Our Stories
Bill Weinhardt W9PPG
Dale Bredon W6BGK 
Bob McDonald W4DYF
Charlie Curle AD4F
Jim Franklin K4TMJ 
Elmer Harger N7EL
Byron Engen W4EBA
Hank Greeb N8XX
Gene Gertler, AD2I
Richard Schachter W6HII
Dick Bender W3SYY
Tom Webb W4YOK 
Ron D' Eau Claire AC7AC
Ron Baker WA6AZN
Sam Whitley K5SW 
Gary Borri K9DBR
Steve Jensen W6RHM
Jim Leighty W6UJX
Dan Girand W5ARB
Dan Bathker K6BLG
Bill Bell KN2CZZ 
George Marko K2DWL  
Kenny Cassidy WN2WNC
Rick Faust N2RF
Fred Jensen K6DGW
Alvin Burgland W6WJ
Paul Signorelli W0RW
Jim Brown W5ZIT
Bob Rolfness W7AVK
Paul Danzer N1II
Charlie Lofgren W6JJZ
Joe Montgomery W1DWJ
Dick Dabney K6BZZ
Ray Cadmus W0PFO
John Johnston W3BE
Dan Smith K6PRK
Dick Zalewski W7ZR
Bob Brown W4YFJ
L.B. Cebik W4RNL (sk) 
Carl Yaffey K8NU 
Gary Liljegren W4GAL 
 Paul Johnston W9PJ
Jack Burks K4CNW
Al Cammarata W3AWU
Gene Schonrock W6EAJ
Dave Germeyer W3BJG 
David Quagiana K2MTW
Dan Schobert W9MFG
Jack Schmidling K9ACT
Dan Marks ex-K6IQF
Matt Wheaton W1EMM 
1951 - 1955
1956 - 1960
1961 - 1965
1966 - 1970
1971 - 1975
1976 - 1980
1981 - 1990
1991 - 2000

Dan Smith, K6PRK
(formerly KN6ERV, 1954)

My Novice days were certainly great fun for a 15 year old kid.  I was amongst a group of high school hams or would be hams. 

The code part of my ticket was hard won since I "learned" the code as a Boy Scout for a Merit badge.  The hardest part of learning the code was un-learning the dots and dashes memorized as a scout. 

At the time K6USN was on the air from Treasure Island CA and had code practice sessions on the 80 meter ham band.  I used this to get my speed up to 5 wpm (barely).  A couple of us went to the FCC in San Francisco for the Novice test.  Some how I overcame my nervousness and managed to copy 25 consecutive letters and passed the test.

After that I kept checking the mail box every day after school to see if my hard won license arrived.  About 6 weeks after I took the test, I missed one day of checking the mailbox.  I had my transmitter all ready to go and I had it planned to get on the air as soon as I had the license in hand. The date was May 1954.

My mother casually mentioned at about 8PM that evening that I had some mail.  I got a little angry with her for waiting until evening to give it to me.  I ripped the envelope open and there was my license. My call letters were KN6ERV.  I ran out into my shack and got on 3725Kc and put out a CQ and got an answer from KN6DYM in Delhi, California.  I lived in Walnut Creek, California at the time.  About 70 miles away.  I was so nervous I could barely copy.  I still have the QSL card of my first QSO.   From that point, my enjoyment grew as a new ham.   I managed to get my code speed up to about 10WPM, but had trouble getting over that plateau. 

About 6 months into my ham experience, a friend of mine offered me some 2 meter gear so I could get on phone.  It was a huge mistake getting on 2 meters.  My code speed went backwards as I enjoyed the 2 Meter AM band.  My license ran out and I couldn't copy 13 WPM.

I waited over a year before I went for the Technician license. I could still handle 5 WPM.  I requested my original call, but the call was assigned to someone else.  I ended up with K6PRK.

I could get my original call letters back now as a vanity, but I chose to keep my second call letters.

There was some magic with the Novice License and I look back at it as probably the most fun I have had in Ham Radio.  Somewhere I still have my Novice license card. I will have to look for it again.

My first rig was a Meissner Signal Shifter driving an ARC-5 transmitter. My receiver was an ARC 5  3 to 6Mc command receiver.  I had a center fed dipole up about 40' off the ground.  Of course the Meissner was used with a 3725Mc crystal to stay within the law, although it was as steady as a crystal when used in the VFO position.