[AMRadio] License Classes, Dumbing Down, etc.

rbethman rbethman at comcast.net
Tue Nov 25 14:03:03 EST 2008

Mike and the Group,

During the period when you went to the FCC in 1969, and your Novice in 
1968, I was plodding through rice paddies.

Uncle Sam took first obligations unntil I got to settle down for awhile 
and go to the Atlanta Office in 1980.  Initially I was KA4PBD.  I 
mis-checked a box on the OLD FCC 610 in 1982, resulting in the Current 

I stayed a Direct uniformed Uncle Sam Employee until late 1988.  I 
became employed as a DoE and a DoD contractor until 2002.

During BOTH periods I used to spend 3, 6, and 9 months a year in varied 
places around the world.

Excuses?  No.  Facts of ONE individual.  Individuals are inherently 
DIFFERENT.  I've got NO regrets, including being married for 38 years 
and two youngsters.  Finally in 2003 I was blessed with a $250K miracle 
granddaughter.  She spent four months in the NICU being born at the 
"hefty" weight of 1 LB 14 oz.

IF and when I CAN manage to upgrade, I will.  In the meantime I'll 
continue as a General class.

I went AM in 1980n with an HT-37 w/SX-101A, and a homebrew pair of 813s.

Yep, ran sideband and nets.  Held multiple MARS calls.

Bob - N0DGN

Michael D. Harmon wrote:
> I'm a newcomer to the AM group, but not to ham radio.  I first became 
> interested in ham radio back in 1962, when I was a mere kid of 13.  My 
> dad had an old Crosley multi-band table radio, to which I hooked a 
> piece of doorbell wire going out the window and over to a tree in our 
> backyard.  I'd listen to all the AM ops, but couldn't understand why 
> some of the stations sounded like Donald Duck and were totally 
> unintelligible.  I remember a guy named Conrad, W4EBG in Paducah KY 
> constantly grousing about the "sideband scum" on "his" frequency.  
> Finally I realized that my Disney stations were the source of his 
> disgust.
> In 1969 I was in electronics classes and made the trip to the Kansas 
> City FCC office where I passed my tests for First Phone and Ship 
> Radar.  I got my Novice in 1968, my Tech in 1973, my Advanced in 1987, 
> and my Extra in 2000.  I never liked my old Novice call (WN0WML).  It 
> was laborious to send on CW and a tongue twister on SSB.  My Tech call 
> was WB0LDJ, and it wasn't too bad on CW (kinda had a nice rhythm to 
> it) and was much better on voice (although other stations are always 
> getting it confused with that former president from Texas).
> I briefly considered changing to an Extra call when I passed the test, 
> but decided that none of my friends would recognize me on the air, and 
> I wasn't interested in trying to impress anyone.  I've had LDJ now for 
> 35 years, and I guess I'll keep it.  I chuckle sometimes at the CB-ers 
> who upgrade and get an Extra call right off the bat, but I don't hold 
> it against them.  I sort of compare them to my 36-year old 
> stepdaughter who funds her "keep-up-with-all-the-yuppie-friends" 
> lifestyle with multiple maxed-out credit cards.  The way I look at it 
> is that the newcomers are going to be the future of ham radio, whether 
> we oldtimers like it or not, and if not for them, I'm afraid all the 
> commercial interests and spectrum auctions  will eventually take over 
> our bands.  I wish them all the best.
> Mike, WB0LDJ
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