was first licensed in February 1955 as KN4CDZ in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as a sophomore in high school. I remember being disappointed at the "K" call, having just missed getting a "W" by a couple of months. At that time a "K" call really made you stand out as a newcomer to the hobby.
The K4CDZ General license came one year
(and two tries) later.
Nearly everyone in amateur radio has their "Elmer," that individual who provides the encouragement and support to get you over the first hump. Mine was George "Gid" Woodard, then WN4YQZ
(now NY4R). He pushed and prodded until I finally made it.
Building the ARRL Handbook 6AG7-6L6 rig was my ticket to getting on the air with my first real shortwave communications receiver, a Hallicrafters S-38D. It was as broad as a barn and had a BFO which sometimes allowed you to actually hear a CW note. I had learned CW as an SWL with an old Silvertone table
model AM-SW radio with coverage from 6.0-18.0 Mc/s and no BFO. You listened to a "hiss" from W1AW and other stations or by hoping you could beat one signal against another to produce a tone of some sort.
My early construction techniques left quite a bit to be desired and the rig, while working, put out all manner of signals including my best DX at the time, a card from the
FCC monitoring station in Twin Falls,
Idaho that told me I was doubling and instead of 40M I was on 20, and outside the high end of the band at that. Reality check number one.
many other amateurs, I enjoy chasing DX. I'm not a "big gun" my any
stretch, but I enjoy the contacts, enjoy the cards, and I have finally
gotten enough cards qualified for 5BDXCC. The next goal is the DXCC
Challenge Award...more of a challenge at this part of the sunspot cycle.
W4HG was obtained in
1976 when "incentive licensing" was the big thing.
The present rig is a Ten Tec
Orion II with Ten Tec Titan III amp and a Kenwood TL-922 backup, a 3 element SteppIR
Yagi at 15 metres
and a G5RV at 20 metres. The Orion replaced a Kenwood TS-430S.
For QRP an Elecraft K2 has augmented the Ten Tec
Argonaut 509. It must be endemic, but the shack never seems arranged the
way I want it. Moving things around continues to be a popular endeavour.
A QSO in 1994 with Bob
Dilworth, W4LQE, in Knoxville, Tennessee, provided the information on the first (and only other) holder of the call, W4HG. It was issued in
1948 to T. D. Phillips, formerly W4KIY (1947), in Knoxville. Bob
knew him quite well and shared an original W4HG QSL with me.