Our Stories
 Mary Moore WX4MM
 Tom Fagan K7DF
 John Yasuda WB6PTC
 Lyle Heide WB9VTM
 Charles Bibb K5ZK
 Scott McMullen W5ESE
 Steve Melachrinos W3HF
 Marcel Livesay N5VU
 Rick Palm, K1CE
 Keith Darwin N1AS
 Russ Roberts KH6JRM
 Barry Whittemore WB1EDI
 Tom Herold N9BUL
 Larry Makoski W2LJ
 Alice King AI4K
 Fred Soper KC8FS
 Ann Santos WA1S
 Bill Brown KA6KBC 
 Matt Tinker AA8P
1951 - 1955
1956 - 1960
1961 - 1965
1966 - 1970
1971 - 1975
1976 - 1980
1981 - 1990
1991 - 2000

Bill Brown, KA6KBC
(formerly KA6KBC, 1980)

I started building radios with my dad (WB6CGN SK), when I was in 5th Grade. I  was interested in Ham Radio even before that. I must have been in 2nd grade  and I wanted a Ham Radio for Christmas I ended up getting a windup Radio instead  (I was very disappointed at the time). I received my first HAM ticket, when I  was attending Fontana High School in 1979. I got my Novice Call KA6KBC after two  tries on the written test. I did not have much trouble with the 5 WPM Code, but of some reason could not pass the theory part. It was part of the Com Lab Program  headed up by Lou Malory (WA6DVK). Club call was WB6HJJ (see QSL, below). Everyday we practiced  Code and studied theory. Every 3 months or so Mr. Malory would administer the  Novice Test. After three years of study I received a Vocational Electronics  Communications certificate. This lead me later in life to a Career in Electronics  as an Engineer.

WB6HJJ - KA6KBC's radio club QSLFor me my first Rig was a Homebrew 6L6 Transmitter that my Dad (WB6CGN SK) and I  built. I remember that I had to order Crystals from a company in Florida (CW Crystals ?)  and it took about 6 Weeks to get them. So I had a transmitter that I could not test for  weeks after building. I ended up with two crystals that worked - one at 7.125MHZ and one  at 7.118MHZ. I put out a blistering 10 watts. My dad was a really "Old School" Ham - Even  back then not many people Homebrewed, but he thought it was the best way to learned. It  was a great way to start out in the hobby.

For my receiver my Dad loaned me his old Collins 75A Receiver. It was as big as a barn.  I still have the thing in the garage. For my Antenna I had a Dipole over the top of  the house and into the Trees. At the time I did not realize that most of my power was  going into the trees :)

As a Novice none of us really knew what we were doing, but it was lots of fun. It took  me weeks to make my first CW contact. Back then you got really good at sending "CQ CQ  CQ DE KA6KBC" over and over again. I did start making a few contacts then started getting  QSL cards, which was a rush. I upgraded from Novice to General to Advanced, but still only  had a CW Rig :(

I later upgraded to an Old Collins Transmitter (1950's - 32V) with a VFO, which at the  time was a major upgrade, but still used the Collins 75A Receiver. I later upgraded  again to an old HeathKit SB101 Transceiver. Wow - major upgrade as I could operate more  than 40 Meters CW. Now I had SSB and more bands. My final upgrade was a Kenwood  TS520S, which I got back in 1982 and is still my only HF Rig, but might upgrade again  in a few years :)

Those were the days - Fun stuff.

- Bill - KA6KBC