William R. 'Bill' Bibeau
QCWA # 29089
The picture above shows me in my shack as it was in 2011. Having been licensed for over 50 years (Novice-KN1FPV- issued on June 19, 1963), I've seen many changes in our hobby. I remember having to identify schematic drawings of oscillator circuits for my Novice license as well as draw schematics for the general class license exam. Back then, there were no VE's, you had to go to the FCC field office to take your exams.
ORIGINAL NOVICE LICENSE
ISSUED JUNE 19, 1963
Modest 1965 station featuring
the Heathkit HX-20/HR-20 & Homebrew pair 811A's
Back then, you couldn't upgrade to Advanced or Extra unless you had been licensed 2 years as a General Class Licensee. Some changes over the years were for the good while some I think were not so good. Over the years, I've been involved in many phases of Amateur Radio. There were times when I was very active and times I wasn't. But Amateur Radio is in my blood and always will be! Homebrewing my own equipment is perhaps my favorite pastime.
Here on the left is my 1976 shack. The famous Heathkit SB-301 receiver, SB-401 transmitter and SB-220 linear. On the right, you see that 1976 QTH with a 40 foot home brew wooden tower that was lowered (hinged in the middle @ the roof peak) onto the roof for maintenance with a 2 element Tri-Bander for 10, 15 & 20 meters as well as a 3 element 6 meter beam, and home-brew 4 element 2 meter beam. SIGH...."Those were the days!"
Over the years, due to medical problems, I retired in 2005 as a broadcasting engineer for the ABC affiliate in Norfolk, VA. I started in broadcasting for a Providence, RI AM radio station back in 1968 and have been in various phases of broadcasting and electronics ever since. I enjoy operating PSK31, OLIVIA and occasional RTTY on 20 meters mostly but use them on all bands. I operate all modes on all bands from 160 through 70 cm. including ATV on 70cm. I periodically work through various satellites. I made my first contact on Oscar 7 back in 1979. The satellite died a few years later. With that bird coming back to life a few years ago, I made a CW contact with W5ACM in Houston at 01:12 UTC on 2 June, 2003. Satellites are amazing!
I enjoy QRP work. QRP not only keeps RFI & TVI to a minimum, but is challenging and requires a lot of operating skills. On QRP, I use a Ten-Tec Argonaut V, my old Heathkit HW-9, an HW-8, a home brew 5763 tube rig, a Elecraft K2 and occasionally use an old restored Heathkit AT-1. Having retired after working in TV broadcasting, I enjoy amateur TV (ATV) on 70cm. If you are in the area, email me and we can sked on ATV.
I am a life member of the American Radio Relay League, a life member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association(#29089), life member of AMSAT (#2340), a life member of The Old Old Timers Club(#4251), a member of The International Morse Preservation Society (FISTS #10418), a member of the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC # 199). I am also an active ARRL VE.
I've become involved with restoring old ham gear. I love these old Boat Anchors! Besides, it is a cheap way to have fun and keep busy. I currently operate several boat anchor stations. Some of the boat anchors I have up and running and use in different combinations are a Hammarlund HQ-110A, an HQ-180A, Knight T-150A, a Hallicrafters HT-40 AM/CW transmitter, Heathkit DX-40, Heathkit DX-60, Heathkit AT-1 and also have a Knight T-60 and Knight R-55 which are the rigs I used as a novice back in 1963. I'm currently restoring an old Heathkit Apache TX-1 transmitter. This update is being written on the 50th. anniversary of my being licensed. I think today, I'll be on the air for the most part using the boat anchors for CW and AM operation. I love the warm glow of those filaments.
For my main operating equipment on HF, most of the time I use my Ten-Tec Orion II or my Yaesu FT-2000 with an Ameritron AL-82 amplifier. As backups I also have a Ten-Tec Jupiter, Ten-Tec Omni VII, Kenwood TS-2000, Kenwood TS-590s and an old Icom IC-740. I use an Ameritron ALS-1300 as a backup amplifier to an Ameritron AL-82. For satellite work and UHF/VHF work, I use either the TS-2000 or an Icom IC-910H. I have Elecraft transverters for 50 & 222 MHz.
I do a lot of SWLing too especially on VLF. I have several receivers I use from time to time. I use a Ten-Tec RX-320D, Ten-Tec RX350, Ten-Tec RX-340, Yaesu FRG-100B and an old Hammarlund HQ-180A I use for BCB listening as well as marine and aircraft monitoring. Believe it or not, I still have a working Knight Kit Span Master I started SWLing with back in the early 1960's. I ocassionally use it and thanks to it and SWLing, I am and have been a Radio Amateur for 50 years. I originally had the old Popular Electronics SWL callsign WPE1EJL.
QSLs are OK direct! I DO NOT USE eQSL or LoTW. I reply to all direct QSLs. Replies are usually much faster directly to you when I receive the QSL direct. DX QSLs are usually sent via the bureau every few months whenever I receive the QSL from the bureau. I will reply directly to you for direct cards sent to me, even DX cards. Well take care, and I'll look for you on the air.
God Bless & 73,
May 25, 2015