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Welcome to the K9ERG Ham Radio Page
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Yup, I'm a Ham Radio operator and have been continuously licensed since September 1956.

In the 1950's there was a lot of WW-II radio equipment dumped into the surplus market at prices that were very affordable, less than 10 precent of the prices paid by the military. Most of this equipment was designed by Ham Radio operators. One of the design parameters (unoffically) was that the equipment could be used as-is or with little modification on the Ham bands after the war was over.

Not only was all of this fantastic equipment available cheaply, but there were surplus PARTS! With these parts equipment could be built. In those days, most Ham Radio operators built at least some of their equipment. Some of this surplus stuff is still available at prices a lot higher than they were in the '50's. The high quality of this WW-II equipment makes a lot of it still desirable to the novice and seasoned veteran alike. I still have some of it in use...

In 1957 we observed the highest, at that time, recorded peak in the number of 'sun spots' (records have been kept for over 600 years). Sun Spots are anomalies on the surface of the sun. Large numbers of sub-atomic particles spew forth from these spots, bombarding the earth's atmosphere and producing a layer of electrically charged air, 50 to 250 miles up, called the ionosphere. The ionization density is a function of the number of sun spots.

Radio signals normally travel in straight lines but due to the ability of the ionosphere to bend these signals, those signals that would normally go off into space are bent back to earth, making long distance 'short wave' radio communication possible.

Now if we combine three things: (1) the high sun spot count and the resulting enhancement of Short Wave radio propagation, (2) the low cost of high quality surplus equipment and (3) a teen-ager with an inquiring mind, we get... me... I'm STILL hooked on it...

Some highpoints:

Paul's Ham Radio page is always under construction.
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© 1997 Paul Graham