WY3A Ham Radio Biography
Bill Patton, WY3AWest Chester, PA
My father, Bob Patton,
W3LGX, grew up in the Philadelphia area and was a teenage amateur radio operator in the early 1940's. After that, he became a US Marine, an electrical engineer,
an entrepreneur, a private pilot, a generous benefactor to Christian ministries, and "Dad" to me and my nine younger siblings.Dad helped me build a Heathkit GR-81 regenerative shortwave receiver
when I was 13 years old. Hearing shortwave and amateur stations, from around the world fascinated me. That little receiver rekindled my father's interest in radio -- and he quickly renewed his long expired
ham radio license and built an enviable station sporting the Collins' S-Line.
Together we hung dipoles for 40 and 80 meters in the trees and erected a
2 element Quad for 20 through 10. I have fond memories of doing those projects together with my father.
First Licensed 1966
Dad helped me learn Morse code, patiently answered technical questions and
I soon received the callsign WN3GZM in the mail. I was 14 years old. I was not permitted to use my father's 32S-3B TX as a novice. Novices were restricted to crystal control -- one "plug-in" transmit frequency at a time. So my dad and I built a Heath DX-60A and the matching
HR-10B receiver together. I loved that DX-60.
WN3GZM in 1966 -- 14 Years Old (now WY3A)Using my Father's S-Line with crystal control DX-60A for TransmitNotice the Vibroplex "Bug" -- which was my favorite key
Heathkit HR-10 wasn't much of a receiver -- especially when compared to the Collins my Dad had. So I used the DX-60A to transmit and the 75S-3B to hear.
The General Class ticket was secured about a year later. My church youth group friend, Rich Boyd
WA3DSD and I were very active DX'ing and contesting through high
school. Rich, is now KE3Q. Our families were members at the same fine church -- 4th Presbyterian in Bethesda, MD.
Radio Control Sailplanes on 6 Meters
I earned a degree in Electrical Engineering but took a different career direction out of college. I met Sue my senior year at Maryland, married, and went to work as a Christian pastor with my friend CJ Mahaney and other fine men in leadership of what is now Covenant Life Church and the Sovereign Grace family of Churches. We became parents to three children, Chris, Lindy and Curtis at that time. Our little family eventually moved to the Philadelphia area in 1984 to help start Covenant Fellowship Church. I earned a Masters Degree from Westminster Theological Seminary. I worked as the Senior Pastor for 5 years, then served in a variety of administrative and pastoral roles.
I kept my ham license renewed, but
was inactive on HF. I spent a lot of time building and flying radio controlled model sailplanes as a member of the Capital Area Soaring Association CASA, then the Silent Knights Soaring Society SKSS using 6 meter Heathkit R/C equipment. I still fly R/C, in the schoolyard across the street.
My Son Gets His Radio License
In the early 1990's my oldest son, then a teen, became interested in computers and radio. In 1993 Chris was licensed as
KA3ZVJ. He now holds his grandfather's callsign W3LGX.
We built a modest station together. Chris's interest in radio rekindled mine and I quickly upgraded to Extra Class,
received WY3A from the FCC and have remained active.
In the latter 1990's, Sue and I adopted two Chinese baby girls with the help of the LaVida Adoption Agency. We have five children, three married, and
12 grandchildren.My son Chris, a software engineer, left that career in 2002 to enter pastoral work.
That same year, I left pastoral work and began DCE Express -- a regional office for a technology distribution company owned by one of my brothers. We sell data communications, networking and WAN equipment including products by Patton Electronics. Fellow amateurs in the IT industry always get good discounts from us.I remain an enthusiastic member of the church we started. KA3ZVJ
(now W3LGX) is now Senior Pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Middletown DE. I will always be thankful to my father for introducing me to amateur radio. But I'm far more thankful for the attention he gave me in childhood and for the authenticity of his faith. He introduced me to
the gospel in a most winsome way.
My current station is
an Elecraft K2, Elecraft K3, AL-811 amplifiers, a homebrew G3TXQ Hex Beam at
50 feet and
a variety of wire and vertical antennas which come and go.
Thanks for your interest
Bill Patton, WY3AWest Chester, PA