Jim Hawkins - WA2WHV
Mentors and Elmers

Clive Knowles

In 1975 I wanted to move into computer programming. I was working for Singer Corporate Research and Development (after discharge from active duty in the US Air Force in 1973) and was hired as a microprocessor layout designer which followed the design rules of the chip technology and the circuit design of the Electrical Engineers. After awhile, I became very bored with it and wanted to work for the software development department, headed by Clive Knowles who was both an Electrical Engineer and a Computer Science post graduate. I expressed a desire to work for Clive and when my current supervisor resigned, he arranged with Clive that I be transferred. Clive started me off programming the PDP-11 machine language (literally toggling in octal numbers into the PDP-11) and, eventually, assembly language and gave me many exciting projects. He trained me to plan my software before coding it in what was then called "structured programming." Ultimately, I wound up getting a job at Bell Laboratories as a C programmer in 1978 and I fit perfectly because I had the EE and CS background. But, Clive taught me to be rigorous with my software design.
I wound up as a software developer for 30 years, mostly for AT&T and Bell Labs. It was at AT&T that I successfully completed a two year, graduate level course in Computer Science which resulted in my promotion to MTS (Member of Technical Staff).

Ron Rackley

Ron Rackley was a guru of broadcast antenna design. I met him at the site of WADO when it was being upgraded from 5KW to 50KW. We met for lunch at a nearby restaurant and spent all afternoon talking about the theory of Electromagnetic Radiation. Ron taught me about displacement current and got me started on my journey to learn Maxwell's equations and how radiation works and, eventually how electrical energy REALLY propagates along a wire. I continue my studies of this from various books and lectures given by MIT and Yale University professors.

My new knowledge led me to create my own webpage http://www.j-hawkins.com/eRadiation.html
on the subject and even an article for a radio magazine.

Radio World Tribute to Ron Rackley

WA2FCF SK - Peter Floro, Stanhope, NJ

In Memory of Peter Floro 1946-2011

I met Pete in High School in the early 60s. We were lifelong friends and we shared a passion for amateur radio.

Pete played a critical role in my life an my path to a successful career in engineering. At the time I graduated from High School, I was not college bound, but Pete encouraged and motivated me to apply to RCA Institutes (now Technical Career Institute - TCI) in 1965.

Peter accompanied me into New York to get a feel for the commute down to West 4th St. and I had to take a test to place me into a preparatory course at RCA. Well, from the preparatory course on to graduation, I was a top student and made dean's list five times. We were both going to RCA Institutes at the time, but Pete had gotten a summer job at General Precision Labs in Pleasantville, NY. I continued school through the first summer, but Pete recommended me for my first real job at GPL as a lab technician. We worked together in the power lab. After graduating I went back to GPL and continued to work with Pete. In 1969, I enlisted in the USAF.

When I finished my service in 1973, GPL had merged with Singer and they accepted me back into Singer Corporate Research & Development. I grew quicky in Singer R&D and decided to look for more challenging work. Pete happened to be working at Bell Laboratories at the time.

He recommended me once again and got me into Bell Laboratories, where my career began to grow again, eventually leading me to the position of Member of Technical Staff. I worked a total of about 15 years as both a full-time employee and consultant at Bell Laboratories and AT&T.

Because of Pete, I had a very successful and rewarding career in Electrical and Software engineering.

So, I will be always be very grateful for Peter's influence to help me make my life a better life.

Just one more thing: Pete taught me to drive stick shift in his 1956 Chevy. It was blue, had a piston on the column shift and, I believe it even had a pair of fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror!

Obituary From New Jersey Herald

STANHOPE Friends remembered a Stanhope man who died in a motorcycle accident in Hope Township Saturday as a perpetually pleasant person who always had a smile on his face.

According to state police, Peter Floro, 65, was driving a 1986 Harley Davidson southbound on Route 521 at about 2 p.m. Saturday when he hit a curb on the eastbound ramp for Interstate 80 and was thrown from the motorcycle. Responders to the scene attempted to revive Floro using CPR but proved unsuccessful. Floro later died at Hackettstown Regional Medical Center.

Blairstown First Aid Squad, St. Clare's Advanced Life Support and the Hope Fire Department responded to the crash.

Floro, a Hackensack native, lived in Sussex County for 38 years. He was an electrical engineer with General Dynamics for 35 years until his retirement in 2007, at which point he became a consultant for Whippany-based David Ross Group. Floro is survived by his wife of 40 years, Mary; his son, Stephen Floro, of Byram; mother Sarah Floro, of Fair Lawn; and brother Paul Floro, of Tuscon, Ariz.

Floro was an avid fisherman and longtime member of the Sussex County Amateur Radio Club, in which he operated under the call sign "WA2FCF."

"We lost a bright light when we lost Pete," said Walter Murphy, the treasurer of the Amateur Radio Club, who knew Floro for more than 30 years. "Everyone got along with him. I never saw him frown. It was a shock to lose him this way."

Murphy said Floro was always helping new members of the club understand the ins and outs of radio operation.

Dawn Payne, a former club president, secretary and Executive Committee member, described Floro as a "terrific mentor" who helped get her up to speed after she joined the club in 1991. Payne said that, with Floro's aid, she made her first-ever amateur radio contact, or QSO. Floro also lent her a radio rig until she could buy her own, she said.

Dan Carter, current secretary of the Amateur Radio Club, remembered Floro as a "great, down-to-earth guy" who never spoke an angry word about anyone and said Floro especially enjoyed the club's "Field Day" events.
In radio parlance, Murphy said, operators refer to fallen comrades as "silent kings," meaning they have gone off the airwaves.

"He will be missed by a lot of people," Murphy said.


In Memorium Emil Passes away on November 28, 2013 at the age of 94.

Click on Photo for Enlargement

Emil Rudat was my first mentor in electronics when I was 15. When I built the Knightkit "Spanmaster" it did not work at first. Emil lived down the street from me in River Edge, NJ back in the 50s and early 60s with his wife and two children. He found the mistake to get my first kit working and helped me with some other early electronic projects. He played a very important role in
my career in technology. I am very grateful to him! I also thank Emil's wife, Dottie, for her love and devotion for her family.

More on Emil

Emil was an engineer at the miniature tube division of RCA in Harrison, NJ. He later moved north to work in design and value engineering on the Apollo 11 project at RCA Aerospace NASA in Burlington, MA. Finally, Emil moved to Ohio and worked in the RCA Glass division in Circleville. He redesigned the manufacturing process of television picture tube envelopes (the glass part) to be safer and more productive, eliminating the use of acid etching and replacing it with a precision grinding process also adding robotics. Emil is now retired with his wife, Dottie in Florida. He can often be heard on 14340 SSB at 23:00 UTC.

From Emil's Collection

Emil found these tubes at the RCA Harrison facility in 1940 while cleaning out the lab of Dr. Vladimir Zworykin. (Zworykin pioneered the development and improvement of the television camera tube and patented the Iconoscope.) The outer tubes are triodes labeled as follows: "DeForest Audion U.S. Patent NOS 841387-879532 SOLD ONLY FOR AMATEUR AND EXPERIMENTAL USE." Because the tubes had no cathode sleeves, DC was used for a filament source to prevent the introduction of AC hum. The amplification level was actually controlled by varying the filament voltage, hence, it's temperature and abiility to emit electrons. The leftmost tube is marked 1465 and the rightmost is marked 1295 on the glass envelope.

The center tube is marked "McCOLLOUGH Type 401 A-C TUBE." The two pins at the top of the tube are the filament connection. The thumbscrews were actually part of slide-off clamps on the top pins for convenient replacement. Emil told me that it was the first tube type with a cathode sleeve and therefore could use AC supplied to the filament. Because of the long thermal time constant of the sleeve, the temperature could not vary much due to the alternating filament which heated it from inside. This is analogous to the smoothing action of a filter capacitor which has a voltage time constant.


K2GHV SK - Robert Greenquist

In Memory of Bob Greenquist K2GHV

Bob Greenquist - K2GHV impressed me with his 813 rig and self built wooden tower with a 4 element, wide spaced 20 meter beam. I remember the Bob's tremendous proficiency on CW. Bob helped me get started in building my own 813 rig. Bob passed away on January 2, 2003 at the age of 64. He lived in Montvale, NJ

In the few years before I met Bob, I used to walk to Riverdell High School from my 5th Ave. home between Adams and Continental Ave. (1959-1962) I remember gazing at Bob's wooden tower on 4th Ave. as I walked to and from school, not knowing what it was for.

I met Bob on the air on 20 meter phone I believe, with my Eico 720 and 6L6 Modulator. I remember, getting on 20 and hearing his powerful carrier which practically knocked the needle out of my SX-110 S-meter. I found out he was the guy with the big wooden tower and we arranged to drop by his QTH for a visit.

I was at his house many of times. He helped me with the design for my 813 kilowatt AM rig. He had a 4 element wide spaced 20 meter beam (later a 15 meter beam was added an a new metal tower put up). It was rotated with a prop-pitch motor. He had a huge equidistant map about 3' X 3' with a huge needle that rotated with the beam direction. His rig consisted of two 813s running 1 KW input power, modulated with a pair of 811As through a 300 Watt UTC modulation transformer. I can still remember the buzz of his voice in the modulation transformer. It was all in two 6' racks with gray hammer finish with nice trim on the racks to cover the screws. The plate transformer was a pole-pig, as he called it. He cut two tin cans and fastened them to the chassis to surround the bottom half of the 813s. He used a copper strip just next to the 813s for neutralization. I copied his final amp after moving to Norwood.

He used a Hammurlund SP-600JX receiver and a home brew automatic keyer. He was lightning fast! I was in awe of him. Initially he keyed the transmitter using a wide gapped relay on the primary of the plate transformer. So, when he did his 30+ WPM the relay in the back clacked away and you could see the reflection of the arc flashing against the wall as he keyed it. Later on he finally keyed the bias on the tubes and got rid of the relay for keying. He seemed to work one DX station after the other: CQ CQ DE K2GHV K2GHV K.
THEN ... PILE UP! Man, I was impressed. I was never that fast on CW.... 20 WPM tops.

I remember the sound of the relay, which would slam together to make 220 volt contact with:

I moved to Norwood, NJ and continued to visit him occasionally as I did not drive, yet. He came and picked me up from my home a couple of times. He was building a single sideband desktop rig from scratch. He was machining all of the gears and parts for it. I was in awe of that, because my biggest metal talent was to drill large holes with a fly cutter, never mind gears. Bob seemed to be very talented at building very fine and beautiful home-brew rigs.

I also remember he worked for a TV repair place called Arnco. I think it was in Bergenfield.

Another project I remember was his building a KW rig in his white Cadillac convertable. I remember he replaced the standard automobile generator with a huge generator for the rig. I never got to see it in action though.

He later took a fancy to country and western blue-grass music and played the guitar. I remember that he showed me how to play some chords on his guitar.

I will always remember Bob as a very big guy with a big rig and that homebrew wooden tower. He was a definite influence in my life.

I'm sure my experience with Bob Greenquist was only a small window to his life. I remember when he found a lady that he loved very much and I believe he married her. Unfortunately, we gradually lost contact with each other after I moved. When I joined the USAF (1969) for 4 years I lost touch with many people and things back home.

So, those are my best memories of Bob Greenquist. May God Bless Him! SK


Chuck (Howard) Menthe - WA2QHG was one of my classmates in HS back in 1961-62. Chuck was the first ham I saw in action on CW. His rig consisted of a Viking Challenger, Hallicrafters S-38E and a vertical. He used an old bug. When I saw him talking to other hams in Morse Code, I was impressed. It really got me interested in learning the code. Whenever Chuck and I saw each other in school we would make verbal Morse code exchanges. Chuck is now living in Florida with callsign K4QHG.


Peter Riker - WA2HLN gave me my novice test. He is now K4BKD in Marietta, GA and can be heard often on 40 meter SSB.

Both Pete and Chuck, being my peers in age were a motivating factor.

W7GMK (formerly WA7WOQ) - TUCSON, AZ

Gary Kabrick (W7GMK) rebuilt a 1 KW Bauer AM broadcast transmitter to run on 160, 80 and 40 meters. He runs it in "cut-back mode" to keep it under the legal limit. This transmitter uses a pair of 4-400's modulated by another pair of 4-400's. I was particularly interested in putting up this picture of Gary and his rig because one of my own dreams is to purchase a used broadcast transmitter and do the same, so he sent me this photo at my request. He is chief engineer at a local television station.

See more of Gary's rig and hamshack at his homepage:
(visit his "W7GMK Boatanchors" link)