I still remember the trip down to 301 Spring Street in Los Angeles to take the exam and the paper tape morse code sending machine. I also had to send as I recall and I was so nervous that they gave me a couple of minutes to collect myself.
The rig in the photo consists of a single 6L6 power oscillator crystal controlled transmitter. It was described in "How to Become a Radio Amateur", an ARRL publication of that same year. I still have my 3743 crystal which I later augmented with a 3736 crystal, both from "Monitor Crystal Company". The large variable capacitor seen in the photo had 350 volts DC on the frame of the capacitor as I recall and I was reminded of that every time my thumb slipped off the tuning nob and touched the capacitor. I built the transmitter and the power supply (left side of photo).
The receiver was an "AR12" which was WWII surplus from the "Hellcat" F6F airplane. I paid $10.00 for it which was several months allowance as I recall. The 80 meter novice band occupied about 1/8 inch on the dial near the center of the span. The receiver tuned 3 - 6 MHz and I could hear WWV on 5 MHz nicely with it.
I am still in touch with Jim Leighty, WN6UJX, (now W6UJX) who lives in Little Rock, CA. He was my first contact. He was in Van Nuys at the time and I was in Studio City. My best DX with that rig was WN5WFJ in Dallas, TX I remember. I never could get it to oscillate on 40 M so I never got on 40 meters with that transmitter. The antenna was a 130 foot long windom working against a water pipe ground.
(Notice Jim's novice QSL card in Steve's picture above. See Jim's Comments on Steve's story on this website).