50+ Years of Ham
On June 25th, 1957 I received my first amateur radio license - KN5LAD.
Now, after all these years, I'm looking forward to celebrating my 50 years in this
hobby. They have been enjoyable years and I've done a lot, learned a lot, messed up
a lot, helped a lot of others to become hams and generally had a wonderful time. I'm
looking forward to the next 50 years and if they're half of much fun as the previous 50
years, then I can hardly wait to see them arrive. Back when I was first licensed,
the Novice license was only good for one year (non-renewable) and only allowed operation
on CW. There had been a time when Novices could also operate AM on 2 meters, and Oh,
I wanted to get on phone, but I think that restriction had passed. I'm pulling all of
these memories from the back of my skull and you know that if I'm celebrating 50 years in
the hobby then I must have several more years on my odometer and "us old folks"
have some problems recalling things like we did in our earlier days. If you are an
old timer and you read something which doesn't sound quite right, just remember that these
are my memories, as best they have remained with me. Before my Novice year had expired,
I got a Technician and then a General Class license. I got my Advanced in 1971 and
kept that until 2001 when I became an Extra.
I've worked on all bands from 160-70cm and dabbled in many modes: AM, SSB,
RTTY, CW (short dabble), ATV, FM, SSTV. I've been involved in DX, Ragchewing,
Contests, Nets, Army MARS, and lots of homebrewing (electronics, that is). I
built the first Army MARS repeater, for this area and probably all of Oklahoma, back in
1968 or 69 (can't remember too well back that far). I built several
repeaters on 2, 220, and 70 cm and still own and operate the 146.10/.70 and 444.9/444.3
repeaters in Owasso, OK.
I have RCC, WAS, WAC, DXCC certificates. I have a sticker for 112 countries
and I never did send in any more cards. I keep threatening to send in many more
cards which I've received since those I had when I originally got the 112 in 1972.
I'll sure do that..................... some day.
NOTE: Actually "some day" finally arrived in 2010 when I
cashed in my Logbook of the World DX contacts. Now I'm up to something like 250 or
so and still have quite a few actual paper QSL cards to have checked. I'll get that
done "some day" too.
I owned and operated a ham radio store called Derrick Electronics in Broken Arrow (OK)
from 1970-1981. I also spent 30+ years in education business teaching junior
high and high school plus I was the Computer Coordinator for Tulsa Public Schools for 9
years. I'm a member of Tulsa Amateur Radio Club, The Electron Benders
ARC, and QCWA. I guess I'm also a defunct member of the defunct Owasso Amateur Radio Club
My wife is Gloria - WA5SNU, my oldest son is Russell - KD6GGI, and my youngest son is
Daniel - KF6LMF. I've had several ham articles published in a defunct computer
magazine called One Thousand (Tandy 1000 series) and in several in the now defunct 73
Magazine. Hmmmmmm..... I'm starting to see a common thread in "defunction"
so perhaps I should admit right now that I'm a defunctional personality. Perhaps I'm
just a person who "uses up" his affiliations.
I recently sat down and wrote a quick title to some of the many things I've seen and lived
through in my colorful ham career. Since that time, as I get a chance, I've tried to
"flesh out" the story behind that quick memory note. I'm getting enough
stories written now so that I can begin to share them with others. I have no
aspirations of becoming a great writer and I won't be surprised if nobody spends the time
to read any of these stories. They have, however, been very therapeutic for me and
they've brought back some very happy memories that I had long-since forgotten.
I've been contacted, on several occasions, by ham club newsletter editors,
asking if they could use something from my website in their newsletters. The answer
is "yes, by all means" but I would appreciate you letting me know (email@example.com) and if you would, please show a
reference to the URL where you found it. A copy of the complete article would also
be nice, either via email file or snail mail (address in QRZ.com).
I'll continue to add to the pages as I write additional parts. If you
choose to read any of these, I'll try to add a few each month or so and you can check back
and see if I mentioned something about you that you wish had not been told. I'll try
to make a note of an approximate time period when these things happened. These are
at the mercy of my memory so if I miss one..... or miss one by a mile, you'll understand
Thanks for reading even this far.
Jim Pickett - K5LAD (Ham Radio 1957----
Vol. I -
CW contact (1957)
Uh-Oh Antenna (1957)
Club Meeting, Are You Ready For the Test? (1957)
Vol. II -
Field Day (1958)
the General Class Test (1957)
Springs Amateur Radio Club (1956-1959)
Vol. III -
of Antenna Wire (1957)
of Wire (1957)
Was a Wonderful Place (1957)
Vol. IV -
First Receiver Heath AR-3 (1957)
to Have Friends in High Places (1957)
Birthday Hole (1961)
Vol. V -
College Station Receiver (1959)
Favorite Antenna (1965)
Secret Hamshack Telephone (1961)
Vol. VI -
Participation in Pirate Radio
college electronics activities
Vol. VII -
Memories of Two Meters
Vol. VIII -
contact Special antenna My Cuban CW contact on 20 (1958)
First Transmitter Was a Globe Chief 90 (1957)
On Phone Building an AM Plate Modulator (1958)
11 meter activity (1958)
Vol. IX -
History Repeat Itself?
Vol. X -
Get By With a Little Help From My Friends
Vol. XI -
Its Only Paper but it Sure Made Me Happy
Vol. XII -
How I Work DX and DX Contests
Picking the Frequencies When and Why?
Vol. XIV -
A Shocking Novice Deed only now being told
Vol. XV -
Hey, Thats a Bright Idea
Vol. XVI -
Many Truck Lines Were Filled with Big Dummies
Hams From My Past
. A Woodpecker?
Vol. XIX -
Equipment Frequency Accuracies and the 100 Kc
Vol. XX -
Did You Say???
Vol. XXI -
My First Tower and How I Got It
wanna git me one of them thar Hopper tubes
Memories of Early Day SSB
That Transmitting --- IMMEDIATELY!!!
Vol. XXV -
Building HF Amplifiers
to get a new radio past your wife
Vol. XXVII -
Old Did You Say You Were?
Vol. XXVIII -
the Same Old Grind
Vol. XXX -
Hold Your Breath That Long Youre Turning Blue
Update Should Be Crystal Clear
Story of Old Bill
is So Important
Vol. XXXII -
Vol. XXXIII -
Switchable Antennas -- All via a Single Piece of Coax
Vol. XXXIV -
I Waited Long Enough and My Diddles Have Returned
Vol. XXXV -
Spanning Several Decades
Vol. XXXVI -
Vol. XXXVII -
Ham-handled Messages (pre-Internet)
Vol. XXXVIII -
Working DX With
Vol. XXXIX -
No Kids, No Space Cadets"
Here Come the Bloodhounds (Sniff-It)
To Work Better When They're Higher In the Air
The Secret to
Working DX is Antennas Placement
Terminology On a Classic Transceiver
If the Words
Get Stuck In Your Throat................
Course In Working DX on CW
Look, It's the
Cards Ham call letter tags
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