Ham Radio

I have been an amateur radio operator since 1963. when  I successfully passed my first radio examine as a novice.  In later years I upgraded to General Class, then to Advanced Class and now hold an Extra Class license, the highest class of license for Amateur Radio Operators.  Callsigns that I have had in the past, issued by Federal Communication Commission; WN5IYC, WA5NSC, WB5LXA and KZ5FB issued by the Canal Zone Government,  Canal Zone, Panama.  My current license W5BX is a vanity callsign issued by Federal Communication Commission in 1996.

My first license, effective date 7-23-63

I was not issued a callsign because I did not have a permanent residence. According to the Federal Communication Commissiom at that time my Army address was not permanent!!

My main interest in the hobby has been HF (high frequency) using both voice and CW (continuous wave,  morse code).  In late 70's and early 80's I did some teletype using old surplus equipment which I converted to amateur use.  In the early 90's I did some packet radio which did not last too long.   Just about the time that I got on packet most Hams were leaving the mode and soon there was none in my area.   I also use VHF for local communications.

Getting on the air was a big problem for me in the early years.  The cost of equipment being out of my reach.  So I did what most poor hams were doing at the time, buy used equipment  and old surplus military radios which I converted to ham use.  Heathkit was my lifesaver with their radio kits of which I assembled many.  The best part was that they, (heathkit) gave hams credit and a person could buy their kits on time.  Assembling heathkits was a great learning experience since kits were hundreds of small pieces which had to be solder togather.

The summer of 1975 I worked every State in the Union on ten meters, including Hawaii and Alaska.  Using a homebrew  tube type CW transmitter  rated at 5 watts,  an old Halicrafter general coverage receiver and a dipole. My QTH (home) at that time was  Fort Clayton, Canal Zone, Panama.

If you are interested in learning more about this exciting hobby a good place to start is at
The American Radio Relay League

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