Ham Radio & Electronics
I got my first ham radio license in 1960. My father bought a beautiful new National NC-109 receiver for me at Allied Radio in Chicago. He and I had taken the Novice License classes in Allied's cafeteria for about 10 weeks.
Though he also got a license, he never got on the air. He did it solely to encourage me.
My first "shack" was in the basement of our Chicago home. I got a Heathkit DX-40 transmitter kit for Christmas and had it built in time for the arrival of my FCC license in January. For nearly a year, I was limited to using Morse code and got reasonably proficient. I easily passed my General Class license test at the Federal Building in downtown Chicago. In those days, one had to actually be able to draw circuits and do calculations for the FCC test … no multiple choice!
By the following year, I had my up-graded license, microphone, and enough money saved to put a Hornet "beam antenna" on our roof. I am sure Dad worried about this 24 ft. lightning rod, but it allowed me to contact hams around the whole world. I will never forget the excitement of my first contact across the Atlantic with G3BID in England.