wannabee Hams

Since listening to W0FFD in Kansas City when I was a teen-ager, I have always wanted to be a Radio Amateur (HAM).

At the time, money was not available to get the gear.

Our family consisted of father, mother, 4 boys and a girl. And only one was earning any significant income. I picked up loose change by setting pins in a local bowling alley at 10cents a line. But it wasn't near enough.

So I converted an old 4 tube radio into a receiver capable of receiving the 75 and 40 meter bands by lowering the inductance and capacitance of the tuner. I reduced the trim capacitor to its minimum and and wound another coil to replace the loop antenna on the radio rear.

The result allowed me to tune to just above 7.5 what we then called megacycles, now megahertz.

My path to Engineering had begun. I used a formula where the product of the L and C in a parallel circuit (they called a tank) was equal to a constant, and the number 25,330 sticks in my mind as one I used more than once.

I began to learn Morse Code, but never did my code practice lead me to where I could read the rates most hams were capable of sending and receiving.

So I concentrated on hams on the voice frequencies.

In addition, I tried listening to shortwave stations, but at the time, jamming was an everyday and everyhour thing.