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how did You get in to ham radio?

Discussion in 'Youth Forum' started by KB3LAZ, Feb 4, 2008.

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  1. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back when we were in elementary school, a buddy and I fiddled around with crystal radios. I got a 10N1 kit from Knight Radio for a birthday. We obtained some WWII surplus radios, and spent hours listening, to what we couldn't imagine. It probably was aviation navigation beacons coming from a nearby air force base. A local ham, who was a friend of my buddy's dad started up a local radio club and began holding classes at the county court house on Tuesday nights. Part of the time we copied code, part of the time we learned electronics, rules, etc. We sometimes went over to this fellow's "shack" where we became transfixed with the idea of hearing and talking to other hams all over the place. He arranged to get surplus gear from MARS, and we worked on converting the aircraft ARC-5's to usable ham gear. Some of us took the Novice test and mailed the results in. It took about 3 months for the license to arrive in the mail!

    One night, a local amateur who was also the Superintendent of Schools, called our house. My dad answered the phone and was astonished when the older gentleman, a prominent man in town, asked for me. The occasion was the launch of the Ruskie satellite Sputnik, and he was listening to it on his Hallicrafters receiver on about 20 MC (in the old days Hertz were called "cycles!") So he, and I, became among the first to hear the new satellite, what turned out to be the dawn of a new era.

    My grandmother bought me a Heathkit DX-40 which I put together. It didn't work at first, but with the help of another ham, we got it on the air, with an old Hammarlund HRO-5 receiver and a 40M dipole strung between the garage and a 2x2 a-frame mast. While all this was going on, my younger brother and dad got licensed.

    One night, my dad made a contact with California! Holy moly! That was where Disneyland was, and Annette Funicello lived, and Ricky Nelson, too! For a couple of kids who had seldom been out of the Texas hill country, it was like talking to someone on the moon. Then a few weeks later, he made a contact in Hawaii!!! If California was the moon, Hawaii was like Mars! There was so much excitement we didn't know whether to run in little circles or jump up and down! That December, after only a few months as a Novice, I went to Houston over the holidays and took and passed my General test, on the first try. We got a tri-band beam and 40' tower for Christmas that year. Now we were really into it!

    This month I celebrate 50 years as a licensed amateur. My dad dropped out of ham radio after we were in college, and my brother is on the top of the ARRL DXCC Honor Roll.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  2. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Coolness!! 50 years is a long time. Glad to see that you stuck around so long and that you are not going away any time soon.
     
  3. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I must have just grown up in the wrong era and area. No other hams attended my school(no teachers either). When I listen to the stories of yesteryear and of today I hear of school clubs and functions dedicated to amateur radio. Sadly I had no such luck as a kid. But hey I had my local repeater club and my family of hams to show me the ropes.
     
  4. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is a lot longer looking at it from your end than it seems looking at it from my end! ;)

    It seems like not much longer ago than yesterday my mom was waving the envelope out of the car window with my Novice license in it. Every day I would bolt out of class at noon and run home for lunch to check the mail. The day it arrived she drove down to school and spotted me hauling down the street. There wasn't a whole lot of excitement in those days, but that was an exciting day. For one thing, I could still run all the way home!:D
     
  5. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would assume so.
    Ah yes the anticipation of youth. There are many things that I remember like they happened yesterday. Some day those things will thin out but I hope to retain the worthwhile memories just as you have.
     
  6. W5NNH

    W5NNH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Back in the 1970s, my Dad was friends with a ham named Mike. (Currently N5MB) Mike introduced me to Ham Radio and I started to take a class that Mike was teaching, but I wasn't keeping my grades up in school, so Dad took me out of the Ham Radio class.

    Fast-forward to the 90s and I'm involved in "Large Scale Model Rockets" as someone posted on here. One of the members of the local club, K3TD, suggests we hold a license class so we can put ATV on the rockets. I take the class and this time stick through to where I earn my Technician Class license. I've been a Ham ever since.
     
  7. BH7PNI

    BH7PNI Ham Member QRZ Page

    i'm a new ham,i got the license last year(4 class)...i find i need to learn much things...now i'm learning CW...I wish i can learn some special things from old hams...
     
  8. VE6WTF

    VE6WTF Ham Member QRZ Page

    mein da da dit dit
     
  9. W2NAP

    W2NAP Ham Member QRZ Page

    you know why rite?

    them old farts are to busy bickering with the other old farts about "insert AR complaint here" and are to busy to elmer someone :D
     
  10. KC2UOZ

    KC2UOZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    My brother used to work for Counter-Intelligence, and was the lead engineer on the Predator Drone's navigation systems. He got me into scanners, and then into Hams. My father was a ham way back when he was in Airforce out in NC.
     
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