We love you.
PaulÝ N˙˝ez (May 31, 1929 - July 20, 2005)
My name is Pauli Nunez and was born in Barcelona, Capital city of Catalonia (Spain) on the 31st of May 1929. Since the 7th of October 1955 I am happily married with Maria del Roser, born in Haro, Capital city of the Upper Rioja, La Rioja (Spain); a land famous for its vineyards, wine cellars and red wine. We are the parents of six children, four boys and two girls (Jordi, Eduardo, Pauli, Julia, Montserrat and Enric), and grandparents of one girl and two boys (Raquel, Guillem and Roger). Since a youngster I have developed a great liking for all matters related to radio, my main hobby which I currently share with computing.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Running last XXth century's early 40s, years of scarcity just after the end of the Spanish Civil War and with W.W.II at its highest, I began my worker's life as a page at the now disappeared Kursaal cinema of Barcelona (in those days the first Walt Disney's animated film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", was being displayed), where a man named Noya, the "master" of the projection room and a great radio ham, introduced me into this enchanting world of receiving and transmitting hertzian waves. He was my Elmer and taught me the electronic principles. As a consequence, on my spare time and under the amused and sceptical 'surveillance' of my father, I build my first crystal receiver, which I housed inside a wooden cigar box (I can't remember how I got it) that had the right measures for my project. This crystal receiver was the first radio set we had at home. Amazing! A pity I didn't care to keep it. I gave it to a good friend who, by the way, really put it to good use.
When the construction of my 'project' came to an end and after it having passed my tests, I proudly handed the headphones on to my father for him to listen to the sound coming from them. His scepticism immediately vanished. Yes, the invention worked!. Curiously at that very moment the news where being released and so my father immediately took a seat to comfortably listen to the broadcasting. He liked the results and took a fancy to the receiver. That moment was the beginning of a certain 'radiophonic dictatorship' period within the family, as whenever he was at home at that critical time of the day, the news hour, he got hold of the receiver, put on the headphones and so as not to lose a single word of what was being broadcast, he requested us to keep silent while he updated his information about the latest happenings.
Anyway, that 'dictatorship' only lasted a couple of weeks when, accepting the unanimous claim of the family's majority and in a real economical effort, my father decided to buy a tube receiver set. He bought a Clarion! What a wonder! That indeed was a great event we -the family and some of our neighbours- celebrated, as at the time not everybody could boast about being the owner of a tube receiver, which ownership implied the payment of a yearly tax of 25.00 ESP (about 1.15 USD of the epoch). Our neighbours came to our home to listen to radio novels and transmissions of sporting events, above all soccer.
I immediately regained the whole ownership of my 'crystal' and could go on with my experiments. One of my aims was the listening of short wave transmissions through my device by trying coils of different diameter, number of turns and spacing between turns but to no avail. I had decided that my future was in electronics but destiny was keeping other coming events for me.
A LONG PARENTHESIS
On January 1st, 1947 and after having past a knowledge examination, I was employed by Banco de Bilbao as a bank clerk. My daily life suffered a shocking change. I had to arrange a full time work with studies and that didn't allow me much free time to devote to radio, although my fondness to amateur radio did not waver and whenever I could I approached my hobby by reading magazines and constructing some circuits.
On October 1960 I was recruited by Banca Catalana to organize and develop its Foreign Department. Because of that I had to increase the number of hours I devoted to work but, having finished my studies, I always found some spare time for tinkering and making some demos of my electronics 'knowledge' to my children. I remember once when they were astonished as I demonstrated to them that one potato, placed in place of one crystall, in a circuit made with one coil of enameled wire randomly wound on a cardboard tube, former nucleus of a roll of sanitary paper, could detect RF and thus a broadcasting station could be listened to.
AT LAST ... MY DREAM CAME TRUE!
It was in November 1978, shortly after my having overcome an acute Myocardial Infarction, when I passed my test for a class A licence to operate an Amateur Radio Station. The licence was awarded to me on February 19, 1979 and my ARS callsign was EA3BLQ. One of my dreams had come true! My fondness to amateur radio had been officially recognised!
Because of my cardiomyopathy I had to reduce my working trend of life and thus I could pay more attention to my hobby. It was on the 31st of May 1983, on my 54th birthday, when I accepted my early retirement from my post in Banca Catalana and as a result my dedication to radio and tinkering (I have been a customer and user of Heathkit's products as I am now of Elecraft's) was sensibly increased. My patient wife, Maria del Roser, to whom I dedicate these pages as a well earned homage, was not too happy with the change.
By the way, Banca Catalana disappeared when, running the year 2000, it was absorbed by Banco de Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (current name of Banco de Bilbao after its merging with another two banks) so now and as a retired officer I am once again in Banco de Bilbao's roll. As we say... "World is a handkerchief!"
Barcelona, October 9, 2001.