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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

From Father to Son

from Tom Miller, W1PDI on March 30, 2013
View comments about this article!

From Father to Son


By Tom Miller, W1PDI
April 15, 2004

A father helps a son develop an interest in Amateur Radio, first in the 1960s and again in 2002, after becoming a silent key.

If I was a little older at the time, I might have guessed what my dad was up to. The signs were there: a Knight- Kit Span Master shortwave radio for Christmas in 1962, followed by a pair of Knight-Kit walkie talkies the following year and a CB radio--yes, another Knight-Kit-- as a Christmas gift in 1964. To this day I can still remember my CB call sign, KKB1757.

It was early in 1966 that my dad had something else to share with me--a Morse code practice oscillator he had built. That's when things started to become a little clearer and make sense. He suggested that if I learned both the code and some basic technical information that I could take a test to move up from my CB radio status to obtaining a ham "ticket," just like he had.


The author in 1967, copying Morse out of his Dad's Heathkit HR-20. The rest of the station consisted of a DX- 40 transmitter, an AM-2 SWR bridge and an SB-600 speaker. [Photos courtesy of Tom Miller, W1PDI]

Growing up, I can remember all kinds of radio equipment around the house. My dad's ham gear was set up in an attic loft, along with many years' worth of QST magazines neatly organized by year. And how could I forget his framed Amateur Radio license, which he'd had as long as I could remember?

I studied the ARRL How to Become a Radio Amateur handbook, learned the required 5 WPM code requirement, took my test and received my Novice license, WN1GLS, in the spring of 1966. Even before my license arrived, Dad excitedly began to assemble and set up the necessary Novice equipment in my bedroom. It included his Heathkit HR-20 receiver, a DX-40 transmitter that he brought home from work one day and a matching Heathkit AM-2 SWR bridge. We rerouted the Lattin Radio Labs 5-band dipole lead into my "shack" and now I was ready to operate. All I needed was my license.

Two Hams for the Price of One
For me, one of the great byproducts of becoming a ham was that it renewed my father's interest in the hobby. My dad, who was a long time engineer at radio station WELI in Hamden, Connecticut, even started a local ham radio club that was sponsored by the station and he was trustee of the club's license, WA1HRC.


John Miller, W1PDI (SK), at his operating position in 1984, with a Kenwood TS- 520SE transceiver and some homebrew RTTY gear.

During the next few years we held our club meetings in the radio station's remote building, where the emergency on-air studio was housed. It was there that we built and operated our club station of Heathkit equipment. I recall how we built other equipment, including a 15 meter Yagi one Saturday at the radio station after my dad convinced the broadcast station to purchase and erect a 50-foot crank-up tower. We participated in several Field Day adventures and even made a few trips to ARRL Headquarters.

My interest in Amateur Radio faded when I went to college in 1972 and my dad lost interest soon thereafter. He soon left his position with the radio station to start a two-way radio sales and service company that eventually led to a very successful commercial mobile/cellular telephone business.

In 1981 I returned to the air and was active for a few years, and again this renewed my father's interest in returning to the hobby. As a birthday gift in 1982, I presented him with the exact same equipment I was using at the time: a Kenwood TS-520SE transceiver and matching AT200 antenna tuner.

By 1983 my level of activity waned once again and I sold my equipment. My father kept his gear and was active until around 1988. During his "active" period I helped him put up a 160-meter long wire. Dad constructed some RTTY equipment and wrote an article about the experience that appeared in the June 1985 issue of 73 magazine.

QST--Calling All Amateurs
After my dad retired and he and Mom moved to Sarasota, Florida in 1991, I always assumed that he sold his equipment, among other things, prior to the move. My father passed away in August 2002. Shortly after, I made it a point to notify the ARRL and requested that he be remembered among other silent keys in QST.

Later that year I received in the mail the December 2002 issue of QST, which surprised me because I hadn't been a member of the ARRL in well over 30 years and I hadn't seen a copy of QST since the early 1980s. But in that issue my father's listing appeared in the silent keys column. To this day I am not sure who sent me that issue of QST.

For several weeks I found myself going through that issue of QST over and over again, looking at the advertisements, reading articles and trying to understand some of the unfamiliar terms that were nonexistent 20 years earlier. All the while I asked myself, "Why was it that I hadn't thought about getting back into the hobby again? If I had done so earlier, maybe I could have renewed my father's interest for a third time." We could have scheduled contacts and my children would have loved the opportunity of "getting on the radio" with their grandfather.

In early December 2002 my mom came to stay with us for a few weeks. One day she noticed the issue of QST that I had been thumbing through and said something to me that seemed to make time stand still. She said that my father had kept a lot of his ham equipment and asked if I wanted what he saved. When I asked why he kept the equipment, her reply was simply, "He wanted you to have all of it because he had hoped someday you would become interested in ham radio again."

Because of that December 2002 issue of QST, my interest in returning to the air was already there. But now, learning that I had access to some equipment and that it was kept with the hope that I might someday want to return to the hobby, well, the timing was right. Arrangements were made to have the equipment shipped to me in January 2003 and I was back on the air by early February.

The Final Courtesy
Not only did my father keep the Kenwood equipment I had given him as a birthday gift 20 years earlier, but to my surprise the packages of equipment that arrived that day included more than I ever could have imagined.

That shipment also included nearly all of the original equipment that my dad had set up for me when I first received my Novice ticket: the Heathkit HR-20 receiver, my DX-40 transmitter, matching SWR bridge, my first code key--with his call sign and mine still on the mounting board--and even the SB-600 Heathkit speaker that I bought while still a novice. Also included were QSL cards my dad received over the years, all of his logbooks, his original Vibroplex bug from 1947 and a handful of his own original QSL cards from 1946. What a treasure.


Tom Miller's Novice station looks as sharp today as it did back in the 1960s.

Life is full of odd circumstances. If it were not for the unexpected December 2002 QST showing up in the mail, plus the fact that unknown to me Dad had kept his ham equipment, I seriously doubt that I would be back on the air today enjoying Amateur Radio like it was 1966 all over again. Well, maybe not exactly like 1966, since Amateur Radio certainly has changed since then.

As a way to remember my dad, in April 2003 I applied for and was granted the amateur call he held from 1946 to 2002, W1PDI. I just had to keep my dad's call sign in the family. It's good to be back in ham radio, but I just wish I had the chance to once again renew my dad's interest in the hobby that he first introduced to me nearly 40 years ago.

Tom Miller, W1PDI, was first licensed in 1966 as WN1GLS, and upgraded to General a year later at the age of 13 with WA1GLS. He continues to operate the equipment he inherited from his father and is very active on a number of nets, including the 3905 Century Club and OMISS. He enjoys contesting, QSO parties and paper chasing. Miller's other interests include spending time with his children, sports car racing and baseball. He lives in Bay Village, Ohio, and can be reached via e-mail at w1pdi@arrl.net.

Two generations of W1PDI

Also included with the equipment my dad kept were a dozen or so old QSTs from the 1950s and '60s. In one issue, January 1965, on page 74, was the announcement of the commemorative Amateur Radio stamp, first released in Alaska. It was in this issue that I found a block of the commemorative stamps my father must have placed there to preserve them. That, along with it being the stamp's 40th anniversary, is what prompted me to design my current QSL card. On the back of my new card, I've included a tiny version of the lightning-throwing baby in the corner and a note that my dad held my current call sign from 1946 through 2002.

Member Comments:
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From Father to Son  
by N0UY on March 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Wow Tom, Great story! I envey the fact that you were exposed to the hobby at an early age by your dad. I was first licensed in 1992 at the age of 38 and was like most people at that age consumed by the daily responsabilities of raising a family.

It must have been so great to receive that shipment of unknown gear and let the memories flood back in of those earlier times. I have lost both my parents over the years now and I too have some of their belongings here at our home as a constant reminder of them both. I was never fortunate enough to have shared this great hobby with either of them but I very much enjoyed reading your story. Now the challenge of passing it on to your next in line.

Very Best Regards, Ray
 
From Father to Son  
by N5XM on March 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Tom, as a sentimental old goat, I love your story. You write very well, and as we are the same age, I understand how you feel. Both my parents have been gone about ten years, and I miss them dearly. I've been lucky to have had old-time Elmers, and both were like Fathers to me. They had the same patience and generosity as your Father. Yours is the kind of spirit and love of history we need in Ham Radio. Somebody has to replace the old timers, and that responsibility seems to have fallen on our shoulers.
 
From Father to Son  
by K3SSB on March 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
What a wonderful story. You succeeded in bringing back a flood of similar memories from my own early experience as an SWL, CB licensee and a Ham.

How fortunate that your father squirreled away all of the old station gear. Truly a living tribute to your father and the shared influence you had on each other.

Definitely brings a teat to the eyeÖ

Tnx es 73 / 76

K3SSB
 
From Father to Son  
by WA8IUR on March 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Familiar story Tom. I was 1st licensed in 1963 at 13yrs. My father was K8KFO-silent key since 1983.Got bck into the hobby in mid 90s.As you have, I used my dad's equipment till I decided any modernizations.I also have a straight key on a board that looks identical to yours. I wonder if they knew each other.
Hope to make contact sometime.
Tim
 
From Father to Son  
by K1CJS on March 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
What a wonderful story! Tom, thanks for sharing. 73!
 
RE: From Father to Son  
by K1WJ on March 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
My Dad also used similar introductory items then made the moves for me to study for my novice ticket at the age of 15 in 1979 state of NH.
Thank you Dad (sk 2006)....your gift keeps giving..
My brother Dan (state of VA) now holds his last call, K1WW. Every time I key the mic, I think of the ones that came before us......73 David K1WJ
 
From Father to Son  
by N4MJG on March 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
WOW great story !

MY dad try to get into ham radio he never could'nt pass the code in 1980 so he gave up !

I remember as kid in 1970's i started cb in 75 then off the air and went back cb in 1990 untill 2001 i got my lic. in no code tech.


Now either 2006 or 07 i upgrade to general then took the code right before they drop the code and pass it finally,but my code is rusty !!

But anyhow i got my first lic when i was 36 and still hamming since 2001 !

I enjoyed reading the your story keep up good work !



73
Jackie
N4MJG
HAMMING SINCE 2001
 
From Father to Son  
by STRAIGHTKEY on March 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Nice story!
 
From Father to Son  
by N7DMA on March 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Great memories. Thanks for a wonderful story!

 
From Father to Son  
by W4MMR on March 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Two thumbs up, Tom, and thanks for sharing this story.

mark
W4MMR
 
RE: From Father to Son  
by KE7WAV on March 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the great story. It awesome that you were able to get his old call too!
73
 
RE: From Father to Son  
by N4KC on March 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Great work, Tom. And you'll get lots of "that's my story, too!" And it is. My dad--WA4AZJ, SK since 1989--and I started working toward our licenses at the same time, when I was 13. The code flummoxed him and he never made it past Tech, but he was proud of me for how quickly I worked up from Novice to General to Extra.

I miss him every day, but I can look right over there on the shelf and see his Lionel J-38 straight key. I break it out every year on Straight Key Night and have a QSO or two with it.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
(Author of the new book RIDING THE SHORTWAVES:
EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO)


 
From Father to Son  
by W8MLD on March 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Wow, just wow. Your story was very touching. I'm glad you are back into Amateur Radio, but so sorry you lost your father. Happy Easter and God bless.
 
RE: From Father to Son  
by W1JKA on March 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Very nice story,just wish my dad had been a ham.
 
From Father to Son  
by KH6JRM on March 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Very touching story. Your father must have quite a guy. Although my dad wasn't a ham, he encouraged me to get an amateur radio license when I was a teenager. We built several Heathkits together (mostly audio stuff). Both of us were avid SW listeners. After a few well-placed reminders, I finally became a ham while I was working at a commercial radio station in Hilo, Hawaii. I think the station engineer and my dad had this planned out. Anyway, I've enjoyed the hobby for 36 wonderful years. Great story--it brings back many memories. Aloha, Russ, KH6JRM.
 
RE: From Father to Son  
by KB6QXM on March 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Outstanding story. I really wished that my father and I would have shared ham radio or any of my hobbies together. My father was very successful in his career and because of that, I saw very little of my father growing up. Mostly he would leave before I would get up in the morning and come home from work much after I went to bed. Most of the time my father would leave for work at 5AM and come home at 10PM.

I did get to share one of my hobbies with my father later in life. Classic cars. When I was in my "Mustang" phase, my father had a couple. My father was never into high horsepower as I was, but it was still nice to talk to him about cars or have some common bond.I am just starting to get to know my father now, as he is in his 80's. It is a shame that I never had that close bond with my father as you had with yours.

Happy Easter and 73
 
From Father to Son  
by WA3V on March 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Tom,

I greatly enjoyed your article about your father and how you both enjoyed ham radio. I have a similar story. My father also helped me to get into ham radio at age 11 in 1958. He had been a SWL listener since his youth and had always wanted to become a ham but simply could not pass the code test. He gave up again on the code after I passed my license. Like you, I dropped out of ham radio when I went to college, but I took it up years later when I tried to interest my oldest son into becoming active in ham radio. After I got my license, I started to work on my father to get his novice license and convinced him to join his local radio club and take their novice course. At age 72, he got his novice license and I helped him, the reverse of the time in my youth, to pick out his equipment. He was thrilled to work DX on ten meters including Japan. After he passed away, I saved all his radio stuff and it brings me great pleasure to know that we shared this wonderful hobby.Thanks for the memories. Gene
 
RE: From Father to Son  
by N6AJR on March 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
My Dad never got his liscense but he was an avid SWL till he lost his hearing . He always excouraged my interest in electronics in general and when I grew an went into the service I went into electronic countermeasures, or radio jamming equipment. I got my ticket ( tech) in 1978 and was active for about 5 years, then went inactive for a while,but kept my ticket current, and got back in ham radio around 2001. I found I could be grandfathered as an old 2 meter tech so I got my general in 2001 and a week later I passed my extra. Iwas and still am lousy with the code, but I do it any how. congrats on the getting back on, and my Dad is 90 years old and still kickin, and is glad I still play radio.
 
From Father to Son  
by N8NSN on March 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
BRAVO !!!

This is one of the BEST posts ever, on eHam !!!

Great story, Tom. I can see it all happening in my minds eye, whilst reading.

Many thanks for sharing with us.

73
 
From Father to Son  
by AC2JD on March 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Tom,
Your story is right up there with "It's A Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart and Donnie Reed. Very Happy for You and Your Father that you Spent such Quality Bonding Time Together.
Thank You Very Much For Sharing Such a Personal and Meaningful Part of You and Your Father's Life.
God Bless, and Happy Easter.
Respectfully,
Richard Reiter AC2JD
 
From Father to Son  
by VE3TMT on April 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Great story Tom,

Funny how our parents seem to be able to predict the future. Sounds like you had a very wonderful father.

73
 
From Father to Son  
by W9CPI on April 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Nice story Tom . . . It parallels my own. My Dad Fred (W9CPI 1947) got me interested in ham radio in 1960 when I was in the 7th grade. After many moves and different callsigns Dad ended up with W9OER and I was KW5E. In 2003 I asked Dad what he thought about me "upgrading" to his original call. He liked the idea, so I became the second W9CPI. Dad became a SK in 2010 -- I have posted on QRZ.COM a picture of him as W9CPI around 1950 with a BC-348 and a homebrew transmitter. 73, and maybe we will work some day. Steve, W9CPI/ZP9EH
 
RE: From Father to Son  
by AF6AU on April 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Wonderful article, and I also enjoyed the attitional posts too. Seems we all value those mentors and memories.

For me, the Ham bug came from a curiousity, and with a kick in the right direction from my Uncle. As a little kid in 1958, my parents had a console Ward's Airline AM/FM/SW record player/Radio, and I use to get a thrill listening to the funny other languages I could hear on the radio when I switched to the 2 (band switch) positions my parent's did'nt use. When visiting my Cousins, my Uncle W6BQO (Henry J. Walther, Cool, Calif. now a SK) showed me his mobile rig in the back of his Pontiac Station Wagon, and his other Ham stuff in his garage. When he had a QSO with me watching and listening, I was amazed.

My dad was more of a mechanical guy, and we were a team for years, cars, boats, building room additions, but the radio bug never left.

My 4 cousins never got the bug from my Uncle. But the radio seed he cultivated in me kept growing. Maybe he knew that.

I earned my Extra not long before Uncle Henry passed. and I had my cousins tell him about that. When I heard he went into the hospital, I called them, and told them to inform him of that news, me not knowing he was not going to make it. I heard later that he was very happy to hear my ticket news.

Father to Son legacy is great. But Uncle to Nephew or Neice, or Neighbor to the curious kid next door, if you have the chance to light that curiousity, don't hesitate.

I have that situation now, my 3 daughters have no interest. So I wait for my legacy...

We have a gift to give, give it away any chance you can.

Thanks Uncle Henry, W6BQO SK
AF6AU
 
From Father to Son  
by W8VFM on April 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks Tom for your great story. My Dad bought home a crystal set for my Christmas in 1950, when I was 11 years old. He helped me put it together and I began my radio journey. He introduced me to Nolan Kelly, W8ZOO, sk; who was the radio repairman in our little town in Michigan. Mr. Kelly introduced me to the wonders of radio and I was "hooked" forever! My dad never joined me in the hobby but was always encouraging me as I progressed. He bought me a code oscillator and key for the next Christmas and I began my journey to learning the code. I finally earned my Novice license at the age of 16 and have been enjoying the magic of radio now for 58 years. I still get a thrill when I hear my call over the radio. It is truly magic!

God Bless and 73
Ned, W8VFM
 
From Father to Son  
by W8KQE on April 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Great story indeed! Thanks for sharing.
 
From Father to Son  
by N9BH on April 2, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I almost did not read this.
Very glad that I did.

73
 
From Father to Son  
by K8QV on April 2, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for a great story!
 
From Father to Son  
by WD9FUM on April 3, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
What a great story! My dad was not a ham, but he was a SWL, and his hobby helped to spark (pun intended) my interest in ham radio.
 
RE: From Father to Son  
by K9MHZ on April 4, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Great story. You were lucky to have a dad like him.
 
From Father to Son  
by KD7EIR on April 4, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you, sir, for bringing a tear to my eye with this truly touching story. I never got to share ham radio with my father though he always encouraged me to get involved. Sadly I never got my license until after he had passed away. I hope that somehow he knows that I finally did it.
 
From Father to Son  
by N8WRL on April 5, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Really enjoyed that story, Tom! What a wonderful tribute to your father. I lost mine in 2009 and he too was a huge influence on me. I miss him every day.

73!

-Brian n8wrl
 
RE: From Father to Son  
by WA4MQW on April 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Another echo about your fine article. As so many have said here we miss our fathers. My father died in 2002, was never a ham but when I was 12 years old he was there lending support to my interest by paying half the cost of a new extension ladder so I could get my dipoles tied to the chimney. A year later,I remember us up on the roof putting a small mast on the chimney to support the new 15m rotatable dipole we built together from my new 1963 ARRL Handbook. He was my biggest supporter and again we miss them.

73 Bob 50 years licensed

WA4MQW
 
From Father to Son  
by KE6TDT on April 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Great story Tom, with a nice twist. Getting the gear back from Mom that many years later...What a great thing that must have been.

Take care, 73
Dan - KE6TDT
 
From Father to Son  
by KB8PMD on April 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Tom Miller is a very lucky man to have had a father like his dad - does not always happen. I feel very strongly about helping kids develop a hobby, even if it does not follow my own interests. When an individual has a hobby, it generally means that person is more intelligent and easier to approach. I would have loved to had a dad like Tomís - I appreciate that because I had a father who was 180 degrees different! My dad was a bully to his siblings and physically and mentally abusive (if he had a hobby, that was his) to his kids - he had no hobbies, other than staring blankly into a television set - or torturing his children physically or mentally. I would order the Allied Radio Catalog when I was still in elementary school, Iíd dream about building a Knight-Kit Star Roamer shortwave radio - back then $39.95 just as well could have been a million dollars at that age. My first catalog was circa 1965, same for my first Heathkit catalog. In any case, I had an interest in ham radio since I was five. At eight, Iíd earn enough change to purchase a knight-kit code oscillator assembly manual (not the kit) to see what was needed to put it together. I learned a long time ago never to ask if it was okay - such an action would have brought a large blood-curdling íNOí and a strap to the back. So, I was lucky to have an elderly couple who lived next door to allow me to send the booklet to their house for me to have. Everything went well and I received the booklet through my neighbor. However, I made one glaring mistake - leaving it on the coffee table for my father to find. Along with the package was a piece of paper that said íPlease Remit Five Centsí - I was a nickel short of what the kit manual cost. My father worked as a nursing assistant at a VA Hospital here in Cleveland and didnít get home until 11:30 at night. You got it, he saw the kit manual, ran upstairs and started screaming at me like a banshee! He then berated and threatened me, punching me, slapping me and then had me stand facing the wall - all the time continuing to (yes, he was a real nut job!) screaming at me and taking off his belt (he grew up in the backwoods of West Virginia) and used it as a strap on both my bare rear (I had to strip down for him) and beating my back - he was actually foaming at the mouth now! He kept hitting me and drew blood at my back - he didnít stop until I had to go to class the next morning - my back had welts and was a bloody mess! I wore a white dress shirt to school that morning drawing everyoneís attention to the blood-soaked back of the shirt. A teacher noticed too and marched me down to the principleís office and called my home - unfortunately my dad answered the phone and the teacher questioned what happened to me? My dad feigned innocence and said heíd look into the situation - he sure did! Got home from school and found myself being smacked around again, with more screaming. When I went to school the next day, the teacher was shocked to see I was worse off than before - but decided it would be a smart idea to never call my house again. I learned a very valuable lesson from the experience - make sure to be correct on the amount I would send in, get rid of the packaging from anything I ordered, and anything I ordered, keep hidden! I walked on eggshells from then until I left home for good. This is why Iím happy to give Tomís father íJohní two big thumbs up for being a great father in encouraging Tomís interest in a hobby - I had the opposite experience and too often, good fathers donít get the public appreciation for a job well done!-)

73 & A Tip Of The Hat For A Great Dad!
-Andrew Boggs, BA-
 
RE: From Father to Son  
by W1PDI on April 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you for reading my Father To Son recollection that was posted on eHam.net. It has drawn quite a bit of attention and many seemed very moved by it.

When I presented this story to the editorial staff of QST more than ten years ago (just after I wrote this article) they werenít interested in publishing it in an issue of QST. They did, however, place it on the ARRL website.

I must have received more than 200 responses like the ones on eHam.net from the posting on the ARRL site. I even received a number of letters by mail but most all responses were sent to me via e-mail, not any online reply posting. I shared some of these comments with the editors of QST a few months after the article appeared on their web site and there was still was no interest in publishing it in QST. Oh well. Too bad because I thought it would really touch many f their readership base.

A few years ago I contacted the league again to see if they might be interested in having me write a follow up to my story-kind of whatís happened in the ten year since I jumped back on the air. But not even a response.

One interesting response I received after the article appeared on the ARRL website was from a ham living on the west coast who not only remembered my dad but worked with him at the radio station my dad worked at in the very early 1960ís. What were the chances of that ever happening?

Iím glad I was able to share some of my amateur radio past experiences with you and others and thank you for your kind words.


73, Tom..W1PDI
 
From Father to Son  
by N8RFI on April 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Great Story Tom,

My father although not a ham planted the radio bug in me when I was about 8 years old getting me a Regency Formula 23 CB radio. He died when I was 10. With help from the local CB shop guys I studied and took my Novice exam. Ham radio has been a part of my life every since. I still have the CB although not hooked up, but it is with my collection of Kenwoods, Icoms and Yaesus....just to remind me of where it all started and to remind me of my father spending his hard earned money which led to a career and a hobby for me. With that thought I have passed down my subtle hint to my own daughter in hopes some day she will get involved with ham radio.

I am envious you had your father for a long time and able to share a common thread. You are a lucky person.

73's
Keith
 
From Father to Son  
by N2FBV on April 18, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
A great story, my kids were never interested, you were very lucky.
 
From Father to Son  
by W5QDF on April 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Tom,

like you my father encouraged me to get involved in Ham Radio as a child and I helped him build radios, was his ahtennae Monkey and enjoyed working with him.

Like you other things took me away from the hobby until I got interested again until I was 50 years young.

I find my fathers interest in being on the radio has grown more since I got interested. He is my elmer and we are closer now than we have ever been.

I will miss him when he goes SK, but love your article and want to make the most of the time left with my father.

I agree with you, getting someone you care about interested in the hobby makes you more active. I have a girlfriend(Terri KE5ZNF) that got here Tech and General class licenses, not for me, but for herself. Here being active on the radio keeps me interested.

Between KE5ZNF and my Pop W4MPY, I have a lot of encouragement and motivation to stay active.

Good article and thank you.

David
W5QDF
 
From Father to Son  
by K4LF on May 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Tom,
At age 13, December of 1958, I put a Knight Kit Spanmaster kit radio on my Santa's list. I must have been "nice" because Christmas morning, Santa delivered. Along with the kit came a Wen soldering gun, a pair of needle nose pliers, and a pair of side cutters. The rest of the tools were already in my Dad's extensive workshop. How Santa knew exactly what to deliver is a mystery, as my Dad was a journeyman sheet metal worker and had no knowledge of radio stuff. I assembled it perfectly, just using the instruction booklet, and it worked on the first try. Living on the Ohio River some of the signals I listened to were barge traffic, in the 2-3MHz range, while they locked through the local dam. I also listened to short wave broadcast and hams on 80/40m. Less than a year later, with the help of an Elmer in my neigborhood and the local ham club, I had my novice ticket. What ensued from that Spanmaster has been a 50+ year span (pun intended) in ham radio and a 35+ year career as an Electronic Engineer in electronic manufacturing.

I, too, have the amateur radio stamps, I think as first-day covers.

73, Charlie, K4LF (in 1959, KN9TQG)

 
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