Read yesterday's posting on the KAAY "blog". Very interesting, and
brought back some memories.
Ron Henselman, W9FT, is an old friend of about 32 years. One of the
first hams I became close with, and we still keep in touch. We share
the love of AM radio in its heyday, ham radio, BCB DX, and record
I started DXing BCB back around 1963. KAAY was one of my faves; the
sound of that booming echo in the night made the hair on my arms
stand up. I still have my QSL card; it was one of my first. We may
never have that sound again.
I tuned in so many hundreds of stations I can hardly remember details.
I managed to hear about 42 states and a bunch of provinces, and some
south-of-the-border stations in the first couple of years. I remember
hearing Radio Costa Rica on 625 KHz during a WTMJ (620 KHz, Milwaukee)
power reduction one night. One thrill was getting a QSL letter from the
CE of a tiny station, WHOT 1330, in Youngstown, OH, in response to a DX
report. I heard them when they were doing a XMTR check one morning and
power had been reduced to a few watts. On occasion I hear WJJL 1440 in
Niagara Falls (daytime power 500 watts) at night, when they lower their
power to about 15 watts. I sent two reception letters to them and even
spoke to the DJ and the CE, and they never sent a QSL. Now they stream,
so the chances for a QSL are nil.
The "warm glow" of my old Hammarlund HQ-105 at night back in the mid-60s
was a sensation I'll probably never have again, but it stays with me.
Drove my parents nuts, sitting up half the night listening to static and
lightning crashes. ;-)
In my senior year of HS (1967) I built an FM BCB transmitter from Radio-
TV Experimenter magazine and souped it up a bit. ;-) I had an RG-8 fed
stick on my roof so I had a range of half mile. I taped my shows, and
out on the street my friends couldn't figure out how they were hearing
What a treasure radio used to be. The serials of the early '50s that I
remember as a kid; the screaming disk jockeys of the 60s. Thank goodness
for guys like Dick Biondi, who does his show on 94.7 FM evenings from 7
to 11 (they just changed the call-sign back to WLS so they could use the
old 1960s vintage PAMS jingles again!) He keeps radio alive like no one
else can. A living legend and a good friend. He's 76 now and I hope he
Have a great 2009!
Mike Wolstein WB9QHL
Park Ridge (Chicago) IL