Emil M. Dular
QCWA # 34690
SKCC # 556T
First got interested in radio as a scrawny kid building a "foxhole radio" out of a toilet paper tube, a rusty razor blade and cheap Remco headphone from plans I found in a book at the Public Library. My first homebrew project, and it worked!!
Back in those days there was still an 11 meter ham band, and the school had a radio club! The big Johnson transmitter and Hammarlund receiver were the motivation to study. Rode the bus downtown to Federal building in Cleveland to take the test for Novice. Unfortunately, my father thought ham radio was "foolishness" and I never got to see the envelope from Gettysburg.
The next chance I had to work with ham gear came after being wounded in Viet Nam. The Army MARS station, AB8AAC, was equipped with an AN/FRC-93, which was a GI issue Collins KWM-2A, 312-B5 VFO and 30L-1 amplifier in a couple of Samsonite suitcases. The NCOIC was glad to get volunteer help and I was glad to get off the ward. It sure would be nice to have that rig now.....
Tested again in the early '70's while stationed at Fort Knox and was issued the call WD4SCZ. Between being reassigned and trying to raise a family, never got a rig and was never on the air. The urge never really went away and there are several hams around the airport where I work as an Airframe & Powerplant mechanic. One of them finally flat chided me into taking the tests again at the local library. This time, I was issued the call, KI4DLU and I had a second-hand SB-102 shortly thereafter. Odds are it's the radio I was on for the QSO that led you here.
Since I never got to use the WD4SCZ call, I reapplied for that callsign. I still like running the old Heathkit. It's technology I understand, one knob does one thing! The shack also has two sets of "Heathkit Twins." There is the SB-301 receiver and SB-401 transmitter like I coveted when I was a young tank commander 35 years ago. In with other project radios, there is also a "Cheyenne" MT-1 and the "Comanche" MR-1 that would fit nicely as a mobile rig in a 1959 Buick.
Mostly I like to operate CW, using one of an increasing population of straight keys that have followed me home from some hamfest. I have a Vibroplex Lightning which lets me make mistakes even faster! A recently acquired FM-32 sideswiper, formerly of the "Ingenieurhochschule füfahrt - Warnemüustrow" in East Germany, is paired with a West German Junker MT-1. So far, proficiency with the "Communist Cootie" has eluded me. Some might say with the straight key has as well, but I do like the idea of keeping "hand made" CW alive on the ham bands, hence you may often hear me calling, "CQ SKCC."
There are so many interesting things to try. Any given day I might be winding coax traps for a homebrew antenna project, looking for "numbers" on the Geratol Net, experimenting with PSK-31 or running "Peanut Whistle AM" using a Globe Scout and a Hallicrafters SX-110. When I remember which side of the zero beat to tune, even an occasional QRP contact using the HW-7. It is still MAGIC when I hear a station answer!
Besides enjoying the glow of tubes, and tinkering with old green gear from Benton Harbor, my other interests include flying, sailing and competitive pistol shooting. Therein lies the quandry, it sure would nice to retire and spend the time on them, but need to keep working so that I can afford to pay for the gadgets the hobbies need!!
SKCC #556T NAQCC #2004 QCWA #34690 GERATOL #2565 D #657
June 19, 2015