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ADAW - MAY 2017 W7ASC Newsletter

Tales from the Harkins Ham Shack

For the last two issues we have been able to provide readers with a report on Ham radio, as compared to the cell phone, as submitted by a young Ham who had been assigned this topic at school. The question was: “Why do we need Ham radio now that we have cell phones?”. If you missed this report, you might find it useful to go back and read it. We are asked this question at W7ASC, the station at the Arizona Science Center. This paper pretty well answers the question. In fact, it raises the question as to why we would want a cell phone if we had a Ham license! Thanks to our guest author for a fine paper.

A question that we ask many times, both on air and in person, is: How did you get started in Ham radio? This question has resulted in many very intriguing answers. Some have appeared in prior issues. We know that there are many more that are waiting to be documented. Tell us your story! Send it to this writer and we will find room for it/them in some future issue. If you just wish to send the details, without concern for format, we will do the formatting for you. Just send what you have. If it got you hee, we are sure that your story is interesting.  Share it with the ADAW readers.

Here is a story as told to us by Gary N4WU, a Ham Shack volunteer. It would not surprise us to learn that there are many similar stories out there.

From Gary N4WU

Back in the 1950s, when kids got chemistry sets for Christmas, my older brother sparked my interest in science. In those days sounds like the NBC Monitor Radio beacon on AM radio stations across the county was mysterious and intriguing to a young kid.  When I was six, I got a rocket radio for my birthday and would go to sleep at night listening to far away stations in Chicago and New Orleans.  By the third grade, I checked out a book at my school library on how to build a Foxhole radio and found it fascinating how a blued razor blade and pencil lead work as a diode detector.  At around age 10, my family moved into a new neighborhood and I was lucky to make a new friend, who had just become a new ham on receiving his Novice license.  He motivated me to get my license.  My parents ordered  a Hallicrafters S-108 , from Sears, for my Christmas gift.  To prepare for the Novice license, I built a code practice oscillator and listened to W1AW code practice sessions. At age 12, I took my Novice examination from Frank Cassen (SK) W4WBK.  I upgraded my license over the years: Novice, General, Advanced and Extra. My interest in science and anything electrical motivated me to pursue a technical career.  My eclectic technical career ranges from power quality engineer, test engineer, semiconductor process engineer to patent agent and working for Salt River Project, Bechtel, Motorola (20 years) and On Semiconductor.

Gary Malhoit, P.E., Senior Engineer

 And now we need a few more good stories from you, our faithful readers. How did you obtain your first Ham, or SW radio, and which model was it? Did you start right in listening to the Ham bands? After you passed the test, can yo tell us about your first QSO? Must be some good stories ot there.

Back at the Shack, we had a few fun visits. One little girl told us that she had been there not long ago. She had received a code certificate and an “I sent my name in Morse Code” badge. There were both lost. Reluctantly she told us that  her dog ate them! She was returning to the Shack to earn replacements. Which she did, promising to hide them from her dog.

Then we had the two little girls. An adult lady hovered over them. One was her daughter. The other one was the daughter's friend and classmate. They were quizzed, as usual, as to whether they had ever visited the station or done Morse. They had not. Then we asked the standard question of small visitors - could they write their names on the code sheet?

Well! We received a quick, and simultaneous reply from the girls. “Of course”, they replied. “We are in the First grade!”. And they proceeded to complete the form and then do the code flawlessly.

It is really fun to volunteer at the Harkins Ham Shack in the Arizona Science Center. To receive your share of the fun, call Bob KG7QJ at 480-961-1109 kg7qj@cox.net, or Sam N7INV 480-963-6733

If you are really desperate and feeling neglected, you are always welcome to call the faithful scribe who pens this newsletter.

73 de W4CIH Jeanjol@hotmail.com 480-664-7353

For more information, please contact

Center for Amateur Radio Learning
at the Arizona Science Center

600 E. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ USA 85004-2394
Tel. (602) 716-2000
Email: info4@w7asc.org

Copyright 2017. C.A.R.L. - W7ASC.org