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Tom Herrold, N9BUL
(formerly WD9BUL, 1977)

My name Is TOM.

My QTH is Beloit, WI.

U R 599

Tnx de WD9BCL


My name is Tom. This is what I wrote down on a piece of paper the get me started. I was granted my NEW Novice License on 2/11/1977..  WD9BCL. WOW !!! What a proud day.. WHEW !! Now to get on the air, which did take me awhile.. My friend Dave came over and helped erect my 5-Band Hustler Vertical on a tri-pod on the roof of my 2 story house.. WX was not to bad and I was younger then..

Well in the following few days it took me time to get the nerve up, but still coping every night..

Well here goes...

I called CQ on the 18th of March, 1977.. Freq  7.145.. 21:00 UTC..

"Ole my, what have I done" ?? Panic set in 10 times over..

Back came the call "WB2JPE"   ur 599.. Name is ED.. How copy? Bk to U..


Well the copy was BAD, VERY BAD..

Well I went back to him with just what I had on my piece of paper..

Name.. QTH.. UR 599.. de WD9BCL

In return was his QTH  as I copied it.. " P GH E PS  NY"  I missed the rest in-between.. Plus more.. I can tell you this as I HAVE MY FIRST 1OO QSO ON LEGAL PAPER still in a folder to cherish..  But ED stuck with me and I finished up my very first CW contact..  With all the "pse repeats"  Well what seem to be HOURS,  ED got me through it..

I have my first 100 contacts and my brother (W9DL) and his friend (WB9DIL) would come over and PUT SLASH MARKS through all those  letters to make WORDS and show me what some of those contacts said.. Boy was I surprised.. HA..

While writing this I had to go back and read them again.. What fond memories of my Novice Days..

Well several years ago my ELMER.. W9RYO, Roy passed away and I brought home all his QSL cards and log book from 1934 to 1939 as this is when Roy went into service.. Not many contacts, but lots of CQ's In the log books.. In those days you had to log every CQ, time.

So I spent some of my winter months looking up on QRZ,  just who had this call now.. With each person who had a email address I scanned the card and ask them if they would like a piece of history of there call.. SASE me, and you may have it.. I received 79 replies and sent them out to each one.

But what was nice about this project was I received a nice letter from a fellow who was the son and had taken his fathers call letters through the FCC.. He looked back into his fathers old logs and  also found Roy's card to his father and also where in the log book it was the same as on the card.. 


So this inspired me to look up my first CW contact on QRZ.. Maybe I could get my first QSL card back..  So WB2JPE had changed his call to WC2J and there was the address..

I emailed him and told him of just what I had been doing and thought MAYBE you may still have my Very First CW Contact Card ???? Back came an email.. Well, Hi Tom.. YES I have it, the envelope it came in and your letter explaining to me how nervous you were and so forth.. I will sent them off to you for you to enjoy.. Minus the stamp as I collect stamps..

Well it's 30 years later and the thrill of a CW signal are still a fond memory.. My wife and children can speak Spanish and French.. BUT I SEND,  WRITE and UNDERSTAND MORSE CODE..


The name is TOM.

The QTH is Beloit, WI.

U R 599

de N9BUL  (ex-WD9BCL)