My interest in Short Wave Radio and Amateur Radio began as a young boy in the late 1950s. Located in the living room of our homestead was an old floor model Philco AM/SW radio. It had World Cities painted on the glass faceplate. Gathering around the radio for news and information was my families window to the outside world. In the 1950's television service in our area of the Appalachians was poor. Listening to Short Wave and Amateur Radio stations became my nightly passport to the world. 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 that you could ever imagine. Nightly, our living room would come alive with distant AM and Short Wave stations. As a boy, I derived so much pleasure collecting my prized QSL cards.
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 a "Sky Magnet" to invite very weak radio signals to my receiver. 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 and tinkering with my radial field produced a very significient improvement. 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 any weak stations there were so many. I 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 by the question I'd ask every time I dropped by.. "Any new books checked in on radio stuff 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 up those bundles of QST magazines faster than greased lighting 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)
1046234 Last modified: 2014-06-23 06:47:18, 7438 bytes
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