call sign K7HQX was commissioned in Tacoma, Washington in April of 1958. The
first rig consisted of a Viking I transmitter with an external VFO and a
Hallicrafters S76 receiver. The antenna was a long wire stretched from the
second story of a boarding house at 1020 North J Street. It crossed over J
Street to the second story roof of another home. The wire was 109 copper clad
that was fully visible by traffic down below. Life was good before antennas
became a nuisance to the populous. It was also a time when Pacific Telephone
was paying me to work and go to school for three years. Something I would have
done for nothing. This station was decommissioned in 1960 and relocated to Moses
Lake, Washington, and in 1961 again relocated to the Spokane Valley.
In January of 1963, I took employment with a Microwave Division of GTE and
packed up my bride and our month old son and moved to sunny Puerto Rico. Not too
popular with the new grandparents for sure! We ran mobile from Spokane to Miami
with a Collins KWM-1 and a Webster Bandspanner base loaded mobile antenna. Once
we were settled I did some bartering at the Ramey AFB MARS Station. With a new
power transformer and an upside down aluminum pan, I built an AC supply for the
rig. I also acquired 20’ of tower and a TA-33Jr Tri-Bander. Put the tower up
on a hill overlooking Crash boat beach and ran a few hundred feet of coax down
to a weather beaten beach house…again life just keeps getting better.
Grandparents still miffed, but they ask about me on occasion. The call sign is
now KP4BQL. My oldest daughter was born in Ponce in January of 1964. The
grandparents again turned on me. We returned to Spokane that summer!
Back to Spokane in 1966 and now have a new call sign, WA7CIZ (I thought K7HQX
was a bad CW call)! I have a great position with the State Highway commission,
the grandparents are civil and life is still pretty darned good. At least until
GTE called me and wanted me to take a field engineer position on an Air Force
contract in California. I left Linda in Spokane for six months until our second
son was born and we then moved to work at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma. For whatever,
the grandparents have become calloused. My mother cut me out of the will, but
she still sends me an Easter Basket.
From 1968 to 1986 GTE sent us from Oklahoma to Texas to California back to
Texas, back to California to Arizona and finally to Texas for good. In Oklahoma
my call was W5RPQ, long for CW, Then W6REK…you can burn that one out with a
rusty old broken down key! And finally with the availability of Vanity calls,
I have been K7PW since 1996.
Ham Radio has never been my first priority, but it has been a good friend for
many years. In this time there have been many milestones in this hobby. I was
Charter President of Mid Oklahoma Repeater in Oklahoma City, the second in the
State of Oklahoma in 1969. I did the legal and licensing documentation for LARK
the Livermore Amateur Radio Klub for setting up their first repeater and helped
pioneer HF APRS in the mid 1980s. Home brewing of course was always the dessert
of the hobby. Since 1958, my station has always been ready to broadcast.
Presently, I can operate from 1.8MHz through 922MHz. Need I say that even as an
old man, life remains good? Except that I truly miss the grandparents.
I decommissioned the station in Flower Mound on 5/1/2016 and will recommission in a much downsized configuration in Murphy Texas at some future date !!