I was at the time a member of a local radio club with call sign of W6EDL (since reissued) at the White Memorial Hospital. They had a Viking Invader 2000 transmitter and Collins 75A4 receiver, plus a Johnson matchbox , and a triband beam atop the 6-story hospital. So I took my T-60 over to the hospital-I lived only 2 blocks away-and got on the air from there, using my own call, and using my T-60 and their 75A4 receiver. Much to my surprise, I again heard WN6BUK calling CQ on 40 meters and I contacted him again, with 599 sigs both ends, and also got his name and QTH: Dave, in North Hollywood. My log shows that the contact began at 1332 PST and ended at 1418 PST. During the QSO I also worked Jerry, WN6BPE, who was visiting Dave's shack.
Memory is dim now, but I do recall that I put up a dipole on top of the hospital at some time or other, although I'm not at all certain that that was prior to my first QSO from the club. So I may have simply used the tri-bander for my 40 meter QSO that day.
My log shows only one more QSO from WMH that day, KN7TDV, Bob, with note "In Nevada I think. QRM." The next entry in my log is for 21 Feb 63 operating from my home QTH again, and now with a Drake 2-B receiver, though my next QSO wasn't until the next day, 22 Feb 63.
A word about W6EDL. The White Memorial Hospital was a teaching hospital affiliated with Loma Linda Medical School, and at the time I was employed at WMH as a bedpan jockey. It so happened that one day I wandered by the club station's open door (on the basement floor of the hospital) and heard someone operating the station so I and stopped in to chat. As a result I joined the club and received my own key to the station. They had an Instructograph code practice machine, with the punched tapes, and I used that to practice my code, while I studied theory and regulations from books at home.
Since the other club members were doctors and interns, both very busy, there wasn't much competition for use of the station, and since I lived just 2 blocks away, and had my own key to get in, I could (and did) go there at any time of the day or night and get on the air. I passed first the Tech and then the General exam in the Spring of 1963 and then I was able to use all the club equipment. It was almost like having a second station of my own. Besides the Invader 2000 and 75A4, they also had a Gonset "Goonie Bird" with a few 8 MHz crystals, and a ground plane antenna on the roof, for 2 meters.
I operated both from at home and at the club until1968, when I finally finished my BA in English (it only took me eleven years, mostly at night) and left LA on a trip overseas that took me to 19 countries in nine months at a total cost of $1521. I didn't have any ham gear with me, but I did get on the air as guest op at 9N1MM (Father Moran, in Kathmandu, Nepal) in the Spring of 1969. But that's another story.
Text originally published in the Flying Pigs QRP Club's Bacon Bits on-line quarterly newsletter. It has been updated and a few errors corrected.
In 1962 I lived on East First Street in the Boyle Heights district of Los Angeles, in a bachelor apartment above a grocery store. My dipole antenna was on the roof above the store, with 10-foot poles attached to short pipes poking up on the roof. I never asked permission from the grocer/landlord for the antenna. Didn't even occur to me--hi. It was made from flat 8-conductor cable that enabled me to have parallel dipoles cut to each band (80, 40, 20, 15, 28 MHz. I didn't fan out the individual dipoles, just left them all attached and hung it on the poles. Lead-in was small diameter coax. I bought a low pass filter after hearing my signal loud and clear thru the apt walls from next door apartment's TV.
My home xmtr was Knightkit T-60, rcvr was Drake 2-B. First (novice) call sign was WN6BEV, and then WB6BEV after I upgraded to General.
I was working at the time at the White Memorial Hospital, 2 blocks away from my apartment. They had a club station there, W6EDL, and I had a key to get in the rear (basement level) door of the hospital to use the station, and I often did so at any time of day or night. The hospital is a Seventh-Day Adventist institution. And the club station license holder at the time was the hospital chaplain. One day he very apologetically asked me if I could use another phonetic than "whiskey" for W. Seems some church member overheard me on air using that phonetic and didn't think it quite proper to use at an SDA church-run institution. Nobody complained about my use of "Easy Dog Love". I don't recall if I quit using that "whiskey" phonetic, but I doubt it. I do recall using some rather oodball phonetics now and then.
I wasn't a member of the SDA church, but was working at the time as a bedpan jockey at the SDA-run hospital, which is how I got to be a club member. The club transmitter was kilowatt Johnson Viking Invader 2000, and receiver was Collins 75A4. Club had a phone patch and I often ran phone patches for military and missionary hams to contact their relatives in the States. Club also had a Gonset 2-meter xcvr and a handful of xtals. Got out pretty good on 2-meters, considering the long coax to the ground plane antenna 6-stories up. I recall working someone in or near Riverside once on 2 meters.
Since I lived just 2 blocks away, and had my own key to get in to the station, I could and did operate the club station at any time of day or night. It was like having my own second station since other club members were interns or doctors who had little time to use the station.
I've had a great time with ham radio. Still do. I still use CW almost exclusively nowadays. Antennas are an 80 mtr dipole, 35 ft at center, and 40 meter loop, also 35 ft at highest corner. Loop is not very square and not very level, but it seems to work pretty well. I tend to use loop mostly. Quieter.
I still have a 2B--my second. I sold first to get some money for a trip overseas. And still have my old Knightkit T-60, though nowadays my primary rig is an Elecraft K2, which I run at 15 watts (max).
And I still have all the crystals I bought at J. J. Glass in LA long ago. I'd use sandpaper to "grind" crystals up in frequency, or add pencil mark to lower frequency. Never had one that went bad on me.
OK, enuf ancient history.
Fred Merkel - AK7D Portland OR