I am sure that the news that Ed Bissell, W3AU, ex-W3MSK, had died on May 10 at the age of 83 made a lot of people in the Amateur Radio contesting world take a few minutes to stop and think. Ed, CQ Contest Hall of Fame Member #10, touched the lives of quite a few of today's active contesters, giving a number of them their first chance to enter the world of big-time multi-multi contesting. This writer was one of them.
It has been my sad experience in recent years to see one after another of those on my personal list of heroes pass from the scene. I feel that it is appropriate on such occasions to pause for a bit to record for posterity's sake remembrances of these folks so that something about them will be available on the Web long after they and those who knew them pass from the scene.
K7SV and KC1F have already begun this process, so let me add some of my fond memories of Ed to theirs. Time has blurred some of my memories so I will not attempt to assign a time frame to them in all cases. Any of the rest of you who have memories of Ed, please post them here. No one person can do justice to the multi-faceted, colorful personality that was Ed Bissell.
I first met Ed not long after I moved to the Washington area from Wisconsin in 1963 as W9SZR to work for the Government. I joined PVRC almost immediately, and since all I had with me was an SR-150 in my car with a home-brew HF mobile whip, and since I had done reasonably well in CW DX contests as SOHP from the station of W9EWC, at one time or another I was invited to join the multi-multi teams at both W3MSK and W4BVV, the two biggest multi-multi teams PVRC had at the time. W4KXV (now N4RP) was another multi-multi available to PVRCers at that time.
Since I had joined the U. S. Foreign Service I operated at Ed's or at Tom's off and on for several years following, on brief stints back in Washington in between my overseas assignments at HI8XAL, HS3AL, HS5ABD, XV4AL and LU5HFI, until I bought my own place here in 1975 and proceeded to erect my own antenna farm. Much of the inspiration for having my own antenna farm built came from Tom and Ed as well as Len Chertok, W3GRF. Sadly, all three have now left us.
I recall that we would all arrive at Ed's on Friday afternoon in order to sit around his dinner table while his XYL Grace served a sumptuous meal before the contest began. While we ate Ed would chair a planning session during which we reviewed what conditions would probably be like and how we would plan to cope with them. In those days we didn't have anything to go on but WWV which would transmit a series of numbers in Morse which told us how good or bad things were predicted to be for the following several hours.
Then it was into the big shack to take up our assigned positions and get ready for 0000Z Saturday to arrive. Ed had homebrew amplifiers for each band which were lined up along one wall, and a fair collection of Collins and Central Electronics exciters and Collins receivers, augmented by the rigs of many of the operators who would bring their own rigs along with them. As I recall most of the time Bob Cox, K3EST, ran the operation, assigning the bands to the operators and forcing us to keep things moving as the contest went on. When I first operated W3MSK Don McClennon, W3EIS, later W3IN and N4IN, had a lock on the 160 meter position; I don't recall who had 80; Jack Colson, W3TMZ, ran 40 meters; K3EST and Jack Reichert, W3ZKH, now N4RV, jointly manned 20; "Big Charlie" Weir, W3FYS, later W6UA, ran 15 and, in phone contests, Don Search, W3AZD was the 10 meter man. Ed himself would fill in only when a position would otherwise remain unmanned; he preferred either 160 or 10 meters; he felt his job was to keep the hardware side of the operation running smoothly. If an antenna or rotor problem cropped up, Ed would climb a tower to fix it no matter what the weather, or no matter what the time of day or night. If there was an operator to two to spare, they would go out an help Ed from the ground. If not, Grace would generally fill that assignment herself. I can remember once going out in the dark to help move an 80 meter sloper around in an effort to get a CE1 who was not answering our calls, and the move was successful! Others who filled in where needed as I did were Carl Kratzer, WA3HRV, now K3RV, who eventually became the main 40 meter operator; "Little Charlie" Weir, W6HOH/W3NPZ, now W6UM; Bob Morris, W4MYA; and Gene Zimmerman, K1ANV, now W3ZZ. I'm sure I have left a few out as I was not in the area very much during my early years in the foreign service. On one occasion a fresh-faced 16-year-old whose call is now K3LR came down from the Pittsburgh area to see what big-time contesting was like at W3MSK. Another op who spent some time sitting in Ed's operating chairs was the legendary Don Riebhoff, K7CBZ/K7ZZ, of XU1DX, HS3DR and CT4AT fame.
A new arrival to operate at W3MSK would be overwhelmed by the tall towers sticking up through the trees on Ed's heavily-wooded lot, which supported such monstrosities as a 5-el 40 meter Yagi, 7-el Yagis on 20 and 15, maybe 10-el on 10 -- I don't recall -- as well as a 2-el Yagi on 80 and wires for 160 and for receiving snaking through the trees in all directions. Ed's QTH was very close to the Potomac River and the towers and antennas could easily be seen from the other side of the river at Mount Vernon, VA, which had been President George Washington's residence in days of yore. Ed's QTH was so situated that when we beamed "over the Pole" into Asia we beamed right up the Potomac River which we felt gave us a big advantage over the competition in that direction, though we couldn't always beat the legendary W3CRA in pile-ups on Asians.
At the end of the contest Ed would usually come to my operating position with a potent highball to celebrate the successful completion of yet another contest, and "bottoms-up" it was.
The principal competition in those days for W3MSK was the big installation in Tuxedo Park, NY of Buzz Reeves, K2GL. At that time, hard as it is to believe now, all of the W1's thought we had a big propagation advantage over them because they thought they were too close to the North Pole during disturbed conditions. As I recall the story, a group of W1's surreptitiously drove down to observe Ed's operation to try to figure out what his secrets of success were. After being parked along the road next to Ed's lot for some time they were accosted by a county cop who told them: "You can't park here --- CIA!"
They needn't have been so secretive about their visit, for Ed's door was always open to ham visitors and no appointment was necessary. I recall that at the height of the 1968 riots following Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, when much of downtown Washington was put to the torch, it fell to me to pick up Dick Klein, K9OPF, later K4GKD, an old pal from Wisconsin who was at that very moment arriving by train at Union Station in downtown Washington to go to work for the Government. I was an apartment dweller in suburban Virginia at the time and the direct route from my place to the train station forced me to thread my way through smoky streets where cars had been abandoned by their owners who had been caught in the traffic jam created by the riots and were desperate to get out of town and to safety. After picking Dick up the only place I could think of which might provide a safe haven for us without requiring me to drive back through the danger zone was Ed's, so Dick and I promptly headed there where Ed gave Dick a warm welcome to Washington and assured him that the city was not normally in such turmoil.
At one point there developed a nasty line noise and Ed, after some searching, located the offending pole. Each time the noise popped up again, Ed would hand a big sledgehammer to an operator who was unoccupied at the moment and instruct him to drive down and hit the pole until, listening on the car's radio, the noise stopped.
In the effort to compete with K2GL, W4BVV and W3MSK decided it would be a good idea to join forces in pooling information and converted some old command sets to 147.00 MHz. where DX spots were passed from one station to the other. This may very well have been the pioneer spotting net in the history of contesting. To this day the frequency which most PVRC'ers in the Washington area use when driving to and from work is the repeater whose output frequency is 147.00, K3WX, whose owner, Tony Faiola, is a long-time PVRC member.
Ed was one of a number of PVRC contesters who came to the Washington area to work for the U.S. Naval Research Lab (NRL), and it was no coincidence that a lot of contest sites in those days were located just south of the District of Columbia in Maryland, not far from the Potomac River, an easy commute to the NRL HQ along the Potomac River in Southeast DC. Before Ed moved to his eventual QTH in Accokeek, he had rolled up some big single-op scores from a hilltop in Forest Heights, MD. My QTH, by the way, is in the same general area.
When NASA was formed to run the U.S. space program, the new agency raided NRL for a lot of its initial scientists and engineers, and Ed was one of them, as was his boss at the time, Karl Medrow, W3MCG, later W3FA, who was also a PVRC member and later erected a multi-multi of his own. Ed eventually became NASA's liaison to the Indian space program, and made many a trip to the Indian spaceport at Trivandrum, where he developed lasting personal friendships with other Indian hams including VU2JN and VU2PKK. In recent years, after retiring to Florida and assembling yet another super antenna farm with the assistance of Pete Raymond, N4KW, Ed had kept regular daily CW and SSB skeds with Jayram and Kutty and others out there, as well as weekly skeds with W6UM and other of his former ops. He was in reasonably good health and regularly active up until about three months before his death.
Since Ed travelled so much to India at that time, he was the principal driving force in the effort to establish a reciprocal operating agreement with India following the passage of the Goldwater bill which made such agreements possible, and he was the first American licensed under the agreement, holding the call VU2MSK for many years.
So Ed, mentor to so many budding contesters, inventor of so many multi-multi procedures and techniques, we loved ya, man, and we'll miss ya. If you ever learn how to communicate back here from the fifth dimension, give us a call.
In fond remembrance,
Fred Laun, K3ZO
One day in September 1976, I got up enough nerve to call Bob, K3EST on the phone and ask to operate with his crew at W3AU. This was one of several east coast power house multi multis, other ones being W2PV and K2GL/N2AA (I would be lucky enough to operate at those stations a few years later).
Coming off my best ever single op contest in the 1976 BiCentennial (IARU) contest from WA3WIK, I hoped I was a good enough operator to to try the "big time" with the big guns in multi multi. There is only one way to find out.
As a high school teenager with only a home made (wire wrapped) WB4VVF accu keyer, my favorite mechanical pencil and a few clothes in tow, I headed to my Aunt and Uncle's house in Bowie, MD for Thanksgiving in 1976. The "real" reason for the trip was to operate my first multi multi at the W3AU super station.
I remembered WN3UTA using the W3AU station to win the 1973 Novice Roundup with close to 1000 qsos, where I (WN3SZX) placed 6th or 7th with wires and my Heathkit station. UTA's picture in the write up was from the 40 meter operating position at AU where I would spend my time for the CQWW CW weekend. This was VERY cool!
Bob, K3EST was living in K3ZO's house at the time and K3TW was there as well. I remember visiting ZO's house with Dr. Pepper bottles everywhere and two Drake B-lines that were always lit, 7 x 24. This was the ultimate place to live!
I had worked less than a dozen Europeans on 40 with my wires and a vertical from WA3WIK before this trip. Imagine the look on my face at the view of a full size 3 element beam for 40! Thoughts of 800 QSOs on 40 CW...this was the big time! With almost no experience (I had been licensed a little over 4 years), Bob, K3EST the ever patient teacher, gave me all the band tips needed. Hooking the memory keyer up to the Collins 32V3 (I think...it looked like the mate to the 75A4 receiver) transmitter was easy...lots of log sheets, a paper dupe sheet.... I'm shaking badly, but I'm ready. This is a DREAM come true!
With a Collins 75S3C receiver and the old reliable Collins transmitter, there was no "Transceive option", so calling stations with this set up was different, but lots of fun. EST rule #1, "You will be very loud. Do not worry about multipliers, call lots of CQs, stay put, the multipliers will find you". And they did, just like Bob said...
AU was using a tape loop to call CQ on CW. It was cool to see the meters of several bands all calling the same CQ using the same generator, all in harmony. This was a symphony contest and I'm right in the middle of it. I think I was shaking from nerves all weekend.
Great band memories from that contest:
Seeing the long fingers of W3IN working 160. He tuned his R4B receiver in what seamed like 10 hertz steps. I think he worked less than 20 stations the whole weekend. He never spoke to anyone in the shack, he just kept his butt in the chair, head phones on, ever tuning for a whisper of a signal.
K3TW was on 80. Tom and I passed multipliers and became good friends. K3EST on 20. Bob was in the chair the whole time, never sleeping. AU told me that when you have EST on 20....you don't need two operators....
CX1EK on 15. Cool guy....yelled at his CW pile up in Spanish. Ran JAs like I had never seen before. WA3TBW was on 10, but the band was mostly dead.
When it was over I think I worked about 700 QSOs. W2PV's 40 meter guy may of had more, but EST said my band total was good. I was on cloud 9 and EST told me that he wanted me to operate on his team again.
It took 20 years, but in 1996, I invited K3EST to fly from California and operate multi multi from Western Pennsylvania with the K3LR team for the CQWW CW contest. Bob and I did 40 meters together. I'll never forget the shaky hands (now at thirty something years old) while my multi multi contest elmer (and CQ Contest Director) watched beside me as we worked some 1800 QSOs together on my favorite band.
When young operators like NI3S, KL9A and N3GJ operate from my station now, I think think about how much it meant to me to operate at W3AU.
Thanks go to you Ed Bissell, W3AU. You did more for me than you ever knew. You gave me a taste of multi multi fun that set a personal goal to build my own dream station some day which would be realized some 16 years later. I would not have been inspired to pursue my contesting dreams without the chance you gave this young kid in 1976.
I have been enjoying reading the tributes to Ed that have been circulating around. It's enabled me relive many fond old contesting memories.
In the mid 60s I attended the Univ of Michigan along with a number of contest
lovers like Tom Russel (then W8FAW, now N4KG), Don Karvonen (then and now
K8MFO) and Bill Myers (then K2SIL & KH6RS now K1GQ). We tried our best to
put our university club station, W8UM, on the contesting map. Our goal, like
every other multi-multi crew of the era was to make a decent showing against
Ed Bissel's seasoned crew at W3MSK. In our first effort we had a great time
but fell woefully short of Ed's supurb score, but our picture, taken on the
roof of the East Engineering Building sporting a sign with the words "BEAT
MSK! found its way into QST's score-reporting issue. In those days the ARRL
contest was a two-weekend affair, and the next year Ed's crew entered the
contest using a different call for each of the two weekends. We of couse used
W8UM for both weekends and ended up beating the W3MSK one-weekend score. Our
picture once again made QST, but this time the sign read "WE BEAT MSK!" The
next year, Jack Colson, W3TMZ, called us and asked if we could send an
operator or two to the DC area to help them. I accepted the invitation, and
thus began a long relationship with Ed, his seasoned crew and his super
station. I can still remember being picked up by Jack at the Washington DC
airport and transported around the DC area at breakneck speed in his sporty,
red Porsche 912 roadster. Ed's station was of couse a dream come true. I'd
never seen a 3 element 40M yagi, let alone a 5 element monster. It sprung
out of the woods (Ed lived in a game preserve area so he couldn't cut down
any trees) on a 145-foot tower and was a sight to behold! I'd never even
seen separate towers for each band each supporting a 7 element yagi. Note
that Ed's yagis were all home spun and modeled in place by trial and error.
Ed was a real "seat-of-the-pants" guy. I was tapped to be a 15M operator
along with Charlie (Then W3FYS, later W6UA). The station occupied a fairly
large finished room in Ed's basement. The 4-1000 amplifiers stood in
adjacent rack panels along one wall of the shack with the 160M position's
Johnson Ranger stuffed in the middle. In those days there were output power
restrictions on TopBand. The main operating positions occupied the other 3
walls - 10M on one short wall, 40M, 15M and 80M on the long wall, and 20M on
the other short wall. I'd never seen so much Collins gear in my life. Over
the next 10 years I was a frequent visitor and 15M cw operator for Ed meeting
and learning from many fine contest operators like Bob (K3EST), Fred (K3ZO),
Don (W3EIS/W3IN/N4IN) and of course the grand gentleman of them all, Ed
To quote Bob Hope, "Thanks for the memories." A salute to you, Ed Bissel !
73 de John, W8CQN / W8FJ
I posted this to the PVRC reflector earlier this week, but decided to post
it here after reflecting on the comments made by others regarding our old
friend. It's interesting to note that a very large percentage of the folks
who were given opportunity to operate from the multis have remained very
active through the years. The generosity of people like Ed gave opportunity
to even the greenest contester to experience the best of contesting while
learning from the best of the best. Most of those that experienced Ed's
generosity have extended their own to making the competitive part of our
great hobby what it is.
"In 1968 a young Navy Radioman stationed at Indianhead MD was boating north
of there on the Potomac. In the area of Accoceek he spotted a collection of
antennas beyond description. Upon finding a place to beach the boat, he
proceeded to find a vantage point to better view the sight. The young man
was me and as things turned out, that I day I met Ed who graciously invited
this very novice contester to join his gang during the upcoming CQWW CW
While I was enamored with contesting before then, the next year of operating
with Ed and the W3MSK/W3AU crew was nothing short of pure magic. That was 35
years ago, and to this day I frequently find myself reminiscing.
I have a few black and white polaroid pictures taken during the WWCW
contest. Ed's call was then W3MSK, but he changed it to W3AU in early 1969
as I recall. There's a picture titled "10AM Friday" of the 20 meter
position. In another picture of the 20 meter position titled "5PM Friday",
the 75A4, 32V2 and 51S1 have been replaced by a pair of S-lines, and Ed's
young daughter is sitting at the position doing some sort of art work. I
remember spending some time as the second op to Bob Cox K3EST at this
position. While Bob ran them I'd use the second rig to line up mults.
There's also a picture of Bob working that position during the contest.
There's a picture showing Tom Russell who was WA0SDC and is now N4KG at the
40 meter position. Tom who I believe worked for Collins at the time brought
along a tricked up S-Line. I don't think the mods went as far as what was
done in later years with the C-Line, but it certainly improved receiver
performance. Sitting next to him is Ed at the 15 meter position, and John
W8CQM is sitting next to him, also on 15. I'll never forget the gleam that
never seemed to leave Ed's eyes, and his gravelly voice. I don't remember
John's last name and often times wonder what became of him.
In another picture one sees the late Don McClenon N4IN at the 80 meter
position, holding the cans tight to his head struggling to separate a call
from the noise. That position was still using a 75A4/32V2 combination.
Wonder if Don would have squinted so much to hear, if beverages received the
use in those days that they do now.
Thinking back, I know that Jack Reichert N4RV was one of the ops and I think
Jack Colson W3TMZ was as well.
Certain things always come to mind when thinking about those days. One was a
4 stack of 2 element yagis on 10 meters. It was pointed midway between South
American and VK/ZL and I remember our CQs producing a number of Qs from
both. The antennas for 40 through 10 were massive. Stacks weren't in vogue
yet, but I think the monster on 40 was four full sized elements. Ed built a
yagi for 80, but it seems that it just wasn't high enough to be effective.
He also tried extending the boom of the 40 meter antennas to be used as a
rotatable dipole on 80, but it seems the stainless wire rope used to extend
it was too lossy.
I remember Bob Cox grabbing a sledge hammer and heading out the door early
Sunday morning when power line noise became a problem. I also remember Ed
grinning from ear to ear after working a good one on top band. Whenever I
see or talk with Gene Zimmerman W3ZZ, it brings me back and I hear the
unique way he said W 4 Bravo Victor Victor. W4BVV of course was THE
competition at that time!
In late 1969 I was transferred to Iceland. In the first contest I operated I
only had a 12AVQ vertical on a telephone pole next to the barracks. I worked
Bob on 20 cw and he asked me to qsy to 40. When I told him the only antenna
I had was the triband vertical he said load it up on 40, we'll hear you. I
did and they did and there was a Q between W3AU and TF2WLW!
I don't know if contesting would have the same place in my heart if it
hadn't been for the time Ed allowed me to spend with him and the crew. He
was a great man and a great friend. Rest in peace my friend."
I've since learned that W8CQM is none other than W8FJ and have struck up
conversation with him. I also learned a lot about others including PVRC
members that I wasn't aware of.
73 de Larry K7SV (WA0GQI back in the good ole days!)
So many have written such eloquent words reflecting on the contributions
that Ed made to contesting. As a young, enthusiastic, new ham in the early
60's, I had the good fortune to have W4KFC as my mentor. He was also
my boss, and the trustee of the Coast Guard club station K4CG. As a new
ham, Vic gently brought me along, and as I got my feet wet and helped
organize the first multi-single entry into the Novice Roundup, I was invited
to join PVRC. Under Vic's guidance, K4CG started to flourish and I was
hitting SS and the DX contests pretty hard. The potential that this
rec station had yearned for multi-multi status. Vic suggested that I do a
couple of stints at W3MSK just to find out what it was all about. I had
sat in the chair at Vic's station in Clifton, Va. and was always amazed at
how quiet the bands sounded, with signals just jumping out of the 75A4.
I wondered how anything could be more effective.
Bobby Cox lived in the next town from me, and I gave him a shout and
invited myself to operate at Ed's. Wow, what an experience. They sat me
down as second op on 10 meters with Don, W3AZD. And here all this
time, I thought the signals we heard across the river were 20 meter
Gosh, there were really signals on that band, and that big yagi really
em in. I did two stints at MSK, both on 10 meters with Don on phone.
I came back to K4CG armed with an abundance of ideas. One was that
those skimpy dupe sheets that we were getting from the League were not
going to handle the job. Ed's dupe sheets would cover the operating
Another idea that I came back with was how to set up multiple rigs on a
single band. The twenty meter position was the model. A pair of 32S-3s
and three collins receivers. I think there were two 75S-3s and perhaps a
51S-1. The Rx antenna port on Tx 1 was cabled to RF Out port on TX 2.
The Rx 2 port fed all three receivers and the RF Out port on Tx 1 fed the
Amp. The PTT lines from each Tx were paralleled. What a clever system,
and very effective. I recall three ops on 20 with the third op spotting and
to keep up the dupe sheet.
K4CG went on to become a contributing Multi-op player in PVRC with
the inspiration from Ed and the guidance and support of Vic. In my
I have managed to recall some of the principles that made W3MSK/W3AU
such an effective station. I have tried to apply these to my current
I have a sign at each position which embodies one of the principles learned
Ed's, "Stay in the Chair, Call CQ". The technology has changed and computer
logging and high tech rigs have taken contesting to a new level. Where
we be though without the insights and inspiration that Ed gave so many.
I remember, in those days, the fierce competition between PVRC and FRC.
I went to the FRC club site a few years ago and read some of the club
history. You would find their reflections covering contesting in the 60's
interesting reading. They credited Ed with developing the concept of
Their take on his philosphy was that a number of ops at one station would
accrue a larger score than their individual efforts would produce in the
Thus a new contesting strategy was born.
Ed and I had chatted about antennas for the low bands quite a bit. He
encouraged me to put up an elevated GP on 40. The base was at 40 feet. On
one of his trips to India, we made a sked, and I managed to work VU2MSK.
This was a real thrill for me. When Ed got back, he commented on the signal
and said that in Asia, the line noise is so ferocious that receiving is the
Little did I know then that years later, while I was posted in Bangkok, that
would be reversed and his big Florida signal would come pounding through the
QRN. He and K3ZO were about the only regular signals from the east coast
I could hear on 40 from the east coast.
Here's to the one who must be remembered as the father of multi-op
73 Dallas W3PP
W6UM (ex-W6HOH/W3NPZ) writes:
It is heartwarming to read how so many others also have fond memories of the
W3MSK/W3AU operations and especially of Ed himself. A few additional points
may help the perspective on what was a prototype MM operation.
Ed was masterful at innovating new procedures and techniques. With towers in
a heavily wooded area, there was no way to erect antennas in one piece or by
tram. Ed developed the tilt head method of mounting, referred to in the ARRL
Antenna Book as the "PVRC Mount", which facilitates mounting one element at a
time and also permits one person alone to erect an antenna. This technique is
easiest with relatively balanced antennas, i.e., evenly spaced elements along
the boom. As a result the 7-element Yagis on a one-wavelength boom on both 20
and 15 were built this way. Before antenna modeling was possible these wound
up being empirical designs, with Ed performing minor tweaking of element
lengths on the tower after each contest based on operator evaluation of "did
it work better or worse than in the previous contest".
Many of us felt there was some magic in the resulting 7-element 15 meter beam
at one point, and operator mutiny was threatened if he changed even the
slightest detail. When antenna models became available, the W3AU empirical
design calculated within 0.5 dB of the maximum gain possible, although lower
in F/B. After moving to FL, Ed built an exact copy, which again proved to be
a terrific performer. After my weekly skeds with Ed on 20 meters we would
always QSY to 15 so I could once again hear the business end of "The Big 7".
Again before modeling, the quantitative effects of the severe element
diameter tapering used in 40-meter elements could not be calculated. This
necessitated trying many different sets of element lengths and evaluating
each beam to arrive at the best results. Ed even tried a 3-element
configuration with two directors and no reflector, before deciding a
conventional configuration was better. One of his favorite stories concerned
the contest when he had put up the 5-element 40, on an 80 ft. boom. Ed was
comfortably seated in the bathroom fondly looking out the window at the beam
when the boom broke near the mast and two elements came crashing down into
the trees. Fortunately they were the two outer directors, and we were able to
finish the contest with a tail-heavy 3-element beam.
Ed at W3MSK was the first I am aware of to use a quarter-wave sloper, a very
common antenna today. Another pioneering effort was with
orthogonally-polarized beams mounted on the same boom, an experiment to see
if vertical polarization would help at those times when the horizontal
antenna is too high for optimum propagation. Unfortunately, the weather
destroyed this setup before any definitive conclusions could be reached.
In the photos of the W3MSK station, there are actually ten amplifiers in the
racks, five each for cw and ssb. Our regulations then were based on power
input, not output. The efficiency of a class-c amplifier gives about 200
watts more output at 1 kW in than does a linear, so each cw amplifier was a
pair of push-pull triodes, mostly 450TLs. They were assiduously adjusted to
exactly 1 kW for each contest.
After retiring to FL, Ed still managed to put up six towers, although his
operating time was limited. For the first time he actually used some
commercially manufactured antennas and rotators, although he always found
design improvements to be made to them. He enjoyed daily chats with friends
in VU-land, as well as personal visits from local PVRC cold-weather refugees
N4KW and W3TMZ. Less frequent but especially welcome were the times he got to
see the Whites, W1CW and W1YL.
Many of us will miss W3AU. His enthusiasm, his energy, and his insight are
worthwhile models for anyone. We will never see his like again.