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I was first licensed in 1954 as KN5HUH and then got my General as K5HUH.

I became a radio operator in the US Navy aboard the USS Bushnell and was a certified speed key operator until 1965 when I was discharged and began my career as an elec engineer. Unfortunately I let my ham ticket expire. Texas Instruments and the GI Bill put me through school. While in the Navy I received permission from the Chief of Naval Operations to license our ship as a ham station. I operated the 1KW Collins transceiver(military gear)as WA4KMH/MM. We were able to provide phone patches for the sailors onboard while at sea. For military communications we had several large transmitters and the radio shack was full of receivers and RTTY gear. Our best receivers were Collins R-390A.

Now that I’m retired (72 yrs of age) I wanted to get back into ham radio. I took my tech test in July of 2011, my General in August and will take my Extra test this month. Since I’ve not been on the air all these years my code speed has suffered a little I can now only handle about 25 wpm. I was used to a Vibroplex Original in the Navy and now am using a Vibroplex iambic into the keyer on my new FT-450D transceiver. I make a lot of mistakes because I was used to the old Vibroplex original bug. I’m going to go thru my attic again. I’m supposed to have my old Vibroplex and dx QSL cards up there somewhere. When I was young I operated CW on all band 80 thru 10 meters using a Viking II and a HQ-170 into a Hy-Gain trap vertical. However my first rig as a novice was a Heath AT-1 and a surplus BC-342 receiver into a long-wire about 15’ off the ground.

My father was a ham and started teaching me electronics when I was about 10. He operated a rig back in the days when the only rigs on the air were homebrew. We built a SW receiver together when I was a kid. It used 3 tubes. All the coils were hand wound. It ran on a B+ battery and a smaller C battery (grid bias). My friend down the street and I got our novice tickets together and then our general tickets. I was K5HUH and he was K5HUG. As teenagers we pulled some “all nighters” DXing on 20 and 40 meters. My brother got his ticket also. He is now K5DOR.

I’ve been an elec engineer all my life and have always wanted to get back into ham radio. I guess its never too late.

Gene, W5DOR
gene@w5dor.com
www.w5dor.com

 

Last modified: 2013-10-19 14:25:05, 2521 bytes

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