I started my active ham career in early December 1960 at the age of 15. Before that, I had been an active SWL over a year listening to the ham bands and studying Morse code. My first station consisted of a TRIO 9R-4J communications receiver and a homebrew 15W XTAL transmitter and PSU. My novice license gave me the right to use maximum 15W output power and a crystal controlled transmitter ONLY on CW so I studied further to upgrade to General class (the highest class in Finland equivalent to Extra class in the USA). Also I had to make at least 300 CW QSOs before appearing before the examination board and show my log to the examiners. It had to look neat and orderly. Happily, I passed that exam after 10 months of hard studies.
In May 1961, my 12-year old little brother Miika passed his Novice exam and earned his call OH2BAD. At this time he was supposedly the youngest ham in Europe! BTW, we have never had any age limit for hams in Finland. The same year, in October, I upgraded to Extra class .