I was interested in ham radio back in the mid 70’s, but I didn’t know any active hams, much less have the where with all to go to the FCC building in Minneapolis to go take an exam. Alas, I did have an elmer W9IFU, who was very active from the 40’s up until the late 60’s… and then pretty much put away his key.
Alas, he did have a top notch Hallicrafters R-274 (mil version of the SX-73) which he gave to me. I used the thing a great deal to listen in on all the activity on HF, but with no ticket, and no transmitter, thats pretty much the story up until the early 90’s… when my patent attorney K4ESQ got me rolling. He loaned me his Kenwood mobile rig once I got licensed and it was a real blast… and before too long he had his rig back and I had a brand new TM-733 and Larsen antenna courtesy of my wife to be.
I did skywarn, got involved in clubs, got involved in ham fests including a whole years worth of traveling show to show as a vendor. Some years later I had a 287 mile commute and 2 meters kept me awake many a winter night.
And then, boom… I went silent, just as my early Elmer had done. I guess there is a time for every season.
In 2014, I finally sat for my Extra class, albeit I had passed the advanced written exam back in 95, but could never get my code much beyond 9wpm… so the general remained out of reach until the end of code era, but then I wasn’t much interested in it anymore.
So… since I passed the Extra exam in Sept 2014, I have yet to make a QSO, but I do expect that to change in 2015. I think I have some corrosion issues with my trucks antenna cable. I’ve got some burned out peanut bulbs in the TM-733 that need to be replaced… pretty much I’ve got to get my infrastructure back up and rolling again. In Dec 2014, I went so far as to pick up a couple Kantronics 9612+s so who knows, maybe my first QSO to get back in the game will be digital!!!