The Early Years
N6HB Amateur Radio (AKA, ham radio), the early years, as KA1XN and WA1IZS.

These are highlights of operating activities through 1981, and influences along the way.

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WN1IZS station, circa 1967 (featuring homebrew transmitter with 2x 6BG6 and a single 6V6). Photo at right is the original (1967) WN1IZS station. At left is the home-brew transmitter; a pair of 6BG6's in the final, and a 6V6 oscillator. The power supply is behind it, a 1950s vintage RCA Victor tv chassis (with exposed HV wiring!); a Lafayette HA-700 receiver and Starflite transmitter are on right.  I got zapped by this setup more than once!

Sister Loretto Thomas, K1ZOH (SK), was probably my earliest influence. She was my Drafting teacher and the trustee of our high school club station, K1UHA. I am certain that I would have never been exposed to Amateur Radio without her.

In late 1968 I had my first contact with WA1HLR. Tim is a colorful character and a technical wizard. He was and is a fixture on 75M AM. Although our ham careers obviously took separate paths, I still consider Tim (aka, The Timtron) a good friend, and we run into each other every few years.

I disappeared from the airwaves during the early and mid 1970s. Along about 1978, I discovered 2M FM. I used it to get reacquainted with the hobby, and as a means of staying in touch with my wife (WA1ZDE) while I was on the road. Remember, the PC didn't come along until the early 80's, and cellular communications were a distant dream.

In 1976, I seriously caught the motorcycle bug. Click here to see my Show-Go bike from 1979, a customized Yamaha 1100. Those were definitely the DINK (dual income, no kids) days, as I spent a lot of time and money on my bikes. I sold them all in 1982, with the imminent birth of my twin daughters (figured I'd have other distractions and expenses).

In 1981 we bought our first house and moved to Springfield, Massachusetts. Here is a picture of my first antenna there. It isn't much, but I was in a hurry, and wanted something up before first snowfall. This same freestanding tower eventually supported a wide-spaced 4-element 20M yagi, a 5-element rotary delta-loop (interlaced elements for 10M and 15M), a steel cross-boom supporting a 2-element 80M wire beam, and various fixed 2M and 440 MHz antennas. I don't know how it all stayed up in the air — enthusiasm conquers all I guess!

Continued on The DX Years pages . . .


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(Page last updated: 30-Apr-2005)