Brian Lamb, KE4QZB (1994)
My name is Brian Lambe and I currently hold the call sign KE4QZB. I have been an active ham since September of 1994. I was first licensed as a "Tech No Code", but after about a month of boredom on the VHF bands, I studied the morse code tapes like crazy after school hours on the bus ride home from school. I was a freshman in high school and the thought of learning morse code was really cool to me, it was something that many of my friends and other class mates did not know.
So, on December 16th, 1994, I passed my 5WPM novice code exam, I think it was element 1A. I was so excited. My dad drove me to the testing site at the Gastonia Library, in Gastonia, NC. I was so happy to tell him, when he came back to pick me up, that I had passed my code exam!!! I didn't have any HF equipment, so I went down to the local club station, W4BFB, which is located at the Discovery Place (science museum) in downtown Charlotte, NC. Once there, I waived my white CSCE (certificate of successful completion of examination) at the volunteer operator and told him I wanted to get on 40 meter CW!!!
So, he walked me through on how to set-up the station, which consisted of a Yaesu FT-747GX, and a R7000 vertical, with a tuner, and straight key. I tuned the radio and called CQ several times, somewhere around 7.120 KHz. Out of the noise and bedlam, came back KE4QZB de N3HUO. The volunteer operator helped me with my call sign and N3HUO's call, as I still had a difficult time with "Q" and "H" , hi! My first QSO, Don, in Allentown, PA, what a thrill!!! I was hooked line and sinker!!
From that point on, I would try to go down to the club station on Friday afternoons after school and operate the club's equipment I made contacts all over the eastern seaboard! It was awesome, I sent everyone I made contact with a QSL card, hi! The following year, I got my own 40 meter QRP transceiver and operated with 5watts and an attic antenna, which still netted me thousands of QSO's!
I then operated my FIRST field day, Field Day 1995. I had a blast too, operating inside the novice tent with a fellow novice operator! He brought his FT-757 and we operated the whole night. I first learned how to use a keyer during this event and got my code speed up to around 13 WPM. I remember hearing W7's and W6's on the 4 meter novice subband and working them during Field Day, what a night!! I also operated 80 meters for the first time during this event! I made over 150 QSO's that night during field day, including a YV5 station in Venezuela, on 40 meters, in the Novice subbands!! When my dad came and picked me up at 8 AM that morning, I didn't want to leave!! I told my brother that morning about all the fun I had, even though I was exhausted, hi!!
Well, that's my novice story. I wish the novice subbands were still around. I used to love hanging around them, listening for that nervous slow sounding CQ. I am glad I got licensed as a kid in high school, I think it kept me out of a lot of trouble, hi!! I also developed good communication skills, and more importantly, warm relationships with fellow hams! I think this website is GREAT, as it captures our first fits and starts into this wonderful hobby! I hope you enjoyed my short story, as I have enjoyed reading everyone else's!
Take care, very 73's/DX,
Brian Lambe, KE4QZB ... -.-