radio gave me a possibility to “collect” many Friends, with the big "F".
I like to mention a very few of them, adding a short story
– VK2BJL, Harry
Mead. I met Harry in my
native town in the summer of 1965. While on holiday around Monte Argentario (South
Tuscany), he saw a notice on a local newspaper, Il Tirreno, reporting on the
First Amateur Radio Meeting of Maremma organized by me. He was able to trace me
and at the end of our day together he proposed me a job in G-land, working
directly with him on military equipment [see photo]
with Peto Scott Electrical Instruments (Part of the Mullard-Philips group, later
PYE TVT Ltd) in Addlestone, Surrey. And so it was …plus I was living in his
house … Thanks Harry, this is friendship!
now IZ7EIT, Paolo
Altamura [see photo]. Paolo is a
surgeon (a very good one!). In 1988
I underwent an operation on my left leg at Bari’s Polyclinic Hospital (I7). As
well known, doctors may get infected by patient’s blood. During the operation,
some how, he got some blood on him from my leg. Nothing happen at the beginning,
but after a few weeks, he was taken to the emergency department at the hospital.
After various controls all his problems were due to the fact that he had a very
heavy infection from my blood. He was able to trace me and complained all
problems were associated to a radio frequency virus … we became very good
friends and he became also an amateur radio… he was crazy !!!
is like a brother for me. He has helped me a lot on matters where a brother may
not help. Thanks Paolo … this is more than friendship, it is brotherhood!
with the two callsigns? The IZ callsign is replacing the IK one as I forgot to
tell him to renew his license when I renewed mine … good friend eh?
Bill Carver [see photo].
Following Bill testing of my idea to use the fast Bus Switch FST3125 (1998) for
the G3SBI’s H-Mode Mixer, in 1999 I started exchanging e-mail with him, first
a few per week, till … several a day (today)! Like two lovers (please do not
think dodgy!) … hi! In May 2002, during one of my business trips to W1-land, I
was able to “arrange” for a QSY to his QTH, in Twin Falls, Idaho. He came
and picked me up at Salt Lake City airport, Utah. I recognized him right away
… I remembered his moustaches, as he sent me a picture of him before I started
my trip. I was very “excited” as I was meeting the “fabulous” W7AAZ (ex
W6OLG). To be sure he was OK with me, I brought him some special high IP3
“electrolytes” from Italy and some particular brand, home made in I7-land, a
red one (at 16%, no sugar added and no sweetish taste), by my son Piergianni’s
father in law. Bill discovered that he had no head akes after drinking these
wines, as experienced with other types … He was cured !
gave me a gift for my visit. He built an attenuator, 0 to 130dB, inside a metal
box, with enough space to add a second one, 0 to 10dB.
When I left Twin Falls, my suite case was “heavy”. At Salt Lake City airport
I went through two “on person ” check-ups, before to present my ticket at
the counter. As my suite case was declared “heavy”, it was object of a
special X-Ray check-up. The machine detected the “metal box”, plus some
other packets with strange objects inside. Two security agents did an accurate
on the screen control. They decided to go deeper in the search and I was asked
to open my suite case and “show” the content. They stayed far from me …
the curiosity was the “box” … I explained it was an “attenuator” … I
was lucky one of them knew what I was talking about… he nearly shout “it is
a piece of a radio!” … OK, I went through other two check-ups “on the
person” and in my PC case. For the total of 4 flights: Nice – New York –
Salt Lake City – Boston – Nice, I went through 13 check-ups!
is my “Maestro”, always available to explain and to teach me, even when I
ask the same questions more than once. Bill introduced me to other friends: Harold
Johnson, W4ZCB [www.w4zcb.com],
e Paul Kiciak, N2PK
has designed a very important and high functionality IF and AGC circuit,
published in QST, May 1996, “A High Performance AGC/IF Subsystem”. This is
one of the ”standards” for superlinear receivers and has been integrated in
many projects by other hams (i.e. CDG2000 www.warc.org.uk).
ARRL rewarded Bill with the “ARRL Technical Excellence Award” in 1997.
has another hobby or, better, he says a “passion”: sport cars ... He own and
owned different Corvettes [see photo] … he
would like to posses a Red Ferrari F1, but … the roads in W-land have a little
problem for these cars … the speed limit !
Sandro Vitucci [see photo].
I had a QSO on the 7 MHz band from his HB9 station.
When I told him my QTH was Casamassima he thought I was a “pirate”
station. He commented he knew all the Hams in Casamassima (very few). I was a
little bit puzzled … he was born
in Casamassima. He did not know about me as I moved here less than a couple of
years before. Before ending the QSO, he asked me to go and see his sister and
uncle and wish them. One Saturday morning I went to carry his greetings. I was
welcomed and offered a coffee. From that day, nearly every Saturday I was
visiting them and getting a real Italian moka espresso coffee, till I moved to
France (some dodgy people say I went there because I did not have to pay for
coffee). I call their house: the “Bar Roma”, from the name of the street;
the uncle “The Barman” and the sister “The Cashier” … On and off, I
invite some other ham friends for a free coffee at the ”Bar Roma” … hi!
and me became good friends. In 1997, as he could not come to I7-land for his
holidays, he invited me to visit him at his QTH of Stetten (AG) in HB9, so I
could help him with his antennas… (see
foto) the invitation included the train ticket too.
I went to HB9 with one suite case and came back with two… the second one was
full of components … good stuff! I had no Customs control at the border
between HB9 and I2 … Imagine me explaining what were those 15 Kg (30 pounds)
I travel I always carry a photo camera. During this trip I had my camera and
took a lot of pictures. Sandro was always pulling my leg, asking me “did you
buy the film?”. “Yes!”, was always my reply.
I took nice shots. When I was back in I7, I took the reel out of my
camera and … discovered the film never hooked properly onto the mechanism …
the meter was counting the shots but no pictures were taken…. I was very sorry,
not only for missing “tourist” picture but for those taken at the Suisse
Museum of Transports, in Lucern,
and while I was operating the Club station HB9O.
Sandro we had a special “get-together” in W1-land, while he was visiting
Canada with his wife Hedi. During this occasion he met with Ray, KM1D, too [see photo].
Salvatore Lisi [see photo].
I met Salvatore through the friendship of his daughter Sabrina and my son
Piergianni’s wife, Maria Antonietta, at the time they were engaged. We quickly
built our friendship and I “discovered” Salvatore’s availability to help
and to work. We did some experimenting on antennas and he was able to assemble
two different “magnetic loop” antennas, covering 20 to 80 meters. The two
antennas have each a diameter of 2 meters (just less than 7 feet). The first
loop has a vacuum capacitor remotely controlled to tune it. The feed point is
through a coaxial infinite balun (coax cable loop) .
The second one is a copy of an Italian commercial design, developed by I3VHF. It
has a homebrew open air capacitor soldered on the loop ends. Half loop is
moveable, controlled with a linear satellite TV dish motor. The feed point is a
fixed gamma match . At the moment he
is using the first loop he assembled. One day, Salvatore went over his terrace
and found, on the floor, some dead pigeons. The news went around the area, very
quickly, stating that Salvatore’s loop was used to “catch” pigeons and not
only DX, thanks to the intense electromagnetic field developed… That day, his
family enjoyed, at lunch time, “piccioni alla cacciatora” (pigeons hunter)
KM1D, Ray Donadt [see photo].
With Ray we built a “remote” friendship since end of 80s. We were working
for the same Company, Digital Equipment Corporation, he in Massachusetts and me
in Italy. We never had any QSO. At that time we were exchanging e-mails and
participating to technical discussions on one of our Company’s dedicated
systems running a “Hamradio Conference”. I left the Company at beginning of
90s. We had sporadic mail exchanges (the ones using a postal stamp). We were
able to meet, for the first time, in January 1998 when I went to W1
at SeaChange International HQ, in Maynard, Ma, for a job interview. He
came to meet me at the Motel where I was staying. He was carrying a few years
old picture I sent him, as he was afraid he could not recognize me … hi! He
invited me at his home, in North Andover, and I met his family too. That was the
beginning of our “real life” friendship. I became like an uncle for his
daughters Kim and Lisa. Once I joined SeaChange International at their European
Headquarter in Sophia Antipolis, near Nice and Cannes (Cote d’Azur – France),
every travelling I did to the W1-Q was an occasion for getting together, at
weekends. I started operating as W1-I7SWX from his shack … and also,
“operating” with my legs under his table, for lunches and dinners … I
cannot refuse hospitality! We started and are keeping a sked activity on HF, 10
or 15 meters when back home (propagation permitting) in I7 and F5.
K1GBX, Art Greenberg [see photo].
Art friendship story started in a little bit different way, as we may expect, on
an amateur radio sense. One Saturday, during one of my business trips in
W1-land, in 1998, I ” popped in” at a known Ham Radio shop in New Hampshire.
It was more for a curiosity than for real needs. I spoke with a gentleman behind
the counter, asking various questions and trying to see if there were
interesting deals we could manage (more like “I’ll make you waste your
time” than do business) … being, my $$$ availability, quite limited. This
gentleman was expecting to “clean up” his shack and surrounding areas. He
proposed me to get all that stuff as a gift … particularly antennas. You can
imagine my availability, but there were a couple of problems: the distance
between my and his QTH and the Atlantico Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea in
between ... I would have needed to rent a Chinese boat to carry cheaply all that
stuff. To thank him for his offer, I gave him, as a souvenir, one of my pictures
in the shack … like famous actors do… hi!
several months, one Sunday I made a contact with the K1GBX station. The operator
told me his name was Art and his QTH was Georgetown in Massachusetts. I asked
him how far he was from North Andover … reply was “not too far”… I asked
him the favor to make a call to KM1D and see if it was possible for him to come
on frequency. In a few minutes we had Ray joining the QSO. While we were
chatting, Art came up with his loud voice, like shouting, saying … “I got
your picture! I got your picture on my wall!” . I understood whom he was …
as I do not distribute too often my photos … too expensive or there are no
fans!!! … hi! This was the beginning of another very good friendship. Now I
had two stations from where to operate, on HF in W1-land and … two tables,
where I could put my legs “under” (Art’s lobsters)
…to relax. This friendship generated other skeds and other visits (see
article)… I had to cook too … while making DX .
is very generous person. Having some difficulties to operate in W1 with my Yaesu
FT203 VHF FM handheld, he made me
available a more suitable VHF transceiver, the Kenwood TR751A ,
he later gave it to as a gift. I could use it in both US and Europe, for this
dual functionality I had to modify it.
the end of 2002, Art gave me a very important Xmas Gift … his Yaesu FT920
transceiver … I do not know if
Father Xmas passed through his house, “by mistake”, or it was opera of his nice XYL Shirley to convince him … I am sure the gift
decision came from his heart …or, maybe, he was “forced” to avoid I would
continue to open up his FT1000 and IC781
. Every time I show
up at Art’s place, I am always with a “dodgy idea” to modify his equipment
[see photo]. He see me as the “enemy #1”.
BTW, one day I worked on his FT1000 and when I reassembled it …the main Knob
was tuning VFO B, in place of A, and the small one VFO A, in place of B … Art
nearly fainted … he was jumping like a ball … I had swapped the tuning
transducers cables … I had to dismount it and reassemble it again; the worst
point was that I had to leave soon to catch my flight back to Germany, at Boston
airport, and return to France… I could imagine Art reaction if I did not
completed the job??? The poor FT1000, would have been left all open till I would
come back in three months time e real heart attack situation …I was lucky and
I reassembled it in good time and in good time I reached the airport. Thanks a
lot Art, this is more than friendship (thanks Shirley …for the good words).
has another hobby … cars! He has a Chevrolet 1955 “Hot-Runner” [see photo],
modified by him, with a Corvette engine inside .
Not only, he has a beautiful Corvette homebuilt [see photo]
that in past years he was taking around W-land for shows with which he has
collected many awards.
Maurice Cavat. [see
photo] During my convalescence at home (Saint
Raphael, Department of VAR (83), Cote d’Azur - France), following a fortunate
car accident, with a colleague, that could have cost my life, I made a CQ call
in English, on the local VHF FM repeater, to see if some foreigner hams visiting
the area were still around. Maurice, F5NRZ, replied to ma call in English. We
had a short QSO. He was going to see a ham in another town to buy a second hand
oscilloscope. He told me his main hobby was test equipment collection and use. I
told him I had two Tektronix scopes, a 453 and a 2215 . This news made him
happy. We decided to meet on a later date. After a few weeks we had our second
QSO. I went to see Maurice at his house, as we were living in the same town
(Saint Raphael) at a couple of Km apart. We met in his laboratory, a large space
located below his house. I was left astonished and with my mouth open … when I
saw the amount of test equipment Maurice owned [see photo].
At least for my eyes, it is a lab that can compete with many professional
laboratories, plus the test equipment located in the “museum” area, where
are located old and faulty equipment [see photo].
This encounter was the beginning of a big friendship that has involved both of
our XYLs too.
was of help to me when the condominium manager wrote me an injunction to remove
my Windom antenna I did pose on my apartment small terrace .
He introduced me to the local REF radio club President Jacques Morvan, F6HBN,
who did help me to contest the injunction and, delegated to represent me,
convinced the condominium assembly to authorize me for the installation of
antennas on the building roof. This was made easier as the owners of the
apartment, below the roof, became friends with me and my wife. Maurice was of
good help to install the antennas on the roof, an AP8 HF multiband and a couple
of GP for VHF and UHF work, taking into account his “ohmic resistance” was
over 70 … The visits have increased a lot, particularly those associated to
the use of his equipment, to do some job for the projects and …for the
house… Yes, jobs for the house, mine. Maurice is a “Jack of all trades”.
did a lot of work to repair a badly damage chair of our living room, that did
not hold up with my extra kilograms…and my XYL was quite mad at me and forced
me on a dieta … hi! On and off we have a family get together, to celebrate
birthdays, festivities and other occasions.
around his lab, I got “infected” by the test equipment illness
… certainly not as “bad” as my friend Maurice. Some how, I was able
to convince him to “sell” me one of his HP141T Spectrum Analysers, with the
options to operate up to 110MHz and
the necessary HP8443 Tracking Generator .
has another hobby, the one to learn and study. He is following, daily, the
lessons in electronics and telecommunication of the Italian Distance University
“Nettuno”, transmitted via satellite in Italian language.
is an ex- pilote and colonel of the French Air Force and he has operated in
different places in the world, with particular responsibilities and permanence
in the French Polinesia. He has a Texas Honor Citizenship. When he lived in
Tahiti, Maurice was doing a lot of daily scuba diving.
is the best friend I have in France.
Paul Wade [see photo].
Paul was working for the same multinational company, Digital Equipment
Corporation, in Maynard, Mass, as KM1D and me, in Italy. I met him first through
our company’s internal “Hamradio Conference”. I had the pleasure to meet
him in person, in 1998, at a “pizza Party” of the Harvard Repeater
Association, at a Restaurant – Pub in Shirley, Massachusetts, where also is
located the radio club [www.harvardrepeater.org]
see: National Field Day 1998.
is a very knowledgeable Ham, particularly for those very tiny frequencies at
10GHz and over. The same year, he prepared, for me, a complete portable 10GHz
station: transmitter, receiver and a large antenna dish. His intention was to
have me participate an important US Contest, operating from Mount Washington,
NH, at 2000 meters (6000 feet) above sea level [see photo].
While waiting for D’Day, I was “imagining” the scores I could collect with
a “different” call, like a DX, as W1-I7SWX. I could have taken top positions
… but it did not go like that! I am sure there was some kind of “plot”,
after the news were released about my participation for the contest … The week
before the Contest I was called back to Europe ... hi! It was too bad, it would
have been a very interesting and important experience, even if the scores would
have been far from the “dreamed” ones, as it would have been a first for
such “heights”, the altitude and the frequencies, 10GHz! … I felt really
dodgy! … Too bad, I will never have a second chance. Thanks Paul, this is
Talino Triburzio [see photo].
Really I do not remember who of the two was the first to contact the other. I
believe it was me, following a visit to his web (www.qsl.net/iz7ath)
, on August 27th 2001,
we started exchanging e-mails and then, when I went back for holidays to
Casamassima (my QTH) to visit my children, I met with Talino. His house is in a
nearby town, Adelfia (Bari), around 10 km (9 miles) far apart. From this time we
started our friendship.
e’ nu brav(e) uagnion (Talino is a good chap)... He has a good knowledge and experience in electronics, telecommunication
and software. He has a lot of ideas and “wants” to learn and to do. His main
problem is that, on and off, his interests are changing or he is changing ideas,
like the weather. Unless friends can “force”
his radio interests back, he becomes unwilling to do anything. At this point,
when I see him in this status, I have to “whip” him properly, but … when I
am over 1200 km, far from him, I can only do it virtually… with no much strong
effect as if I was nearby. All this changes when I am back in I7-land, then the
“whipping” is having a good effect and he gets well back on the rails and
into the real ham stuff. He is a good chap and friends. Easily he is available
to help and work with friends. It is as easy as this when he volunteered to do
and work on my web. We started and the web is “under construction” …
certainly, I have to “whip” him lightly, to ensure myself his continuous
availability and without he is asking for compensation or a wage … he is
living only with water! Some times, he try to “corrupt” me, so I can put my
whip aside … he loads me with khakis, from a big tree in his garden … during
the Xmas holidays in 2003, he was so “good” he gave me a large box full of
khakis … these were for his family and other relatives use …this time the
whipping came hard from his mother … hi!
e’ nu brav(e) uagnion …
is always ready to help fixing, adjusting and building equipment, building and
installing antennas and what else it may be necessary. Some times he helps
friends to “generate” some “smoke”, but this is not a problem, it is a
has another “availability” … if you have some electronic equipments,
computer cards and the like, he will be at your shack, garage or house in less
than what you think to collect these ... And in less than what you expect, he
will be dismounting everything, dividing and filing the bits and pieces, putting
aside, in a well ordered manner, all the recuperated material. Some times, he
may be “available” to “give” to other friends what it is really not
Talino e’ nu brav(e) uagnion!
good with his family too. One day he decided to “renew” the house TV antenna
system. One morning he dismounted everything … then it started raining …”OK I will continue tomorrow … in the meantime we will stay without watching TV for only one night”
told himself … the next day there was a very cold wind such that could not
permit him to continue the works ……”OK I will continue tomorrow”
told himself … the next day there was a snow fall ……”OK I will continue tomorrow”
told himself … the following day was Saturday and he was working from 7.00 am
to 3.00 pm, then he had to eat some lunch and the darkness came early……”OK I will continue tomorrow”
told himself …the next day he had fever … Some “dodgy friends” say his
parents stayed without watching TV for several weeks … may be it is true!
Talino e’ nu brav(e) uagnion!
Talino is also “good” to himself ... One day, while
watching TV, a beautiful speaker lady updating on Weather, reported a rainy
weekend. He was very happy! Finally blocked at home, by rain and wind, for a
full weekend could look after the necessity of his second love (some time
first), after radio ... his motorbike. It was since long time he was not
performing any maintenance to his bike ... he decided to dismount it. The bike
is a JA motocross gadget good for desert trips.
To do all those service operations, to keep it in full efficiency, would
have been a “child’s game” for him. He
lays down over the garage floor a large tent and, over it, all the engine parts.
I do not know if our “friend” Murphy put his finger in it or the weatherman
was completely wrong. That weekend had a magnificent weather... the strong
sunshine could broke the stones ... our Talino was forced to stay home and
re-assemble quickly his motorbike ... as
he ended the works, the weekend ended and the weather changed ... heavy rain and
strong wind kept our friend and his bike closed in the house for a couple of
weeks.... no sunshine and no QSY in the open air, with his loved “two elements”...
Talino e’ nu brav(e) uagnion!
could be my son ... but I have already three kids…
IZ7ANL, Nicola Milillo [see photo].
I met Nicola through my friendship with Talino, IZ7ATH. Nicola has a lot of
interest in home brewing and improving equipment. With my “craziness” to see
modifications requirements on all commercial equipment, about mixers, Nicola
became quite “confused and interested”, especially listening to my
“politic speeches” about these matters. Following this, he has taken the
decision to give me “freedom” (on paper) to modify his FT1000 and IC781 …
He did start to apply my suggested mods [see photo];
he also found improvements and discovered other problems too… is this not
friendship? How can you risk technical changes on such “monsters”, taking
into account equipment and cost, if you do not “trust” your friend? Thanks
Nicola and … sorry for the smoke!
photo]. Peter is
one of my latest friends, time wise. We started our friendship following the
publication, in Technical Topics, RadCom, of my notes on “filters switching
using the FST3125” in place of switching diodes or PIN.
did already apply this type of switching to his project: Pic-A-Star, software
transmitter and receiver [http://uk.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/picastar].
I was following his project since the beginning, as published in RadCom till
March 2004. I suggested him to replace the diodes D.B. mixer, in his project,
with the G3SBI H-Mode Mixer to improve the performances of his wonderful design.
He did accept the idea.
I came to know, through Bill Carver, W7AAZ, that he did not like the big
investment required to purchase the three transformers used in the mixer. At
that time, I had already experimented my two transformers H-Mode Mixer solution.
What a better chance I had to try this circuit on an important project like
Pic-A-Star? [see photo].
When I offered the solution to Peter, he was quite busy, and he was not
expecting to do anything of the sort for some time. I am sure “curiosity”
was too strong…and he tested and implemented this additional solution within a
few days. He did all tests and returned to me all the results, appreciating and
selecting the 2 transformers mixer for his project. Peter mentioned my
contribution in his article dedicated to Pic-A-Star front end. Is this
friendship? I believe yes! Thanks Peter, much appreciated.
My friendship with Stefan started after he read an article I wrote on one
of the issues of the Italian hamradio magazine RadioRivista (ARI), that an
Italian Ham sent to him. Stefan wrote me an e-mail to ask some information
regarding the article. At the same time he sent me some of his projects circuit
diagrams. We started softly with some e-mail exchanges and then these became
several a weeks. We started changing technical information and also components.
Stefan has become my “remote assistant”, particularly for the production of
drawings of circuit diagrams I publish in RadioRivista.
He is quite valid to “interpret” my “analog” circuit sketches
(hand drawn). Stefan design and produces the circuits PCBs. We have not yet had
the chance of a QSO on the HF bands.
we exchange some phone calls. Stefan is a valid engineer working for a local
Cable TV Company. He has also knowledge of the Italian language, spoken and
written. Sometimes he makes checks on my circuits with his ex professor at the
University of Sophia, Bulgaria. He has other hobbies apart the radio one… he
likes to fish in lakes and rivers and when this is not “possible”…. He
goes around the forest picking mushrooms. One day, he had the “dodgy” idea
to send me to Italy, for the 2003 Xmas festivities and as a sign of friendship,
some vases filled with porcini mushrooms. The first part of the porcini’s trip
was by plane, in the suite case of an Italian businessman, for whom Stefan does
interpreter service in Bulgaria. The second part of the trip, from I4 to
I7-land, was via the Postal Services. Well, I had Xmas and New Year celebrations
without “porcini” … maybe another chap “benefited” of the porcini …
I hope these were not poisonous … hi!
many others …