My first ham radio call sign, in 1956, was KNØGST, a
novice at 16 years of age. The first transmitter was home built, a single
6V6 tube on a piece of wood. Later I moved up the ranks and worked at any
job to afford the Cadillac of the day, a Collins receiver.
In 1967 I moved to California and got my call changed. I was given
W6REC and I love it. Those letters (REC) make for lots of acronym type fun
jokes, such as Retarded Elderly Codger, Radio Extra Class and hundreds
I have been lucky to have operated amateur radio in several countries
while working and traveling. Here is the list as I remember them; Canada,
Mexico, Hawaii, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein,
Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, Mongolia, Czech
Republic, New Zealand, Australia, Lord Howe Island, Kermadec Islands,
Antarctica, Fiji and Monserrat. I hold the permanent CEPT call of OK8AVA
for the Czech Republic.
Somehow I got involved in radio contesting in 1982. A club call (NC6M)
has been issued for my friends and I to use. It works much better for both
voice and CW (Morse Code) than my own call. To make radio life even harder
I often use very low power, called QRP, in radio lingo.
currently has two towers; one at 86 ft and the other at 106 ft. For 80
meters a 4 square is in use. It is made of 4 62 ft lengths of 3" aluminum
irrigation tubing. With the required radials it takes up 180 ft X 180 ft
in our yard. It works very well and with only 5 watts I now have 80
countries worked on all 7 continents. About 1/2 are SSB and 1/2 are CW.
In the last few
years my ham radio experience has allowed me to work in the cellular
telephone business, called wireless. Finally, I learned to install cables
neatly. See the before and after pictures of the exact same station.