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I was licensed as WA6USU in November, 1961 from my home in Glendora, California.  I was in the 7th grade at the time and with the minimal equipment available to me, QSO's were a big deal.  Witness the following from Popular Electronics, April 1963, page 101.


Of course, these were mostly antenna-related problems. The first antenna was a 40 meter dipole that was maybe 10-12 feet above ground. It received well but transmitting was another issue.

By the time of the Popular Electronics mention I had purchased one of the famous Gotham verticals. "No raidals required" the ad said. Of course they're not required unless you want to actually talk to some station somewhere. After a lot of frustration I finally put one 15-foot radial on the antenna. It made an immediate difference and my first contact was a new state. Unfortunately, wire is expensive and the vertical never got any more radials.