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QTH - Budapest, Hungary

zone - 15
ITU zone - 28
QTH locator - JN97NL

QSL info - eQSL.cc 

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 U T C 

How I became a HAM

Early years

I, from my childhood, have ever liked to listen to radio plays and cabarets broadcasted mainly late evening. One of my schoolmates - in the primary school more than 5 decades ago - once mentioned that a radio receiver could be constructed of a few components at home. Since our family broadcast receiver was switched off by bedtime at 8 pm I felt my time was to come.

Well, to be a stealth listener of the forbidden fruit I drew up a project to build a crystal receiver with headphones hidden underneath my pillow. So I started collecting information on "how to" as well as parts available. But alas! The detector and the high impedance headphones were not available in regular shops so I looked around in the secondhand markets and finally got a galena crystal and a WWII headphones.

I have to remark that solidstate diodes were not available at that time. We heard about such things, maybe in the fairy tales. The antenna problem was passed-by hiding long wire, as long as it could be, behind furniture all around in our downtown flat. Water tap served as grounding.

HA2MN today

Just some efforts and the radio sounded after all so the local broadcast could be copied sometimes well, sometimes poor. Meanwhile I was presented with my first technical book titled "School of Radio Amateurs" by a Russian author. I started testing different detectors including blade- graphite, cuprum-oxide, and potato. Finally I got a solidstate diode type DS 60 and all my problems were solved for a while. But I have never been satisfied with the volume, reception capability and the selectivity of my homebrew receivers. That keeps me motivated even today. I mean to find the best sollution..


A bit later the first transistors could be available. Meanwhile I madly bought all periodicals and books about the art of radio techniques. Still attending the elementary school I had not knowledge enough to understand and use mathematics formulas for the calculations needed e.g. to design a coil. I already knew the squaring process but had no idea about extracting a root. So I calculated by means of iteration fretting numberless of pencils. No electronic calculators existed yet and slide rule was still far away for me, needles to say. To tell the truth I had no tools and soldering iron until then.

The next step was to collect those gadgets and to learn to use them. It took a while, of course. More and more periodicals and books got piled up on my bookshelves and I sank into them. So it came from that I decided to go on studying in an electrical technical high school to understand the radio and electricity. Years later I graduated as qualified electrical technician

But let?s get back to the transistor. The first one I bought, a low frequency, low power, Ge in metal case (so called hat type), costed a bunch of money. The leads were made of steel wire and were fixed with glass to the holes of the case. For I had not yet had soldering facility my circuit building technology was limited to twisting wires. Hence the first transistor soon went dead after some tests with an audio amplifier. I, after some more broken and cooked transistors, realized that transistor was not really my business even though my crystal receiver had a 2 stage AF amplifier and sounded fairly.

What a broadcast receiver knows

Our family broadcast receiver, born in a local factory in the mid of '50s, was a classical type, a 3+1 tube system for middle and shortwave. When you test the reception capability of a crystal receiver you have to resemble and identify stations received with using a sensitive broadcast receiver. So I started tuning ours so discovering the middle waves.

The next step was to attempt high frequency reception with my crystal rx but due to the poor antenna I failed. But I was on HF by the bc rx and what a wonder! Great number of stations could be heard round the clock. I attempted to identify them though the language barrier was a problem. Finally I got to a fair level to recognize the language I heard. The next step led to the map to find the location of the stations heard. So I think I got to be prepared fairly for the future to become a ham.

And so on...

To be continued...
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