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Sunday, April 14, 2013

French Knack: F8ATA, F8KE, F8CKH, and K3DY

Hello Bill, It has been a while! I don't know if you remember but I emailed you back in September 2010, introducing myself as a fellow amateur listening to your podcasts. I had just moved from France and received back then my FCC vanity callsign K3DY.

It took me a while to get my ham shack back together but finally I was on the bands again! Recently, I started re reading your book, very inspirational. Since my very first license (as F8CKH) at 16, my interests have always been into the design / homebrew as well as QRP & CW. Why on earth would a teenager do that? I think I have the knack. My motto is: "Don't turn it on, take it apart!!!".

Anyway, it has been a lot of fun to work on some various projects (the one in progress now is a LC meter using a LCD display and a PIC 16F627). It took longer than expected to get to that point as I had to work on a PIC programmer interface as well as refresh my C language programming skills! I recently discovered that mouser is offering some nice project enclosures. In the past, my finished products were kind of "ugly" (to the average Joe not us of course!) so I am trying to work on that.

Oh also, last time I emailed you, I talked about my grand father EF8ETA, F8ATA then F8KE in the late 20s and how seeing his electronic lab and radios when I was 7 or 8 inevitably changed my life! After all this, I - had - to get my license and get involved! My father, also a ham, emailed me a picture of F8KE's shack in 1929/1930. My grand father was at the time 19 years old. Also attached to the email are two scans of his QSL cards dated as well 1929 or so. He was using a classic design for the era, based on a Hartley Oscillator. I am trying to imagine how it was to get the knowledge back then on how to build a station (TX, RX, antenna) but also how to get the parts! When people now complain that they can't finish up a homebrew project because they can't find a FT50-3 core, well they should think of how it must have been almost 100 years ago.

Have a great weekend! 73, K3DY Antoine

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