First of all, welcome to the Rotten Apples Group. The Rotten Apples started over 20 years ago. The Original Founders use to check into the "Classroom Net", which starts at 7am, then they started meeting on 7.238 earlier and having a "Round Table Chat". Al Skiwertz (W9QHN) was the father, so to speak, of the Rotten Apples Group. Prior to a November morning back in 1984, Al was a regular check-in on the Classroom net but back in 1984 40-meters was a lot more active and the space to operate up and down the band was at a premium. Al would get on an hour earlier and start talking to anybody to hold down the frequency for the Classroom net. By the spring of 1985, that chat group grew and AL discussed with others about a name for this group --- Well, I guess you know what that name came to be - and the Rotten Apples Group was born.
NOW, the Original Group (the Original 43) had a RAG Certificate that AL, W9QHN put together. They had to earn the "certificate" by confirming three (3) QSL'S with other RA's and to him. When Al died (back in 1993), the rest of the Original "43" Rotten Apples decided to discontinue the certificate in his memory and that's where that original group and their certificates ended. Below is what the original RAG certificate looked like...
A little over a year later, some of the guys decided to start up an evening session. So, a couple of the "Original 43" guys, Abe VE3VTC (SK) and Leon W9OTZ (SK) consulted with other original's - Bill WD8IWQ, Bob K1JBS (SK) and Tony N5AQH (SK) who also thought it was a good idea. So, on April 26th 1994 they started the first evening session of the Rotten Apples Group.
Some more history: Also, at one time, Al W9QHN issued what he called "The Cheese Head" certificate. Leon W9OTZ did the art work for the certificate. Al would select one of the Rotten Apples, send him the Cheese Head certificate & 5-pounds of Wisconsin cheese. As you know, folks in Wisconsin are proud of their cheese and Al was one of them. Al was also proud of the Rotten Apples Group! It's not clear how he made his selections and only had issued 4 Cheese Head certificates before he unexpectedly passed away. Those who received these special Cheesehead Certificates are listed below... Below is what the Cheesehead certificate looked like...
Cheesehead Recipients; 1st: Buzz, KN4VUE - 2nd: Mike, W2HLD - 3rd: Earl, N6MTG - 4th: Reggie, VA3AJ
The Driver's Permit Award
Donn WY5I got his drivers license after a 10 year injury. To celebrate the occasion, I made Donn a RAG Driver's Permit, then Leon, one of the other founders wanted one, then another and so on and so on, and the "Driver's Permit" came about. NOW, to receive this special "Driver's Permit" award, you must check in on a regular basis with the Rotten Apples Group between 6am-7am est. - someone always keeps a tally. You will then receive a Driver's Permit with a special welcome and that's it. Everyone who checks in is already a member of the Rotten Apples Group but I give the Driver's Permit out as an Award to those stations who have become faithful Rotten Apple check-ins. It is NOT a Membership Certificate. This is no membership requirement, we are not a club and there is no dues!!! The Rotten Apples Group is just a GROUP of HAMS that meet everyday on 7.238mhz. I think you will find the RAG to be a great bunch and some will become life long friends. So, keep checking in and we welcome your comments/suggestions and if you have any questions as well, let me know via email. Take care my friends and 73's... Jim, WD8NES... Below is what the Drivers Permit award looks like.
The Rotten Apples