(formerly WV6MUY, 1960)
As a Novice I built a one-tube 6146 oscillator transmitter from either the handbook or qst, plus separate power supply; the latter was mostly from the radio shop junk box. I also built a mechanical (used a relay) 1-tube cw keyer from probably qst; later a Heathkit Apache. I liked kits and built several from Heath and a stereo tube amp from HH Scott, which I still have. My first SW rcvr was an S-40B and eventually an RME 4350A, a beauty from that era. I went to one FD; everybody woke up when the generator ran out of gas. Imagine moving boat anchors to FD! Then it was called gear. I called my girlfriend via phone patch; she was very impressed. As you know, the radio shop was formerly a metal shop, so we were able to bend our own chassis, good floor model power drill and so forth. I made very few contacts as a Novice and failed the 13wpm for General and so became a Tech, which I think I renewed twice. The RME and Apache morphed into a Gooney Bird (Gonset Communicator III) that I took to college, and made only a few contacts.
After college I always had a SW radio around. I got relicensed in 1999 with a much better call sign. The relicensing bit is a longish story culminating in testing from zero to General in one sitting, then later, Advanced, then Extra “Lite“ without code. At relicensing the bands were hot; got WAS, DXCC and AJD (all Japan districts). Other than new countries the next goal will be the Japan equivalent of WAS, a contact in all Prefectures. I’m too busy to ham right now, as I am in the second year being prez of Crescenta Valley RC and we are in the midst of pre-Field Day frenzy. Come by Verdugo Park in Glendale on FD if you can! It’s across the road from Glendale CC. Now I run a 756ProII, 706 MarkIIG into an MFJ 12’ vertical. After another long story, I acquired an SX-99 last Christmas, for which I’d have bartered one if not both parents when it was a current model.
WV6MUY 1960, later WA6MUY
Jack Brown, W6EQH (sk), Hamilton HS, JB was my Cubmaster and Scoutmaster before I took his Electronics I class at Hami. One thing JB would do was to choose off the biggest kid in class and lure him into arm-wrestling, which JB would win. He said that was part of his “preventive discipline” program; he got the strength from being a gymnast at what became UCSB, and if pressed, he’d modestly pull out an old photo of him doing the Iron Cross on the still rings. He also said that he had to climb the UCSB tower to change the lamp once. Somebody quoted JB as being know for saying “Life’s not fair; get used to it.” Each class’ s grade sheet was posted on a bulletin board and JB would initial the project listings as you completed them satisfactorily. He claimed he could tell if someone tried to duplicate his “JB” on the form. A great feature of his class were the project boards with silkscreened schematic and real, mounted components. All you had to do was wire it up and present it to JB. I think a major contribution of JB was advancing the idea of electronics as a profession, for which you went to college to obtain your EE degree, rather than just house wiring and buzzers, which was only a trade.