After some 53 years, I am finally a licensed Amateur radio operator (“Ham”)

When I was in middle school, my buddy Ross introduced me to the world of electronics by lending me his Knight Kit “Ocean Hopper” regenerative radio. We also worked together building a flip-flop circuit provided to us by a “traveling roadshow” on computers when we were in 8th grade.

When I was in 9th grade – junior high at the time – I was fortunate to receive the requested Knight Kit “Star Roamer” as a Christmas gift – still have that radio today.

In 1967 I wrote into Popular Electronics magazine, which was offering “call signs” as a “Short-Wave Monitor Certificate of Registration” for non-licensed receive-only hobbyists. At the time, they also coordinated with the FCC to reserve those call signs. I still have my certificate, and will eventually post it on my site.

Fast forward to Feb, 1, 2020, when I took the Technical and General amateur radio exams administered by the Volunteer Examiners from the Four Lakes Amateur Radio Club, and passed both with perfect scores.

My call sign was originally KD9OVL. However, I also applied for an FCC “vanity” call sign – which is the same as the one issued by Popular Electronics in 1967 (without the “PE” portion, after the “W” prefix.). I’ll let you know how that turns out. 😉

UPDATE: As of 3/10/2020, my call sign is now W9IYN.

73 (Amateur Radio lingo for “Best Wishes”)