R.R. - as an alternative choice in the position in YO ham radio. Implicitly came the relationship with EURAO. A.R.R. and EURAO exist on similar principles and share the same values. It was normal to make a symbiosis and the way to EURAO's hierarchy was a natural fact that came by itself. I discover an EURAO that needs to become stronger with every passing day and still retain the fundamental values of ham radio and which integrates perfectly into the needs of hams all over the world.

This may be a thing that can give many readers a headache, but I assure you that EURAO is much closer to the individual needs of ham radio everywhere. Proof is the actions and the steps taken to improve the legal environment in which European radio amateurs and not only practice their hobby. Of these things I would like however to speak on another occasion because there is much to talk about on this subject.

What are your objectives for this mandate?

Certainly the mandate that I have started is full of great challenges. One of the objectives is to strengthen the relationship between EURAO members and those who are new members of the association so that we can achieve as many joint activities as possible.

A particular objective is the achievement of horizontal and vertical collaboration with similar societies in the world. In this sense, several steps have already been taken. Certainly the hams will discover an EURAO much more active and well-defined in actions undertaken under this mandate.

EURAO will remain an independent entity that defends the interests of ham radio in Europe and the world, regardless of the actions of other societies.

I wish that, by the end of this mandate, we will complete a simplified, integrated and efficient Emergency Communications program. Shaping the role and location of radio amateurs in this equation is one of the important objectives.

EURAO comes with a pragmatic concept in which resources can be integrated with the aim of supporting the communities in which our antennas unfold.

The legislative aspect of radio amateur activities is another objective. Initiatives on antenna right, EU recommendations, take shape and become reality so that ham radio enjoy improved legislation which protects them and allows them to enjoy this hobby without restrictions.

Visible activities on the existence of ham radio at a global scale and a conceptual integration of radio amateurs into the relationship with the citizens regarding ham radio is an aspect I work intensely on. Adapting EURAO's objectives to the requirements and evolution of society is a priority for me and certainly with the support of EURAO members, we will achieve great things.

Last but not least, emphasis is placed on attracting young people to become interesting in ham radio. Efforts will be seen over the years and the goal is one of extreme priority.

I am confident that ham spirit will bring resolution to tear down barriers in order to achieve those objectives.

Thanks for your answers and time.