Topband: 74 years a ham

Paul Elliott paab at
Wed Jan 19 20:18:47 PST 2011

On January 19, 1937, 74 years ago today, at the age of 14 I received my
first ham license-Class C Operator Privileges and call sign W5GGV
(Kingsville, Texas).  First transmitter was a 45 TNT, first receiver a
57regenerative detector and a 56 audio amplifier-built from salvaged parts
from old AM broadcast receivers, mostly Atwater Kents.  All CW, of course.
What kid could afford a mike in the Great Depression?-and  you could make a
key out of an old hacksaw blade.


About 17 years ago, after years of being fairly inactive in ham radio (busy
flying sailplanes), I got more active  on the ham bands, with emphasis on
160 m CW.  Using low power, with a bent piece of wire for an antenna, from a
noisy city lot in southeast New Mexico has been both interesting and
frustrating-even the good stations here  do not hear what either the East
Coast or the West coast hear. But, if DXCC approves all the QSOs in my
pending application, I will have 181 countries confirmed on 160 m.


The last 8 or 9 years I have had a 500 w amplifier, and have had small loops
and EWEs for receiving-has helped a lot.  I am still looking for ways to
improve my receiving situation.


The 160 m group has been very helpful to me when I asked for information
and/or help.  My sincere thanks to all those who have been so kind. 


Now let's see what the next 74 years brings.


73 Paul W5DM





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