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

Matt Wheaton, W1EMM
(formerly WN1EMM, 1955)

Two of us in our high school (Lebanon, NH) were interested in electronics and such.  We got excited about Ham radio and through the help of two local Elmers (One was W1VEG, I can't remember the other.) We both got our novice licenses in 1955.  My friend W1END (formerly WN1END) maintained his license until today although he had some time of inactivity.  I let my license lapse until 2009 when I got my Amateur Extra license and my old call sign, W1EMM back (formerly WN1EMM).


My novice gear was a Hallicrafters S38.  It did not have a BFO so I got plans from somewhere, probably CQ magazine and installed a BFO.  I didn't have any heat in my shack, so the S38 got awfully cold when it was off. If you didn't let it warm up enough, it would drift so much you had to keep your hand on the tuning knob to stay with a QSO. Less expensive but more exciting was the Heathkit AT-1 transmitter.  The thrill of building it, throwing a wire out the bedroom window, keying it and getting a response was tremendous.

It is amazing what can be done with enough ignorance.  A wire out the window to a tall tree in the field, some NE-2 neon bulbs, a lot of minor RF burns to measure the signal strength and the world was out there.  I worked many states and Canada in those first few months.  QSL cards were everywhere.  Mine was printed on the back of a penny postcard in green ink which was the only color my neighbor with a printing press had.

When 15 meters became available to novices, I modified the AT-1.  I don't remember what the new output tube was, but it required neutralization.  I could not afford a variable trimming capacitor (It probably cost a dollar or more) so I made one by twisting two insulated wires together and snipping them with wire cutters until the proper capacitance was obtained.  After a while the RF would turn the plastic insulation into mush and I had to start over again.

I am having fun again at age 70, but there is nothing to match the fun of being 16 and a Ham radio operator.