Ham Radio @ WB4IUY / AC4QD
I first became interested in radio when I was around 10 yars old or so,
both with shortwave radio and CB radio. My dad had a CB base station at home and mobiles in the service trucks for his
company, and mom would dispatch calls to the trucks that way. That was a lifetime ago when CB radio operators had FCC issued
call signs, and certain channels were for business only. Several of my friends's parents had base stations around town, and we would
often talk on the radio after school and on weekends. I became interested in 2-way radio as a result.
In 1974, my dad learned of a ham radio class being taught by RARS (Raleigh Amateur Radio Society) for the Novice class
license, and he set me up for that. He drove me to the class for several weeks, and I began to learn radio theory and
morse code. My mailman was a ham, Ralph Isenhour W4SZR, and he would bring old handbooks and magazines by and drop them off at
my house. When I was ready, Lynn Pendleton K4NYV invited me to his home and gave me my Novice Class exam...boy, was I ever
nervous!! I passed, and that propelled me down the path of a life time hobby. I can't express the gratitude to everyone that helped
me get started, and to my dad for facilitating all of this.
My dad built a hamshack / workshop out behind our home, and began to help me stock it with various bits of test gear I
needed. At that time in
my life, Clayton High School had a 4 year electronics program taught by George Batten, that went from basic electricity to
radio and TV repair. I learned SO much from Mr. Batten, and was able to even get help from him on some of my builds and
restorations when I would get stumped on a problem. He allowed me to bring some of my ham radio projects in as classroom
work as well. Once again, it was a great time in my life and I learned so much in the process.
I "cut my teeth" on tube gear, building from old ARRL Radio
Amateur's Handbooks and using scrap TV sets for parts. My first commercial receiver was a
Hallicrafters SX-42 that was
given to me in true "scrap box" condition. Looking back at my early stations, it's a wonder I actually ever made contact
with anyone! They were good days, though, and I learned much more about radio than if I had bought everything. I only
wish I had taken pictures of my old station equipment...
Over the years, Ham radio has become a family affair at the Hockaday household.
My wife, Debbie, is a radio amateur with an Extra Class license and her call is AC4QD. My oldest son, Chris,
is KF4DBX and holds a general class license. Both of my parents became hams, and their names and calls are:
Florence KD4NYT. Radio Amateurs
are often called "Radio Hams", or simply "Hams".
We've been members of
since 1991. In the early 90's, Debbie and I threw ourselves into the club. For many years, we were heavily involved in club
operations. We held club offices, ran the nets,
built several repeaters, managed many special events, taught loads of classes at Johnston Tech and other locations, etc.
You can learn more about TEARA
and Amateur Radio by clicking the TEARA
logo on the right.
In 1992, Debbie and I founded the
TEARA VE TEAM.
At the time, there were no VE Teams in the immediate area, and we often
had 100+ applicants at the monthly test sessions. We recruited VE's from other areas to help, and in exchange, Debbie and
I would travel long distances to help with other groups with their test sessions. Over time, members of TEARA upgraded
and/or became Volunteer Examiners, and the
TEARA VE TEAM strengthened.
The TEARA VE TEAM is still
in operation today, and you can learn more about them by clicking the
TEARA VE TEAM
logo on the right.
Use the menu at the top of the page to see the ham radio content of this part of our website. If you have any questions about
anything, feel free to email me at
We hope you enjoy your visit with WB4IUY & AC4QD!