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                            HAM RADIO… A COLD MEMORY…or A WA2IBT LEGACY ?

            It is quite easy for one to see where my interest in amateur radio ( radio ) was derived. At the early age of about 5 or 6 my visits to my Grandmothers house would expose me to the very roots of radio in it's earliest stages. She owned an old   (even at that time in the mid 1950s ) Philco shortwave radio that tuned a shortwave band and the AM band. I became fascinated with the ability of listening to people far far away. And although I certainly didn't understand the technical aspect or fundamentals of radio theory, I realized there WAS a DIFFERENCE between the local AM band and the other band. Coincidently At about this same time I would be exposed to a “hands on” experience that would enhance my radio interest . It was my visits to my Uncle Ed's “radio station”. …later known to me as K2UWA. Uncle Ed had his equipment arranged in his living room strategically located right next to his fireplace. It was this SIGHT, SMELL and ATMOSPHERE that would set the stage for my lifelong interest in amateur radio. Years would go by till a third exposure to radio nailed and sealed my fate into this wonderful hobby. My brothers friend John DiGiacomo, WA2IBT, ( SK ) would mentor me to my Novice License. His magical Hallicrafters HT37 and Collins 75A4 would leave me in awe as he worked UAØ's over the North pole on 15 MTRS with a Cubical Quad antenna. John SWORE by his Quad !  I would SWEAR by mine almost 50 years later ! So much for true words of wisdom.                                                                                                                                                                            I would go on to receive my Novice license (WN2JNS) in the late 60s when I was in high school. That same year I would already have passed my Advanced. After moving my equipment around in the house to try and find some final resting place my parents suggested moving everything out into a chicken coop. Now there hadn't been chickens out there for decades but it was a place of total solitude and the beauty of it was I could operate any time of the day or night without bothering anybody. Along with this package deal was it's greatest attribute. No heat ! Needless to say I learned what operating in the dead of Winter was like. Besides no insulation, the coop was perched about 6 inches above ground allowing air to circulate under the floor. Chasing DX on a cold night with a heavy coat on, the coop provided little resistance to cold weather. The only real heat would come from those tube lit transmitters & receivers and a pair of 4-400's blowing hot air out those vents. With a lil luck I might get the temperature in the coop to perhaps 50 on a good night after operating for a couple of hours. Ironically weather in Northern New Jersey could be very cold in winter, and blistering hot in Summer. Well it would be many years later in the late 70s when I purchased my first home, I assembled a station right next to my woodstove in the recreation room, somehow mimicking my Uncle Ed's station. For it was on cold Winter nights, with woodstove a'blazin',, and 4-400's a'glowing that I would once again feel the real thrill of chasing DX in the wee hours of the night.                                    After running in this mode for about 10 years I would settle into a more tropical environment when I moved to Florida in 1986 where I currently reside. Gone are those cold nights replaced with A/C and only an occasional reminder in the dead of Winter what those cold nights chasing DX had to offer. My interests in radio has been mainly DXing, CW, and occassional ragchewing, but the real core interest has been antennas, specifically cubical quads. I started using a 15 MTR monobander immediately after I became a Novice, thanks to WA2IBT, and after losing/building approx. 12 quads in just under 50 years I have a completely rebuilt bamboo 20MTR monobander that is totally scratch built. After going full circle with multi operating positions and geographical locations, I would say there's nothing like trying to nail a 3YØ on a cold crisp night in the dead of Winter with 0' degree temps in an old chicken coop, breathing condensaton, and cranking up those 4-400s' for that 1 KW and mabey, just mabey a lil more heat ?                                                                                                       Dave KØRK

8395115 Last modified: 2017-10-18 02:29:48, 4822 bytes

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