how I got started in ham radio

Apr 30, 12:49 PM

In the 1950s I was reading The Hardy Boys books. In one of them they need to call for help, and found a ham radio guy who could send a message.

In the early 1960s, I wanted to make a good science fair project. I decided on a CW/Morse oscillator. A local ham radio club drew a circuit diagram for me and one ham gave me a Ham Radio Handbook. It had information on what the symbols meant in the drawing.

Dad and I went to two stores, they are gone so I’m not mentioning their names, and bought the parts, solder, and a soldering iron.

The parts that I remember are; a battery holder, a 3” speaker, wires, resistors, capacitors, transistors, a Morse brass key, a small breadboard ( a board with holes in it), and probably a few others I don’t remember.

The science teacher apparently decided I had used a kit, and no such kit existed in the stores I went to.

We moved around as my dad got transferred. so no place for us to put up an antenna due to various circumstances.

In the early 1970s, I was working with an Explorer Post, and the kids wanted to do communications. A local ham came in and taught us Morse code. That is when I found I couldn’t hear it faster than 2 or 3 words per minute.

About 2012, I looked into ham radio again. Found out the Morse requirement had been dropped. So I found a ham radio club, in yet another part of the United States, and took the Technician license test. Passed it. For voice, thats the 2 meter band and above. Mostly local.

Took the General twice the same day, didn’t pass. Took it again, trhe next month, and passed then. Since I lived in an apartment I looked at several options and decided to wait a couple of years until I retired to buy the radio, antenna, etc.

Bought my HF radio and power supply, doesn’t cover the 6 m band, then retired a few months later.

Bought a 1/4 wave dipole antenna, the Hustler HBTV- 5, and got on the air. Also have a power meter. I realized that static and atmospheric noise was going to be a problem, so I also got a Western Mountain dsp filter to handle that noise.

I keep a paper log, and upload to QRZ’s logbook, Log book of the World, and eQSL. The only QSL ‘cards’ I have are from eQSL.




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