50 Years of Ham
|Junior High School
My Elmer was Jim Gilbert - K0BFT. Mr. Gilbert was my 7th grade Science teacher, who decided to start an "after-school" morse code training class. I recall that there were at least five of us, all who I believe eventually got licensed. By the summer of 1968, I was ready to take the Novice exam, administered by K0BFT, and I passed the test! The beggining of the fall school year, we were able to use a school club station WA0WVH at West Junior High School in Minnetonka. I'm not sure of the equipment, but I believe the reciever was an old SX-88. I do recall after copying CW, that you needed to set the pencil down gently, or the reciever would QSY severely.
I was ready to assemble my own station, and many of the old-timers said: "Sink your money into a good receiver." I decided to buy a Drake-2B which proved to be a fabulous reciever. My transmitter was a Heathkit DX-20, and I was on the air with a 40/15 meter doublet! Four or five crystals, and a logbook, and I began my efforts.
I operated the 1969 and 1970 Field Day with K0BFT at his parents home on Lake Minnewashta.
My Christmas present from my parents in 1968 was an Eico 720 kit. After running 50 watts, I was now running 75 watts with the new rig. I upgraded from the novice license and retired WN0MHJ in May of 1969. In the summer of 1969 I purchased a Galaxy 5 MKIII tranciever and was running high power (500w)! (See pictures on Station page.)
On October 17, 1969, the DX Bug bit VERY HARD. Within a week, I had tripled my DX country count up over 20, and from that point forward, there was no looking back. About 1 year later a Mosley 2 element Cubical Quad was installed, and DXCC was achieved with a QSO with 7Q7AA on 20M CW in October of 1970.. By the mid 1970's my DXing had got me to about 250 countries. I suffered my first anntenna casualty in 1975 when I lost my tower and homebrew 4 element 20M yagi. (Also pictured on Station page.)
Now ClubLog shows that for the next 15 years (1983 through 1998) I had virtually no QSO's. I was married in 1986, and begain raising a family. There was just not much time for ham radio. I was able though to reach the 300 country worked mark in 1990.
This year (September 2018), I celebrated my 50 year anniversary of being on the air.