These pictures were taken with my mother's Kodak flip top camera back in 1968-1969. There is one picture that did come out good (the worn one) but it's now more worn than the other pictures that are out of focus. When I was 17, I kept this picture in my wallet for a couple of years until I finally took it out. Too late. It’s pretty torn up. Don’t keep pictures in your wallet.
For those of you who visited me during 1969-1972 you may remember Complex 7. It was my 7th one and last one before my parents sold the house. Not only was it my base but it was also my electronic everything. I could plug the output of anything to anything. I could also plug anything into the phone lines. I could plug the output of the TV, Ham, CB, FM, Stereo, Aux, etc and go directly into the phone while I was on the phone. Not only that but I could flip a switch and do a 3 way telephone call. I don’t think anyone including the telephone company could do that then. If someone called me and there was a bad connection where they couldn’t hear me to well, I used to key the mic and take the output of the ham receiver and plug it into the phone line jacks panel and use either the ham volume or the +3 mic, to bring up the audio for the guy on the phone. At the same time whoever was on the channel would hear ˝ the conversation. LOL!
I made a “Phone Amp” which signaled me to pick up the phone before it rang. The amp was connected to the phone line at all times. In the operations of the telephone system, whenever someone calls another there’s a connection to your phone that happens before the phone actually rings. This connection, if amplified, can be heard over a speaker which let’s you know the phone will ring in the next 3-5 seconds. I always flipped a switch to turn my phone on and I would flip it before the phone rang. A lot of people would always tell me “I didn’t even hear it ring”.
I had 2 phone dialers. One was built into the top white panel and the other one was built into the control panel. It actually went up to 11 (A). Anytime I dialed 11 it drove the telephone company nuts! I would then hear a loud frequency varying siren. If some idiot was on CB I used to key up and let him hear it. Hopefully he thought someone was out to get him.
I also got into “phone freaking”. I made a black box. I also made a few blue boxes. The black box you would use at home where the caller would get free calls if he wasn’t in the local vicinity. The blue box was used at home or in a phone both where you made the calls to whoever and wherever and get your dime back. It wasn’t advisable to use it from home. A pay phone booth was the best. CA? No problem. Tokyo? No problem. I did it.
Beam lights – On my Lafayette 3 element, I put 5 “beam lights” on the horizontal boom. They were #47 lamps spaced evenly and controlled by a transformer. This was so whoever came over could easily find my house as I had a lot of parties. Later when I put up a 5 element beam I moved the lamps over to the 5 element. When I used the linear, the lights would light up by themselves a little.
Surprisingly, both the 3 element and 5 element beams had the same directivity. The 5 element was only 18’ long. The boom length wasn’t long enough for that beam to operate as a 5 element should. Actually either I should have left the 3 element up or I should have put up the “Long John” which was 24’ long.
A funny thing happened once. I didn’t know that a certain person was watching my lights every night. One night 2 blocks away, I got a call from Ben Kurick. He told me that he thinks someone was taking pot shots at the lights on my beam. He sees only one light. Wow! Where did he come from? I told him no it’s because the beam was facing towards you. All the other lights are in line behind the first one.
When I first put up the beam I used a thick black pipe for my mast on the 5 element that I got from Spring Chicken. In February 1970, we had a big storm with 80 MPH of wind. The 2 guide wires snapped and the mast bent over as you can see in the pix. The beam itself was not damaged and the elements were still all in line as seen from the driveway (see picture). After that I mounted the 5 element on the side of the house using a mast that went all the way into the ground and side mounts.
I always memorized the drums to songs and played exactly to the record. On the bottom right I made a strobe light in a wooden box. I could remotely turn it on whenever I played. I also had colored lights on the ceiling with dimmers. The 4 dimmers were on the left of the Comstat 25A.
The idea of Complex 7 spread to others. G2 made his own. I started making one for “The Bink” from Totowa but he wasn't on that much after it was started.
Here is a poor attempt of someone (Unit 17 - Pat from Clifton) trying to copy the GREAT Complex 7.
I Guess So!
I Think Not!