Cam Harriot, KI6WK
(formerly WL7DDW, 1956)
In 1956 I was WL7DDW in Ketchikan, Alaska. I got my Novice license courtesy of the US Coast Guard operators in KTN.
One of the tiny TV shops in town went out of business and his wife had an auction. For ten dollars I got a Heathkit scope, two Coast Guard Transmitters in four foot high racks, a Navy Receiver that covered 3-12 MCs, a 3 ' by 2' by 5' "junk box" which was full of everything from resistors and capacitors to three foot long tubes, an army transmitter of uncertain vintage, a J-3 key, and a six foot 19" aluminum rack. I put the Navy receiver in the big rack, built it a power supply, and then modified the army transmitter for 40 meters CW. The circuit was simplicity itself - an xtal driven 6AG7 into an 807. I put up two twenty foot poles and strung my 40 meter antenna, fed with open wire lead. On the air I made a lot of contacts in SE Alaska. One evening I got a strange response to my CQ. He patiently kept sending his call until I figured out that it was VE9CJ in Australia. Sidney it turned out. He was a school teacher who had 65 kid in his class. He had decided to contact Novices in all US states and Territories. That was really exciting.
Cam Harriot KI6WK