First Name Don
  QTH Serena, IL
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  Email W9BHI
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The picture to the right is of me at age 12 sitting in the shack of my elmer Hugo W9LX in 1966. Hugo taught me about electronics, how to read schematics and how to solder. He was a GREAT teacher.

 The next picture is of Hugo and I after my 8th grade graduation in 1969 and shortly after that, Hugo gave me my novice test. My call then was WN9BHI. Back then, a novice ticket was only good for a year and I was just starting high school when my interests turned to other things (HI HI). Hugo went SK in 1985, he was 83. In April of 2008 I got my general class license. I think of Hugo just about every time I am on the air.

My SSB station consists of a Flex-5000A and an Acom-1000 amplifier. The Flex output audio is routed to a pair of Presonus 4.5 speakers.

My vintage AM station is a heavily modified Gates BC1-G broadcast transmitter running a pair of 7527's (industrial 4-400A's) modulated by a pair of 833C's driven by a solid state audio driver from a Gates BC-1H. It covers 40 through 160 meters, using the Flex-5000A as an exciter and a receiver.

A Heil PR-31BW mic going through a Symetrix 528E voice processor and a CRL systems PMC-300A peak modulation controller handles the audio for the Flex 5000A and the Gates.

The modulation is monitored by an REA (Radio Engineering Associates) software driven on screen Amplitude Modulation Station Monitor.

An Array Solutions SWR/wattmeter and a Palstar HF-Auto antenna tuner handles the RF for the entire station.

My antenna is a Zero Five 43 foot ground mounted vertical that is installed about 200 feet from the shack and is fed with Davis Bury-Flex cable. It has a matching network mounted at the base for 80 and 160 meters that can be remotely switched in or out. The radial field consists of fifty, 50 foot buried wires (2500 ft.)

I'm sure Hugo is looking down and smiling!


  From George K9GDT

W9LX was among the best! However, I never had the good fortune of a QSO with him, let alone an eyeball QSO.

Here's the story. . .

  • When I learned there was a ham band just above the standard broadcast band, I began to wonder if a BC radio could be tweaked to cover it. (Dad's Drake 2A didn't cover 160m) Since car radios from antiquity are very sensitive, I tried my luck tweaking one. Not only was I able to tune 160m, I was also able to receive the Chicago police dispatcher operating between the BC and 160m bands.

    That was when I discovered W9LX, W9SQE and the others. I spent a lot of time "reading the mail" while working at the bench.

    They were not only good operators, but were also technically very knowledgeable. This kid learned a lot from these fellows, although they never knew me. They were a higher grade of ham than the "No Lids! No Kids! No Space Cadets!" crowd so common at the time.

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  Last update June 17, 2017