1958: Richard Dillman, W6AWO

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


1958: Richard Dillman, W6AWO

Richard Dillman, W6AWO (WV2BJK, 1958)

Who knows where these things come from?  No one in my family had the slightest interest in radio.  But for me it was genetic.  At 4 years old I remember tying a peach basket on the back of my tricycle and proudly announcing that I wanted to be a garbageman when I grew up.  My parents were a bit taken aback by this but I explained that people threw out such great stuff and I wanted to get first crack at it.  Thus started a great career of dragging home radios, telephones, pretty much anything electronic, for careful examination and disassembly.

There were a bunch of us radio obsessed kids on Long Island in the early 1950s.  Of course we occupied the absolute bottom rung of the social ladder.  While the other guys were playing sports and dating girls we were busy on the Projector Squad, Stage Crew and Radio Club.  While I can still set up a 16mm projector in mere seconds should I be called upon to do that, these skills seemed to count for very little with my peers.

But then came a great stroke of good luck.  A local ham, Mr. Baker, K2BKO, established an Air Scout Squadron at Mitchel AFB.  It was devoted entirely to ham radio.  We had a complete building as a club house, access to tons of surplus gear and, best of all, a place to meet and enjoy the company of our peers, all under the benevolent hand of Mr. Baker.  I have never forgotten him or Squadron 466.  I've always looked for the opportunity to give others a little bit of what he gave us.  We hung out over at K2AIR, the base station under the command of Bob Dittus.  He had the Eldico twins and a big amp.  Us yardbirds sat on the floor in respectful silence, watching the 866s flash in the gathering darkness of dusk, completely enthralled.  If any Squadron 466 veterans read this I'd love to hear from you.

Mr. Baker set up benches in the military style, each with a key, earphone jack and earphones.  Up front was a Morse code practice machine that read translucent tapes.  Week after week we'd pound away trying to learn the code.  Finally a shaky 5wpm was achieved and we were ready to take our tests for the Novice license.  In those days the tests could be administered by any ham with a General class ticket or better.  Mr. Baker gave us the test, solemnly sealed the results in an envelope and sent them off to the FCC.  The wait for our licenses was excruciating but finally an envelope marked Federal Communications Commission arrived.  We were hams!

But what kind of call was this?  WV2BJK?  Who ever heard of such a thing?  We were disappointed that we had just missed the last of the K calls.  But that passed.  It was time to get on the air! 

 I don't know how so many of us survived this period.  Command sets were a dime a dozen so they formed the basis of many a station.  But one needed a pretty hefty power supply to to make those plates glow cherry red which we were convinced was their proper state.  Luckily, the TV sets of the era were full of just what a young ham needed to make a truly dangerous power supply.  I remember one friend who made one on a gutted TV chassis with two power transformers in series.  The B+ was picked off via a meter probe with a clip lead on the end The wire arced through space to the much modified command transmitter.  When he hit the key the whole supply emitted a "HUnnngh" sound and the probe swayed in air from the magnetic flux of the choke.  We all should have been electrocuted many times over.

I myself went for a Globe Scout and the Hallicrafters S-38C I had been using as a SWL.  Let's see?  What band to use?  The roof of my parent's house was just the right length for a 15m dipole so my choice was made for me.  But working 15m on a S-38C was not an easy task.  Never a stable receiver even at lower frequencies the '38 was in over its head on 15m.  I distinctly remember my mom walking across the floor downstairs and losing the entire Novice band from the vibration.  Bet we didn't know any better and we were having the time of our lives.  The Novice bands were filled wall to wall every day on 15m and every evening on 80m and 40m.  You could here everything from chirping 6V6s to the "big guns" with Heathkit DX-35s.  Very often one would hear a veteran operator patiently in contact with a struggling new ham, doing his best to bring him along.

I remember being called very early in my on-the-air career by a veteran station that was obviously doing his best to send slowly enough for me.  I was flattered by the attention.  But when I answered his "QTH?" with "Long Island" he was gone as quickly as he had come.  He thought the new, exotic WV call meant the Virgin Islands and I was left to begin again with my shaky CQ s.

But the Novice license lasted just a year.  Soon we faced the need to upgrade to the General class license.  And we knew what that meant: a trip into Manhattan to face the dreaded Mr. Finkleman whose headquarters were in the the Federal Building on Washington St.  Even though we were frightened to our souls by the prospect it's something I think new hams today miss to their detriment. 

Stepping off the subway were laughing and joking.  By the time we turned into Washington Street we had become notably subdued.  Soon we were walking down a long, dimly lit marble  hallway.  At the end was a massive door with a frosted window on which was painted FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION.  All talking had long since stopped.  Our mouths tasted of dust.  We knew that radiomen had entered that door and never been seen again. The bravest among us grasped the large brass knob - with an eagle cast on its face.  The door creaked open.  We timidly slipped inside.

Guys wearing vests and fedoras went about their duties, oblivious the the little crowd of kids huddling just inside the door, the cords from their earphones dragging on the floor.  In front of us was a counter that seemed so high you could hardly see the top.  Finally a face loomed over it, staring down at us.  Finkleman!  "Yeah, what do you kids want?"  "I... um, that is, we... um.. we want to take our ham radio test sir!" we finally managed to squeak out.  "In there!"  We followed the direction of Finkleman's crooked thumb, knowing we were going to our doom.  We put on the 'phones and copied what we hoped was a minute solid.  No questions and answers about what you copied.  A minute solid and nothing less would do.  We all made it.  Then on to the written.  More sweating.  But finally it was over.  I think I actually saw a glint in Finkleman's eye when he told us we passed.  Before we could think about it we were back on the street as if shot out by a pneumatic tube.

There was only one thing to do in such an occasion.  We walked over to visit the fabled "Radio Row" on Cortlandt Street, then at its peak.  But that's another story.