1957: Bill Tippett, W4ZV

1966: Brian Wood, W0DZ

1961: Richard Pumphrey, WN9DDV

1962, Walt Beverly, W4GV

1961: Rick Roznoy, K1OF

1962, Steve Meyers, W0AZ

1951: Bill Weinhardt, W9PPG

1955: Paul Johnston, W9PJ

1964: Michael Betz, WB8ZFQ.

1967: Pete Malvasi, W2PM

1962: Terry Schieler, W0FM

1969: John Kosmak, W3IK

1953: Dan Girand, W5ARB

1975: David Collingham, K3LP

1961: Jim Cain, K1TN

1957: Bill Tippett, W4ZV

1961: Bob Lightner, W4GJ

1956: Bernie Huth, W4BGH

1952: Dick Bender, W3SYY

1951: Dale Bredon, W6BGK

1963: "Sig" Signer, NV7E

1958: Jeff Lackey, K8CQ

1953: Dan Bathker, K6BLG

1961: Rick Tavan, N6XI

1956: Bill Penhallegon, W4STX

1958: John Miller, K6MM

1959/1993: Tom Carter, KC2GEP

1966: Kelly Klaas, K7SU

1976: Mary Moore, WX4MM

1970: David Kazan, AD8Y

1957: Paula Keiser, K8PK

1971: Charles Ahlgren, WB6IYM

1952: Tom Webb, W4YOK

1964: License Manual - Chapter 2, Novice

1964: Advertisements

1970: Jim Zimmerman, N6KZ

1987: Matt Cassarino, WV1K

More - Mike Branca, W3IRZ (sk)

1953: Bill Bell, KN2CZZ

1952: Ron D' Eau Claire, AC7AC

History - 1950s: The Beginning

History - 1960s: Mid-Peak

History - 1970s: Late Peak

(sample story) My Elmer

1954: Novice Logbook (Dick Zalewski, W7ZR)

1961: Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA

1953: George Marko, K2DWL

1964: How to Become a Radio Amateur

1967: ARRL Handbook

1963: Learning the Radiotelegraph Code

1955: Jack Burks, K4CNW

1979: Ann Santos, WA1S

1952: Ron Baker, WA6AZN

Welcome to the Novice Historical Society Home Page!

1952/1955: The CQ Twins (Clint, W9AV & Quent, W6RI)

1956: Mike Branca, W3IRZ

1959: Don Minkoff, NK6A

History - 1980s: Early-Decline

1990-2000: The End

1976, Rick Palm, K1CE

1978: Larry Makoski, W2LJ

1961: Gary Yantis, W0TM

1955: Al Cammarata, W3AWU

1951: Bob McDonald, W4DYF

1951: Charlie Curle, AD4F

1953: Kenny Cassidy, WN2WNC

1951: Jim Franklin, K4TMJ

1953: Rick Faust, N2RF

1973: Greg Harris, WB9MII

1957: Mickey LeBoeuf, K5ML

1957: Jim Cadien, KC7ZMV

1976: Tom Fagan, K7DF

1953: Fred Jensen, K6DGW

1957: Tony Rogozinski, W4OI

1961, Novice Roundup Award (Art Mouton, K5FNQ)

1956: Woody Pope, ex-KN5GCM

1967: Larry Rybacki, WA2ARA

1955: Gene Schonrock, W6EAJ

1955: Dave Germeyer, W3BJG

1983: Harry Weiss, KA3NZR

1970: Paul Huff, N8XMS

1976: John Yasuda, WB6PTC

1953: Alvin Burgland, W6WJ

1966: Neil Friedman, N3DF

1976: Lyle Heide, WB9VTM

1968: Leigh Klotz, Sr., N5LK

1956: Ken Barber, W2DTC

1977: Keith Darwin, N1AS

1959: Tom Wilson, K7FA

1956: Wayne Beck, K5MB

1984: Paul Conant, WQ5X

1970: Ward Silver, N0AX

1982: Christopher Horne, W4CXH

1953: Paul Signorelli, W0RW

1954: Ray Cadmus, W0PFO

1957: Norm Goodkin, K6YXH

1959: Glen Zook, K9STH

1970: Ken Brown, N6KB

1962: Fred Merkel, AK7D

1972: Rob Atkinson, K5UJ

1955: David Quagiana, K2MTW

1952: Sam Whitley, K5SW

1967: Frequency Chart

1983: William Wilson, AB0VG

1953: Jim Brown, W5ZIT

1958: Al Burnham, K6RIM

1952: Gary Borri, K9DBR

1961: Bill Husted, KQ4YA

1955: Dan Schobert, W9MFG

1976: Charles Bibb, K5ZK

1979: Bill Brown, KA6KBC

1965: Ken Widelitz, K6LA / VY2TT

1975: Tim Madden, KI4TG

1972: Steve Ewald, WV1X

1969: Mike "Jug" Jogoleff, WA6MBZ

1964: Phil Salas, AD5X

1954: John Johnston, W3BE

1968: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU

1975: Last of the Distinct Novice Callsigns (Cliff Cheng, AC6C; ex-WN6JPA)

1987: Buddy Brannan, KB5ELV

1966: Tom Morgan, AF4HL

1954: Dan Smith, K6PRK

1954: Novice Callsign History License (Dan, K6PRK's License)

1975: First of the Non-distinct Novice Callsigns (Cliff Cheng, AC6C; ex-WA6JPA)

1957: Doug Millar, K6JEY

1954: Dick Zalewski, W7ZR

1962: Steve Pink, KF1Y

1975: Cliff Cheng, AC6C

1966: Tom Napier, AI4QV

1965: Novice Code Test (Ken Widelitz, K6LA / VY2TT)

1954: Bob Brown, W4YFJ

1977: Russ Roberts, KH6JRM

1958: Jeff Wolf, K6JW

1964: John Shidler, NS5Z

1972: Rick Andersen, KE3IJ

1977: Barry Whittemore, WB1EDI

1967: Grover Cordell, WB5FSP

1959: Val Erwin, W5PUT

1953: Bob Rolfness, W7AVK

1953: Paul Danzer, N1ii

1969: Dennis Kidder, W6DQ

1971: Jonathan Kramer, W6JLK

1959: Chas Shinn, W7MAP/5

1961: Mark Nelson, AJ2K

1978: Alice King, AI4K

1965: Gary Pearce, KN4AQ

1988: James Kern, KB2FCV

1958: Jay Slough, K4ZLE

1954: L.B. Cebik, W4RNL (sk)

1997: Novice Question Pool.

1952: Steve Jensen, W6RHM

1989: Michael Tracy, KC1SX

1979: Matt Tinker, AA8P

1965: Dan Gaylord, W7IDG

1956: Chuck Counselman, W1HIS

1976: Scott McMullen, W5ESE

1961: Joe Park, WB6AGR

1955: Jack Schmidling, K9ACT

1969: Bill Continelli, W2XOY

1962: Bob Roske, N0UF

1963: Glenn Kurzenknabe, K3SWZ

1969: Phyllis Webb, WN4IIF

1956: Dan Cron, W6SBE

1954: Carl Yaffey, K8NU

1967: Ted White, N8TW

1982: Penny Cron, W6SBE

1961, Kent Gardner, WA7AHY

1970: Brad Bradfield, W5CGH

1976: Steve Melachrinos, W3HF

1994: Brian Lamb, KE4QZB

1958: Operating an Amateur Radio Station

1965: AL LaPeter, W2AS

1961: Rick Swain, KK8o

1956: Keith Synder, KE7IOW

1951: Elmer Harger, N7EL

1987: Lou Giovannetti, KB2DHG

1966: Dave Fuseler, NJ4F

1976: Marcel Livesay, N5VU

1965: Bob Jameson, N3LNP

1951: Byron Engen, W4EBA

1956: Cam Harriot, KI6WK

1965: FCC Exam Schedule

1962: Joe Trombino, W2KJ

1956: Ray Colbert, W5XE

1964: Geoff Allsup, W1OH

1977: Tom Herold, N9BUL

1951: Hank Greeb, N8XX

1959: Dean Straw, N6BV

1970: Alan Applegate, K0BG

1957: Richard Cohen, K6DBR

1971: Ronald Erickson, K0IC

1965: Jan Perkins, N6AW

1953: Charlie Lofgren, W6JJZ

1960: Art Mouton, K5FNQ

1955: Dan Marks, ex-K6IQF

1958: Mike Chernus, K6PZN

1960: Bob Silverman, WA6MRK

1951: Richard Schachter, W6HHI

1953: Joe Montgomery, W1DWJ

1958: Richard Dillman, W6AWO

1968: Bob Dunn, K5IQ

1988: Jamie Markowitz, AA6TH

1952: Jim Leighty, W6UJX

1955: Matt Wheaton, W1EMM

1957: Dick Newsome, W0HXL

1956: Slim Copeland, K4KCS

1959, 1993: Tom Carter, KC2GEP

1968: Bill Byrnes, AB9BD

1971: Jeff Angus, WA6FWI

1956: Dean Norris, K7NO

1972: Dennis Drew, W7RVR

1958: Stan Miln, K6RMR

1958: George Ison, K4ZMI

1978: Fred Soper, KC8FS

1956: John Fuller, K4HQK

1961: Riley Hollingswworth, K4ZDH


1957: Bill Tippett, W4ZV

Bill Tippett, W4ZV (formerly KN4RID, 1957)

My journey in ham radio began via the Boy Scouts at age 12. I had to learn Morse Code to pass the First Class Scout exam so Dad took me to visit one of his friends Sam Matlock who was K4HQM. My Dad, who only had a high school education, was a successful building contractor with little technical training but he was a complete gadget nut and always had the latest things like air conditioning, color TV and even an Ampex reel-to-reel stereo tape recorder in the late 50s. He also was a pilot and several of his flying buddies had their ham tickets as well. I think he had always wanted to get his ham ticket but had never followed through, so he was very encouraging when I showed some interest. I also had a school buddy Sam Wyrick (later KN4RBV) who was
interested so we both studied the code and theory together.

My Dad took me to one of his ham friends A.W. Greeson W4AGD to take the Novice exam. A.W. said, "First we're going to do a little practice session so you'll feel comfortable before taking the actual exam." He broke out his key and oscillator and started sending at 5 WPM. After awhile he stopped and told me to let him see what I had copied. He checked and then said "You passed"...that "practice session" was actually the real test!

Unfortunately I no longer have my actual Novice License but believe I received it sometime in late July or early August 1957. My Dad's vicarious interest helped because he bought a Hammarlund HQ-100 receiver and Johnson Ranger and we set it up in my bedroom. We put up a folded dipole for 40 meters and I was off to the races with my first CQ on August 15. After a few weeks of working 40, my buddy Sam KN4RBV convinced me to try 15. I loaded up the folded dipole on 15 and made my first QSO with Sam on August 31. Meanwhile the sun was getting ready to explode with sunspots and make 15 meters propagate like never before (or since!).

On September 10, G8DI (see QSL above) answered my CQ for my very first DX QSO and I was absolutely hooked (for the rest of my life it turns out). Working the USA on 40 meters no longer gave me any thrill and my log shows virtually no activity on 40 after that one QSO! I originally had 2 crystals in my Ranger (21.108 and 21.150) but eventually added a few more (21.118 and 21.103...living dangerously close to the 21.100 edge!). The Ranger only held 2 crystals at a time so I added "handles" with electrical tape to pull them quickly when needed. Although the Ranger was capable of 90 watts input and had a VFO, I never ran more than the 75 watt input limit and never used the VFO. I had great respect for the all-seeing eyes of the FCC in those days and wouldn't consider doing anything to jeopardize my license.

On September 27 my Dad brought home a brand new Collins 75A-4 which I think cost about $600 in 1957 (a small fortune then). Suddenly my log entries were showing frequency resolution to the nearest kilocycle (this was before anybody used Hertz). I continued to CQ a lot without many answers but Dad had even bigger plans. He started building a dedicated shack above our garage and also designed a home brew mast that could be rotated with an armstrong worm gear drive from inside the new shack. He added a chain drive to an ARRL Great Circle Map with a big metal arrow to indicate direction (this can be seen in the November 1958 QST photo). On top of the ~50' mast he mounted a Telrex TB-7E (no traps) which had 2 active elements on both 20m and 15m with 3 on 10m. On October 30 I called my first CQ using it and actually began to get replies! With excellent equipment, a good antenna and sunspots that caused the Solar Flux to surge toward a peak of ~380 in December (versus ~65 today), the rest is history.

I learned a lot about propagation from one of my Elmers, Stan Johnson
W4ZH. Stan was our local high school physics teacher and he taught me
about many things including long path propagation. He also helped me
convert from my straight key to a Vibroplex Lightning Bug. Stan was
the only person I knew who had a full-size 3 element Telrex Yagi for
40m in 1958. His son Stan Jr. K4GMT was a promising baseball player
and as part of his big league signing bonus Stan got a 75A-4, KWS-1
and a Telrex Christmas Tree of Yagis. Another Elmer was Tex Price
W4GXB who was on the Honor Roll and had a Collins 75A-4, KW-1 and
another Telrex Christmas Tree (3 elements on 10, 3 on 15 and 4 on 20)
mounted on a telephone pole. One of my biggest thrills was operating
Tex's station in late August of 1958 after I got my General. An
expedition to Clipperton Island was coming up and Tex had asked me to
work it for him while he was away on vacation. Imagine the thrill for
a 13 year old, walking the mile to Tex's garage shack on a dark Friday
night, firing up his KW-1 and jumping into the biggest pileup I've
ever heard! I worked FO8AT for Tex, signed his log as required by the
FCC, and then worked it again for myself! Looking back at my card I
see my QSO was at 0635z which was 1:35 AM local time. I still
remember quietly sneaking back into bed at home, a very tired but
contented 13 year old.

I had almost 70 countries worked by early March 1958 and Stan W4ZH suggested I try to make DXCC before getting my General. Since I had just failed the General theory test in February, I decided to take his advice. That turned out to be excellent advice because conditions in March and April were spectacular. My QSL sent to Dick KB6BJ on Canton Island (later returned to me courtesy of Fred K3ZO) shows that I had 108 worked and 52 confirmed when I worked him on April 25. Working backwards in my log, I believe that means I worked #100 around April 19. Getting QSLs was a major problem for me and our W4 bureau manager (W4HYW) seemed to operate on his own (very slow) timetable. I remember finally getting a big envelope from the bureau sometime in July which put me over the magic 100 confirmed mark. I immediately submitted my application with 102 QSLs and was awarded DXCC #3717 on August 8,1958. ARRL sent Lew McCoy W1ICP down to document the event for QSTand the Greensboro Radio Club held a dinner to celebrate the occasion. I later submitted additional cards (to 114 total) and received a 110 DXCC endorsement sticker dated July 20, 1959. My grand total for countries worked as a Novice was 125 (including 3 probable pirates) but I only confirmed 115 total and never bothered chasing more QSLs after I got the 110 endorsement. I was on to greener DX pastures with my General license and eventually made DXCC Honor Roll while still a teen-ager in 1964.

There were several others who were actively chasing DX in that 57-58 season including my friend Tony KN5LMJ (now W4OI), Tony KN0LTB, and a few others. Jim K6SXA was also a real motivator because he kept telling me KN6ZBV was breathing down my neck. As it turned out, I think he was fibbing just to keep me focused! None of the above were ever awarded DXCC but I believe there were 3 other Novices who eventually made it in later years.

There was really a lot of luck to my making DXCC. I just happened along at the right time for the spectacular conditions of Solar Cycle 19 and was very fortunate to have a father who was so supportive. One great outcome of this was that Dad became inspired to get his own license (K4FPA) about 18 months after me and we used ham radio to keep in close touch the next 25 years until he passed away in 1982.

What a great hobby this was and still is!

73, Bill W4ZV

(c) 2008 Cliff Cheng, Ph.D., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.