Featured Member Profile: Ed N7TL

by Ed N7TL on 2015-01-27

I grew up during World War II and the interest in radio was popular even in grade school. In the first year of cub scouts you built a crystal set and in the third year you could even build a two tube battery powered “Bread Board” radio that really worked well. My paper route money went to the local radio repair shop.

I became aware of amateur radio in high school and got my Novice in 1953 and upgraded to General January, 1954. I had the advantage of never having much money and had to build my station equipment.

I joined the Naval Reserve when I was in high school and was taking the Electronic Technician 3rd Correspondent class. But when they found that I was a ham, they sent me to a shortened Radioman school saying that the Navy needs RMs more than ETs. Then the Naval Security Group offered an even better job and I became a CT(M). I was in the Naval Reserve for eight years but they weren’t keeping me employed enough and I wasn’t getting enough part time at the Union Pacific. I started looking for a better job and eventually went to work at Pacific Bell in Portland and found a lot of ham friends there.

When the FCC changed the classes and I had a commercial 1st class phone, I just went right away to the FCC and took the Advanced test (and passed), because the Extra had the 20 wpm telegraph test and my code was rusty and I couldn’t print fast enough. A suggestion was to use cursive but engineering classes required printing so I had to learn it all over again. Finally in 1979 I got my Extra.

My wife one day said, “Do you think I could learn the stuff to get a license?” She had retired from a Telco technical job to be a stay-at-home mom. I was certain she could because she was pretty good at her job and the company had begged her to stay. She and another wife in the Hoodview club took the Novice class and passed. Without telling anyone they started working on upgrading and not only passed the Technician but passed the code test for General. She got her Advanced and was active on the bands until her passing in 1990.

Jeff, my oldest, got his Novice giving him the Radio merit badge. Kenn, my youngest, got his Novice and at the Jubilee at Gettysburg missed Tech by one question. Later he got his Technician and later upgraded to General and has been active in Washington County ARES.

I retired in May of 1999 from US West and it allowed me to travel to Arizona to visit family and go on Ham radio social events and be active in my church. It also let me get to build the station I had dreamed of.

I enjoy various modes and HF contesting, supporting the Hoodview club and, because we lived in the unincorporated area for many years, supporting the East County and City of Gresham even though I now live in Portland.

Previous post:

Next post: