- MAY 2017 W7ASC Newsletter
Tales from the Harkins
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
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 email@example.com, or Sam N7INV 480-963-6733
you are really desperate and feeling neglected, you are always welcome to
call the faithful scribe who pens this newsletter.