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Latest update, January 2018,

Got an old Kenwood TS-430s that needed some a lot of TLC to got it going.  Using it for digital and CW.  Still needs a few tweeks, but it will do the job for now.  It's more stable frequency wise than the Drake TR-3.  Recently joined the Straight Key Century Club, No. 17818, and getting back into using the the most simple and timeless mode.  

---------------------------------------------------------------The Story-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

My interest in electricity began when I was just a little toddler.  My folks bought me a small electric juke box that played single 78 RPM records.  My father was in the juke box, and pin ball sale and repair business.  One day, I was playing with it and removed one of the light bulbs.  I had in my hand a dinner knife, why I don’t remember, except that I placed it in the bulb socket and saw a magnificent spark and then the house went dark.  That sparked my curiosity in anything electric. 

In my early teens, we had a neighbor, Mr. Tom Richards, that dabbled in electronics and he took me under his wing and we both experimented with the new and exciting age of solid state devices.  First building a power supply using a selenium rectifier.  The CK722 transistor came out and we added that to the simple single diode detector, loop stick and capacitor radio to boost its audio output.  Although not a ham, he introduced me into the hobby and helped me study for the Novice license, both the theory and code.  My father worked with a ham, Roland Slatkoff, W3RUN, and took this 14 year old kid to his home for the test.  I passed, and later the FCC sent me the license for KN3DRJ, effective April 9, 1958, six days after my birthday.  Presents were a Heath kit DX-20, a Halicrafters S-40, a Hygain 14AVQ, and three crystals, one for the novice portion of 15 meters and two for forty.  That license was good for one year and not renewable, so I studied more theory and worked on the code and went down to the FCC office in Baltimore, MD and sat for my General test.  Back then, you had to appear at the FCC for administration of the test.  Passed that test and the FCC dropped the “N” in the prefix.   Lacking the funds for another rig to work phone, I cobbled together the parts to build a cathode modulator for the DX-20, and found a used VFO at a ham fest.  That rig kept me on the air until I joined the Navy just after graduating from high school.  During my tour, I was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and was licensed as KG4CR, and helped to improve the club ham station KG4AN.  Ran a ton of phone patches for the sailors and marines stationed there.  Left the Navy in 1966 due to an injury and bought a new Drake TR3, and that rig is still on the air today.  Found a love of radios that glow in the dark, and have had many years playing with them.  

During the seventies, fellow hams beat me up and shamed me into upgrading to Advanced and later to Extra.  Have to admit, sitting in the FCC office taking those tests was no picnic.  But passed both times without a repeat.  Sometimes being bullied isn't really that bad...HI HI

Then in April of 2002, a tornado came through the town of La Plata, MD where I live, followed by hurricane Isabel in 2003 that took down all the antennas, and caused minor damage to the house.  That was just around the time I took up a new (or renewed) hobby…..Hot Rods, specifically Shelby Cobras.  Not having a bank roll to buy a true Shelby, I settled for a replica.  Most of “my disposable” income went into that, and the XYL and I agreed that one expensive hobby was enough, so I became a “quiet” key until August of this year (2015).  Thanks to the men and woman of the Charles County Amateur Radio Club, they helped me put up a Rohn H50 mast to support my 80 meter inverted Vee.   And that old boat anchor Drake TR-3, with a RV-4, SB-200 and Johnson KW matchbox live on…….  The other old rigs around here will be back on the air too after some refurbishing.  Here’s hoping to add you to my log book someday.

QSL DIRECT?... NO SASE....You send me yours, I'll send you mine. 

Used Microsoft Visio to create my QSL card.  Updated 1/16/2017  

In January of 2016, I cleaned up and repaired the 40 meter elevated ground plane (32.5 ft.) vertical that came down 14 or so years ago.  It is back home mounted on top of my detached garage.  The base of the antenna is about 26 feet AGL.  Really inproved DX contacts over the Vee.


I also renewed some old friendships and gained new ones on the HHH net that I used to sign into every night....or early morning, however you define getting on the air at 0700Z on 7.190 mHz on the east coast.  It's a worked all states and DX net that meets every night. 

Finally got approval with lotw......I think getting my Top Secret clearance years ago was easier.  


The other day I received an email from a fellow veteran asking what I did after being discharged from the Navy.  After reading my bio about being discharged due to an injury, he thought that I may have been partially or totally disabled.  At the time of my discharge, the Navy rated my disability at 10%, and that was enough to consider me as not fit for further service.  I was hoping to make the Navy a career and was very bitter that they put me out to pasture due to such a small injury.

I hit the help wanted pages of the local Baltimore papers and landed a job with Bendix Field Engineering.  I worked a few months in their electronic communications refurbishing depot and then was farmed out to other Bendix organizations.  First to Bendix Aerospace in Ann Arbor Michigan working on the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package, ALSEP as a QA inspector.  These were packages that were deployed on the moon during the Apollo lunar landings.  I was temporally pulled off that job to work with Bendix Radio.  They needed an engineering tech that wouldn’t get air sick in a WW2 B-25J aircraft.  Bendix Radio was designing a guidance system for the Harpoon Missile, and used its B-25 to develop and test the prototype radar and guidance system.  That lasted six to nine months and then I was back in Ann Arbor.  When all the experiment packages were completed, I was sent to Bendix/NASA in College Park, which was a lot closer to home.  There I worked with teams that built, installed, tested, and calibrated tracking stations that supported the Space Tracking and Data Acquisition Network and the Manned Space Flight Network.  When Apollo 17 splashed down in December ’72, I was sent to what they called the “box factory”.  It was their warehouse where people were sent until Field Engineering could find them a new assignment.  If they couldn’t, it meant being laid off.  Not wanting to go jobless, I applied to the Baltimore Police Department and worked for them until ’77 when the Maryland State Police needed a tech with FCC First Class Phone and FAA Radio Repairman Certificate.  I accepted that position and retired in 2006.  My wife had recently lost her job after 25 years with a company that went out of business, and we were worried about being able to make it on just my income.  She was the real bread winner at that time, so I retired and went to work (after one day of being unemployed) with my local electric utility, the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative.  That job was what I can truly say was the best job I ever had.  Had I known how great a company can support and respect its employees, I would have joined them 50 years ago.  I told my boss in 2012 that I would not work and celebrate my seventieth birthday at the same time, and put in my resignation just before that birthday.  They have called me back a few times since to help them with projects.  I finally had to call it quits a few months ago, and had a hard time, I felt like I was letting them down.  The XLY and I now have plenty of time to spend doing fun things, and I have gotten back into ham radio and renewing old friendships.




8585747 Last modified: 2018-01-16 22:07:43, 8865 bytes

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