The history here is about the same as that of many others. I started getting interested in ham radio after building a crystal set. I was a high school sophomore in 1936 when I enrolled in a National Radio Institue correspondence course to learn theory. The FCC required 10 WPM code copying ability which I could not master by myself. A four and a half year stint in the Army as a radio operator gave me that boost.
My first call was issued in May of 1947, W0BBU. Next, I became W9CJD in Chicago, then K6EKH ("Every Kilowatt Helps") in California. I received my present call when I upgraded to Extra.
My station equipment has changed many times over the 63 years. Restoring and repairing boat anchors was and still is a hobby-within-a-hobby for me. My primary interest has always been building, until I turned 85.
I spent many years on CW only, then about 20 years on RTTY using machines only. Then AM, and finally gave SSB a try, mainly to work DX. I became interested in AM again after acquiring a Gates 250GY broadcast transmitter (since replaced with a Bauer 707). Converting these to 75 meters was a bit of a challenge, but years of building linear amplifiers was a big help.
I presently have a 75A-3 and 32V-2 on the air for AM, along with the Bauer 707.
Travelling by motorhome, my wife (N6NYB) and I attended many swap meets all over the Western States providing the parts needed for the many amplifiers and antenna tuners built over a 45 year period. The hundreds of friends that resulted from those swap meets are still cherished memories. I was both a buyer and seller, selling mostly tubes, parts, amplifiers, and antenna tuners.
Long Live Amateur Radio! Without it, retirement years would have been BORING.
Keep those filaments lit!
Unsolicited comments by K6GLH:
Cliff was a prolific builder of linear amplifiers for over 45 years until hanging up his soldering gun in 2007. Over those 45 years, he has built 265 amplifiers for fellow hams, most of which are still in daily service around the world. Hams all over the Western States still seek out his advice on amplifier building.
Below is Cliff's Bauer operating position (transmitter to the right not shown).
Here is Cliff with fellow Bauer 707 owner Mel, K6KBE, sharing tips on getting top performance on 75 meters.
For further reading, check out Cliff's stories in Electric Radio magazine:
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