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When were you first on the air, how old were you, and your first call?




 
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Author Topic: When were you first on the air, how old were you, and your first call?  (Read 82643 times)
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Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #50 on: December 21, 2005, 08:12:41 PM »

Ron Boot, a.k.a. Nasty Ronny.
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KB2WIG
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« Reply #51 on: December 21, 2005, 08:19:01 PM »

Ron Boot?Huh?
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IWI
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« Reply #52 on: December 21, 2005, 09:07:57 PM »

Hey Chris,
You and I got licensed at the same time, and the same age.
I was also a pubic 14 in 1966.
Got my ticket in the summer of 66, novice. My original call was WN1GSP. I wonder if we ever worked on 40.
My first rig was a homebrew Conar cw transmitter. Receiver was a Lafayette shortwave receiver.
My novice expired in 1967 before I took the technician test, so I ended up with a new call. I still have it today:WA1IWI.
After all these years I still spend most of my time on 40. But I hope to get my 75 meter dipole back up sometime soon.
Lance- IWI
 
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Glenn NY4NC
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« Reply #53 on: December 21, 2005, 09:33:25 PM »

Thats it!!!.. Ron the Boot!!!


Ron Boot, a.k.a. Nasty Ronny.
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AJ1G
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« Reply #54 on: December 22, 2005, 07:41:02 AM »

Lance  (IWI) - doubt we worked on 30.  I had only one or two crystals that worked on the 40 meter novice band and the foreign BC station QRM was awful up there.  Spent most of my time as WN2ZPS on 3727 and 3740, whcih were the two 80M crystals that the DX-40 came with.  3740 was the Eastern Area Slow Net frequency, I was fairly active on it, and eventually even had an NCS gig there.  As a novice, I didn't dare use the VF-1 that I had along with the DX-40.  It did get me in trouble later as a General.  I called a DX station on the low end of 20 CW during a DX contest, and a few weeks later an envelope from the FCC showed up in the mail at our house with a big "NOTICE OF VIOLATION" or something similar on it.  Shook up my Mom so much that she went up to my high school and had me called out of class to explain what it was all about.  Apparently I was about 2 kc low out of the band.  I sent back a mea-culpa letter saying I was just a young JN with a poorly calibrated VFO, and promised it would never happen again, and that was that....

Glenn, NY4NC - did I pass that VF-1 on to you with the DX-40?  I imagine I most likely would have.  A lot of the radio stuff that I had at my folks got cleaned out by my Dad (with my OK) while I was at college and relatively inactive in ham radio.  Steve Stutman, now KL7JT, thinks that some of it ended up in a shed at his folks place down on Town Line Road.  It may still be there, along with a lot of his old stiff. One of these days we need to open that time capsule.

Al-W1UX - you are right, this indeed has been a fun thread.  Nice to hear all the JN stories during the Christmas season!  On this date 39 years ago, I was checking the mailbox for my novice ticket to arrive.  I had my DX-40 and Scott SLRM all ready to go, and had visions of a CW filled Christmas break dancing in my head.  Every day of the break, I hopefully waited and waited..would it be here today? And then,....nothing.  It finally showed up on January 4th, 1967, on our first day back at school after the break, and WN2ZPS was on the air!
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Chris, AJ1G
Stonington, CT
w1guh
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« Reply #55 on: December 22, 2005, 09:38:49 AM »

"and the foreign BC station QRM was awful up there."

There was that, and also...

VVV VVV VVV DE NSS NSS NSS W W W  (repeated over and over.)

Always had a nice signal into Michigan.

And the VF-1 and violations.  Ah, yes.

I borrowed one and it obviously needed work...

I got a collect call one night for K8TFH (good thing it was me who answered the phone!) from the UP.  After I refused the charges, he picked them up.  He was a ham who had heard me somewhere around 6500. He chewed me out for 1) Out-of band, and 2) not accepting the charges.  I thanked him for the information.

A little while later I got a letter from the FCC.  They had gotten a violation notice from Canada which they forwared to me with a comment that I should take care of it.  But this was not, actually, an actionable FCC violation.  They were sending the Canadian violation along only as an advisory notice.

Not to mention all the OO "QSL's" I got for 7450 (2x3725).
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Glenn NY4NC
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« Reply #56 on: December 22, 2005, 09:53:54 AM »

Dec 2005: Put up Gotham vertical and called CQ for 3 days - no answers.
I wonder how many young JN's spent their hard earned paper route money or talked their father's into buying them a Gotham vertical after reading those inpressive (to a JN) ad's in the ham mags?
....and then were sorely disappointed when the thing didn't work for crap with the 4' foot ground rod ground. If I recall, the ad didn't go into much detail about a ground system.



* gotham_ad_crop.jpg (97.03 KB, 400x596 - viewed 926 times.)
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #57 on: December 22, 2005, 10:17:10 AM »

hey gotham verticals work. I was down the beach in the 60s a few doors down from my place and I noticed a vertical antenna in a yard beside a rental cottage. Then on a second pass I heard SSB signals from inside the house. A few hours later I spotted a guy and asked him about it. It was a gotham with 25 feet of RG17 strapped to a pipe in the ground. When he learned I was also a ham I was invited in. He was a rich kid with a Drake TR4 (or maybe TR3?). Over the next few days we worked tons of DX. I don't remember who he was but that little vertical was a ball.
1963 ripped apart old radios for parts and built crystal sets. learned of spark
1964 built tube projects from a kit my parents bought me 1 6J5, 2 6SJ7s
1965 My first Heath Kit GR64
1966 Pass License test WN1GFZ Boot 6V6GT goes legal. Solder joint on feed line opes and send CQ for many days.
build Q multiplier kit and homebrew Regen preselector. Tuning a signal was like Dr. Zarkoff flying Flash Gordon's space ship.
1967 Pass general try AM but PW and no source of strap components.
Return to CW.
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K1JJ
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"Let's go kayaking, Tommy!" - Yaz


« Reply #58 on: December 22, 2005, 11:17:48 AM »

hey gotham verticals work.

Sure they do!  Just depends upon how they are installed.  A JN installation is not quite the goods.

Take for instance a mobile whip on a car. I'm betting that a Gotham 18' vertical sitting in the clear with 20 ground radials is at least 5 db better on 75M.  And a good mobile is only 15-20db down from a dipole at 60' for longer distance contacts.

I once parked my HB bugcatcher Blazer outside the shack in the field. I put on a KW of AM and switched between the dipole and this mobile ant. The guys on 75M saw 15-20db max difference.  So, as you say, the Gotham can't be that bad, IF installed correctly...  not like my 1964 debacle.

Speaking of Gotham... a friend once purchased their 2el 20M quad. He took it out of the box and started assembling. He realized it was such a piece of crap that he used the poles for dipole antenna supports for years after that. Didn't even bother. Never saw life as a quad...  Roll Eyes

T
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Use an "AM Courtesy Filter" to limit transmit audio bandwidth  +-4.5 KHz, +-6.0 KHz or +-8.0 KHz when needed. 

Nothing like a new homebrew rig. Come into the shack, flip on the switches and everything works perfectly.

And, nothing like an old dog.
WA3VJB
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« Reply #59 on: December 22, 2005, 11:54:25 AM »

I had one of those Goth-am (rhymes with profanity) verticals too. The thing that cheesed me was the surprise $12 shipping on what had become a $24 antenna by the time I ordered in 1973.  Seems the sections of alumnium tubing were oversize for Railway Express (REA, green trucks with red label, rival to UPS and Post Office), and there was no disclosure law in the ad that said they could ship COLLECT.  Out came Mom's checkbook, boy was I pissed.

I must have really let them have it. Didn't save my letter (carbon paper was expensive, and my old Underwood typewriter poked holes in the paper when you used it) "We wish you had asked about the shipping cost before writing such a bitter letter" said the response, which offered only to refund my $24 if I returned the antenna at my expense. You can see how that added up.

Cheap airwound coil with a cliplead and wire pigtail, none of which was weatherproof. And yeah, they vaguely mentioned something about improved performance with ground radials, but I went to the roof of the garage for the base, and had a midsection support at the peak of the two-story house. A few radials laid on the roof of the garage didn't seem to make much difference, and I've been on real dipoles ever since.

I think Ben Waple signed my license; will have to dig it up.  WN4DKG, and you had to change your calls if you changed call districts, so I became WN3VJB. Came in right as they legalized VFOs for Novices, and still have the Novice rig, the Collins 32V2, which became my introduction and endoctrination to AM.
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Steve W8TOW
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« Reply #60 on: December 22, 2005, 12:02:24 PM »

First as WN9TOW Lafayette, Indiana in 1974, March I believe...
I had saved about $400 with my paper route, my dad, not a ham, wanted me to
have a "store bought" rig. In Korea, he was exposed to Collins stuff, and really wanted
me to get a "S-LIne" til he saw the $$!

SO, my next choice was a Drake C line, but after visiting a couple of radio stores in nearby
Indianapolis (Vansickles Radio and Graham Electronics, and even the Heathkit store) we/I was
talked into a TENTEC Triton...great on cw, a compromise of ssb...but
thank goodness for yardsales.
a year later I got my general ticket, and WB9TOW for a call.
Shortly afterwards, my dad found a 51J2 at a yard sale for $35!
she worked FB, and lead me to AM, along with an article in March 1977 CQ Mag,
"No Harry, AM isn't Dead".
I shelled out $30 for a Viking I & VFO at a hamfest in Logansport IN that month and
was on AM til about 1985. I came back to AM in 1997....and sure don't plan on leaving!
One note, one of my first radio stores to go into was that of VanSickle's in Indianapolis...
he was quite a operator and homebrewer in his day... several pix of his shack are in Radio and
QST before WWII....He met us at the door, but I wasn't smart enough then to know who
he was!
73 steve
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Always buiilding & fixing stuff. Current station is a "Old Buzzard" KW, running a pair of Taylor T-200's modulated by Taylor 203Z's; Johnson 500 / SX-101A; Globe King 400B / BC-1004; and Finally, BC-610 with SX28  CU 160m morn & 75m wkends.
73  W8TOW
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« Reply #61 on: December 22, 2005, 08:37:25 PM »

I was WN3OBC back in about 1969, I'll have to check for sure. 40M with a GR-64 and a Globe Scout 65A to a dipole. The 64 was side stepped buy a HR-10B.
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W1GFH
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« Reply #62 on: December 22, 2005, 09:54:08 PM »

It was on the maiden voyage of the Titanic from Liverpool to New York when I wandered into the Marconi Operator's room and heard the clicks and buzzing of the spark transmitters....

No, wait. That was movie.

It was around 1963. At about 10 years old, I got very interested in radio. My earliest memory is "dxing" the broadcast band with an old tube Zenith on a snowy winter day when school was cancelled due to a New England blizzard.  I knew vaguely that there was such a thing as a "radio ham" but figured such people were untouchable gods. I'd watch old movies on TV for glimpses of radio operators and transmitters.  When I found a copy of QST on the local newsstand, I was floored. A whole magazine "Entirely Devoted To Amateur Radio" -- incredible! I read EVERY INCH even if I didn't understand what I was reading and studied the ads in the back pages like Bible passages.

A year or two later I badgered the old man with cut-out Radio Shack ads for the Hallicrafters S119 Sky Buddy II being offered at close-out prices. $29.95 later, and I was the pround owner of a shortwave receiver. The SW bands were magic. All those foreign lands at my fingertips, just like the ads said they'd be! I thought the Cold War jammers were airplanes. Later I thought they were diathermy machines. I must admit I am still confused about what they were.

I bought an AMECO code study course with an LP record, an ARRL license manual, and a cheap straight key. I saved up enough for an Ameco AC-1 kit and slapped it together in a day or two. (It never worked on the air) But a "no elmer" situation proved too much for me, I couldn't fathom the code to save my life. Drifted into CB radio for a year or two, and then into the jaws of adolescence, where radio had no place among girls, music and cars.

Fast forward to the late 1970's and the height of the CB radio trucker craze. I mentioned to a co-worker that I was considering buying a CB radio. "You don't want that" he said, "ham radio is so much better". For the first time, I had a bonafide Elmer - and he was my own age. I quickly got up to speed enough to pass the General first time out during a memorable test (then held at the FCC Office in the Custom House in Boston). I got my callsign a few weeks later: WB1GFH. First rig was a used National NCX-3, and I worked 80 and 40 meter CW exclusively for about 5 years. Then I started hearing these strange hetrodynes on 75 meters. I switched the mode on the receiver to AM, and was shocked to hear a man (WA1HLR) belching into the mike. Yet, I couldn't tear my ears away. Wow, what a cool signal, what a great sound. It spurred my interest in AM.

Ah yes, but it really all began in 1963. Lo, those many years ago, on that frigid snowy day with the Zenith. I wonder how many people associate snow and cold winter weather with ham radio?
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Glenn NY4NC
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« Reply #63 on: December 22, 2005, 10:29:35 PM »

Chris;

Not a VF1, you gave me some sort of converted military VFO...As near as I can remember, it was a modified ARC-5 mounted to a 19" rack panel....

Glenn, NY4NC - did I pass that VF-1 on to you with the DX-40?  I imagine I most likely would have.  A lot of the radio stuff that I had at my folks got cleaned out by my Dad (with my OK) while I was at college and relatively inactive in ham radio.  Steve Stutman, now KL7JT, thinks that some of it ended up in a shed at his folks place down on Town Line Road.  It may still be there, along with a lot of his old stiff. One of these days we need to open that time capsule.
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Bacon, WA3WDR
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« Reply #64 on: December 26, 2005, 01:40:00 AM »

I was 13, and I called my little 1620 KHz suppressor modulated 6AU6 ECO "WREB" (my initials, REB).  Later the transmitter became a screen modulated 6V6, with crystal control! As I recall, I had a 6S4 oscillator driving the 6V6.  It started out as Radio Garage, because it was located in my neighbor's garage that they let me use.  Then it became 9XR Radio Atlantic when I brought it up into my room, and then 10XR Radio Atlantic when I discovered that 9XR belonged to Rwanda.  From age 13 to 15 I also bootlegged a friend's CB call, KKD1735, and my screwey transmitter built from parts from Lafayette had a crystal that put me about halfway between channel 11 and the RC channel above it.  The FCC showed up one night, but fortunately I had lent my crystal to a friend and I wasn't on the air.  The FCC guy wound up busting my friend across the street, who was using another one of my 6AU6 suppressor modulated transmitters that had drifted up to about 1650 KHz.  Oh, the trouble I caused...  The FCC inspector then came back and said that he knew that I was doing illegal broadcasting, and suggested that I get a ham license.  (Fortunately the guy who had my crystal had technical problems and couldn't get on the air that night.)

Then when I was 16, I became WB2YPE. Then I became WA3WDR in 1973 when I lived in Pennsylvania.  In fact WB2YPE had recently expired at that time.  I may have been able to keep the call at that time, but I didn't think so.  WB2YPE has been re-issued.
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Truth can be stranger than fiction.  But fiction can be pretty strange, too!
wa2zdy
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« Reply #65 on: December 26, 2005, 01:03:50 PM »

. . .  Lo, those many years ago, on that frigid snowy day with the Zenith. I wonder how many people associate snow and cold winter weather with ham radio?

My brother still calls me whenever snow is forecast and says "tonight will be good for some CW on 80."  I don't even need to see the forecast, I know that means snow is on the way.

Sadly  I hate snow and cold anymore but I humour him and get to sounding all excited about it for him too.
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WD8BIL
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« Reply #66 on: December 27, 2005, 08:36:49 AM »

Quote
The FCC showed up one night,

AHH Yes ..... the FCC guy !!!

A friend and I bootlegged on 1550KHZ with a Viking 1. I replaced the 10 meter coil with quite a few extra turns and got it to pop a 60 watt light bulb. We then connected to a wire ant. between our houses (about 140 ft) and were on the air as WBNJ (We're Bud n' Joe) playing all the hits on his RCA mono record player. No Mixing board. Mic (model 55 Elvis mic) was placed in front of the spreaker.

One day Joe was OTA and I was coming home from school. I saw "THE VEHICLE" 4 blocks from Joe's house and heading his way. Fortunatly I beat it to his house and when they drove down the street we were out front playing catch. From then on we had one guy on the air the other in the attic (3 story 2 family dwelling) on lookout.

They came by 3 more times in the next 2 weeks but never busted us.

And the transmitter HuhHuh Well..... it does the lion's share at WD8BIL.
Yup ..... the infamous Viking Bud !!!!!




* Viking Bud.jpg (5.28 KB, 143x172 - viewed 867 times.)
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WA3VJB
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« Reply #67 on: December 27, 2005, 09:35:35 AM »

Thanks Buddly for the round of True Confessions.

If you want to include THAT sort of on-air action, I'll have to disclose that a schoolchum of mine, way back when, decided we ought to try getting on the ham bands as WA4VEH.

The call was not taken, and we had observed how to carry out a QSO.

Origin of the call sign descended from the fact we had been shortwave listeners for a few years, and Haiti was among the stations we used to listen to, and make fun of for their propaganda.

Their call sign was 4VEH.

So on the air we went, using I think a pair of Heathkit SB-301/401, 20 meters, until someone looked us up on the Callbook and decided we were boots since the block of calls around us made them suspicious.





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WD8BIL
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« Reply #68 on: December 27, 2005, 10:25:15 AM »

Bootlegging the Ham Bands.

Great title for a new thread !!!!

One of the original partners of Dentron Radio still gets an occasional QSL card from some distant ham he never worked. Just for ol' time sakes !!!
 
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WA1HZK
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« Reply #69 on: December 27, 2005, 11:20:13 AM »

Bootlegging 40 meters with a single crystal 6AQ5 in high school. Got licensed in 1966 with my friend Dean, WA1HSD. We got a ride to Reading MA. and took the train to North Station to the Federal Building to take our tests. That made me WN1HZK & Dean WN1HSD. We went back & did the same thing for General & then again for Advanced. Incentive licensing really pissed me off when people just started to memorize the tests and all of the people around me that did not know the correct end of a screwdriver became "Extras" At that point I stopped the rat race. I'm still 100% AM with 100% restored or home built equipment. I know this story is like looking into a mirror to most of you guys. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. That's Christmas and New Year not the Wal Mart "Holidays" Keep up the battle. It's an honor to hang with you guys.
Keith
WA1HZK
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« Reply #70 on: December 27, 2005, 05:22:12 PM »

Oh boy since we are "coming clean" I should mention my days as a disc jokey on a local pirate station.
The guy down the street, who latter turned out to be my brother in law, was into hobby broadcasting. So his technical friend built him a  nice 60 watt AM transmitter. He put it in his attic  and connected it to a long wire. He ran the audio cables down to his playroom in his parents house to where his audio stuff and records where. His made up call letters were WCDR (his initials) and he operated on 820 KCS.
I remember it well even though I was only 13. "This is WCDR where you'll hear plenty on 820", we announced.
Pretty good range as you could hear it in all the surronding towns. I remember getting my father to drive me around listening to it on the car radio to see how far it could be heard.
Quote
The FCC showed up one night,
Well in our case it was the daytime. I was walking home from school and there it was parked across the street from this guys house. The dreaded, FCC van!
Yep it was a grey van with government writing on it and a loop antenna on the roof.
I ran home and hid under my bed shaking like a leaf.
I found out later that the kid down the street wasn't home so the transmitter wasn't on the air. I don't know how they found it unless they found it a day or two earlier and decided to come back with the requisite paper work.
The FCC guys told his mother that the 3rd harmonic was interferring with the Marine band and the ships were hearing him a 100 miles at sea. Anyway when he got home from school his mother told him that some nice gentlemen from the "Federal Government Radio Agency" came by and said that his little broadcast transmitter was illegal and that he should never, ever turn it on again. They took all the tubes out of it and left.

Well that put an end to that.
The guy down the street grew up to become a big deal attorney in the Justice Departartment. I guess he decided it was more fun catching other people break the law. Ofcourse this was 30 some odd years ago.

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Regards, Q, W1QWT
W9LBB
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« Reply #71 on: December 27, 2005, 05:48:09 PM »

Oh, MAN!!!   GREAT thread! Smiley

Coming clean...   I have to guess in was Christmas night, 1958...  and strictly bootleg.

Dad bought me a shiny new Hallicrafters S-120, a better radio than my old Knight Kit
Span Master regenerative.

On 80 meters the S-120 was the receiver, and with the regeneration turned up all
the way I put a key in the antenna lead of the Span Master. A two word per minute
CQ went out, using the callsign W9TGM, which had been lifted from the kiddie lit
book DANNY DUNN AND THE HOMEWORK MACHINE!   Wink

It actually WORKED...  I managed to pester a guy three blocks away (WA9CZR) into
answering!   

Ah...   THOSE were the days!


73's,

Tom, W9LBB
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W4WSZ
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« Reply #72 on: December 28, 2005, 09:22:24 AM »

Received my call (W4WSZ) in 1951...............age 16

In the early 60's while with Collins Radio I was issued W5IBD

After returning to 4 land,  I was able to get my original call.

54 wonderful years in this great hobby........what a trip

73 and Happy New Year to all

Bob, W4WSZ
AM'ing over 50 years




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W1JS
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« Reply #73 on: December 28, 2005, 01:34:31 PM »

Speaking of boots...,

Anyone remember the infamous W1NXZ, Bob from Beverly??

 Huh Huh Huh

I have 3 contacts with "Bob" in my log in July of 1966.

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73 de
W1JS
Jack
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« Reply #74 on: December 29, 2005, 10:57:29 AM »

I remember NXZ..............................1966 next year will be 40 for me
no wonder the basement is full!
not too old to rock and roll..................
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