Jeffrey E. 'Jeff' Peters
Traverse City, MI
QCWA # 31853
My interest in amateur radio started at the age of 14 (1968). A wonderful neighbor, just one block away had this very large square antenna mounted on the roof. It had fishing pole looking arms four in the front and another four in the back. Attached to each pole was three sets of wires, which formed three different sized square box shapes front and back. The really neat thing was that the whole massive antenna could turn from one direction to almost all the way back around again. I had to know what TV stations it could pickup! It took more than a week to work up the nerve to ring the doorbell. When I did, I was greeted by Ralph K9BED (SK). I asked about the antenna, and Ralph laughed. Then he asked me to come inside and showed me his Ham Radio Station.
Ralph, turned on the radios and transmitters. Unusual sounds came out of a large speaker with a large letter H in the center. First there was a rush of static, then a winding sound which increased in pitch, and at last I could hear someone talking but it sounded like they had just stuffed their mouth full of mashed potatoes. Ralph looked at me and started to laugh. I thought, I did something wrong. I later found out that I had twisted my head from side to side just like the dog on the RCA TV commercials. The next thing I knew Ralph was talking to another ham operator in the Panama Canal. I could kind of understand what the other ham was saying, but I would have bet the nickel in my pocket that he still had some mashed potatoes in his mouth. From that day on I was bitten by not only the DX bug, but this Ham Radio stuff was really cool.
Ralph spent many long hours teaching me radio theory and sending practice Morse Code (God Bless You Ralph) so I would soon pass my Novice license and received my first FCC call sign of WN9AJP. I have always enjoyed CW before any other mode. I still chase DX but, enjoy QSO's with members of the SKCC group! For more radio fun take a look at the Straight Key Century Club here: http://www.skccgroup.com/
72/73 de Jeff K9JP SKCC #3008S
January 5, 2015