Wow! Thanks for the nostalgic RF trip, everyone. Seriously...great stories.
Moving forward in time a bit, I wanted to note that RF miracles continue to happen every day. (Well, most weekends in my case.) Last Saturday’s physics-be-damned results: several solid SSB QSOs on 20 and 17 meters all over the country, including KH6, with a prototype AX1 dual-band whip and a KX2 used HT style.
What I need is an alarm app for my iPhone that tells me that HF conditions are hot and it’s time to get out of the shack. Ring tone of choice: first four bars of “Born to be Wild”.
Is it just me, or is there something life-changing about a noise level of S0? It’s just a short drive away, even in Silicon Valley.
I received my Novice license in 1953 at the age of 11. I had a NC101X
receiver that my dad bought for me at Henry Radio on Century Blvd in LA for
$60. While waiting for what seemed like decades for my license to arrive,
I built a 6AG7 crystal oscillator for my transmitter. I had one crystal
at 7085. My license finally arrived and I was officially KN6HMO. I called
CQ endlessly and no one answered. I set up schedules with a few locals a
few miles away and they heard me, but no one else. A few weeks later
someone gave me a 815 dual tetrode. I went through my junk box and found
enough parts to build an amplifier. I tested it by listening on my
receiver to make sure that the output was tuned to 40 and not some
harmonic. The sun went down and I started sending CQ. A station in Texas
returned my call. It was a thrill that hasn't been repeated in the
following 65 years.