Re: Hilltoppers

Leland L. Bahr

Here is part TWO of the old 3950 AM/SSB days in Wisconsin:

I got my Novice license WN9DRC back in the Fall of 1953.  By Spring 1954 I was a General as W9DRC and 15 years old.  As I said earlier, Bud, W9HIF and Joe, W9PYM were like oil and water.  Bud teased Joe, but Joe was serious.  I came home from school one day and was now a ham for around 6 months.  My mother was waiting for me at the door.  She said, Lee, there is a FCC Inspector in our living room and he would like to speak to you.  I went to the living room and this very tall man was sitting in a chair with his coat draped over the sofa.  (I'm sure my mother was wondering what kind of trouble I was in when the Federal government was calling on a 15 year old boy.)  (I think his name was Mr. Johnson.)  He introduced himself and asked to see my station which was in our basement.  He looked my equipment over, a Hallicrafters S-38C and a Globe Scout 40A.  Then he asked to see ALL my logs.  (Back then you had to log in each time you threw the BIG Switch.  That was true even if you were mobile.)  All I could think was, was there ever a time I threw the SWITCH without logging it in???  Then he told me he was confiscating my logs and gave me a receipt for them.  He said nothing further as to why he took them.  (I didn't sleep well that night.)  Later on I figured out why he took them. The FCC took Joe Collins, W9PYM,  to court for jamming other stations, especially SSB operators with his 813 AM transmitter modulated by a pair of 810 tubes.  The FCC figured a young 15 year old ham would most likely keep a good log and I lived a couple miles away from Joe and probably talked to him a lot.  As it turned out my log had Joe in it when he did not have me logged into his log.  Joe was not allowed to operate for one year after that trial.  They used the log books to silence Joe for a year. All this happened during the first six months of being a ham radio operator.

Lee, w0vt

ex, w9drc

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