I first became interested in radio when I was around 10 years old, 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' 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: Duke KD4NNK and Florence KD4NYT. Radio Amateurs are often called "Radio Hams", or simply "Hams".

We've been members of TEARA 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 wb4iuy@gmail.com. We hope you enjoy your visit with WB4IUY & AC4QD!

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