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Re: Topband: Made it! 80 Years a Ham

Subject: Re: Topband: Made it! 80 Years a Ham
From: W0MU Mike Fatchett <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:41:59 -0700
List-post: <">>
Happy 80th in Ham Radio!  Wow!

The stories you must have!


On 1/19/2017 8:34 AM, PAUL M ELLIOTT wrote:
Made it! 19 January 2017, is the 80th anniversary of my first ham license,
Class C operating privileges with W5GGV as my call. Was 14 years old at the
time. A little over a year later I upgraded to Class A.  Many years later
the Extra Class (with no added privileges) came along. Upgraded. Some years
later the FCC announced that hams with an Extra Class license who had been
licensed 25 years could apply for a two -letter call, no place on the
application to request of a specific call.  Was assigned W5DM.

First rig made from junked Atwater Kent radio parts. First antenna was a
wire going out a hole in the window screen to a tree.  First DX was VK2SS on
40 m CW, September 1937. (An aside. There were no phone privileges on 40 m
for USA hams). The VK2SS QSL card is hung on my wall. My card to him was
written on a postcard (Great Depression=no money to buy QSL cards).

Been fairly active over the years, except, of course, for WW II.  If
interested in WW II, you can do a web search on DD 792 for a small part of
my history.

The first 20 or 30 years I built my transmitters (all low powered) and
receivers. Operated CW only until SSB came along. Then I built a low powered
phasing rig. A BC-348H receiver was made dual conversion using 85 kcs  (kcs
then= kHz now) IF transformers from a BC 453 receiver.   Had a blast working
the world with a homebuilt "cubical quad" on 20 meters.  Since then mostly

I may have made one small contribution to ham radio.  In the April 1958
issue of QST, in Technical Correspondence there was a letter from me that, I
think, was the first mention in a ham publication that the formula for
determining the length of a "cubical quad" antenna was not correct.  Since
my measurements were made using a BC 348, a grid dip oscillator, and a 100
kcs crystal oscillator. I don't know whether I was just lucky to get as
close as I did or did a fairly good job with what I had.

In the early 1990s started out to get 160 m WAS from a 120 x 120 foot
electrically noisy city lot (SE NM) with a long ( ~3/8 wavelength)  but low
semi-inverted L antenna.  Ground radials of varying length in one 90 degree
segment. Made 160 m WAS.   Then started chasing DX.  Now have 189 countries
confirmed on 160 m, 324 on all bands.

Age, not surprisingly, has taken its toll.  CW now down to 20-25 wpm-at one
time it was 35-40 wpm.  Finger dexterity way down-has taken me over 3 hours
to type this email. Physical realities remain physical realities--I am now a
disabled, crippled old man. But---

No complaints-many people are worse off than I am.

Thanks to all who have had the knowledge and the kindness to help me over
the years.

73 Paul W5DM

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