Doug Millar, K6JEY
(formerly KN6JEY, 1957)
Just a few notes about 1957-58. I had been interested in getting my license for about 2 years, starting when I was ten years old. It started when I had been left alone to play with an HQ129X and a Viking Ranger at the house of a ham who was a friend of my folks. I was busy while they visited. I never liked the HQ but bonded with the Ranger. I still have one.
I got my ticket the day after Christmas 1957 and immediately got on the air with my Millen 90800 and S 20R on 40 meters. I soon got a Q multiplier and had better success. Great days of lots of CW, but no real DX.
I recently found that I had talked to KN6LGL and realized he was still in the area so I finally sent him a QSL! Lots of happy memories of 7.195 listening to piles of novices and finding ones to talk to. The frustrations of equipment and lack of funds to get better equipment spurred me on to have a nice station.
I was always interested in VHF and up so ended up getting my
Technician before my General. Lots of surplus ARC 5's in the station, and that was my second rig. I was always bugging my mom to take me to Arrow Sales or KenRad Surplus for more parts. I was taught code by two ex military guys (W6ZSK and W6NYB) with good fists and always have been thankful for their skill and appreciation of CW.
In those days I dreamed about Collins S line, dish antennas and Gonset Communicator 3's. So guess what I have in the back for my "Classic" station and on 1296mhz?
When I got my ticket I had arranged with my second elmer, W6NYB who lived about a half mile away to have a QSO that night. I had one crystal, so that settled the frequency. He was very patient as I haltingly sent and received 5 wpm. I remember sweating and panicking whle copying what he sent. He sent me a QSL and I sent him one too. I had some of the free ones GE sent to you. However you had to fill in your own call and info. Later I got some WRL cards that showed what state you were in. They were cheap and very popular. One difficulty I had was my address. Can you imagine this at 5 WPM? "TNKS OM ADRS HR is 205 Paseo de las Delicias, Redondo Beach, Cal." Almost no one copied it straight off and frequently gave up. It was a pretty good location otherwise, but I asked my folks more than once for a PO Box. In the 70's I lived in North Dakota where I got active again after a long absence. The town was so small you could make a card out to K6JEY 98050. And it would get to me. Gwen was the postmistress and knew all those funny cards went to me.
I have been a ham 49 years and have numerous awards. I have talked all over the world. I have been on every band from 160m to 2304, 10, 24 and 78ghz. Done EME and satellites. And still there is more to learn and more fun to be had. There are also lots of good memories and lifetime friends. BTW, I did improve my code to 20wpm and moved!