In 1958 I was first licensed as KN9PXV when I was a senior at Moline, Illinois High School and upgraded to K9PXV as a General in 1959. Shown at left is my first qsl card as a General. My dad, K9PXU (SK) and I took our exams at the same time so I created a qsl card that reflected both call signs.
The picture at right is our first rig as generals', from left to right, the Johnson Viking Valiant transmitter, D-104 mic, Hammarlund speaker, Johnson bug, and a Hammarlund HQ-110C receiver, a few months after this photo was taken we upgraded the receiver to a HQ-170C.
The balun at the top left side of the photo is the Heathkit balun to match a 300 ohm dipole and the low pass filter was attached to the feedline of the Mosley tribander beam. TVI was a real problem in the late 50's and early 60's.
The photo to the left shows the new receiver, the HQ-170C and the Elmac Trans-Citer AF-67 mobile rig which is sitting on the AC power supply, a Vibroplex bug, and a new base for the D-104 microphone.
I sold off my ham equipment in 1961 when I went on to senior college at Illinois State University. My license lapsed because of inactivity.
Back in the 60's, to be able to renew your license you had to prove that you had been on the air during the last six months or you are not eligible to renew you license.
30 YEARS LATER:
During the next 30 years I would often think about getting back into the hobby but family, jobs, etc. kept my interest elsewhere.
Finally around the Christmas season of 1991 I got back into the hobby by passing my novice exam and then in Feb. of 1992 I passed my extra class exams and received the call of AA8GL.
In 1996 I was awarded the vanity call of W8EB which incorporates all three of my initials, William E. Blick.
Chuck, W1TE, buys up all the old qsl cards that he finds. Then he sorts through the Extra Class callsigns and then checks the databases to see if the callsign is now assigned as a vanity call. Then he contacts the current holder of that callsign to see if they want the qsl card. I jumped at the opportunity to have the card.
Previous holders of 8EB and/or W8EB were Robert Munsell from 1913-1916, Russell Blair from 1920-1935 and Joe Aker from 1947-1978.
HAM RADIO INTERESTS:
My main ham radio interests are chasing the DX especially on the top bands, 160, 80 and 40 meters, contesting, especially RTTY, and being DX on St. Maarten each year as PJ7/W8EB & PJ7B and formerly PJ8A & PJ7WB with my wife, Dorothy, W8DVC.
CURRENT DX STATUS:
DXCC on CW, RTTY and SSB modes, DXCC Honor Roll with 337 countries worked and confirmed out of a grand total of 338, 5 Band DXCC Award #4955, WAS-160, WAZ-CW Award #124, and 64 countries confirmed on 160.
COLLECTING OLD EQUIPMENT:
I also enjoy collecting the old "boatanchors" that I either used or dreamed about when I was a teenage ham operator. For my collection I had put together a Hammarlund HQ-170C receiver, Hammarlund HQ-180C receiver, a Johnson Adventurer, a Johnson Viking Ranger transmitter, a Johnson Viking Valiant and a Dentron Clipperton L amplifier.
Several years ago I was able to locate the Heathkit Warrior amplifier that my father and I built when I was a kid. At the 2003 Dayton Hamvention I sold the amplifier and a Johnson Viking Valiant. Those rigs were just to heavy to move around.
In 2006 I sold off the rest of the boatanchors except for the HQ-180C, it was time for someone else to enjoy them.
Well almost, I got the boatanchor bug again in 2008, thanks to K1AJD, so the collection is growing again. Currently I have the Hammarlund HQ-180C, National NC-270, and the RME4350a receivers and a Johnson Adventurer with the Lafayette HA-90 VFO, a Johnson Ranger and an Elmac AF-68. I am enjoying straight key cw contacts with the Adventurer and listening to the AM folks on 3.885.
Yaesu FT-1000MP, IC-7000 for 6 and 2 meters and HF backup, an Alpha 87A Amplifier, ATR-10 antenna tuner plus the computer systems. FT-100D with ATAS antenna for mobile operation in the pickup truck, and a FT-100D with the ATAS antenna for the 2010 Allegro Red 36 ft. Motorhome.
For my logging program I use DX4WIN software.
CURRENT ANTENNA SYSTEM:
My present antenna setup is a 2 element 5 band Lighning Bolt Quad for 10 through 20 meters at 75 feet, a 40 meter rotatable dipole at 85 feet and a 2 meter and 440 vertical all mounted on a 70 foot PiROD free standing tower and a HyGain HyTower Vertical for 80 and 160 meters.
Another interest of mine is a 1969 Ford Torino GT Convertible pictured on the right and a 1968 Ranchero GT pictured on the left.
My first brand new car was a 1969 Torino GT Convertible purchased back in the spring of 1969. The color was Black Jade with a white top, white interior and factory installed A/C. I sold the car in 1972 since the company I was then working for furnished me with a vehicle.
During my college days I had a 1954 Ford Convertible, yellow in color with a black top and yellow/black interior.
In October of 1998 I saw an ad for this car and worked like crazy to convince my wife to let us buy the car. It was the perfect replacement for both former convertibles. The car was in pretty good condition but I have replaced much of the chrome trim, had the transmission rebuilt and the interior redone.
We have entered the car in several car shows and have learned the ropes and politics of the meets. We have been in many parades with the car including the Michigan State University Homecoming celebrations. The car was invited to be in the Henry Ford Museum Car Show for the annual Fathers Day festivities. It has also been shown at a number of National Fairlane Car Shows where it trophied at each event.
In 2007 I finished a five (5) year restoration project of a 1968 Ford Ranchero GT. We have shown this vehicle and it has done extremely well at various car shows around the nation.
HAM BUDDIES SINCE THE 50'S
The Mystery Man on the K9PXV web site http://www.qsl.net/k9pxv is none other than KV4FZ, Herb Schoenbohm shown here in the lower right hand corner.
The picture was taken in the fall of 1959 when a group of young hams, from left to right, K9JXY now W0OHU, K9PXV now W8EB, K9AKS,and W0VXO now KV4FZ (Herb), and K9CHZ who was taking the picture, plus others from the Quad Cities were operating in one of the VHF Contests.
K9AKS, Curt Roseman is credited with creating the Grid Square mapping that the VHF-UHF hams use to pin point their geographic location.
All of the then young hams are now still active after over 50 years.
Please feel free to email me at [email protected] or check out the other site for the Great Lakes DX / Contest Club at http://www.qsl.net/k9pxv/ and the PJ8A / PJ7B St. Maarten Web site at http://www.qsl.net/pj7b/.
Good DX, 73 for now,