160 meters was the reason why I became a ham. In the late 50's, I accidentally discovered that my parents stereo AM receiver picked up 160 meters at the high end of the dial. This discovery led to many hours of listening to hams in their homes and cars. Eventually I learned from a high school friend what ham radio was all about. Of course I wanted a license so I attended classes that were held by a wonderful ham Gene, K9TBA who was the president of the Chiburban Radio Mobileers; a Chicago south side radio club of 160 meter operators. Gene taught radio classes for many years and was responsible for licensing numerous hams. I passed my novice test in 1962 at the age of 15 and became WN9EYY. I talked my parents into buying me Knight Kits; a Span Master receiver and a T-60 transmitter. I put up a 40 meter dipole fed with four conductor telephone wire donated by a friendly telephone lineman.
I studied day and night for my General Class license and attended more of Gene's classes. In that time period, the novice license was only good for 12 months; you upgraded or got off of the air! On the third try, I passed the test and got my General license in 1963 and now was WA9EYY. My first priority was of course to get on 160! I took the bus down to "surplus row" near downtown Chicago and purchased a T-18 ARC-5 surplus transmitter from BC Electronics. I cobbled up a power supply that only allowed me to run 15 watts input but it got me on the band. Eventually I talked my parents into buying me a Viking Ranger and a Hallicrafters S-85 receiver so I could talk to those strange voices I heard coming out of our stereo years earlier.
Just about every where I have lived for 53 years as a ham, I have managed to maintain a 160 meter station; here are a few of my stations. Early on, I was drawn to chase DX on 160 after working my first DX contact with VP2VL in 1964 while I was still in High School in Chicago. Since then, I have spent untold hours listening for the wispy tones of CW always burried in noise. I still chase the elusive DX (153 countries worked) but never felt the need to apply for awards.