John Miller, K6MM
(formerly WV2BQJ, 1958)
I first became interested in Amateur Radio in the mid-50s as a teenager living in Syracuse, NY. I began as an SWL (Short Wave Listener) with a classic Hallicrafters S-38E receiver in 1956.
My best buddy in high school (Gary Lindstrom, K2UZJ) became my first Elmer, helping my get my Novice "Ticket", WV2BQJ, in 1958. One year later, I upgraded to General Class as WA2BQJ and I was on my way!
My first station consisted of a Heathkit DX-40 transmitter, Hallicrafters SX-99 Receiver, Autek QF-1 Q-Multiplier, and a 66ft. end fed long wire at 25 ft. I can still remember the thrill of firing up my own kit-built DX-40 and working having my first QSO with KN2HPL in Hammondsport, NY.
In 1968, moved to Cleveland, OH, and operated as WB8CHZ for 3 years, only on 6M using a Heathkit 6M "Benton Harbor Lunchbox".
In 1973, I relocated to Philadelphia, PA, operating as WA3VTM, solely on 2M. Heading west to California in 1976, I obtained my first "6=Land" callsign, WA6OMA.
When I upgraded to Advanced Class in 1987 as KE6MI, I built a new station consisting of a Yaesu FT101E and Hustler 4-BTV antenna. This became my main station for many years.
I dropped out of the hobby in1990 because of heavy work-related travel. Then in July, 2005, I decided to "Go The Extra Mile", and passed the Extra Class license exam. After meeting with the family of Silent Key, William Marcum, the original holder of the callsign K6MM, I applied for and was assigned his old callsign on July 8, 2005.
You can see my tribute to William Marcum, as well as a more complete set of License History photos on my website here: (www.k6mm.com). I am honored to be able to put his callsign back on the air again, as a DXer, Contester, and Rag-chewer.
I've included some photos of those Novice Days. This is my 50th year in amateur radio, but those early years as a Novice & General class licensee hold some of my best memories of this great hobby.
John Miller, K6MM
San Jose, CA
January 6, 2009