I received my Novice license, WN6AHL, in 1970 while a freshman in high school. My first station was a Hammarlund HQ-129X receiver and a Heathkit AT-1 transmitter (in my bedroom closet), with a home-brew 40 meter vertical (made of TV mast sections) on the roof. Needless to say, I spent almost all of my time on 40 meters!
I purchased the AT-1 at a local electronics "junk shop" in Livemore. Being (essentially) an ignorant kid, I didn't bother to check it out before I purchased it, and I later discovered, when I finally tried to power it up, that the power transformer (and plate meter) were bad. Fortunately, a local ham helped me out with a spare power supply (which you can see on top of the AT-1). And I added an external "junk box" meter in series with my key (in the cathode line) so that I could tune it up.
Not many months later I upgraded to my General Class ticket and became WA6AHL. I would keep this callsign until 2006, when I received the vanity callsign K6JCA). With paper-route money (the Oakland Tribune!) I bought a used Heathkit TX-1 (Apache) and SB-10 Sideband Adapter from a local ham, and this would be my station until I entered college.
After college (and a degree in Electrical Engineering), I pursued other interests, and it wasn't until the late 80's (or early 90's?) that I got back into radio with a little Icom IC-725 transceiver. I started hitting the local swapmeets, too, with an eye towards picking up a few of those great boatanchors that I could never afford in my youth.
Here's the station now:
Although interests include Boatanchors, AM, and QRP, most of my operating nowadays is done with my Flex radio.
If you'd like, take a visit to my K6JCA blog.
And here are some of my QSL cards.
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