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I remember the day when a police officer came to our front door. My parents let him in and I was left pondering what percipitated him coming to our house. When he left my parents called me inside and they said we had to find a new home for my dog "Blackie". Our next door neighbor finally had it with all the barking "Blackie" did day and night. To consol me my parents bought me a portable transistor AM radio. I remember Mom saying that if I listened very carefully I could hear radio stations from very far away at nightime. I guess that was the beginning of myself becoming interested in SWL listening.

I learned Morse code from an Ameco phonograph record. I remember listening for weeks on end. My Dad brought me to a local ham radio club and they gave me the 5 wpm cw test. Not many weeks after that I passed the Novice written test and received the callsign WN2FOT in 1967.

My first radio was a Heathkit HW-16. That was a nice radio for a kid but it almost did me in. During the alignment of the radio the screwdriver in my right hand slipped and my fingers touched one of the big elecrolytic capacitors in the power supply. I don't remember how or when I fell onto the basement floor on my back. My entire body was buzzing. It was a hard way to learn to respect the high voltages in tube equipment!

In 1969 I passed the test for the General class ticket and received the callsign WA2FOT.  Then in 1983 I upgraded to Advanced class and I received the callsign KD2EO. I hated that callsign and it was a motivation to get my Extra class ticket and get an Extra class callsign.

1984 was the year I upgraded to Extra. I went to the FCC field office in NYC to take the 20 wpm cw test and exam. I almost missed the exam. When I went into the federal building where the FCC office was located I somehow went into the wrong room. While waiting for the exam to start I asked the fellow next to me what his amateur callsign was. He said he was not a ham and I must be in the wrong room. I darted out of that room and ran as fast as I could into the amateur radio examining room down the hall and as I ran in they were just about to start the 20 wpm cw test. Applicants were placing on their headphones! Somehow I managed to calm myself down enough to pass the 20 wpm test. Have passing the 20 wpm test I passed the written Extra exam with ease. I was issued the callsign NI2F.

In 1998 I requested a vanity call and received K2ZF. But I had a close encounter with my old callsign NI2F. I was at the Sussex hamfest in New Jersey in 2014 and the vehicle next to me in the parking lot had my old call on his license plates, NI2F. I could not believe my eyes. 

I have downsized my radio station recently. At one time I thought the more radios you had was the way to go, but it turned out to be more of hassel than it was worth. My station now consists of an Elecraft K2/100, K3, KPA500 amplifer and a KAT500 autotuner. My antennas consist of a Hex beam and a double extended Zepp for 40 meters that tunes up well on all bands with 600 ohm balanced feed line. VFO data from the K3 is sent to the KAT500 tuner and the KPA500 amplifier. You just tune a frequency on the K3 and let the K line do the rest, just relax and enjoy the experience.


                                                                                                                           Elecraft K Line - K3  KPA500  KAT500



                                                                                                                              Look Mom, I can send just like Daddy!                                                                                                                                    

                My 1980's era radio shack

8541500 Last modified: 2017-12-28 18:52:29, 4843 bytes

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