Photo - AB6Z (Me) on the playground of Gage Jr. High School, when I first was licensed.
I began amateur radio because of my best friend Gordon Ishibashi (WB6TUO). Gordon and I had just graduated from Gage Jr. High School (1965) in Huntington Park, Calif., a subburb of Los Angeles. Gordon had found a Ham near where he lived, who was going to help him and a mutual friend, obtain a "Ham" license. It then became my goal to find one and get a license too. After all, I did not want to be left out! Some weeks before, while delivering news papers, I had noticed a house with a lot of "big" antennas. Through this Ham, I met Walt Pittman (W6DFO), who became my first "ELMER". Walt was a homebrewer's homebrewer. I spent hours every day, after school, in his shack watching him solder and home-brew every model of Swan transceiver that was ever produced, linear amplifiers and my pride and joy, a homebrew Collins 75A4 receiver. Within a month, I had passed my novice exam (WN6RDB). Three months later, I skipped school and took the bus to the FCC office in downtown Los Angeles and passed the General exam and was issued the callsign (WB6RDB). While in college in Nacogdoches, Texas, I had the second callsign of (WA5TUL).
Photo - My first transmitter, 40 Meters - 5 watts Output
I built my first transmitter (pictured above) and receiver from several old Black and White TV sets that people were throwing out as color television was just becoming affordable. All I could operate was 40 CW. My antenna was a homebrew 40 meter vertical, made of scrap aluminum, roof mounted with 4 radials. I was nicknamed "Ham" by my fellow classmates in high school. I spent nearly every afternoon, after school, on the air. I earned my Extra class license in 1976, receiving my present call, AB6Z in 1978.
I have enjoyed my hobby for over 50 years now, all the while, meeting many wonderful and interesting hams. My focus has changed over time. Interests have included T-Hunting, VHF/UHF Repeater design/construction/linking, Antenna Design, Packet Radio, Software Design, Packet/Internet Gateway and my latest passion, DXing almost exclusively by CW !!
Several Hams have been a major influence in my life and career. I can not thank them enough for the positive influence they have had on me. They are: W6DFO (Walt Pittman SK), W6MA (Dr. Bill Doud), K6FR (Tony Notaro), N6RJ (Jim Rafferty SK), K6BWA (Dr. Joe Schulman), WB6TUO (Gordon - still my best friend), W6ZR (Ray Turner) and most of all W5YNH (Tom Kelly SK), my Dad! I never knew he had been a ham until after I had obtained a license. He let me develop the interest and do it all on my own. Counting my Dad, we now have had four generations of hams in the family. My oldest son, Thom is W0TMK. Thom lives with me and runs one of our family businesses, KELLY FIREARMS AND AMMO. My wife, Sonia runs our other family Business, GIFTS4HAMS.COM. My Grandson, Lyric is KF5WIZ. My brother, Tim is KF5WIY and my best buddy, Jeff is KQ5UA. Other close friends include Rich K2RR, Don KI7ZZ, Rick NQ4I, Victor N8OO and Ned K1GU.
Awards: ARRL - DXCC (Mixed, Phone, CW), 7B-DXCC, WAS, RCC CQ - WAZ, WPX EQSL - EDX, EDX100 (CW&SSB) & EPFX300
Three station positions: Left to Right, SX-99/Homebrew XMTR, Elecraft K-3/Alpha 87A, Elecraft k-3, /AL-811H, TS-2000/Henry 3K
73 es gud dx Tom
7990594 Last modified: 2017-03-25 23:34:46, 12460 bytes
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