The beginning of radio for me…
I started out as a SWL and CB operator in the mid 60’s. My first radio was a Lafayette Comstat-19. It was a 8 crystal radio with no S meter. It had a external crystal socket to add more channels. Pictured on left is a Browning Eagle transmitter and receiver. Back then we used call signs, and not handles as they later started to do. My call was KNN0306. I still remember it 50 years later.
The start of Ham Radio
Girls and cars took my eye off radio for a short time, but by the mid 70’s I was back into radio on CB SSB. I soon found out it was nothing like my earlier days of radio, and set out to find out how to get my ham license. I bought a book from Radio Shack, and taught myself the code. In February of 1977 I passed the 5 wpm/Technician test, by the end of the year my General 13 wpm, and by January of 1978, I was teaching a Novice class. I upgraded to Advance Class in 1988, and 10 years later my Extra Class. In the picture below is a Drake T4XB transmitter and a R4B receiver. I bought those radios used in 1978 for $900 and sold them for the same price in 2015. What GREAT radios.
The 90’s and early 2000’s
In January of 1993 I purchased my Kenwood TS950SDX, and later that year built a Heathkit SB-1000 amplifier. I still have both at my operating position today. I also had a Cushcraft A4S beam, and a 60 foot tower up until 2008. I had some great contacts during that time, and had a lot of fun. I moved to my present location in 2009, but didn’t put the tower up.
My present day location is in a woods as you can tell by the pictures. This made it difficult to put up my old antenna system. I instead put up a Cushcraft R5. Although it worked ok, I was disappointed in it’s performance after having a beam. In 2015, I put up the Hexbeam, and what a difference. I also have a 40/80m dipole up in the trees.
I retired in February of 2014, which has given me more time to chase DX. I have DXCC’s on 10, 15, 17, and 20. Now working on one for 40. Getting close. I have worked 292 counties, and looking to reach that pinnacle of Honor Roll. I also have a WAS, WAZ, WPX, and WAC.
Cushcraft R5Hexbeam 40/80M dipole