Amateur Radio

03/19/18

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My radio, Icom IC-7300                   Navassa 5 with 6 meters

Bob will QSL via LoTW, eQSL and Direct. My logging program notifies HRDlog and Club Log after each QSO.  I do not use buros. If Direct, within the U.S.A. please include an SASE; DX stations should send an SAE and one IRC or green stamp, if you must have a paper QSL.  My paper QSL will be very generic with the appropriate information to confirm the contact.  I much prefer to use internet confirmation methods.  What would you expect from a station with IBM in its call!

My career in amateur radio dates back to 1952 at age 13 in Livingston, N.J.  At that time I was experimenting building crystal set radios and one day I heard a loud station sounding like Donald Duck!  I could copy this station with a short wire antenna.  I quickly got on my bicycle and rode around the neighborhood to see if I could find out where it was coming from. After about a half an hour, I came upon a house with a huge antenna that was far too big to be to be a TV antenna.  I rang the doorbell, fully expecting a large duck to appear.  Instead, a very nice lady listened to my story and said that she would get her husband who may be able to help.  That is how I met Gus, W2ICA.  He showed me his shack and his very impressive equipment.  I was hooked!  By 1954 I had read every thing that I could find about amateur radio, and managed to get my code speed up to five words per minute.  On Easter vacation I made the trip over to the Federal Building in New York City, passed the exam, and was assigned the call KN2IBM.

I quickly upgraded from Novice to Technician (another trip to NYC) became K2IBM, and convinced some of my friends to get their licenses and we would do our homework together on 220 mHz.  I spent a lot of time on 6 meters back in those days, working my share of DX.  After high school I went on to college and became the first engineer for a closed circuit radio station at Drew University.  I built a 25 Watt AM transmitter that was coupled to the power lines.  We gave the station the call letters WERD, Drew spelled backwards!  I understand that after I graduated, in 1961, some students put up an antenna and proceeded to broadcast with the transmitter that I had built.  It was heard on Long Island, about 60 miles away, and also heard by the FCC.  The college had some explaining to do!

After college I married my wife, N8DQX, and we joined the Peace Corps in 1962. I had the opportunity to operate from Cumana, Venezuela with a Venezuelan friend, Jose, YV7AX.  The YV7 prefix was rare, and every time I operated there was a pileup.  This was my first experience of being DX instead of chasing DX.

We returned from two years of Peace Corps service and went to graduate school at the University of Nebraska in 1964.  This was a time when the FCC was charging for amateur radio call renewal, and since I was going to lose my call for a new zero call, I let my license lapse.  I didn’t have an minute to spare for the next six years while my wife and I completed our doctorates in Psychology.  I taught for seven years, four in Nebraska and three in my present home, Adrian, Michigan.  One day while I was teaching at Adrian College, a repairman for our IBM Selectric typewriter was in the Psychology office doing his job.  I must have said something that was a phrase from amateur radio because he dropped his screwdriver and exclaimed “Are you a HAM?”  He invited me to a meeting of the Adrian Amateur Radio Club and I was hooked again.  After several “8” calls, I regained my K2IBM call as a previous call holder when the Vanity system was put in place.  I have remained active since 1974 enjoying may different aspects of amateur radio.  Currently I am very active with the FT8 digital mode which teaches a lot about propagation and antenna design.  At 78 years of age and still counting, I am just as excited about amateur radio as when I found Donald Duck!

 73, and CUL on the bands.  Bob

 

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This site was last updated 03/19/18