W7ZZX - John L. 'Larry' Chalfan W7ZZX

John L. 'Larry' Chalfan
Lake Oswego, OR

QCWA # 19216

I grew up on the southern Oregon coast in the '50s'. Thanks to a 7th grade science teacher urging me to go check out the new radio club that was being formed in the high school (7-12th grade at the time), I found ham radio. Thanks also go to the physics and chemistry teacher who formed the club and was a great Elmer for us all.

In September of 1955 I received a the call sign WN7ZZX. A little later I passed the general class test and was W7ZZX. With little money it was necessary to build a transmitter and I ended up with a 6V6 mounted on a couple of wood strips like the one shown. (Thanks to whomever put that picture on the internet.) With it, I made my first contact! Does anyone else remember getting excited and shaky on their first contact?

A little later I made enough money to buy and build a Heathkit AT-1 transmitter and was able to make contacts more easily. and then went on to build a Knight T-150. Other rigs from the past include a National NCX-3 and a Yaesu FT-757, both of which served a good part of their lives as mobile rigs.

Like many of us I wasn't very active during the early career and young family years. It was due to a lack of time, but never a lack of interest. I got back into ham radio to stay in the early '80s.

My ham background led to electrical engineering degrees focused on solid state physics and circuit design and a 30-year career in the semiconductor industry. Thanks again to a couple of great teachers!

The current rig line up is:
. Kenwood TS-940S transceiver
. TL922A linear amplifier I almost never use
. Yaesu FT-8100 VHF/UHF transceiver for fixed operation
. Icom IC-2800H VHF/UHF transceiver for mobile operation
. Cushcraft R-7 vertical antenna for 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 30 and 40 meters
. Comet CA-2x4MAX VHF/UHF vertical

SDR radio is intriguing. I started with the simple TV dongle and then was hooked enough to move up to an SDRPlay. Receivers can be really simple now if you have a fast enough computer and, of course, they aren't simple at all!

I'm currently having fun with FT-8 using a Raspberry Pi 3 for the operating computer using a homemade USB to rig interface.


W7ZZX - John L. 'Larry' Chalfan

W7ZZX - John L. 'Larry' Chalfan

November 5, 2014