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My Novice Year
banner.gif I'm grateful my father was supportive of ham radio from the beginning, and that I had Bill Young, W3MVX as my 8th grade english and history teacher. Bill ran the study group where I learned the material, passed the Novice exam, and got licensed as KN3YGU in 1963. After that, I was on my own. My first station was a Knightkit T-60 transmitter and a Heathkit GR-91 receiver. The receiver was poor, so I added a homebuilt 6CG7 Regenerative Preselector from the 63 ARRL Handbook, and a Heathkit HD-11 Q-Multiplier. Because I built everything, those early experiences fixed my interest in homebrew radio gear. My antenna was a 40 meter dipole in the attic of our single-story house. Conveniently, the house was 65 feet long, so it just fit. Not having the benefit of an older ham's advice, I struggled with this setup for several months, making contacts in the midwest and up and down the east coast from Maryland. Eventually I realized that I needed a higher, outside antenna if I wanted to work greater distances. I remember being thrilled with my first contact, 50 miles away, pushing my distance record further out, week by week, and working my first DX- a VE3 in Ontario. Once the outside antenna went up, my log started to fill up with western US calls, and I worked my first California station. By the time my novice license expired, I had confirmed 43 states and had developed a strong interest in DXing!

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