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My interest in Short Wave Radio began as a young boy in the latter part of the 1950s. In the living room of our homestead was an old wooden floor model AM/SW radio. It had World Cities painted on the glass faceplate. In the 1950's, television reception in our community was degraded by the Appalachian Mountains. Our family would gather in the evenings around the radio for entertainment and local news and community events; radio was our window to the outside world. Listening to Short Wave and Amateur Radio stations nightly became my pastime. In the evenings, dad and I would tune AM/SW stations by turning the wire loop antenna located in the rear of the cabinet. It wasn’t long before I discovered we could improve our reception with a long piece of wire extended to the big pine tree in the yard. We were able to receive AM broadcast Stations KDKA, WLS, WLW and WWVA (Wheeling, WV) as strong as our local one thousand watt daytime station (WTIV 1230kHz AM) Titusville, PA. Listening to "WWVA's Saturday Night Jamboree" from the Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, W.V. was front row theater at its finest. The audio fidelity from our old radio was the most extraordinary you could ever imagine.

We lived outside of town on an old dirt road. After school, I would eagerly await our mail carrier down at the mailbox. I remember being excited when our carrier handed me QSL cards from around the world. My bedroom wall was the only room in the house never needing fresh wallpaper. My mailing address was Rural Route #2 Titusville, 54 PA.  In the 1950’s, a two digit ”Zone Number" was placed between the City and State as a precursor to the zip code system in use today.

I saved my allowance for what seemed an eternity. When I turned 13 years old, I purchased a "Rocket Crystal Radio" from a Lafayette Radio mail order catalog. I would tinker endlessly making performance improvements to my radio. My boyhood dream was to build a long range receiving antenna. I strung a "very long" piece of wire from my 2nd floor bedroom window, and connected the opposite end to a distant set of active railroad tracks; magically it produced a huge signal improvement !!! I also added a radial field to further increase my receivers performance. I was one "EXCITED" little guy when my crystal radio burst "ALIVE" with so many distant AM stations. I had to rotate the tuning dial very slowly so I would not miss weak stations.  After a night of intense Dxing, all I could say was.. OH BABY.. OH BABY !!!  My homebrew antenna was a consistent performer and a resounding success!!!  Down at our local library, all of the staff knew me.  I'd ask the same question every time I stopped by..  "Any new radio books checked in today?”  The more I read about radio theory in those old books.. the more I wanted to experiment and learn about radio theory.

On my 15th birthday, my parents bought me a (5) tube Hallicrafters WR-600 Short Wave Radio receiver with all of the SW bands. Suddenly the World burst alive with distant stations from the Far East, Caribbean, Middle East and Africa. Walking home from grammer school one afternoon, I found stacks of QST's and American Radio Relay League publications on the curbside for trash pickup. I noticed the material was all about Amateur Radio and Antennas. I was so thrilled with my find !!!  I scooped up those bad boys faster than greased lightning, running full steam home. I read my new found treasures many times from cover to cover, always dreaming of communicating with the world and discovering radio principles.

When I was a teenager, my family moved to Massachusetts. I worked at WRYT AM 950 KHz. in Boston on the weekends as a board engineer/producer. I worked at WRYT over the next ten years. I started this great ham radio adventure as a NOVICE (WN1PRU) in 1971. I still remember the thrill of taking my Novice exam in front of a live ON AIR 5,000 watt 1430 kc AM transmitter (WHIL-AM/FM) Medford, Massachusetts. Chief Engineer Ken Atkins K1JKR and Bob Shotwell WA1KUZ administered testing. I upgraded in 1973 to (General Class) WA1PRU with a short stint as (Advanced Class) and in 1978 (Extra Class) K1CF. My Novice Station consisted of a used Hammarlund HQ-110A receiver paired with a Heathkit DX-60B 60W transmitter and 5 xtals; purchase price for my station $115.00 in 1972. Forty years later, I'm operating a Flex 6500, 160-30m Inverted-L,  Verticle Dipoles and various low noise receive antennas.

 

Amateur Radio continues to be near and dear to my heart. I'm looking forward to another forty years of great hamming, exploration and adventure... GAME ON !!!

 

Wayne >>

 

 

 

 

 

 

8491735 Last modified: 2017-12-04 10:14:56, 5961 bytes

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United States Counties Award#4172
Granted: 2016-08-20 03:08:02   (K1CF)

Endorsements:
  • 250 Counties Mixed
  • 500 Counties Mixed
  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
  • 500 Counties Mixed
DX World Award#1573
Granted: 2015-03-27 05:15:04   (K1CF)

Endorsements:
  • 20 Meters Mixed
World Continents Award#7509
Granted: 2015-03-26 08:00:02   (K1CF)

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 15 Meters Mixed
    17 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    30 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
  • 17 Meters Digital
  • 20 Meters Digital
  • 40 Meters Digital
United States Award#968
Granted: 2015-03-26 07:55:03   (K1CF)

Endorsements:
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 30 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • 80 Meters Mixed
Grid Squared Award#6278
Granted: 2015-03-26 07:55:02   (K1CF)

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 10 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    160 Meters Mixed
    17 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    30 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
    60 Meters Mixed
    80 Meters Mixed
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