C.O.R.N.P.O.N.E

Consortium of Radio Nerds Preserving our Nostalgic Equipment.

Commentary

Birth of a Ham

I first got into CB in the early 70's when I was about 9. My Mom suffering from her first bout of cancer bought a TRC-55 with a ground plane to play around with since the doctors didn't want her out in the sun with the chemo.

She would listen to it, but would never talk until I started talking to some of the locals and she overcame her bout of "mic fright."

One day, She decided she wanted to upgrade with a Lollipop (D-104). With neither parent being drivers, I was charged with making the trip by bus to the nearest C.B. shop to have it wired to her radio. Which at my age seemed to take forever up and back, plus the wait on top of things for the work to be done.

Seeming to be such a simple thing to accomplish this eternity of waiting prompted me to make a trip to Radio Shack for my first soldering iron spawning my early interest in electronics.

A few soldered fingers later I started becoming more efficient in the "Art of Soldering". Becoming more curious as to how things worked led me to building small projects out of books from the local library, which ultimately led to making my own simple etched boards and regulated power supplies.

The occasional basic repairs for my local CB Buddies, added a few extra bucks in the coffers for solder and heatsink compound etc, and old damaged radios for parts salvage and the occasional resurrection. A buck a week for an allowance from somebody that gambled everything away didn't go very far. It didn't take too long to cash in enough scavenged pop bottles to get a small roll of 60/40.

The Library's science department became invaluable for needed schematics, which a retired Zenith engineer named Charlie Hixon turned me on to.

My mother, getting more involved with radio, and not liking the way CB was becoming, Started nursing a desire to try Ham radio, and purchased a Hallicrafters SX-111 receiver. She would try everything she could think of to get me to study Morse with her. She eventually gave me the Hallicrafters.

After Disassembling the heavy primary of an old TV transformer and stringing it from the 4th floor fire escape to the Viaduct, above and across the lot of the sheet metal factory next door I had my first longwire. It was amazing how much I was able to pick up, especially on 10 Mc (Mhz)

Filled with the desire to tinker, I had occasionally heard those ?$%*# ham operators! and decide to take classes at the local Red Cross. The Instructors were a little surprised when I was normally the one to answer their questions about Ohms law etc. But could never quite seem to get the code down. After a few weeks (and lack of bus fare) I dropped out of classes.

With the arrival of the 80's along with the discovery of women, Radio slowly faded to the wayside after moving to my father's hometown in Ky. (1991) not to mention the lack of parts.

In 1998, I moved back to Ohio, and while working security, decided to get back into radio a few years later. After installing a radio in my vehicle I couldn't believe how bad radio had become during my hiatus. In 2006 I came in contact with a dear old friend I lost contact with, And hadn't seen in over 20 years. Imagine my surprise when I found out that in my absence he had become a HAM! I didn't realize he was ever even interested in such a thing. Now he was KC8VLE, His ex brother in law, WN8GXX, his eldest son KC8WPI, and his wife was getting ready to take her test (now KD8DDR) and her brother in law Frank KC8VLF.

I had been studying for the license on occasion over the years, but for some reason kept procrastinating. Now the pressure was being applied from all directions. finally succumbed to the pressure in 2006.

Sincerely,
KD8DEY

Besides bringing together hobbyist from different aspects of Radio, And Electronics, Cornpone hopes to show that not all Amateur Ham operators are uptight, Holier than Thou, Anal Retentives as perceived by other Radio hobbyists.. That unrestrained by the rules and regulations they must operate under, May actually possess a sense of Humor.

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