My life long interest in Short Wave Radio, Amateur Radio and Electronics began as a young boy in the late 1950s. In the living room of our homestead was an old floor model AM/SW radio. It had World Cities painted on the glass faceplate and it had a round green magic tuning eye. My family would gather around the radio for daily news and information. Radio was our window to the outside world. In the 1950's television reception in our area was poor. Our small community did not have cable service available. Radio was our media of first choice for entertainment, national & local news. Listening to Short Wave and Amateur Radio stations became my nightly pastime. In the evenings, dad and I would tune in AM/SW stations by turning the loop antenna located in the rear of the cabinet. It was'nt long before I discovered we could improve our reception with a long piece of wire extended to the big pine tree in the yard. We were able to receive AM broadcast Stations KDKA, WLS, WLW and WWVA (Wheeling, WV) as strong as our local one thousand watter (WTIV 1230khz AM) Titusville, PA. Listening to "WWVA's Saturday Night Jamboree" from the Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, W.V. was front row theater at its finest. The audio fidelity from our old radio was the most extraordinary you could ever imagine. We lived outside of town on an old dirt road. Our mailing address was Rual Route (RR #2). I'd be watching and waiting for our mail carrier daily. I'd egeraly run to the mailbox and greet our carrier as he handed me bunches of QSL cards and the mail. My bedroom was probably the only room in the house that never needed any fresh wallpaper.
I saved my allowance for what seemed an eternity. When I turned 13 years old, I purchased a "Rocket Crystal Radio" from a Lafayette Radio mail order catalog. I would tinker endlessly making performance improvements to my radio. My boyhood dream was to build an efficient DX antenna. I discovered by stringing a "very long" piece of antenna wire from my 2nd floor bedroom window, with the opposite end connected to a distant set of railroad tracks produced a big signal improvement. I also discovered the importance of adding a radial field to my antenna. I was one "EXCITED" little guy when my crystal radio burst "ALIVE" with so many distant stations. I had to tune very slowly so I would not miss weak stations there were so many... all I could say was oh baby, oh baby !!! I later named my antenna "Mustang Sally" Miss Sally was a consistent DX performer and a resounding success !!! Down at the local library, all of the staff knew me. I'd always ask the same question every time I dropped by.. "Any new radio books checked in today ?"
On my 15th birthday, my parents bought me a (5) tube Hallicrafters WR-600 Short Wave Radio receiver with all of the SW bands. Suddenly the World burst alive with distant stations from the Far East, Caribbean, Middle East and Africa. Walking home from school one afternoon in 1963, I found stacks of American Radio Relay League publications on the curbside for trash pickup. I noticed the material was all about Amateur Radio and Antennas. I was so thrilled with my find !!! I scooped those bundles of QST magazines faster than greased lighting while running all the way home. I read my new found treasures many times from cover to cover, always dreaming of communicating with the world and discovering radio principals.
When I was a teenager my family moved to Massachusetts. I worked at WRYT AM 950 Khz. in Boston on the weekends as a board engineer/producer. I worked for WRTY over the next 10 years.
I was first licensed as WN1PRU (Novice) in 1973. I still remember taking my Novice exam in front of a live ON AIR 5,000 watt 1430kc AM transmitter (WHIL-AM/FM) Medford, Massachusetts. Chief Engineer Ken Atkins K1JKR and Bob Shotwell WA1KUZ administered testing. I later upgraded to (General & Advanced ) WA1PRU and (Extra) K1CF.
73, Wayne (K1CF)
1219218 Last modified: 2014-08-28 06:04:52, 8199 bytes
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