RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed
formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit
design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at
the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps
while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got
Mail" when a new message arrived...
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Jean Shepherd on Getting His Class A Amateur Radio License
Jean Shepherd Gets His Class A Ham License (part 1)
Jean Shepherd Gets His Class A Ham License (part 2)
Note: Some of the topics
begin part-way through the recording, so you might need to skip forward to find
it. Of course you could always just listen to the entire broadcast.
Jean Shepherd: Ham Radio - January 1, 1965
You will love this from beginning to end! : Jean Shepherd: Ham
Radio - January 29, 1965
Very interesting story of unintentional radio and TV DXing :
Jean Shepherd: Code School - April 13, 1965
Jean Shepherd: Radio Parts - April 16, 1975
Jean Shepherd: Radio History - September 23, 1975
Jean Shepherd: First Radio - August 28, 1965
Not very long ago
I mentioned Jean Shepherd (original assignee of
and later K2ORS call signs) as being one of my favorite old-time radio broadcasters
(1960s-1970s). Jean was famous for recounting stories of his own life and for reporting
news of the time in a way that could hold you in rapt attention from beginning to
end. His humor, wit, and command of the English language was acknowledged by his
contemporaries. If you listen to enough of his broadcasts you will notice the frequent
mention of electronics and his experiences as a licensed amateur radio operator
beginning at a tender young age. Just recently I listened to him recount his first
day in high school when a SNAFU in the computer-generated (must have been a UNIVAC)
class schedule mistakenly had him reporting to the girls' swimming pool for gym
class, and, to make a long story short, he spent nearly two weeks sitting outside
the boys' pool room while awaiting an official class change, whereupon he would
read his copy of QST
magazine to pass the time.
While looking through a list of archived broadcasts during his time at radio
station WOR in New York City, I discovered an episode where Jean described the time
he, as a teenager, took and passed the Class A amateur radio test and got his
ticket, thereby earning him the highest levels of privilege as a transmitter of
signals (anyone, even the unwashed license-less layman, can listen on any frequency).
In typical Jean Shepherd fashion, he provides a surprise and very amusing turn of
events in the story which you will be wise to remember when/if you ever find yourself
overly pleased with your own accomplishments and thinking very highly of yourself.
You could listen to it as a simple MP3 audio file, but if by instead watching the
two-part YouTube videos below you'll be treated to a host of cool vintage radio
gear at the same time. The video's editor clipped the story out of a full broadcast
to omit irrelevant content.
In the "Code School" broadcast below, you'll hear where "Shep" was able to copy
Morse Code at more than 50 words per minute (wpm) at his peak!
was the consummate storyteller capable of recounting in detail his experiences in
the U.S. Army, during his youth, and throughout life when faced with many unique
circumstances. His biggest career break came following a Christmas 1962 broadcast
of "Duel in the Snow, or Red Ryder Nails the Cleveland Street Kid," a story which
came from his book "In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash," and became the basis of
the hit movie "A Christmas Story."
This page was updated on 2/15/2019 to fix all the broken audio links.
Jean Shepherd: Bahn Frei Was Shep's Radio Show Intro Music
How Radio Works - September 8, 1970
Jean Shepherd: The Origins of Electricity - July 5, 1966
Posted February 15, 2019 (original 5/1/2014)
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