My father, Donald Wilson, was first licensed in 1934 in Corcoran, Calif. His first transmitter was a link modulated 45 tube. This picture was taken in 1940 when the RME 69 receiver and homemade transmitter were on line. The transmitter had a pair of T-40 tubes on 10 meters and a pair of 211Es on 160. This equipment was used until World War II.

Several antennas were used in that period including this 10 meter Johnson "Q" antenna. The "Q" was a dipole with a matching section for open wire line. In this photo it is mounted on a tower made of lumber and is rotated with some ropes. A reflector and director have been added for gain. Other antennas used included 160 meter dipoles and a 4 element yagi beam mounted to the roof.


In 1960, I was licensed in Corcoran and re-commissioned the RME-69. The homemade transmitter used a pair of 2E26 tubes in the final and some 6L6 modulators. The antennas were 40 and 20 meter dipoles. My dad had a special radio room built in the rear garage with acoustical tile on the walls. I could radio all night and not disturb the family. Always added QSLs to the wall and tried to add more power and a Heathkit VFO. The old rig was modified with more meters.

In about 1962, I aquired the Tulare County Sheriff's AM transmitter. I converted it to CW and made new coils for 40 and 20 meters. It weighed about 600 pounds. A Heath VFO drove the thing in a very unstable manner. This transmitter used an 807 driving an 812A with a pair of push pull 304TLs in the final. It was modulated with a pair of 304TLs in class A. To control the line voltage, a pair of 3 KVA line transformers (lots of PCB) were purchased from the power company and tapped for adjustment. The 20 meter dipole had a reflector added that was spaced with wood dowels.


In 1968 I moved to Woodland, Calif. and erected a 2 element quad at 100 feet. The call changed in the mid 1970s. A variety of equipment was used on all bands from 160 to 10 meters. At one time I had push-pull 813s on every band except 80/160 which had a pair of 813s in parallel. The receiver was a 75A4 until a TS-180S was purchased. Many low band antennas were tried including bobtail curtains, a lazy-h, inverted L, quad loops, phased verticals and multiple sloping dipoles and quarter wave slopers.


When I moved to Sacramento, I put up 60 feet of Rohn 25 and kept building equipment. The latest station uses an IC-758 PRO III, a FT-1000MP and an ICOM 706 Mk 2 on VHF. The first rack contains antenna couplers and filters for each band. The second rack has a cathode driven (grounded grid) 3CX1200D7 amplifier on 160 meters on the bottom, a pair of cathode driven 3-500Zs in a bandswitching amplifier that is used on 80 meters and pairs of push pull cathode driven 4-400As on 20 and 15 meters. In the third rack are pairs of push pull cathode driven 4-400As on 12, 10, 40 and 17 meters. The last rack has the common high voltage power supply on the bottom, a cathode driven GS-35B amplifier on 6 meters for EME and a push pull cathode driven pair of 3-500Zs on 6 meters for terestrial use. A 30L1 is used as a spare. Each amplifier has its own directional coupler and is fed from a common blower system. A DEM transverter is used for 10 GHZ in conjunction with a Qualcom 1 watt solid state amplifier and a 20 watt traveling wave tube amplifier (TWTA). Seventy feet of home made circular waveguide made of 3/4 inch copper water pipe feeds the antenna.

An XR-5 beam at 60 feet is used on 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 meters. A 2 element 30 meter beam is at 65 feet and a 4 element yagi is at 70 feet. These are rotated by a WWII prop pitch motor. Other antennas include three 80 meter sloping verticals. A 24 inch dish antenna is suspended from the yagi's boom for 10 Ghz. A .8 db nf LNA is mounted at the dish. The 60 foot tower is gamma matched for 160 meters using fixed vacuum capacitors. A portable 36 inch dish is available for 10 Ghz. A 32 foot, 7 element LFA sits in the back yard on a 20 foot mast for 6 meter EME.


In 2016 conditions in Sacramento required me to move somewhere quiet. We bought an older farm house on 5 acres in the rural community of Wilton that is South East of Sacramento.

An LM-470 tower was bought and installed in a pasture. The XR-5, 40 meter dipole and 4 element 6 meter beam was used. I have also built a pair of 80 meter sloping verticals that give some gain.

I have confirmed all DXCC countries with a total of 361 and a DXCC Challenge total of over 2960. I have confirmed DXCC on 11 bands and 5 Band WAZ. I have confirmed all states and continents on 10 bands, 160 through 6 meters. I am on the WPX Honor Roll for CW with over 5850 prefixs confirmed. I chase IOTA on CW and have confirmed 1000 island groups. My VUCC for 6 meters is over 1000 and I have 10 Ghz VUCC with 16 grids confirmed.