Son of W1CRO
How this website got Started
...As a child I grew up around tubes, old televisions sets, piles of chassis frames and a big row of H.F. equipment. My father had been into "Ham Radio" for years. At our home in Manassas there were many antennas and lots of QSL cards. At the time he was W1CRO. I remember the vanity plates in Virginia "W1CRO". Even though Amateur Radio had been around since the early 1900's people still asked me "what the heck is W1CRO?". I also remember long rides in our 1972 Ford Pinto. The dials on the OLE' 2-Meter rig weren't even digital then. But there were radios a plenty! (Pinto link is NOT our Pinto, but ours was a similar color and in pretty good shape like the one in the picture!)
I think Dad always wanted me to be a "Ham", but he never pressured me. When I was small he taught me how to solder, what not to touch, and how to put coax cable together. When I was older he showed me about computers and even gave me a working model to use.
This first computer he gave me was a Timex Sinclair, not much power but it taught me how to program. Later when I moved away he started sending me larger models. First a 286 PC, then as time went on he worked me up to a Pentium. At this point all these things he was teaching me about and tools he was giving me were little more than hobbies to me. Little did I know one day I might need those skills......
Six Months ago I changed jobs. It was a field I was familiar with and know basically what to do. It dealt with electronics and computers. Something my Dad had spent many years teaching me about. I spent many weeks learning my new job. Then one day in September after looking over some material I was training on at the plant the "light bulb" went ON!
I worked around radios, electronics, and computers...why not give OLE Dad something we both could enjoy? I had some extra cash and a little spare time so I went out to the Internet and visited ARRL.org. I reviewed the Technician exam info and bought a couple of books online.....This is the beginning of my four month story.
Entries from September 2002
Talked to a buddy at work about how he got into radio. He said he studied the FCC license, memorized it and passed the test. Hmmmmm....seems simple enough. I think I could pass the Technician exam by February 2003, That would be a cool thing to give Dad for his birthday.
Got my books in the mail - Time to Study
Spent the weekend looking up Ham Radio stuff, visited the FCC site, ARRL.org, and QSL.net - Cool!
Found Ham Academy 2.9 Software - This program is FREE, I can really study now.
Started hunting down electronics sites - found lots of cool schematics for building ham gear and other devices, need to find a keyer so I can take the code test after I get my Technician License.
Talked to buddy at work about some diagrams I found for Ham Radio Oscillators, need to get some parts to build one.
Spent a week getting parts. tonight's the night - Gonna build this sucker!
The night was interesting, got my oscillator built, even put a tone control on it - Wish I could tell Dad but I better wait, dont want to ruin the surprise!
My boss checked out my oscillator, he was impressed. Said he would record some code on a tape for me. Can't ask Dad for that just yet!
Picture of my first practice oscillator. (It don't look like much, but it works great!)
Entries from October 2002
Get to work nights for another month, Not a bad deal, The guy at work is showing me all sorts of tricks on electronics - It's all starting to come back to me now.
The guy at work talks me into building a variable 24V power supply for my bench...(This link is not even close to what I built but it is pretty cool and shows what you can do with a little money).
The power supply works - Cool
Study Study Study Ham Radio Books.
I built a CAT 5 tester out of junk parts - A technician uses it at work to find a bad cable and it works. (Link is similar to unit I built but with more features).
Study, Research the Net, Study
Talk to Dad, almost slip up and tell him too much...Oops!
Entries from November 2002
Study, Study , Study
I spend night and day on the net researching ham radio, transistors and tube thingies!
Talk to Dad about Ham Radio - He sees my spark in interest, Suggests getting a Tech license, "Hey there's no code now...remember?" He he...It's all too good, What a setup but I can't tell him yet! Time to set my goal for Christmas and not his Birthday.
Study Study Study
I am now hitting the Ham Academy program night and day. Not scoring less that an 85%.
I decide it is now time to get serious, need to find a place to take the exam. I start researching local clubs. The closest one is in Greeley according to the net.
I find a link to a ham VE in Greeley. I email him about taking the test.
I TEST THE 2ND SATURDAY OF THE EVEN MONTHS 1PM CANDELARIA HALL
ROOM 0280. $10 FEE AND ID SUCH AS A DRIVERS LICENSE OR CO ID CARD
ETC. I HAVE ALL 4 TESTS, ELEMENT 1,2,3,4. INFO IS ON ARRL.ORG
LOCATION IS THERE ALSO. CU SAT DEC 14, K0OJ
On Sun, 1 Dec 2002 18:42:34 -0700 "John S. Whittum" writes:
>This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
>Do you administer the exams for Technician class licenses?
>How much does it cost and when are your next classes or testing =
>John S. Whittum
>Fort Morgan, CO=20
Well it's time to get serious That only leaves me about two weeks.
Entries from December 2002
I find out I might have to work on Saturday, Need a plan!
One of my friends at work says he'll cover for me if we work Saturday...Yippee!
Questions and more Questions for K0OJ
IF YOU HAVE A LICENSE YOU WALK OUT WITH YOUR UPGRADE. IF NOT YOU
ARE GOOD WHEN YOU ARE IN THE DATABASE WHICH TAKES ABOUT TEN
DAYS. YOU CAN LOOK AT THE CALLSIGN DATABASE ON EITHER ARRL.ORG
OR QRZ.COM OR THE FCC ULS SITE. THE PAPER USUALY COMES IN ABOUT
TWO WEEKS. YOU WOULD USE THE NAME SEARCH FUNCTION AS YOU DON'T
KNOW YOUR CALL YET SO YOU CAN FIND OUT YOUR NEW CALL. THEN YOU'RE ON THE
AIR. MIKE W0MBH DOES HIS IN FT COLLINS THE ODD MONTHS AT
9AM IN THE LORI STUDENT CENTER CSU CAMPUS. YOU CAN LOOK HIM UP
ON QRZ FOR HIS EMAIL. HIS PH NR IS XXX XXX XXXX. IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT AT
1PM HOW ABOUT LATER IN THE EVENING IF I CAN GET 2 OTHER TESTERS TO
SHOW UP AT MY HOUSE? THEN I CAN SEND IT ALL IN. MY PH NR IS XXX XXX XXXX
HAPPY STUDYING :-) K0OJ
Another question answered by K0OJ
WITH YOUR DAD IN VA YOU'LL NEED A TECH+ MININUM OR GET ON THE IRLP
OR ECHOLINK OR ILINK. UNLESS A HECK OF AN OPENING ON 6 OR 2M YOU
AINT GONNA GET TO VA UNLESS YOU USE THE IRLP OR ONE OF IT'S CLONES.
GO TO IRLP.ORG AND YOU CAN SEE WHAT IT'S ABOUT, INTERNET RADIO
LINKING PROJECT. IT IS KIND OF NEAT BUT USES LINUX AND YOU CAN'T
TO IT UNLESS YOU USE AN RF LINK. ECHOLINK IS WINDOWS I BELIEVE AND
YOU CAN GET TO IT VIA THE WEB. THE TECH+ GETS YOU ON 10 METER SSB
BUT WHEN SPRING COMES THE 2K MILE SKIP GOES. THE CODE IS 5 MINUTES
OF A TYPICAL CONTACT WITH A LETTER SPEED OS 15 WPM AND SPACED AT
5 WPM SO YOU HAVE A FAST LETTER WITH LOTS OF SPACE INBETWEEN. WE
ONLY HAVE 5 WPM NOW, NO OTHER SPEEDS. ELEMENT ONE IS THE 5 WPM
CODE. ELEMENT 2 IS THE TECH, 35 QUESTIONS AND 26 TO PASS. ELEMENT
3 IS THE GENERAL SAME AS ABOVE. ELEMENT 4 IS THE EXTRA, 50 QUESTIONS
AND 37 TO PASS. ARRL.ORG WILL HAVE ALL THE POOP YOU NEED TO FIND
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO. YOU CAN GO FROM NOTHING TO EXTRA IF YOU WANT.
CU SAT 14 DEC??? :-) K0OJ
OH BY THE WAY SEND THIS TO YOR DAD :-)
SUNG TO THE TUNE OF MEL TORME'S THE CHRISTMAS SONG.KENWOOD ROASTING ON AN
OPEN FIRE.YAESU NIPPING AT YOUR NOSE.YULETIDE ICOMS TUNING A WIRE,AND
FOLKS DRESSED UP WITH ALINCO.EVERYBODY KNOWS A HEATHKIT AND SOME
MISLETOE,HELP TO MAKE THE SEASON BRIGHT,COLLINS RIGS WITH THEIR TUBES ALL
AGLOW,WILL FIND IT NICE TO TALK TO KNIGHT.THEY KNOW THAT SANTA'S ON HIS
WAY, HE'S LOADED LOTS OF RIGS AND FEEDLINE IN HIS SLEIGH,AND EVERY
MOTHERS CHILD WILL WANT TO SPY,TO SEE IF OLD SWANS REALLY KNOW HOW TO
FRY.AND SO I'M OFFERING THIS SIMPLE PHRASE,TO HAMS FROM ONE TO NINETY
TWO,ALTHOUGH IT'S BEEN SAID MANY TIMES MANY WAYS,MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU.
BY ORLIN D, JENKINS K0OJ AND ED GAGE N0TVQ DEC 1993
Above: I tell K0OJ the plan, "We work on CW later, For now I get onboard for Christmas."
Below: Another Question: Where's the nearest Club?
YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN ON THAT ONE BUT IF YOU SEARCH FOR THE TRUSTEE
OF THE 147.24 REPEATER IN FT MORGAN YOU MAY FIND WHAT YOU ARE LOOKIN FER.
ALSO GO TO QRZ.COM OR ARRL.ORG AND DO A SEARCH FOR HAMS IN YOUR AREA.
GOOD LUCK, K0OJ CU NEXT WEEK
Not scoring less that an 95% now.
December 14, 2002 - The BIG DAY
Crunch time, Only got three more hours and I have to head to Greeley, University of Northern Colorado's campus to take the exam, no pressure though because I'm gonna ACE this sucker.
Picked up George Stafford. He studied on the way up. He tries to see if he can trip me up on the answers but I know all the right ones.
We get to the campus at 12:39, time to find the Candelia Hall room 280.
We got directions from a nice girl inside, we're almost there.
We arrive. George is sweating because he didn't study enough. I tell him he'll do fine.
As we enter a nice man asks us if we are here to take the ham radio exams, we say yes, he points to the room and tells us to head around the corner.
We both ACE the Exam! Yippee! BUT WAIT - They ask if we want to take another exam...General Class?
George leans over and says Let's DO it!
OK what the heck, I am not ready but wouldn't it be cool.
Oh Well, I could only answer about 10 questions before I quit. Later I find out seven of them were right! But K0oj tells the other VE's "It doesn't matter, he got what he came for today...show this to your pappy!" Then he sticks out his hand with my CSCE in it.
George and I both get our CSCE - Hooray! Now to get into the FCC Database. 12/16/2002
CSCE: Click on picture for larger view
The FCC issues my call sign: KC0OSG 12/21/2002
I start this website as a tribute to Amateur Radio and my father. 12/22/02
UPDATE: 8/2003 KW4AW becomes W1CRO again! It's amazing what you can do with vanity call signs.