Bob Brown, W4YFJ
My elmer was Frederick Calvert, W4CMV back in the mid 1950's. He was an amazing operator...He could work 45 wpm, work with his stamp collection and talk to you at the same time. He spent many years as a radio operator in the U. S. Navy during World War II. He had a paper tape machine that I could listen to, to learn the code.
I lived in Arlington Virginia and rode the bus into Washington DC to the FCC to take my test. I flunked the code the first time that I went. Went back about 90 days later and passed. I do not remember how long that it took to mail the ticket to me, however, I was very happy to get it. WN4FXO was my first call.
My station was a Hallacrafters S20-R and the transmitter was a home brew with a 6L6 as the final. I used a windom antenna with Television twin-lead and had a great time. I only had two crystals 7189 and 7194 KHz. Radio Moscow was on 7190 at that time and my only option was to get up in the morning before school and work and work the Hams out in the Midwest. Still had a great time. The S20-R was in perfect shape for one built back in the late 30's. No scratches, rust or dust. The only thing wrong was for some reason it had white paint on the line cord as if some one painted a room and did not move the cord when they painted. I lent this receiver to a friend of mine in the early 60's in order for him to learn the code. Never got it back. For some strange reason, I wanted a S20R when I was about 65 years old. I had been looking for one in good shape at hamfests and simply could not find one. I placed a query out on the internet looking for one in good shape. I got an answer from some one out in California and he said that he had 15 of them. He said send me $100 and I will send you my best one. I got it in the mail in perfect shape, no scratches, no rust, no dust and it worked. Only one thing wrong.......It had white paint on the line cord. I surely wish that I had kept track of the serial number.
Bob Brown W4YFJ