I first became interested in ham radio in late 1958 and, after being mentored by W4PQK and W4TFZ(SK), was licensed as KN4MLD on Aug 11, 1959 at the age of 14.
My first rig was a Hammarlund HQ-129X loaned to me by W4PQK and a 6AG7/807 homebrew transmitter lent by W4FTD. The transmitter was replaced by a Globe Chief 90A and the receiver by a Hallicrafters SX-100. I upgraded to General Class in May of 1960. I added a Heath VFO and a Globe Screen modulator to the rig. Later the Globe Chief was beefed up with a new tank circuit and a 750volt power supply. A plate modulator was home brewed using a transformer from an ART 13 with a pair of 807s. I enjoyed working in the Virginia Phone Net then when it was on 3835khz AM.
This rig lasted until I went away to college and the military. I joined the Air Force in 1964 and resumed hamming in 1969 when I was discharged.
In 1965, my wife and I were married at Hamilton AFB, CA . We have been blessed with two children and two grandchildren.
I was working as a 2 way radio tech in Richmond at the time and bought a Lafayette HA 410 as we lived in a small apartment. I put a dipole in the attic and worked all kinds of DX on 10. AM was still being used on 10 at this time although SSB had replaced it everywhere else. I also upgraded to Advanced in1969. The FCC was still giving the tests.
Upon returning to Suffolk in late 1970, I built a CW Xmtr from a pair of 807s. I later built a high level balanced modulator using a pair of 6CD6 sweep tubes. Pretty neat circuit. Had the plates in parallel feeding a pie network. The control grids were in push pull and the screens were fed in push pull with audio. Worked great. Ran about 200 Watts PEP input. Next came a heath SB 10 feeding a pair of 5-125B in Class AB1. Ran 300 watts PEP and 500 watts class C on CW. Antenna was a long wire fed with an L matching network. I used this setup til we moved to Franklin in 1980 and I became inactive until 1988. I worked 40 cw and 75 SSB. By this time the VFN had switched to SSB and 3.947Mhz.
I bought a Wilson 2 meter HT from K4SPS in 1988 and an old Tempo One HF rig and built a tee network tuner to feed a G5RV. An Icom 735 followed in 1990 which is my current rig. In 1989 I upgraded to Extra. I took this with VE at the Virginia Beach Hamfest.
I have managed to work some 264 countries using both SSB and CW. I have Mixed, SSB and CW DXCC & WAC, SSB WAZ and WAS.
I am a member of ARRL, QCWA, 10-10, The Virginia Phone Net and the Grave Yard Net. I chase DX of 40, 20, and 15 CW and SSB and Rag Chew on 75. I still enjoy building things and do upon occasion. 80% of my on air time is CW using a J38 straight key.
I rarely use 2 meters anymore but have a Wouxun HT and Mobile rig.
Over the course of 50+ years I have made many friends.