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My Picture


Welcome to the personal web page for amateur radio station K5EIS. Above is my picture in the back of a bass boat on Lake Wisconsin with a nice large mouth bass that I had just caught (fishing is my other hobby).

My amateur radio story

I became interested in amateur radio in the late 50's when I was in my early teens. My dad (August) and I assembled a crystal radio and I was impressed that this simple circuit could receive radio stations. There were hams that lived closeby and I began to receive their side of QSO's using that crystal set. But I wanted to hear both sides of the QSO, so I assembled a simple AM radio shortwave converter that appeared in a "Boy's Life" magazine and I was able to hear both sides of some QSO's. Then I received a Lafayette regenerative radio kit from Santa, which I assembled and was able to hear both sides of more QSO's. Next I met a boy at school that had his station and license already, K5LCC (Dale), and I would ride my bicycle to his house to watch him operate (I was hooked). Dale had a Heathkit AR-1 Superheteordine radio that he sold me and it worked better than the regenerative receiver. I was told that I should set up my station before I get my license so that I could start using my privileges when my license came in the mail, since I could only be a Novice with crystal controlled CW privileges for one year, and then had to upgrade. So I delivered store advertisements door-to-door, sold empty soda bottles back to stores, and made U-Bolts for my dad's business to earn money to put my station together. For a receiver, I eventually bought a new Hammarlund HQ-110 and assembled a Heathkit DX-40 transmitter. The meter never worked right on that thing and nobody could figure out why, so I always tuned up by hooking a lightbulb as the antenna and tuned for maximum brilliance. My dad helped me put an inverted V on top of our house and get my station ready to use.

In 1960, when I was 15, my dad and I took our Novice test at the home of K5GDH (Duke), in Austin, Texas, and passed. About 8 weeks later our license finally came in the mail. My dad got KN5EIR (the "Ohm's law kid") and I got KN5EIS ("the chip", like in "off the old block"). I began making many CW contacts and within the year had built up my CW speed to 13WPM. The nearest FCC field office to Austin was in San Antonio, so my dad drove us to San Antonio to take our General Class license test. I was able to pass my code test and written test, but my dad couldn't get past the code test this time. So he worked on his code for a few more weeks and then passed his tests. This removed the "N" out of our calls. My dad and I then built us a 2-element 15-Meter Yagi out of 4 cane poles wrapped with aluminum tape, fed with 300 ohm twin lead up about 20 feet and it worked great. I had to go outside anytime I needed to turn it because I only had an arm-strong rotator. My dad became a silent key in January 2013.

Along came college, earning a living, marriage, and raising a family which left me with little time for my hobbies (but I still got some airtime during the nations 200th year anniversary and a few other contests) and upgraded to Advanced Class and to Extra Class. Passing that 21WPM code test took me several attempts, but I didn't give up. Now, in my 70's, I'm retired and will be enjoying my family, service to my community, and hobbies as long as my health and time allow. I'm 40+ years an ARRL member, a Southwest Dallas County and Ellis County amateur radio club member, a ARRL & W5YI VE, and have been teaching Technician and General Class license classes for the past 4 years.