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How a Copper Coil Got Me Into Amateur Radio

from Joakim, LB1RI on December 30, 2018
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The interest of radio has been dorming within me for as long as I can remember, but it was not until I studied to become an electrical engineer the interest started growing. Actually, I can clearly remember what triggered this interest for real – Peterson coil grounding in high voltage distribution systems. That’s right, you got that correct! A subject seemingly far away from radio was the subject leading me here. Let me explain.

The answer lies within the frequencies

I was reading about resonance in high voltage distribution nets, caused by the capacitance in the lines together with the inductance in the ground coil. I was calculating and reading, jumping from one website to the other, and I was fascinated by the subject of frequencies and resonance. After stumbling upon a few filter circuits on a radio page I was completely sold! One thing led to the other, and suddenly I sat there with the Radio Amateurs ABC (the license syllabus) on my lap – a few weeks ahead of my final exam.

Boy, was that the wrong timing to get into amateur radio! I needed to concentrate on my exam! Well, actually I got use of some of the literature for my final project at school. But I had to tame my eagerness to keep focus on what was most important at the time.

I finished school, got my degree and started reading. There was no license course in my area so I had to read for myself. For one year I kept on reading for my license. ONE YEAR! I could have done it in a couple of months, but I was too intimidated of the test to go ahead and try. Mr. Never-good- enough wanted to make sure he would pass without trouble. And so he did.

By the end of February 2018 I had obtained the license and I was ready to rock the amateur bands.

The moral

I guess what I want to say here is – Don’t be afraid to try. You may be ready already. Just jump into it!

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How a Copper Coil Got Me Into Amateur Radio  
by NZ4ZN on December 30, 2018 Mail this to a friend!
A simple circuit with a copper coil got me into electronics and ultimately radio too, but it was a much different kind of coil.

I was about 10 years old and it was a battery powered electromagnet I had built from from a kid's science project book that intrigued me. Found the invisible power of electronics fascinating and eventually pursued it as a career for some time.
RE: How a Copper Coil Got Me Into Amateur Radio  
by K3UIM on December 31, 2018 Mail this to a friend!
My first adventure with electronics was with a hand-crank telephone ringer. I found it at a junk yard and bought it for the few cents I got for collecting junk and had lots of fun "shocking" the local gang. This was back in 1946 or 1947.
Charlie, K3UIM
How a Copper Coil Got Me Into Amateur Radio  
by KB5ZSM on December 31, 2018 Mail this to a friend!
Old automotive ignition coils tied to a relay used as a vibrator made a lot of TV interference back in the 50s & 60s. Or the HV circuit in the TV (TUBE TYPE) was great for a Jacobs ladder. Needless to say, after playing with stuff like that I had to learn more. Curious minds want to know!!!

Happy New Year!!!
RE: How a Copper Coil Got Me Into Amateur Radio  
by JS6TMW on January 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
When i was around 10 i found in a closet a lovely crystal set built into a miniature cigar box. The coil was flat and had two sliders. My dad, who had passed away a few years before, was a real craftsman and had built this gem in the 20s or 30s. I couldn't get the cats whisker and galena crystal to pick up any stations, so i asked my friends father, who was ourCubmaster, for help. He was an engineer and brought home a marvelous device called a semiconductor diode, a 1n34 and soon i was practicing the black arts of antennas and grounds. His son and i went on to get our novice tickets and generals and made lots of TVI!
How a Copper Coil Got Me Into Amateur Radio  
by W4FID on January 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
My very first was a crystal radio I built from an article in Popular Electronics when I was about 11 or 12. I rode my bicycle about 5 miles across the south side of Chicago to a store to but the parts. WGN was a big clear channel AM station in Chicago. It was an easy listen. A couple friends and I were sharing the headphones and there was a ballgame on. We were singing along with the beer commercials. Hamms -- from the land of sky blue waters. Cheery beery Adliweise it tastes so nice. We thought we were cool. Doing stuff our parents knew zero about -- a home made radio -- singing along with beer commercials like the drunks at Wrigley Field. How cool is that!
How a Copper Coil Got Me Into Amateur Radio  
by W9CN on January 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Here is a link on Peterson Coil Grounding

RE: How a Copper Coil Got Me Into Amateur Radio  
by WX7Q on January 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Very cool indeed. Think that is what is missing from ham radio, the "Romance" or wonderment is gone.

How a Copper Coil Got Me Into Amateur Radio  
by W9YW on January 2, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
My late grandfather, an accountant, took me to a client company who as a small AM radio station, when I was 10. I already knew a few things about radio, including stories about the early days. I talked with their engineer about St Elmo's Fire, an effect that occurred on an early radio station he worked at with >100KW. The electricity would dance on the wire fence around the antenna fence near the termination of its "experimental" ground radials. In two years, I was a novice. Then I gave it up for a while, rejoining amateur radio a few years ago. Those were the tube days, and now I have more than 20billion transistors in my phone.
How a Copper Coil Got Me Into Amateur Radio  
by K1FPV on January 3, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Boy, this story has some parallels similar to my situation. I was in my early teens in the late 1950's when my parents gave me a crystal radio kit. I built it and had a blast listening to the AM radio stations locally.

Every now and then, I kept hearing a strong station overriding the AM broadcast stations. This guy spoke about electronics and everything making it more interesting to listen him instead of the Top 40 stations.

I finally got his call and was fortunate enough to have the local public library carry the "Call Book." He lived 3 streets over from me, and one day when I was delivering his newspaper,(I had a paper route to earn spending cash).

He was cutting his lawn one day, so I asked him about the tower he had as well as letting him know I listened to him on my crystal radio. Well, eventually, he had me come into the house and we went in his shack. I got hooked especially when he turned the setup on, and had a QSO in front of me. Then he moved the mic in front of me and I was speechless for the first time in my life and probably ever since!

It has been a terrific path over the years (55+ with me being licensed) Fond memories from many years ago!
How a Copper Coil Got Me Into Amateur Radio  
by AB1UP on February 4, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
In the 50's my Dad got me a Remco crystal set for Christmas. As soon as I opened the present, I started winding the coil on the form and a night or two after Christmas I was listening to the set. I stretched the antenna wire around the bedroom and stayed up late into the night. I experienced the shift from local AM stations in the Boston area into the late evening hours with Ohio and the Bible belt. A couple of years later I received an edu-kit which allowed me to build different vacuum tube recievers....I was hooked. WN1FDK was my novice call. AB1UP(formerly WA1HIR)
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