John Swartz, WA9AQN
My earliest recollections of radio include nightly dramas and comedies from the big Pilot radio in my parents’ room, sitting in our apartment’s dining room with my father winding the coil of a crystal radio set we built after a visit to Allied Radio in Chicago, and trying to figure out how to send Morse code with a WWII surplus Vibroplex J-36 my father brought home to me, all when I was growing up on the south side of Chicago.
Years later, a friend got an S-53A and we listened to foreign broadcasts and to some of the action on the amateur bands. Another friend began studying for the Novice test, and I thought, “I can do that!” So I did. An SX-110, DX-40 and the 15-meter rotary dipole from the 1961 ARRL Handbook put me on the air with that old Vibroplex (I finally figured it out). And, I’ve been having fun ever since. I still have the J-36 and the coil I wound for that shortened dipole. The coil is a decoration; the bug still gets a regular workout. CW ragchewing, chasing a bit of DX, some light contesting, a bit of NTS traffic handling and writing for the K9YA Telegraph are my favorite radio activities. Hope to c u on the bands,