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JN Stories

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« on: April 06, 2019, 04:02:33 PM »

Rather than continue in Tech Forum with JN stories, I figured QSO would be more appropriate.  http://amfone.net/Amforum/index.php?topic=44742.25

I was imagining TOM/JJ trying to get a bunch of antenna mast on a bus and having a Corky in the local radio shop brings back a time before I became a ham. My Corky was named Howie.  He worked at Aikens Electronics in New London CT.  It was back in CB radio boom days and all my friends had a radio.  I had saved money from cutting lawns and a variety of neighborhood jobs to buy a radio which I did. Didn't think about an antenna in my purchase so I made one out of a length of wire and hung it out the back of the radio.  It seemed to receive OK but it didn't transmit to far.  So I was given a magnet mount whip antenna and over 100ft of RG59 coax from a friend.  I put the ant. on the family station wagon and ran about 100foot length of RG59the from the basement (my shack) to the car.  It worked I was getting out not great but it was an improvement.  Saved some more money and went to visit Howie again.  I told him my plight and asked me what I was using.  Proceeded to tell him about my 1st antenna then my 2nd one and he just stared at me glaringly.  He said, kid, you're lucky you haven't burned up the radio. So he told me what I needed.  I was in for the cost of another radio with an antenna, 75ft of RG8, an SWR meter, tripod mount and antenna mast. That meant more neighborhood chores and convincing my father about punching holes in the roof.  A couple of months go by, my mom takes me to the shop and Howie sets me up with what I need, shows me how to use an SWR meter to tune an antenna and I'm on my way.  Being situated on top of a hill and having an antenna 40ft in the air, I was a 4watt big gun. I could hear stuff and talk to people my friends could not.  Light bulbs burn out in my CB radio and I try to replace them. I stripped out a couple of screws.  I bring the radio to Howie and he busts my 259s about tampering with the radio and only licensed FCC technicians are allowed to fix CB radios.  He got the screws out handed me some light bulbs and off I went.

Of all the stuff Howie set me up with, he also gave me a book from the ARRL called Understanding Amateur Radio.

Fast forward to 1979, I'm out of high school and in my first year of college. CB radio is a thing of the past. But Howie and amateur radio are on my mind. I stop in to see Howie but I learn he has moved on.  Aikens still has some ARRL publications including QST.  I pick up my first issue of QST, a book published by Ham Radio magazine and a few other odds and ends. At some point I end up going to the local library and seeing an ad for ham radio classes.  In Feb of 1980 I'm licensed as KA1IHQ and I'm on the air with an HW-101

Fast forward to 1999. I'm working as a design engineer at a local manufacturing company and guess who is working there as a tech is my old friend Howie.  We reminisced. I busted his nuts for busting mine.  I moved on and lost touch. Last I heard he suffered a heart attack.

Do you have a JN story?


Home of GORT. A buddy of mine named the 813 rig GORT.
His fear was when I turned it on for the first time life on earth would come to a stand still.
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