My Ham History

I received my first ham license when I was in the 8th grade. It was a Novice class and the call sign was WN3FAW. I was 14 years of age at the time and it was 1956. I was active on the novice bands of 80 and 40 meters.


My first rig was a Heathkit model AT-1 which was crystal controlled CW and had an input power of 35 watts. My receiver was a Halicrafters SX-99. I lived right in the center of downtown Harrisburg Pennsylvania so the noise from neon lights was unbearable. It was a wonder I could hear any stations at all. I was active in the Harrisburg Amateur Radio Club and began attending Field Days from the start. I lived only a few blocks from HARC so I attended all of the meetings.

Soon thereafter I earned my General Class license. I didn't upgrade my rig at that time but I acquired several crystals in the General Class CW bands.

We moved to the suburbs in 1958 and I built a Heathkit DX-100. I was busy on the CW bands as a regular member of traffic nets and handled traffic for the Harrisburg area. I became active in Air Force MARS and was rewarded with a Teletype Model 19 which could operate from paper tape. I built a TU with a built in oscilloscope and modified my DX-100 to do FSK. And I was off and running with RTTY. I stayed active until I graduated from High School and went on active duty with the Navy Reserve in 1960.

I renewed my license in 1961 but was totally inactive and allowed it to expire in 1966.

In 2007 I took the General Class test and passed, KE5NRL, but stayed inactive until 2011. I got my old callsign back by virtue of the vanity program, W3FAW. In 2011 I got a 2 Meter rig, a TM-261A, and became active on the 2 meter band. That marked an absence from the airwaves of 50 years. I also became a member of NOFARS (North Florida Amateur Radio Society) and began attending meetings and making friends. In May of 2011 I passed my Amateur Extra exam.

In June of 2012 I acquired a 10 Meter rig, a Radio Shack HTX-10, and went on the air with a dipole. I was not satisfied with the signal reports I was getting so I got a 150 watt linear and mounted an Antron 99 antenna on my chimney. So far, as of 7/31/2012, I have worked 29 States and 17 Countries. Needles to say, I am now quite pleased at how I am getting out. I QSL via eQSL and Logbook of the World.

In March of 2013 I purchased a Kenwood TS-440SAT and then the fun began. I found that the automatic antenna tuner would tune my Solarcon IMAX-2000 verticle on 20, 17, 15, 12 and of course 10 meters. I have been working all these bands and now have 164 countries worked and 100 confirmed on LoTW. I have just recieved my first DXCC.

A friend just gave me a Yaesu FT-950. It was damaged by lightning or a power surge, but I am making progress with it. As of 9/7/2015 With the help of many friends, I got the FT-950 working and now have it connected to Ham Radio Deluxe for semi-automatic operation. I am grateful and excited. Yea!!!

Stay tuned, more is to be revealed.