75 Meter Extra Class WAS Net

Featured Member – Bob W9JOP # 1020

Featured Member – Bob, W9JOP G #1020

Bob with one of his RC Planes

(He is also a licensed pilot, which he obtained when a senior in high school)

As most regular check-ins know, the GERATOL Net is comprised of some pretty amazing and incredibly accomplished people, who just happen to also be Ham Radio operators.    Our featured member for this segment, reflects just such a person.  He is someone with a very high level of expertise, who also has an incredible commitment to Ham Radio combined with a high degree of curiosity and exploration.  He is someone who embraced Ham Radio at an early age, and continues to enjoy the hobby to this day.

We are pleased to feature, one of our own, very accomplished members;  Bob, W9JOP in this Featured Member segment. He received his GERATOL # (1020) in April of 1986.  He’s also held a few other call signs, including: DL4OP and KR6EU.   Interestingly, while in Germany, Bob, along with other Americans at the time, was issued the DL4 call sign, and if available, followed by his U.S. Ham suffix.  His suffix was available, and hence he ran DL4OP.  Now days Bob tells me, the DL4 prefix is no longer a U.S. in Germany prefix, but used by German ops in general.

Bob was first licensed in 1954 under the very same call sign he uses today:  W9JOP.  His initial station was comprised of assorted ARC 5’s and some Heathkit gear.  For the ARC 5’s, Bob would store them along with his homebrew Power Supplies under his bed, since they were not very safe !!  I can imagine they provided some extra “heat” to his bedroom while in operating mode !

Originally designed in circa 1938-39, the ARC5 represented some of the most popular military surplus items converted for Amateur use.  Below is an early picture of Bob, probably studying for his upcoming Ham Radio exam, since this shot was taken prior to his getting his ticket.

Bob Circa 1949

Bob’s natural curiosity is what led him to become interested in Amateur Radio.  He had no real Elmer coaching him along the way.  Like many of us, he would tune the AM bands to pull in stations outside his immediate AM listening area, like WBAA “The Voice of Purdue” or late at night picking up WLS in Chicago, which was 150 miles north of his QTH.  After wearing out the ARC5’s he upgraded to a Hallicrafters S20-R Receiver.  Bob says in his notes to me, providing the information for this article: “With the Hallicrafters S20-R receiver the world was my oyster!”  ha ha.  Here is what he had to say about a crystal set, which he  used even before the S20-R, in his own words, which reflects radio experimenting at the time and is quite interesting:

“My first receiver, way before the S20-R was a crystal set, which had an actual Quartz Crystal , potted in a lead holder. The idea was to use the “cats whisker” to scratch around on the crystal and find a ( live spot ). once a station was ( tuned in ), by sliding a piece of thin metal across the inductor you could search for a DX stn such as WLS – Chicago. Keep prodding and maybe the signal got louder, OR you lost everything. My ant was an unused telephone line which ran from house to the barn. When we got a ( dial-up system ), the town thought it was cheaper to “donate” the insulators, poles and wire to Bobby Chapman than remove them!            ( great huh )?”

Hallicrafters S20-R Receiver

He continued to experiment, next focusing his attention on antenna building and design. He constructed a two element 15 Meter Yagi made of bamboo poles and wire. One of his creations was common to the central part of the country,  a HAMMS beer can vertical for 40 Meters.  Later he constructed multiple dipoles and Homebrew verticals.

In addition, Bob has been heavily involved in QRP, attaining the first ARRL WAS with QRP CW endorsement.  He was only running, get this: approximately 250mW !!  That’s milliwatts gang, not watts…can you imagine ?  So you guys working on your basic, take heart, it can be done !!

He made most of his contacts on 40 Meters (48 there) using a G5RV antenna at 50 feet.  The other portion of this challenge for Bob, was the fact he was rock bound on 40. No VFO to find the ones he needed, just patience, persistence, a good ear and a good CW fist.  Nothing really exotic, which proves you can do it with low power and the right antenna and especially the right attitude.  The final two states, HI and AK he worked on 20 meters, using a Tuna Tin QRP built for 20M,  to wrap it up.

As an avid antenna and rig builder, Bob was featured at the Dayton Hamfest “Four Days In May” or FDIM forum, which is a Homebrew Contest/Show & Tell event.  Bob had an array of QRP rigs on display, from his Tuna Tin, several Tuna Tin II’s, Sidekick N’ Tuna, his WAS QRP certificates, etc.  Bob was actually featured in the November 2014 CQ magazine in an article written by Cam Hartford, N6GA.

In addition to his homebrew and WAS activities, Bob participated in the 17th East African Safari Rally in 1969.  He was responsible for assembling a Radio Link from Kabwhoe Control, one of the rally check points, back to Nairobi, Kenya.  He transported the communications gear to the checkpoint via the use of his 1964 Chevy Malibu. He and his son Roger set up the checkpoint in time, before the first batch of race vehicles came zooming by.

Bob’s daughter, Carol, is also a licensed Ham: KM4PAG and now lives in Kentucky. Also, Bob’s wife Joy, who is now a SK, was licensed as KA9TTB.  I’ve saved the following picture for last, since it shows Joy at the operating position in their ham shack, and in addition to Joy, you can see Bob’s Tuna Tin just above her right hand.

Bob’s XYL Joy, KA9TTB (SK)

Believe it or not, there are many more items of interest regarding Bob’s Ham Radio career, and space does not permit my putting them all in at this time. However, after checking with Bob via email,  he’s agreed to let me hold on to the materials he sent, so we can add another update in the future to his Featured Member article, where we can share more items of interest…..

Please feel free to take a minute and place a comment on the GERATOL Website post for Bob, and I hope you all enjoy the portions of his story in this article, as much as I had putting it together.

Regards, Kevin N1KL




posted by Kevin in From the Administrator,GERATOL NET NEWS and have Comments (5)

5 Responses to “Featured Member – Bob W9JOP # 1020”

  1. says:

    Great article…….and very cool amateur radio accomplishments!

  2. wg5n says:

    Well done Bob. Wow, what a lot of accoomplishments. Very interesting Bio. You always sound good into Oklahoma.
    Dale WG5N

  3. Dave KJ8V says:

    Kevin, Great article again for one of the Nets members. Bob is a very accomplished Ham and a great addition to he Net. Very interesting Bob.Always great to hear you on the Net.
    Very Best 73
    Dave KJ8V

  4. Dave KJ8V says:

    Kevin, Nice job ob Bob’s bio. A great read from one of the Net’s members. Very interesting bio. Bob represents Ham radio to it;s fullest.

  5. WW8X says:

    Very interesting write-up of a very interesting and accomplished fellow ham. Nice job!