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

Bob Rolfness, W7AVK

I'm not a writer but we'll see what I can do. Might enjoy the [photo above of a] "typical" novice transmitter from the early 1950s. Remember Heath haven't come out with their soon to be very famous AT-1 [6AG7 - 6L6, 5U4 cw only transmitter for $29.95] and most other manufactures hadn't realized the sales potential or numbers of the new (Novice) license.

In those days the "Bible" for many of us was the ARRL publication "How to Become a Radio Amateur." Besides going over the basics it had three simple receivers and transmitters. This was the first transmitter in the book, but not the first time it showed up in print. The first was just after WWII in QST but with a twist, no power supply. Notice the power plug to the power supply has the same pin out as a 6L6. [ie. pins 2 and 7 filament, etc.].

The idea in 1946 or 47 was a very simple transmitter where you could remove the audio output tube from a standard home radio of the day. [6V6, 6F6, 6L6, etc]. Put it in the transmitter and plug the transmitter into the receiver where the tube had been. Instant and cheap - on the air. But the idea of stealing power like this wasn't new. I can't find it but have been told a pair of audio output tubes used as a free running self excited push pull oscillator on 160 or 80 meters was published in the 1920s using the 211 tubes and power from the home receiver.

Lots of stories as we were so excited to be on the air, we didn't realize how simple and modest our stations were. My receiver was an ARC-5 command. Worked several hundred stations with one crystal at 3701 kcps. [Only two novice bands then - crystal control, 75 watt max, 3700 - 3750 kcps CW, and 145-147 mcps AM].

Like so many, that novice licensed shaped my life. I went on to get a BSEE from Oregon State and have completed a full career as a Field Engineer with several companies, starting with Collins Radio in the early 1960s.

I'm almost 70 and think back how lucky the guys of my age were. In the early 1950s WWII hadn't been over only a few years and many older hams were vets and products of the hard days of the 1930s. The help and feeling of fellowship among hams in general and at our club in Salem, Oregon was very very special.

73 Bob W7AVK


I too was an early 1950s young teen ager with a new WN7VZX call not not long after the novice license was created. In those days the FCC was still going through the available W7 three letter combinations in order the first time since starting in the late 1920s. A few years later they went back and reissued the old calls that had been dropped and my dad received WN7AVK. Which I asked for and received after his passing. :-)

Received a couple years ago a very nice wall hanging from the ARRL saying I have been a LIFE MEMBER for 50 years. In those days life member ship was calculated as 20 times a single year dues. Remember it cost me $120. A very big sum when receivers like the SX-71 were selling for $250.