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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ham Radio Time Capsule at University of Virginia

Bert, WF7I has been sending us some great info from the University of Virginia's radio club. Listeners will recall his adventures in putting up and taking down the rhombic antenna. This week Bert sent in excerpts from his research on the history of the UVA club. This bit came from Lee, KD4RE. I know there are a number of "anchor-ologists" out there (fans of the Boatanchors i.e. big, old tube radios). I thought you guys would get a kick out of this. Oh, wouldn't you want to find a room like this one?

Back in 1971 a student named
Bill Hughes was Ham and knew I was a ham
and he wanted to get the UVA Ham radio club started up again. There
were a couple of other Hams around, Dave Wolfe who was Chief Engineer
at WTJU before me, has a 2-B receiver in the engineering (transmitter
room) at WTJU when in was in the basement of Humphreys.
(Yeah I have a lot of WTJU Stories..).. Anyway Bill told me he heard
that the last active ham radio club had been located over in one of
the ground rooms behind Varsity Hall (which has since been moved to
make room for Rouse Hall expansion) In those days it was the Air Force ROTC building. Anyway, the ground level had a brick floor and sort of an open portico and across the back were a bunch of rooms (all brick of course). well we came to the old door and saw open wire feeder remnants overhead We opened the door and it was like opening a time capsule - There in the room was mostly 1930s and 1940s vintage gear, I guess it had not been used since the mid 1950s (or early 1950s).

There was a rack with an AM transmitter in it, sort of a copper
colored paint on the front and on it was a piece of cardboard with the call sign W3VA. There were a number of old receivers in the
room I recall a National HRO with its plug-in coils there was and RME
receiver with a tunable preamplifier/selector as a separate box, and
several others. I am not sure but the DX 100 we had for a while may
have come out of there so that would have been late 1950s then...

For more UVA Radio Club history go to:
http://www.student.virginia.edu/~w4uva/file-storage/history/index.html

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