Marcel Livesay, N5VU
(Formerly WN5VSS, 1976)
My Novice period started out exciting and only got better. I received WN5VSS in August 1976. I retained this call for almost 2 weeks (never even getting on the air yet) before the FCC sent me WB5VSS.
My first rig was a Swan Three Drifty. That rig was great. It allowed me to get an "Official Notice of Violation" from the FCC. I even got a QSL card from the station that I was talking to. I remember it all too well! I thought, "Man, what a short lived hobby." I had 10 days to reply to the FCC as to why I was @ 7.098 MHz talking to W3AKD. In effect, I got two QSL's for that one contact; Maryland W3AKD and Florida’s FCC Field Office. (Stupid 3-drifty) I apologized and life was good ever since.
I knew right then that I needed to upgrade. I upgraded in 1978 to General and then to Extra. Being a Novice was wonderful! The Novice license can be explained like this, "You get the experience first and the lesson later."
73, Marcel N5VU
I never got to use the (bicentennial) special call. I was scared enough to use my own!
I remember my log book where I logged every transmission, littered with "No contact." My Elmer lived 50 miles away and he explained to me after a couple of weeks that I did not have to log every contact. Hi! What a blessing! When I did finally start chatting with other Novices I started receiving all of the QSL's that were still printed with WN#&&&. I even purchased my own QSL cards with WN5VSS, and of course, two weeks later they came in as well as my WB5VSS call sign. Man!
Another thing I learned on CW: If you name is Marcel, people automatically think that you are a girl. I have a QSL that came to me with, "To the young lady ham operator of the house,..." I quickly changed my CW name to Mark. These new folks, God Bless them, they just don't know what they missed!
After the Swan, I upgraded to a rock bound Drake 2NT & 2C. It was the bomb!
3 for now, Marcel (DBA: Mark)