Michael B. 'Mike' Jasinski
QCWA # 27823
I've been licensed since 1965 as WN2SZM, WB2SZM and WA2QBH. My present call was acquired in 1980 when I relocated to Fourland. Member of QCWA, ARRL, DXCC. Am also the ARRL VE Liaison for the Dade Radio Club of Miami Inc. Have held FCC First Class Radiotelephone Operator License With Radar (now "grol") since 1971. Also hold FCC GMDSS RadioMaintainer License. First Love is CW
I started as an SWL in 1960 by building an Allied Knight Kit SpanMaster 2 tube regen receiver. Not much to look at but I was impressed. My Mom worked for Hazeltine Electronics and taught me how to solder. The SpanMaster got a workout and I was amazed that radio waves could fly through the air! I heard BBC, Radio Moscow and VOA of course but when I heard people talking to each other around 4 Megacycles, I didn't know what to make of it. My high school SWL buddy, Bob Anderson told me that these were "Ham" radio operators who had to take a test and be licensed. My interest was piqued. My second receiver was a Lafayette KT-200 (HE-10 kit) which I still have. It looks like an S-38 knockoff but it performs much better. Made by Trio which later became Kenwood.
I was given my Novice license exam by Milt Tyte in April of 1965 and received my license in May, 1965, WN2SZM. My novice station consisted of the KT-200 and a borrowed ARC-5 Transmitter, Longwire antenna and a J38. Milt Tyte, W2BFA (SK), was documented as the the first amateur or commercial radio operator in the United States to hear the USSR's Sputnik satellite in October 1957. This was at RCA's receiving station in Riverhead, N.Y. (See RCA Electronic Age magazine, Oct. 1957) Later, my Uncle, Walt Makowski, gave me and my high school friend Bob, a tour of the RCA receiving facility. RCA Riverhead was the birthplace of the Beverage antenna. Lots of receiver racks and TTY machines and telephone poles to support steerable rhombics in the antenna farm!
In August of 1965, Bob, WN2PFZ and I hitched a ride to downtown New York City to take our general class exam. We were both 16 and only had our learners permits and no cars. A friend of mine offered to drive us the 65 miles to NYC. We were too close to the nearest FCC office to qualify for a Conditional license, so this was a fortunate turn of events. What a ride! In a '64 Chevelle convertible with the top down! When we got there and found parking, we went to the Federal Building on Washington Street. You know the drill. Hard wooden desks, straight keys screwed to the desks, Charlie Finkleman in dark pinstriped suit in the middle of August by the window with his unforgetable cigar. We sat down and I noticed that all the keys were wired in parallel and every one was trying to get some last minute sending practice. Bob and I aced the code and we passed the written test. There were no multiple choice tests,all answers were written in longhand and schematic answers were all handdrawn. To celebrate, we all decided to take a look at "Radio Row". We had heard that Cortlandt Street was the heart of Radio Row but we were disappointed because all of the big name stores were gone. There were some surplus items on the sidewalk but most stores had closed because of the impending construction of the World Trade Center a couple of years in the future. When we received the paper licenses in Oct. 1965, Bob was WB2PFZ (now KA2S) and I was WB2SZM.
My early ham career was uneventful. I did upgrade to a used a DX-100a, one watt per pound. Put up 2 dipoles out of phase for 20 meters and worked VP6TC, Tom Christian on Pitcairn in the late 60's but I never sent for the QSL card. Did not have a DX Callbook at the time! The DX bug hadn't bit yet. With school and other things, I let my license lapse. I worked in broadcasting in the early 70's and there were a few hams at the AM station where I worked. Ed Karl, K0KL, encouraged me to get my license again. Back to Manhattan to take the test. Failed the code test. I will never let my license lapse again! Retested a month later and I was now WA2QBH.The FCC was systematically re-issuing calls at that time.
My next rig was a Heathkit HW-101. It actually worked pretty good. I started to like 10-15-20 meters. Used it for 6-7 years and in 1978, purchased the Yaesu FT-101E shown in the picture. This was the first store bought new radio that I didn't have to assemble. Worked fantastic. Tough to part with it . Current XCVRs are FTdx3000 and FT1000MP. The J-38 key in the picture is my first key.
I didn't really start working DX until 2000. Yes, I did finally work Pitcairn and get the QSL. And a few others. Now have 250 sticker on DXCC Mixed (268) and DXCC CW Certificate with 250 sticker (252). Believe it or not, I still need two states for basic WAS. Since I have Hawaii and Alaska, I'll probably go for It.
Other Hobbies include Salt and Freshwater Fishing. Lots of Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, various species of brim, gar, Tarpon and Snook.
Thanks for looking me up, 73
May 26, 2015