(formerly WN0PKM, 1966)
I got my start in radio, back on the farm, by reading books and doing experiments. I had the first CB license, in my home town of Springdale Arkansas, in 1961. My issued call was 8Q1311.
After joining the Air Force in 1963 I was drafted into computer maintenance. (Not a bad thing!) During that time I was still interested in radio. With the help of a friend down the street, in Kirksville, MO, I obtained my Novice ticket. WN0PKM, in 1966. I was 25 years old. I didn't take the General because of the code test; I knew I wasn't ready for that. I built my own 40 meter transmitter using an antenna chassis from a ship. I made a XTL oscillator compartment using a 6AG7 tube. The final was a pair of 5933 tubes. I ran about 60 watts into an antenna made out of 3 sections of electrical pipe sitting on a coke bottle. The antenna was coupled to the coax by a tap on the coil to ground. Believe it or don't, I still have this transmitter and it still works!!
I managed to get hold of a surplus receiver by working at the AFMARS station. The receiver was a Collins AN/ARR15. Frequency range was 1500 to 18,500Kc. It was a 1942, or so, vintage. I made some changes and made a power supply for it. It was really good for 40M CW. I sold it many years ago. Last year I found one and now I have my novice station back in action. Of course the old novice crystals are the wrong frequency.
In 1969 I moved to Miami, Florida. I was out of the Air Force at that time and was working for RCA in data processing, servicing Florida power and light and 3 other customers. As I recall, in 1970, I took my General code test and failed. I got the call WN4SRR. But I still used my 1966 home-brew transmitter. Then in 1971, I managed to get my General ticket; WB4SRR. It was really hard for me to pass the 13WPM test. They gave me a pencil, a paper and turned on the paper tape code machine; And best-of-luck-to-you!! During this time I put together a Heathkit SB102 and used it for many years. In 1982 I moved to my present location; Melbourne, Florida. In 2006 I got my Extra ticket.
I used WN4SRR until I passed the General. I worked only phone after that. I enjoyed working 10 meters; My 1010 number is 4468.
After my time in the Air Force, I worked some with Air Force MARS; AFC4SRR. I did that on and off for about 2 years.
I never was into DX but I always enjoy ham radio.
Feel free to use the above info.
I enjoy your Novice History in the QCWA