On July 1 I applied to the FCC office in St. Paul for a Novice exam package. The package came sealed and had a note that it was to opened by the Class A ham only after I had passed the CW test at 5 wpm. I found a Class A licensee in a city about 30 miles away who gave me the exam. It was then mailed to St. Paul for grading. I received my license in about 3 weeks and assigned WN0EBA on July 24, 1951 with expiration on July 24, 1952. W0CPS had purchased a lot of WWII surplus radios and he sold me a BC454 receiver which covered 3 to 6 megacycles. It had 28 volt filaments so I found a power supply kit advertised in either CQ or QST so I ordered that to power it. I also built a 6V6 crystal oscillator using a power supply from an old AM radio console. My antenna was an end-feb Zepp of some undetermined length. So I was on the air calling CQ time after time trying to get a contact. The novice band sounded abo ut as active as it is today - there just weren't any one around yet. I was probably running about 7 or 8 watts input and now I know that the output probably was less than a watt. After almost 2 months I finally made contact with a ham in South Dakota. I don't remember his call because, unfortunately, all my logs and QSLs were lost in a move in 1965.
My activity was very limited that first year because it was off to college. I did pass my Conditional Class license the summer of 1952 and W0EBA was issued to me on August 22, 1952. That year I purchased a used Hallicrafters HQ129x -- boy what an improvement from the BC454. Also in 1953 I decided to become "legitimate" with a General Class even though it was not required. On May 6, 1953 my license was endorsed as GENERAL. In 1956 I entered the Navy and was stationed.in a small town on Puget Sound, Washington. I became K7AUS on July 30, 1957. Upon returning to Minnesota in 1960, I once again became W0EBA but never was active. That license expired in 1967 during the time that the FCC was charging for ham licenses. I did not have spare money to renew a license that was not going to be used and I was raising a family of 4 kids.
In 1986, I decided to get back into ham radio. I had to start over completely, taking the all the elements and going all the way to Extra in a short time. I finally became WV8B. When I retired and moved from Ohio, I decided to get my old call back of W0EBA through the vanity system -- an unfortunate decision because in spite of the 2-year wait rule the FCC re-issued WV8B within a couple of months. By the time I realized my regrets, it was too late to get WV8B back. I found the W0 call in North Florida Section caused a lot of problems with contests when in contests. A lot of people could not hear North Florida and kept asking North Dakota? That's when I found that W4EBA was available so that is what I am today.
I operate almost exclusively in CW contests primarily due to antenna restrictions in my deed which limits my ability to get out with a good signal.