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Enjoying the wonderful hobby of amateur radio for 62 years 1955-2017

Hello from "BILL" K0AWU located in and among the forests and lakes of northern Minnesota.


I first became interested in Amateur Radio after hearing a Boy's Life story read after lunch in grade school at Napton,Missouri. This was in the spring of 1954. Kids, spies and Amateur Radio used to "bust" the bad guys. The story was titled "Standby For Danger". (In Sept 2008 I obtained a copy from the BSA of that story that "started it all" 54yrs earlier.) I discovered that the family radio covered shortwave and the amateur bands, at least through 20 meters, were well marked. What great memories setting on the floor in front of the old Wards Airline radio listening to the conversations from places far away from rural Missouri. At that point I had never been over 150 miles from our dairy farm home. Trying to learn the code, speaking dots and dashes, "sending" with a table knife on the kitchen table. On my second attempt at the Novice test, I received my license on 4/8/1955.(I upgraded to Extra and received my upgrade on, guess what date, 4/8/2014, it wasn't attempted just happened to occur.).  My first station was a Hallicrafters S-53A Receiver (purchased from the Sears & Roebuck catalog), either a Ameco AC-1 or Philmore NT-200 CW xmtr built up from a kit and a off center feed longwire. Contacts were few and far between,poor receiver selectivity, poor antenna matching and poor cw skills made a good contact unusual, but VERY memorable. 80 meters at night and weekends was the only operation time available. QRM! or no signals.

Current station configuration. Most of my activity is VHF/UHF/Microwave weaksig. In recent years I  enjoyed chasing the W1AW/portable stations in the ARRL Centennial activity and now the National Parks On The Air, great fun.

WEB Pages- http://www.qth.net/k0awu/




This is my Vintage station. The Ranger II and the HQ129X makes a nice AM combination.


The Viking Adventurer is a prototype! I picked it up at a local hamfest. All Viking, but missing the usual front panel graphics.





Being at a "lake side" QTH, I am hampered by higher country in any direction that has a west component and east somewhat better, but still rising terrain. To the southwest we have a 450ft hill 2 miles away that really kills the VHF and above paths to the SW.



This view is from the top of the 10GHz tower at about 60ft. We are looking toward Minneapolis, which is 155miles down the Mississippi river.






This photo was taken from our Cessna 172 back when we were still flying. It may give you some idea of the elevations to the west.

This is photo was one of only two photos ever taken of me in my novice days. It dates to the winter of 1955. The Heath AT-1 was my second rig and was "matched" to my windom antenna fed with 300ohm twinlead with the B&W coils setting between the rig and the S-53A. Still remember drawing arcs off the coils with a lead pencil while "key down". Such POWER :-)


73 Bill K0AWU


8018705 Last modified: 2017-04-08 03:58:23, 5048 bytes

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