[AMRadio] 40 Meter AM Ops from the Past

Mike Duke, K5XU k5xu at comcast.net
Sat Nov 22 23:08:06 EST 2008

As an SWL, I spent a disproportionate amount of time on 40 meters because a 
coil in my Zenith receiver opened, killing off 80 and 160.

When I began listening in 1966, there was a bunch of AM on 40 meters, even 
throughout the night.

By the time I earned my General at age 15 in 1970, about all that was left 
was one group on 7295, and another that usually met on 7275.

Here is a brief listing of calls from those days, some of whom actually took 
time to dig my Viking Ranger signal out of the noise and qrm.

K4AGY, known as Kingfish, spent his final years in Chattanooga, but was on 
the Mississippi coast with a W5 call when I first heard him. He had a DX100 
with negative cycle loading as promoted by Hoisy, W4CJL, from Florence, 

Kingfish also had the distinction of being listed as a silent key by QST 
about 4 years prior to his actual death in 1971. I still remember the pile 
up the first day he came back on the air after that listing. As it turned 
out, he had been in an automobile accident which killed his wife, and left 
him with a broken neck.

He lived on 7195 along with Wa4PQH - Sid from Atlanta, W4ATX - Sally from 
NC, Ernie - W4DWE from GA, Jim - W4DXw, from SC, and many others in the 
southeast whose calls escape my memory.

 They were often joined by W4CJL, K4KYV, W8VYZ, W4ZWE, and others.

The other group was mainly from Louisiana and Texas.

Perhaps best known from that group by some here would be Alton Gray, W5FAP, 
from San Antonio. He kept almost daily schedules with his brother-in-law, 
Oscar, W5OEB, from the Shreveport area, along with one or two of his sons, 
and a few others of us who were attracted by their good signals.

Other calls that I remember were WA5OXE - Henry from Houston, the original 
holder of W5RF - Harry, from near Laurel, Ms, W4TK - Bob from Jacksonville, 
and W4ZZZ - Ross, from Miami.

Remember that the 40 meter voice band was only from 7.2 - 7.3 back then. 
Those who think the bands are crowded now should have been there when they 
really were!

Mike Duke, K5XU
American Council of Blind Radio Amateurs

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