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Re: Topband: Made it! 80 Years a Ham

Subject: Re: Topband: Made it! 80 Years a Ham
From: "Gary Smith" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:05:12 -0500
List-post: <">>

You are a hero. What a wonderful 
experience Ham Radio has been for you. 

My father, Earl, passed in 2014 but was 
active on the air to the last. He was 
first licensed in 37 as W8QXF, then to 
Hawaii during WWII & became KH6RD for two 
years after the war. Back in PA and after 
the districts changed he became W3QXF. 
With a move to CT in 62 he became W1BML. 
He too was highly involved in the greatest 
parts of Ham Radio, perhaps you had met, 
you would have both enjoyed that.

Thank you for sharing your story and thank 
you for your service.



> 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 CW.
> 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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