Our Stories
 Bernie Huth W4BGH
 Bill Penhallegon W4STX
 Mike Branca W3IRZ
 Woody Pope ex-KN5GCM
 Ken Barber W2DTC
 Wayne Beck K5MB 
 Chuck Counselman W1HIS
 Dan Cron W6SBE
 Keith Synder KE7IOW
 Cam Harriot KI6WK 
 Ray Colbert W5XE 
 Slim Copeland K4KCS
 Dean Norris K7NO 
 John Fuller K4HQK
 Bill Tippett W4ZV
 Paula Keiser K8PK
 Mickey LeBoeuf K5ML
 Jim Cadien KC7ZMV
 Tony Rogozinski W4OI 
 Norm Goodkin K6YXH
 Doug Millar K6JEY
 Richard Cohen K6DBR
 Dick Newsome W0HXL
 Jeff Lackey K8CQ
 John Miller K6MM
 Al Burnham K6RIM 
 Jeff Wolf K6JW
 Jay Slough K4ZLE
 Mike Chernus K6PZN
 Richard Dillman W6AWO
 Stan Miln K6RMR 
 George Ison K4ZMI
 Don Minkoff NK6A  
 Tom Wilson K7FA
 Glen Zook K9STH
 Val Erwin W5PUT 
 Chas Shinn W7MAP/5
 Dean Straw N6BV
 Art Mouton K5FNQ
 Bob Silverman WA6MRK
Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH
1951 - 1955
1956 - 1960
1961 - 1965
1966 - 1970
1971 - 1975
1976 - 1980
1981 - 1990
1991 - 2000

Don Minkoff, NK6A
(WV6HYE, 1959, WA6IYK)

A log book and a QSL of the periodSaturday night was time for Gunsmoke on channel two if my memory serves me correctly.  The family Emerson black and white 19 inch TV was hooked up via 300 ohm twin lead to a bow-tie antenna that also picked up interference from our neighbor three doors away.  Every time Charley, W6NQX, would transmit, he would interfere with our TV.  I would run down to his house and shack (which was in the garage and always open) to complain.  I was hooked watching him tune in distant DX stations on his National HRO50. I even got to plug in different band modules.   I was able to listen to both sides of the QSO before being  dragged home by my mother.  This was probably in late 1958.  I was 11 years old. 


I would spend many days and nights listening and even talking to a few stations while visiting Charley. At home I listened to shortwave stations on an old multi-band radio where I could hear W6NQX on AM phone but still only one side of the QSO.  I needed a better receiver.  Paper route money, mowing lawn money and even shoeshine money got me a Hallicrafters SX99 receiver from Thrifty Electronics in Van Nuys.  There sure were a lot of electronics stores back then.  Olson Electronics, Thrifty, Valley Electronics on Sherman Way, Panorama City Electronics, Allied, Lafayette, and a few I forgot.


I built a one-tube code practice oscillator that had a nice raspy sound.  My initial entry into learning code was from a cardboard semaphore toy that had the code on the back and you squeezed it to make flashes (black and white horizontal lines).


Some han radio-related literature of the periodI took a class at Valley Electronics taught by W6DDB, I believe, during the summer of 1959 and soon took my Novice test.  August of 1959 I became WV6HYF.  I went out (a big chore for a 12-year-old who didn’t drive) to Henry Radio on Olympic in West Los Angeles. I lived in Panorama City near Van Nuys. I bought a used Heathkit DX40. I strung up a dipole and used a knife switch for my transmit receive switch. I bought crystals for 40 meters (7199, 7175, 7160) and 15 meters.  I still have all those FT243 crystals.


I began as a 7th grader at Robert Fulton Junior High in September 1959 and  joined the radio club.  I don’t recall much but there were a number of hams in that club and a station on the second floor.  I also joined the San Fernando Radio Club, W6SD.  I later purchased a used Hygain 18AVQ.  All band ground mounted vertical. I was using a straight key that I borrowed from Charley. A J44. I still have it. I later purchased a Monarch enclosed Bug.


My big DX during my Novice year was Hawaii on 15 meters (see my first DX QSL card above).  I have my entire original QSL cards from my Novice days but have yet to find my own original card or my license. Those days many card shops would send out offers and specials to new Novices. Brownie, Little Print Shop out of Texas.


I was not fortunate enough to upgrade to General or Technician during my Novice year of activity. I sure did try. I failed a few times at the FCC office in Downtown Los Angeles. One time for the code and a few times for the theory. It would be a few more years until I finally passed and became a General.