Monday, July 15, 2013

Amateur Radio Operator for Six Decades +8 years KK4WW David Larsen

david Larsen KK4WW

"The Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service" (FAIRS) and N4USA. Dave KK4WW
David Blog
It seems almost a mystery to me how I became an amateur radio operator (ham radio operator). My parents were old-fashioned farm folks, both born before the turn of the century (in the 1800s).  They had no knowledge of electronics or radio, so I was on my own. I had always liked mechanical gadgets and began reading the magazine Mechanics Illustrated at about age 12. The magazine had interesting articles about how you could receive radio signals with a simple device that required no power. Just a tuning coil, crystal detector, earphones and a wire antenna. I managed to get the parts and build one and it worked like magic!
My interest in how radio worked took off and it has been a lifelong interest and career. I received my first amateur radio license in 1954 and took electronics classes throughout high school. I was an electronic technician in the Navy and several jobs after college including working in Silicon Valley   (1963) at Raytheon, Fairchild Semiconductor, and Varian Associates. I then taught Electronic Instrumentation and Automation as a faculty member at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA for 33 years before retiring in 1998. I was active as a radio ham all those years and am still active here in Floyd, Virginia on a regular basis.

I would like to hear from you if you have interesting ham radio story to to tell .

 e       David gives introduction to his Six and 1/2 Decades + as Amateur Radio Operator.

A Few Highlights
-Major DX Operation to Bangladesh in 1993 as Team member.  Made 25,000 radio contacts
-Casual DX operation in Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, China, Guyana, Dominica, Trinidad, Grenada, and Puerto Rico
-During the past 45 years I have developed one of the largest and most significant personal historical    microcomputer collections in the world. In March 2017 I moved the Bugbook Computer Collection to the "Computer Museum of America" in Roswell, Georgia. In September 2017 I sold one of my remaining rare Apple-1 computers at auction.
-During the 70s and early 80s I was part of a team that created over seventy books on the subject of computers and electronics-starting as Bugbooks and becoming the “Blacksburg Continuing Education Series”

David Larsen QSL KK4WW
KK4WW QSL front 8x10
My 8.5 X 11 inch QSL Celebrating Six Decades + as Amateur Radio Operator

KK4WW 8x10 back QSL
Large QSL Back side

Click on images to enlarge - you can make larger and read text 

Back of 8x10 KK4WW QSL
Click on image to enlarge

Give me a call/email and I will send you this QSL

David Larsen KK4WW W7VZW
WN7VZW 1953
david larsen KK4WW N4USA
1954 QSL

In the early days (50s/60s) I enjoyed building ham equipment. My first kit was a Heathkit AT-1 Transmitter (25 Watts CW). In 1964 I built from scratch a 1 KW SSB mobile linier Amplifier using UA572 tubes; great signal. I still have this rig today.

david larsen KK4WW N4USA
Antenna Chantilly 2013

david larsen KK4WW N4USA
N4USA Chantilly 2013

It has been an insanely great six decades + and I look forward to about 25 more years. That would make me an old timer.-Dave KK4WW (First as W7VZW in
You can operate  N4USA at Chantilly Farm & Campground in Floyd Viriginia "CLICK"

david Larsen Amateur Radio
Amateur Radio License W7VZW
                                                             Appreciate a like on Museum Facebook Page.

QSOtoday Blog Cast of Davids years in amateur radio "CLICK"   Audio only from Podcast "CLICK"

I would like to here from you if you have interesting ham radio story to to tell .

See current operation of David KK4WW at N4USA and as J79USA Dominica.

 My new blog site with videos and post about my Tiny Homes 

   I Have moved my "Bugbook Historical Computer Museum collection of 13,000 items to "The Computer Museum of America" 
                 Look here to see my   old Bugbook Historical Computer Museum


david larsen KK4WW N4USAHam radio is still a lot of fun for me and we have 2 stations here in Floyd Virginia - At Home and Station N4USA at our Chantilly Farm.  You will find me operating as KK4WW or N4USA( our license for Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service) FAIRS. Getting older and time to sell (Sold June 2021) my Chantilly Farm - call me (540-392-2392) for info.
Hope to hear you on the air. 73  Send Message CLICK   Like us Click

 "by David Larsen" KK4WW Computer Collector & Historian


  1. Very nicely done Dave! I like it. I'll put a link to it in the next all call email I put out to the Club.

    1. Thank You Russ - Have a good weekend are you working on the Howard tower tomorrow ? Tom indicated that may happen on the Tuesday night net.
      73 Dave KK4WW Computer Collector / Historian

  2. Dave, I just wanted to let you know that I picked you clearly from my new handheld down here in the Mississippi Gulf Coast on 14318. I heard a brief conversation between you and another operator in South Missouri. Take care,

    1. Hi Thank You Graham - You must have HF on that handheld - what kind is it. I was operating from my Chantilly Farm and so glad you heard me and picked up this link. Are you an amateur radio operator ? 73 Dave KK4WW

    2. Hi Graham - I see you on LinkedIn - would you connect with me - I don't have any email addresses for you - Thank You Dave

  3. Hi David, thanks for the reply. I recently picked up several very inexpensive handhelds to get a feel if I would like to pursue getting my technician license. So I have been monitoring the bands lately to get a sense on how other operators behave, talk about, etc. I heard you on my Grundig G3 with no external antenna. I also have a 2M and 70cm transceiver (again, just monitoring - not transmitting). I will reach out to you via LinkedIn as I may have more specific operator questions as I go through the process of getting licensed. Take care,

    1. hi i will be glad to help just stay in contact. More contact info on link at top of blog. also . Thank you for the connection on LinkedIn.

  4. Hi David, interesting story. I read about you on a Hamradio note in Linkedin.
    These kind of personal stories are part of the Amateur Radio History.
    When you got your license I was stransmitting from my father station (I1SWX) in 1953 and he got a very "expensive" diploma from the Italian Ministry of Poste and Telecommunications monitoring station ... a lot of money for that time. Pse see my web page, not updated since 2005:
    73 Gian, I7SWX F5VGU, W1/I7SWX, W7/I7SWX, CE3/I7SWX

    1. Hi Gian - Great story on your web site
      Sure is interesting background - I am only 2 years older then you. I am going to tweet out your web site with story for others to see. My tweet site is

      Thank you and always happy to hear from you.

      I have visited Italy many time - I did some teaching there in 1976/77 and had about 20 books in my series translated into Italian.

      I enjoyed all my visits to Italy very much - my last with wife was in 1986.
      Hope to hear more from you - Dave
      Maybe Gaynell and I will visit one more time and visit to your city.
      73 dave


I look forward to your comments and will respond.