My Elmer was WA9HFB Ed Keuper (SK). He was a 6 Meter ham. I remember the nights that I went over to his shack for those elusive openings. His Hallicrafter receiver with those Amico converters. The best was his home brew AM transmitter on a 3 foot rack. This was in the early 60's. I was young and I let the experience slip bye, high school, girls, sports took over my interest.
It took the Navy to teach me the code. I finally got my license in 1966 - WA9USD.
I was home on leave from the US Navy with only a day left before I had to return to base when my ticket came in the mail. I made a few QSOs with great excitement. My first radio set was a Knight Kit T60 with the Knight Kit R-55 receiver. The antenna was a 130-foot wire that looked like a Windom. I switched the wire feed line between the receiver and transmitter by using an alligator clip attached to a screwdriver. The screwdriver was stuck into the center hole of the coax connectors in each rig. Yes, I was really new at this Ham radio stuff! The real thrill .... the mystique of radio......you know what I mean that is why I love my ham radio hobby.
Over the many years as a Ham I have had several different Ham Shacks. I only have one picture of an early setup that was in the mobile home. Sure wish I kept better records.
I like to backpack into some of Florida’s wilderness areas and preserves.Yes,there are some real nice ones near the Tampa Bay area. My trusty Yeasu FT-817 goes with me in the pack with all the necessary gear to make it work.
I like to try different types of antennas and their variations. Some are experimental and some are the standard kind. I have had about fifteen different station set-ups since I became a Ham as WA9USD in 1966. My first set was a Knight Kit T60 with the R-55 receiver. The antenna was a 130-foot wire switched between the receiver and transmitter by an alligator clip attached to a screwdriver. The screwdriver was stuck into the center hole of the coax connectors in each rig. Yes, I was really new at this Ham radio stuff!
I like building kits and putting parts together to make gadgets. You can find me using CW, SSB, PSK-31, and other modes. I recently moved into a house and I'm looking forward to having antennas again. I have installed an electric fence antenna on top of the wood fence surrounding the back yard. Talk about stealth! My NIVS antenna tunes from 160 through 6 meters. I now have a Mosley Classic 33 at 57 ft. The guy wires are antennas, a G5RV, plus a full wave loop on 80 meters. Plus more antennas and radios with a Henry 2DK-2 linear etc. You all know how the junk box gets..... I plan on working the world from here and really doing some hammin'......
I say all good things don't last forever. I had to move to an apartment in July 2007. All that great antenna stuff had to come down. Now it's time to be more STEALTH. The antenna used for now is the downspout and rain gutter which is five floors tall. It seems to work.
The downspout works somewhat. I couldn't put very many radials down because of the lack of space and grass. So I went to the landlord-manager and asked him if I could try another antenna because the downspout didn't work good enough. He said "You can do anything you want. Just don't make any holes."Well,I put up the W5GI Mystery Antenna on the roof.
Since then I have worked Australia, South America and 3B7C on 40 CW with only 100 watts.
Well, that didn't last long. Neighbors upstairs trashed the bathroom and the manager thought I better take the antennas down since the owner might come around.
Don't think for a minute that I'd give up and find a new hobby. I'm addicted to ham radio. I asked if the parking lot lights belong to the owner. Nope, they were not. Buttons for insulators, 20 pound fishing line to hold the 20 gauge wire. It goes from the top of the porch opening to three light poles and about 30 feet up! Again I'm in business 160 through 6 meters. Twenty gauge copper wire is not sustainable so I now have been using some very thin shark leader line made of 7 thin strands of stainless wire with a 180 pound test. I don't think it will break! It is shorter though, only going to the first light. It worked but many Hams said that stainless is not a good conductor of RF. I was using an IC-7000 with the AH-4 tuner which gave me all-band operation with the shark antenna! I also hooked up the FT-857D and the FC-40 tuner with a switch at the antenna wire side so I can use either radio.
June 2010 I moved out of the pink apartments to a condo on the 2nd floor. No outside antennas allowed. Doomed I thought but never fear I had an idea of tuning the rain gutter/downspout that was right next to my window. I ran some white TV RG-6 cable out the window behind a bush and underground to the gutter. I tune it with my AH-4 tuner and I can also tune it with the internal TS-570D's tuner ( since sold ) now IC-7000. It tunes all frequencies above 7 Megs.
I also play radio away from the home by going to parks.
Nice setup in the Rav-4 with second battery, antennas vary from W5GI to Verticals. Away from the vehicle I backpack with my converted baby carrier holding my FT-817DG and whatever goes with it to make up a station in the ruff.