W4RZB-BOB TANNER
ex-K3ONQ
GWYNN'S  ISLAND, VIRGINIA


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I first became interested in Ham Radio back in the late 50's when a loud voice regularly interrupted the 11-o-clock nightly TV News with CQ, CQ, CQ, calling CQ 80, this is K3??? calling CQ 80, CQ 80 Meters, this is K3??? calling CQ 80 and standing by, what say, someone please Not only did he come in loud and clear but the effect on our 14" black and white TV was electrifying. Lots of sound (his voice) and a complete descrambling of the picture. I waited breathlessly for a reply but none ever came. I began to feel sorry for this guy who called almost every night but never ever received a reply, even though there were long pauses between CQs. This was intriguing to say the least. I had to find out who this was. Little did I know that it was Chet who lived two doors away with his antenna strung up in the attic and it was only in the course of casual conversation with him some time later that I found out he was a Ham and worked for Western Electric. He was very apologetic, but I wanted to learn more and with his encouragement I studied for my Novice ticket, got that, studied for the General, flunked that (thirteen WPM was more than my brain could handle), more practice with the Code, and finally got my General the second go around. I was now the proud owner of K3ONQ and spent the next several years trying not to jam the TV and radio sets of the rest of the neighborhood.....which was not the easiest thing to do in those days.  After getting my General I sold my Novice Gear ( a rockbound Xmtr made by Mr Heath and an ancient Hallicrafters Rcvr. which drifted way beyond the realms of legality) and bought a Heathkit 

Apache and one of the earliest Drake 2Bs, probably the hottest receiver
on the market in those days for the money. With the help of Silent Key W3HT....Frank Caulfield....I built a 1 KW amplifier, added a Heathkit SSB adaptor, erected a home brew tri-band cubical quad and I was ready to work the world! And it was always a thrill to work hams from all over, whether they be DX or Stateside, a one time contact or a roundtable. One of the most satisfying things I got involved with was with the Eye Bank Net. In those days before computers and instant contact became a reality, Ham Radio performed many services (as they still do) and the Eye Bank Net was one of them. Living in the Baltimore area at that time, I was part of a local team that acted as a liaison between Johns Hopkins Hospital and the rest of the country whenever corneas for transplantation were needed. As you can imagine it was much quicker to do it via Amateur Radio than any other way at that time. In 1963 I was transferred by my company to Canada, and there I became K30NQ/VE3. Unfortunately, because I was travelling all over Canada for the next 3 ½ years, my hamming slowed down considerably so I sold my gear before we returned to the States in 1967.
Located in the Virginia Beach, VA, I became active again, and although still traveling on a smaller scale, I bought a Swan 350 and a Tri-Band Jr antenna and became W4RZB. Later moved to Gwynns Island, VA and was one of the radio liaisons for Jamestown and the voyage of the Godspeed from Greenwich, England to Jamestown, VA in 1985. My son WA4CHQ.....Neil....was radio operator aboard for that historic voyage. Dont do as much hamming as in the past especially since the advent of the Internet, but its still great fun when I do, and a very rewarding hobby.

....some Links...


* * *Check out my son's page---WA4CHQ/qrp* * *
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