Send us your story by using the form below!
Please share with your fellow hams a story of your Novice year(s). The story should mainly focus on your Novice period. A story can be a photo or a few lines of text to a full blown story of several pages. If all you want to do is send us your Novice QSL or shack photo, we would love to post it as your story. A few Novice stories are terse with name, Novice callsign, QTH and rig. We welcome those stories too. We do not expect great literature. Speaking from the heart about how much you enjoy ham radio and starting as a Novice is more important than fancy words.
If you like, you may attach your story formatted as MS Word, PDF, RTF or Text, or you may paste or type your story in the box provided. Please do not zip or compress your files. Make sure to copy edit before you send it. Only rarely have we refused a story. This is a website about Novice history. Religious and political commentary is not appropriate. An attack on others is not permitted.
Please stay on topic. Here are some suggestions on things to include in a Novice story. Feel free to use it or not.
- Starting as a Ham - This paragraph(s) answers the question - How you start off as a Novice ham?
- Who or what interested you ham radio? Some hams had a predilection to take electronic equipment apart so becoming a ham was natural. Some hams were introduced to ham radio by a neighbor, friend, teacher, family member. Some hams come from a family of hams.
- Were you a CBer, SWL, military/maritime radio operator before becoming a ham?
- Did they take a class, where they tutored by an elmer, self-study? In 1951, Gene Gertler, AD2I, learned CW by humming during his commutes on the New York City subway system (read his Novice story at the Novice Historical Society, www.novicehistory.org).
- Did the theory (and code) come hard or easy to you? Some hams breezed through their test. Some hams passed one and failed the other. Some hams failed both multiple times and had to keep taking the test over and over. Some hams were exceptional in the theory and passed all their exams in a short period of time, started publishing articles not long after becoming a ham, won a science fair, worked as a broadcast engineer, became an electrical engineer. There are hams who learned CW very quickly, earning 30wpm or higher certificates or even a 2nd Class Radiotelegraph license as a Novice.
- 1st Station - Tell us about their first station; transmitter, receiver, antenna. If they started as a kid, how did they earn money to purchase the parts/station? Did you homebrew, build a kit or buy their station?
- If you homebrewed or built a kit, how was the build? Did you make any mistakes? What was it like to power up the first time?
- Were there any problems in setting up the station? In 1966 Tom Napier, AI4QV started off as a Novice, WN4ETG. His father owned a car dealership and they lived in an apartment above the car lot. Did you go out and buy everything or did you work hard and save, scrounged and build your own equipment.
- In the next sentences or paragraphs tell us about your Novice activities: What kind of operating activities did you engage in as a Novice? Did you operate Novice Roundup or any other contests? Did they win any operating awards? Were you a member of a ham club? Did they serve as an officer? Interview clubmates to see if they have any interesting stories to tell. Did they do public service communications, emergency communication, parades, marathons, other special events? Tell us about his her equipment
- Conclusion paragraph. Tells us how being a Novice ham influenced your life. Some Novices went on to become military radio operators, electronics/computer technicians or engineers.
Photos are very welcomed! We get very positive feedback about the Novice photos. Hams love to see them. The photos should be from your Novice year(s). They can also be a new picture of Novice gear you still have or a scan of your Novice license or logbook. Please submit in .JPG, PNG, or .GIF format; preferably high resolution (200dpi) or larger size. Please make sure any photos you give us, are yours. Avoid taking other people's photos.
In Spring 2008, Cliff's Novice History Series first appeared in QCWA Journal. Since then, in each issue of QCWA Journal an article on Novice history has been published. Stories from this website are mentioned in the QCWA Journal Novice History Series. All the articles dealing with 1950s Novices have already been published in QCWA Journal. New Novice stories from the 1950s will be published on this website both as individual novice stories and in our web updated articles. Stories from other eras are welcome.
We are in special need of Novice stories from:
- 1970s; especially 1974, the year we have no stories
- 1980s; we have only 10 (none from 1981, 1985-86)
- 1990s; we have only 1 story
- 2000; we have none
Stories from Novices off the the U.S. mainland Stories of Novices with military licenses Stories from Novices who are women and minorities Novices who have photos and documentation from the Novice era Former-Novices who went back and later got their Novice callsign back under the vanity callsign program Please email us about any former Novices in these categories or any other interesting thing we have missed.
Due to problems with plagiarism (read theft) from this website, a copyright label will be placed on your story by Cliff, and all images displayed on the site will be watermarked. You will retain the right to use your photos.