WRITTEN BY: DARRON SANCHEZ
Published By: EHAM.NET, March 31, 2005
Disclaimer: This is an April Fools story
that includes myself and a friend
with fictious call letters.
The unexpected visit at precisely 4 AM in the morning on June 9th 1950 from the Secret Service was a shock, but I am getting ahead of
It all dates back to the 1950's. I was a young Ham Just up graded from novice to General. New call W7TCZ,
I was 26 years old then, and lived in Nevada, by the way my name is DARRON.
This whole story starts with my interest in Ham Radio, and without the help of my kind Elmer Al W7OVV There would be no story.
Al was old beyond his years, always had a smile and a kind word for everyone, you see Al was the proprietor of Al's Army/Navy Surplus store the largest in Nevada.
Al delighted in traveling around California and Nevada buying up all electronic equipment that he could get his hands on at government surplus sales. At that time in the 50's there was a big demand for electronic gear built to government specifications, and the hams came from far and wide to purchase great gear at rock bottom prices, and convert it for the Ham bands.
As I look back now after 65 years and never have told anyone this story I'm sure that one shipment must have come from AREA 51!!!
As everyone now knows some very strange things happen in AREA 51.
Al would always call me after a government auction when it was time to pick up another shipment and unload all that electronic equipment into the big Surplus store and as always the case he would tell me to take something home for my trouble.
I had all kinds of neat surplus equipment Arc 5s receivers and transmitters. National, Hallicrafters, Collins, and many more to numerous to mention that had been converted to the ham bands.
On this particular day June 9, 1950 AL told me to look in the special store room and let him know if I wanted to take those 6 heavy crates home, play with the gear and report back to him as to what they were.
I was always excited when he told me to play with unknown gear. I loaded the boxes in my truck and boy they were heavy. I told AL good day and was off happy to have something to experiment with tonight.
When I got home I unloaded the six boxes, and started to examine them more closely. The first thing I noticed these were not the run of the mill government boxes they were precision built to exact standards. Water proof, shock proof, and made of a metal I did not know. I had to look very hard to find the locking device it was so well concealed, and when I pushed the lock the door opened with a swooshing sound that scared the heck out of me.
There inside of the box were six manuals, and I thought now I'm getting somewhere. I started flipping through the manuals, and was at first disappointed they were so technical and crammed with math and formulas that were over my head, but a diagram of how to set up the six boxes was there.
I lost no time setting up each box. Box number six had special directions. It was marked antenna, and stated CAUTION SET UP IN OUTSIDE OPEN AREA AND STAY BACK 100 feet.
The rest of the instructions were straightforward, except for the 2" cable that stated do not kink mirrored surfaces, and now I know this was the first fiber optic cable of some sorts that led out to the antenna.
I finally got everything hooked up and there was just one last thing there was a warning stating caution 5volts @1/2 amp only.
I applied the correct voltage and to my surprise some how the imprint of a hand appeared on what looked like the front of the unit, I placed
my hand on this imprint and thought to myself how do you turn this thing on.
Much to my surprise a screen appeared one like I had never seen before, and now I know after so many years that I was looking at the first Liquid Crystal Display.
Still not totally grasping what had just happened I thought again how do you get this thing tuned to a frequency like 7.015 and this popped on the screen now I really knew what was happening, stopped for a few minutes and read the screen. There flashing on the screen was Beacon on and transmitting. I looked out side and saw a very bright light and slowly walked out side making sure to stay 100 feet away.
What I saw was a hologram of the brightest lights I had ever seen all colors and shining into the night sky, spread out over 1000 feet to the East and West. I'm guessing over 1000 feet straight up into the night sky, the biggest, the most beautiful FAN DIPOLE I had ever seen. I knew this was going to be the best antenna I had ever used. Now I know after all these years I was looking at the first lasers or phasers.
I went back inside, placed my hand on the imprint and the screen started flashing again and a title came up. The A/N X-15 Galactic Transceiver - TOP SECRET. I was thinking what the heck is a Transceiver? They were not invented in the 50's.
I wondered to myself what does the rest of this thing look like, and all the doors came open with a loud whoosh and scared the heck out of me. All of the sub assemblies had been built in different states and shipped to either Nells AFB or Roswell, NM. This was done to keep any one from building one of these on there own. As every one knows this is definitely AREA -51.
There inside as I looked at all the parts there were long black plastic looking objects with as many as 40 electrical contacts on each. There were literally 100s of these. Electronic parts I had never seen before. What I did not know then I was looking at the first integrated circuits.
By this time I was getting pretty shook up and was going to pull the plug when this thing started selecting frequencies on its own. Out of nowhere I started hearing stations, and there was no speaker, it finally hit me this thing was sending these broadcasts to me by Telepathy.
I started listening very close to what was coming into my head, in amazement as I heard Mr. Marconi's first Atlantic transmission the letter S sent over and over, from England to New Found land.
I also heard the call WLMO the first flight over the North Pole by Richard E. Byrd, and Floyd Bennett from 1926.
I listened some more and heard KDKA the very first commercial radio station, also heard was NBC, ABC and RCA commercial stations. Let's not forget the hams 8XE the first Ham station in America.
Danny Weil and his famous DXpedition VP2VB, also heard was Leon Deloy 8AB from Nice France working Fred Schnell 1MO, and John Reinartz 1XAM. The first Atlantic contact between American Hams.
These famous Hams were also heard W4CGP Chet Atkins, K4LIB Arthur Godfrey, W5CY Howard Hughes, WB6RER Andy Devine, and K7UGA Barry Goldwater.
I heard the very first satellite Sputnik sending HI HI the laughter on CW. I had read some where that the scientist had figured out that R.F. radio waves never dissipated that they just kept on going through space for ever. I guess this proves that theory beyond any doubt.
That's when the realization of what I had here before me, finally sank in. This thing was so powerful with that enormous FAN DIPOLE shining in the night sky; it could transmit and receive on any frequency at any time of day or night on any band regardless of band conditions or sun spot cycle I had to try this rig out.
There was a big SSB contest going on and I only had to think and I was working all kind of rare DX stations and was breaking some of the biggest DX pile-ups on just the first call. Also worked many rare CW contacts and buster some large CW pileups with just one call and, with the same results the DX station giving me the strongest signal report on the band.
I could be King of the hill I could win every contest over and over again and my name and call W7TCZ would forever be inscribed in all the log books and ham Magazines in the world as being the best ever. Like being DX in reverse, and what ham do you know that hasn't had this dream?
Well I did not dream long because it was 4 A.M. the morning of June 9, 1950. There was a loud banging on the shack door. I looked out side and my house was completely surrounded by cars with red lights flashing. A voice shouted out open the door Secret Service agents; this snapped me back to reality in a hurry.
I got up opened the door and standing there were about 30 guys dressed in black and one had his Secret Service badge out and shoved in my face. They pushed there way into my shack. I did not notice at first but there was an older gentleman in a white lab coat, he walked over to the machine put his hand on the imprint and shut every thing down. He looked at me and smiled.
While the agents were busy dismantling the A/N X-15 this gentleman in the lab coat guided me to the corner and stated: I'm glad a Ham fount the X-15. I'm a ham to you see. My call is W0CXX and my name is Art Collins. Did you have fun playing with my little toy? I started out by asking am I in trouble. He answered no.
I told him it was the most amazing radio I had ever used: he stated the world is not ready for this kind of radio and I don't know if it will ever be ready, you see it can transmit into far off galaxies and we don't want anyone upsetting any aliens do we? I asked how did you find me. He said remember the screen that said beacon on and transmitting it's the only beacon like it in the world and we knew it was the X15 the minute you turned it on. He asked is it yours? I replied no it was for AL that ran the surplus store here.
He told me to tell Al to fill out the proper forms that the government usually bought back surplus items they let go by mistake. He also told me to keep my mouth shut about this and if I went public with the story they would deny any and all claims and try to discredit AL and I.
All this took about 15 minutes and they were gone along with the 6 boxes. It was 4am in the morning and I was so wired up I just had to phone Al.
Al answered a sleepy hello and I rattled all to him. He said I will call you today some time; But Al did not call me for over a month. I thought he was mad at me for losing such a great piece of surplus gear. Al finally came over with a bunch of papers. He was very excited and told me to sign all these papers. When I finished signing all the papers he handed me the key to Al's Army/Navy surplus store. He said now you are the owner. The government gave me enough money for that X-15 whatever you called it, I can now go Island hopping and it's my time now to be the DX station.
Al moved on and true to his word. From time to time I would here him and see his DXpedition written up in the magazines.
Well it's been over 30 years for me now and, the sale of surplus electronics has been good to me. It made a good living for me. Now with all the fancy Transceivers, hardly anyone builds gear now except the QRP gang and that's taking over like wild fire.
I had made up my mind to give the remanding surplus inventory away, and offer the 60 acres of dusty sandy Nevada desert up for sale on the local TV station.
The very next day I got a call from the Nevada Gaming commission they offered me an eight figure number starting with the number 9, for this worthless desert sand.
Now I'm the one that's running DXpeditions from exotic islands.
73 -- hope to work you soon Darron
I remember when I was 11 years old in 1950. For Christmas my Mother and Father gave me a radio in a cardboard box because I was always fooling around with some kind of radio. The radio was the most exciting present I had ever received.
The rebuild of this radio was an exciting adventure as it brought back many fond memories of my first encounter with radio.
Building and working the little Rockmite radios was done to see just how low you could go in power and still make a reliable radio contact.
This is the true story about how I got my Ham license at the FCC Office in New Orleans, LA.
How strong of an impression is made on a young child that took most of my life for this project to come to fruition. Here is a story about the little "Sucker Stick Transmitter", the receiver and the power supply.. read more
This is an April Fools story that includes myself and a friend with fictious call letters.
A/N X-15 GALACTIC TRANSCEIVER REVIEWS
On March 31, 2005 eHam.net published my first ever article "The A/N X-15 Glactic Transceiver". This story was an April Fools joke for all Hams to enjoy.
Below is a plethera of comments, from Hams who read the article.
WL7CMG on March 31, 2005
Sounds like the X-15 does the same kind of thing I do in my sleep...cq cq cqGDX (galactic dx)...hi!!! Are you sure those weren't little green men in disguise knocking on your door at 4am coming to retrieve something they had left behind? If the Fan dipole reached that high in the sky, imagine what the beacon did...!!!
W1BAK on April 1, 2005
It must be April 1st again. I almost choked on my banana and raisin toast sandwich while reading this.
W7WIK on April 1, 2005
Fun story... happy April Fool's day!
WA6BFH on April 1, 2005
Gee, I was hoping to here about signal coming from Randy Runyon’s experimental station in New York for the Institute of Radio Engineers demonstration of Edwin Armstrong’s ‘Frequency Modulation’ but, I guess the X-15 only does amplitude modes!
So why didn’t we hear, “CQ, CQ this is W9GFO Ellie Ann Arroway on 20 Meters calling CQ, CQ?
She must have needed a bigger antenna!
Or. Maybe the 5 tones, and a man with a French accent asking, “what do you want Mr. Noory”
73! de John
K0IZ on April 1, 2005
How do you really know it was a fan dipole???
W4KYR on April 1, 2005
Isn't the A/N X-15 Galactic Transceiver and the IC-7000 one and the same?
WA2JJH on April 1, 2005
The X-15, sr-74, and B1, and B2's all were tested at
area 51. This accounts for some UFO's.
I heard about those box sales.
Seems like 50 boxes were shipped out before they decided it was classified.
We thaught Watergate was bad!!!!
W3DCG on April 1, 2005
Man, it's a good thing the MIB came and took that thing from you!
You may have inadvertently summoned the Vogons, Cylons, Wraith, or Gou'ald, Replicants, Borg, any number of a bunch of devestating forces. I hope they caught it in time.
As for me, I won the Mega Lotto today, and after Uncle Sam takes his cut, I'm gonna do some hill-top shopping, have my current house completely renovated, and get a new engine in my stationwagon.
While the additions are being installed on my house and the houses I'm buying cash outright from both my next door neighbors, I'm gonna go get my Dad a cool pad overlooking the Pacific a bit above Waimea on Mauna Kea, just below cloud level.
I need world-wide wireless Internet access for my managing my E*Trades. I've never actually traded stocks/commodities before, but I do aim to stay in a Holiday Inn Express, real soon.
WA2JJH on April 1, 2005
OKthere was a rare DX opening on 15m novice CW section.
The CQ ws from AP1RIL. My high school chum(p) is all excited. He said he worked INDIA 599+20. I say Charlie
I know you got your DXCC.
I know your inverted V is great for DX. Your Drake C
line is the best radio out now.
However INDIA 20 OVER 9!!!!????
Charlie then looked at the call sign.
AP-RIL, AP1RIL, APRIL 1ST. YES in 1979 somebody with lots of power on the east coast is sending out bogus CQ's.
About 9 got fell for April first DX scam. They did not hold their breath for the QSL card!
Now, for that export Henry Amp. 10 megawatts out biased class A. Hmmmmm I guess I will get some sea
water, and try cold fusion.
Well if I only want legal limit out, I guess cold fusion will keep the power down :)