The Story of Terezinha Felix Cardoso (PT2TF)

One of the oldest YLs in Brazil

Her favorite hobby is DX, but she covers many more facets of radio and has always tried to learn new facets to cover more bands and ways to operate.

PT2TF, Teresa or Terezinha (in Portuguese), has had the previous Call Signs: PT2ATR (1972/1973), PY1FI (1973/1976) and PT2TF / W3 (1979/1981), when she lived for a few years in the United States.

Terezinha (PT2TF), always a DXer and certificate hunter, holds the record for being the first Brazilian station to complete all counties and get the USA (USA-CA).

But her trajectory does not stop at that, Terezinha has obtained the most important certificates and recognitions: DXCC-TOP HR; IOTA-400 ; WAZ ; WPX ; DUF-E ; WAC ; WAE; AAA; WAS-76 ; WAP ; ADXA; RCC ; P-10-P ; P-100-P; between many more.

She has also been a great reference in SSTV operations, obtaining: IVCA # 12 WAS # 003; 50DXCC #011 ; Danish SSTV DX Award #004, among others.

Terezinha is also a member of: YLRL ; BYLARA ; DIG #1548 ; 10X #9806 ; ISSB#9234; TFO #377.

In 2008, Terezinha received from LABRE (Radio Emissão League of Brazilian Amadores), the highest award that a radio amateur from his country can aspire to, which is: “La Comenda da Ordem do Mérito do Radioamador”.

Our South American correspondent for Radio Heritage Foundation, Martin Butera (LU9EFO-PT2ZDX), presents us with this exclusive interview with one of the most important women in DX in Brazil.

Let ‘s start!!


Introduction by Martin Butera

Winning and collecting prizes is a popular hobby. Awards range from local to international and many certificates and plaques are available.

For DXers, there are two awards that are dominant or pivotal: CQ magazine’s Worked All Zones (WAZ) and ARRL’s DX Century Club (DXCC). WAZ requires 40 zones and DXCC requires at least 100 checks. But there is another very interesting and extremely difficult to obtain certificate called USA (USA-CA), it is the award that is also given by CQ magazine, it is a large and colorful certificate to collect verifications from at least 500 counties.

Endorsements are later given for 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 and 3000 counties. Currently there are 3,077 counties.

I invite you to enjoy this exclusive interview for Radio Heritage Foundation, to learn more about Terezinha’s (PT2TF) passion for amateur radio and her achievements within the hobby.

Orlando Perez (Son) PT2OP (Vice-president of LABRE DF – Liga de Amateurs Brasileiros de Radio
Emissão – Distrito Federal), Terezinha Felix Cardoso (PT2TF), Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX) and Jerry
(the faithful friend of Terezinha)

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX): Communicating with all the counties in the United States does not seem like an easy task. What year did you start with this challenge?

Terezinha F. Cardoso (PT2TF): Of course it was not easy, especially when at that time there was no help from computers and GPS (laughs…)

I’m talking about the mid 80’s, I think the first endorsement with the 500 counties was in 1987 and I completed all the counties in 1993.

I started by chance and little by little I was motivated by that challenge.

There are counties that are relatively easy to contact with radio amateurs, but there are other counties that are a real challenge, due to the few radio amateurs that are active or even there are counties where there is not a single radio amateur on the air.

There are also many curiosities such as Louisiana parishes and Alaska judicial districts are considered equivalent to counties and a dozen or two “independent cities”, mostly in Virginia, also count towards adjacent counties.

Terezinha Felix Cardoso (PT2TF), together with Jerry his dog and faithful company,
proudly showing her certificate for having contacted all the counties of North America.

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX): How was it then that you managed to complete all the counties, knowing then that there are no radio amateurs in all of them?

Terezinha F. Cardoso (PT2TF): Well, in addition to the meeting frequencies for this modality of DX, there is an organization called MARAC (Mobile Amateur Radio Awards Club).

In that club they organize as if they were “mini Dxpedition ”, to different counties with the purpose of airing the most difficult ones.

Of course, not all these “mini Dxpedition” work for everyone, since it depends on the propagation, they are generally mobile stations, with reduced equipment. That’s why it’s quite a challenge, sometimes it takes years to be able to contact a county.

MARAC is not affiliated with CQ magazine, but without that organization, it would have been impossible to reach out to the more than 3,000 counties.

Some winners of Terezinha PT2TF, which he received from the MARAC (Mobile Amateur Radio Awards Club)
Terezinha PT2TF, shows us a directory called “Mobile QSL Bureau”, edited by MARAC (Mobile Amateur Radio Awards Club), very helpful to complete all North American counties

At the time they also edited a kind of Ham Radio Callbook, called the “Mobile QSL Bureau”, where the addresses of the radio amateurs who were active in different counties were listed. We must remember that we are talking about the mid-80s and early 90s, QRZ.com for example started in the year 92, today it is very easy to check a station.

It was also quite a challenge when the qsls arrived without the name of the county, you had to look for the radio ham by his mailing zip code.

I really enjoyed all that time, in addition to the certificate from the CQ USA (USA-CA) counties magazine, the MARAC, they also awarded some separate prizes that are very nice and I am lucky to have some.

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX): In addition to having all the counties in the United States, you also have another certificate that is very difficult to obtain, which is the WAZ, in SSTV mode. What else can you tell me about that?

Terezinha F. Cardoso (PT2TF): If I am very happy to have achieved that certificate, it took me about 7 years to achieve it, I have the WAZ SSTV # 003.

For me, SSTV or slow scan television was a digital mode that I was passionate about from the first moment.

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX): Speaking of digital modes, while I do this interview you are with your transmitter on FT8. I would like to know. What opinion do you have of the radio amateurs who still criticize this mode, being one of the references in Brazil for DX?

Terezinha F. Cardoso (PT2TF): The FT8 has undoubtedly changed the HF bands since its appearance, for me it is a true digital revolution, developed by none other than Joe Taylor, “Nobel Prize in Physics”, that should already be a source of pride for our entire community.

When I used other modes such as SSTV, specialized hardware or a computer was needed, which at that time was not available to everyone.

Today almost everyone has a computer, plus we come from years of terrible propagation due to the minimum of the solar cycle. The FT8 is tremendously effective at being detected in extreme conditions.

My honest opinion about FT8 is that change and evolution are the law of life, I tell you at 93 years of age, radio amateurs are no strangers to this, I believe that radio amateur skills must be constantly challenged.

All the Terezinha radio shack (PT2TF) is full of national and international awards

In the center an interesting certificate that no longer exists, was delivered by the Angolan Radio League,
upon obtaining 30 contacts with stations in the Portuguese Africa area.
Portuguese Africa comprises the territories that were colonized by the Portuguese during the 15th and 16th centuries on the African continent.
As a result of overseas expansion, the territories that now belong to Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Sao Tome and
Principe, Cape Verde, and Mozambique were dominated.
In addition to their colonial past, these countries today share Portuguese as their official language and are part of organizations such as the African Countries of the Portuguese Official Language (PALOP) and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP).
Portugal was the last of the European countries to recognize the independence of its former colonies in Africa: Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, Mozambique and Cape Verde.
The independence of the Portuguese overseas provinces occurred after the wars and the effects of the Carnation Revolution in 1974.
Terezinha Certificate (PT2TF), ARRL DXCC – Honor Roll

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX): I imagine that in all these years he must have some very special anecdote to tell

Terezinha F. Cardoso (PT2TF): Yes, I have many (laughs…), but there is one that is special and luckily I have witnesses to verify the veracity of what I am going to tell you (more laughs…)

In 1974 I lived with my husband in a military villa in Rio de Janeiro, that year I received a visit from a childhood friend who now lives in Sao Paulo.

My friend arrived in the company of another woman who was very curious about my hobby. After having tea, I invited this woman to my radio shack to show her a little more about my station.

It was then that this woman asked me if I could contact a hospital in Boston in the United States, to inquire about a girl who was this woman’s niece and was having an operation on her head.

I explained to her that it wasn’t that effective, but that she was going to try to find an American on the radio.

After a few minutes I heard an American speaking on the 20 meter band and to my luck, when she asked him where he was transmitting from, he was from the state of Massachusetts.

So I explain the situation about this girl’s operation and if she could do us a favor by calling a hospital in Boston (capital of the state of Massachusetts).

The colleague immediately asked us if the girl’s name was xxxx, to which we answered with surprise that it was.

When the change returns, he tells us to stay calm, I just saw her, I was part of the team that operated on her.

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX): What an incredible anecdote I am truly speechless… Taking advantage of the fact that we are talking about special contacts, I know that he had many contacts with the King of Jordan. What can you tell us about this?

Terezinha F. Cardoso (PT2TF): Well, my contact with the King of Jordan began in a way, if one can say “funny”.

I remember that it all started in the early or mid-70s, one afternoon I was calling DX and a person with the callsign JY1 answered me on the other end very quietly.

I answered ok I’m listening but what else… JY1 what else, I completed his call sign out of courtesy (laughs).

And change after change he replied that his callsign was JY1 and that he was operating in Jordan. At first I thought it was a pirate station and politely invited him off the frequency.

It was then that he answered me: “Terezinha, I am King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan”, I would like to exchange a Qsl with you ”.

I was immediately very surprised and I apologized to him, then the man who was quite a gentleman explained to me briefly why he called him. I told myself: “I am number one, because, as King, I am number one in my country.”

After that first contact, whenever we met on different frequencies we greeted each other cordially, the King was very active, especially in the 70s, I have several QSLs from him, for me he was not just the King of Jordan, for me over the years he became my friend Hussein.

He sadly passed away at the end of the 90’s, he was an excellent radio amateur.

Terezinha (PT2TF), proudly showing one of the many QSLs of his friend on the radio, King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan JY1 – QSL of September 13, 1975.

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX): You are not only a DX hunter, you were also part of the first Dxpedition of YLs from Brazil. What memories do you have of that activity?

Terezinha F. Cardoso (PT2TF): The Dxpedition went to an island called “Comprida”, near the city of Iguape, in the south of the state of São Paulo, valid for IOTA SA 024 and for DIB 021 (Diploma Ilhas Brasileras).

I remember that we operated with two callsigns: PR2YL for SSB and PS2S for CW, if I remember correctly it was at the end of October and beginning of November 1998.

The Operators Team was made up of all YLs, who were the colleagues: Alda (PP5ASN), Afonsina (PY2AT), Elza (PY2DHP), Alexandra (PY2KTT), Adriana (PY5NT), Arilda (PY5OA) and of course, making a total of 7 women.

At that time we got close to 2 thousand contacts and more than 70 entities worked.

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX): Do you remember the equipment and antennas used?

Terezinha F. Cardoso (PT2TF): Of course we use a bit of everything, transmitter equipment: Yaesus, Kenwood and Icom (FT 747, 2 FT 301D, TS 440T, IC 728), we also use the TS 120 coupler and various CW keyers.

The antennas were all from a Brazilian brand that supported us, called Electril, they provided us with a Yagi for 10, 15 and 20 meters and we also used dipoles for 17, 40 and 80 meters from the same brand.

In addition to being a group of 7 women, of course I would like to thank all the OMs who accompanied us, especially my dear husband Walter PT2TG.

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX): In Brazil there are about 42 thousand radio amateurs, I know that in 2008, he received from LABRE (Liga de Amadores Brasileiros de Radio Emissão), the highest award that a radio amateur can aspire to in this country which is: “La Comenda da Ordem do Mérito do Radioamador”. An award that to date only 34 radio amateurs have received and of which only 3 are women, including her. Did you want to know what it meant to you to receive that award?

Terezinha F. Cardoso (PT2TF): For me it was one of the greatest honors, to be able to receive this award and be valued for my performance in DX and also as a female radio amateur.

I cannot express in words how grateful I am to LABRE for this recognition, because somehow I feel that by dedicating myself to DX for a long time and also exclusively hunting counties in North America and also by living for a few years in the state of Maryland, in the United States, I end up being well known outside my country and not so well known by local radio amateurs.

So this award for me is a reminder that having devoted so much time to DX and all the perseverance to obtain different certificates and diplomas, was to represent Brazil in some way and that’s when I think that so much effort was worth it.

Throughout my life, I have faced many challenges and obstacles, but I have always kept my passion for radio, without a doubt “La Comenda da Ordem do Mérito do Radioamador”, is an award that gave me a lot of motivation to keep going.

Let me tell you that this achievement would not have been possible without the clear support of my OM, my husband Walter PT2TG, who was always tirelessly by my side solving everything I needed in my radio shack and in my antennas.

Finally, as a YL that I am, I hope that this recognition continues to be received by great Brazilian women who dedicate themselves to this wonderful hobby in my country.

Orlando Perez (Son) PT2OP (Vice-president of LABRE DF – Liga de Amateurs Brasileiros de Radio
Emissão – Distrito Federal), Terezinha Felix Cardoso (PT2TF) and Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX),
interviewing Terezinha

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX): Speaking of men and women, I would like to ask you. Have you ever suffered any type of discrimination for being a woman within the radio amateur?

Terezinha F. Cardoso (PT2TF): I have never felt discriminated against for being a woman, I think that little by little women have stood out in this hobby, which traditionally, of course, is dominated by men.

But I understand your question, I could tell you that women in amateur radio are much more than just a pretty voice, women are also excellent radio operators.

Of course I cannot deny that there are many radio amateur men who have never had a QSO with a woman and others who have considered the woman only as a mere funny anecdote belittling the technical knowledge and operational skills that we women can have.

For all those men, I can tell you, know that neither the most longed-for DXpedition, nor a space station, the YLs are the most complicated contact due to the shortage of operators (laughs…)

Izquierda Terezinha (PT2TF) showing a special cabinet where she keeps more than 3 thousand QSLs of
all North American counties. On the right, Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX), next to Terezinha
(PT2TF), and with her grand certificate of all North American counties.

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX): You have been Net Controller and Award Manager of BRYLA (Brazilian YL Award), for a long time. What can you tell me about this?

Terezinha F. Cardoso (PT2TF): Being Net Controller and Award Manager of BRYLA was wonderful because it was a way to encourage the hunting of YLs not only in Brazil, but also in the rest of the world, because this certificate has 2 categories.

The first is a basic level, where you have to hunt 5 Brazilian YLs.

The second level is what we call excellence, where in addition to hunting 5 Brazilian YLs, you have to hunt another 10 YLs, adding to this the complexity that they have to be from at least 3 different continents.

I mean 5 YLs from Brazil already represent South America and the other 10 YLs, at least they would have to be distributed in 2 different continents from South America.

I know that until December 2011, this award has been granted to 284 stations in 51 countries, but then due to time and other personal reasons I could not continue dedicating myself to being BRYLA’s Net Controller and Award Manager.

As of January 2012, BRYLA is in charge of my great friend Ed (PS7DX), please, if you are reading this interview, you can contact him to request more information at his email:

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX), Orlando Perez (Son) PT2OP (Vice-president of LABRE DF – Liga de Amadores Brasileiros de Radio Emissão – Distrito Federal), together with Terezinha (PT2TF), in the garden of her house, where we can see her antenna.

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX): If you had to define yourself in a few words: What has radio amateur been to you?

Terezinha F. Cardoso (PT2TF): Amateur radio has always enriched my soul and spirit. It’s like it keeps you alive, it motivates you, the fact of having so many friends all over the world, bonds of friendship are formed that never end. It is something wonderful.

Martin Butera (LU9EFO – PT2ZDX): I would like to ask you, How do you see the future of amateur radio and what could be achieved to have future new Yls on the air?

Terezinha F. Cardoso (PT2TF): It’s an interesting question, but let me change the concept a bit.

I believe that the radio will not only be safe for the new generations of YLs, in fact I know that currently there are several girls around the world starting in this beautiful hobby.

There is no correct age to start this hobby, I started it myself when I was 42 years old.For example, the famous artist Pablo Picasso painted some of his most important works in his 60s and 70s.

For this reason, do not forget to motivate older people to experiment with radio amateurs.

Terezinha’s personal archive (PT2TF), together with his OM Walter PT2TG (1970s)
Ligia Katze (Photographer of this article, YL de Martin).
Another image of the Terezinha tower
and antenna (PT2TF)

We thank colleague Orlando Perez (Filho) PT2 (Vice President of LABRE DF – League of Brazilian Lovers of Radio Emissão – Federal District), who accompanied us in this article.

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