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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Chuck Penson WA7ZZE, Heathkits, and the Titan Missile Museum

                                             WA7ZZE Shack

The video above popped up in my Facebook feed today and reminded me of Chuck Penson WA7ZZE.  Chuck is the author of a wonderful book on Heathkits (and several other books). 

The Titan missile explosion (not of the warhead) in Arkansas is described in an excellent but horrifying book entitled "Command and Control" by Eric Schlosser.

PBS made a video out of the book.  You can watch it here: 

Here's an interesting article on nuclear weapons tourism.  It has a great title. 

It is easy to see how an interest in ln old technology would lead someone to both Heathkits and Titans.  I get that.  But on the other hand the Heathkits and the Titans are at completely opposite ends of the humanity spectrum:  Heath made friendly technology that ultimately brought people together on the ham bands.   We know that the Titans were supposed to do. 

In any case it was great to be reminded of Chuck WA7ZZE.  We last posted about Chuck more than 10 years ago: 
In a comment to that post, Steve "Snort Rosin" Smith WB6TNL noted that Chuck had spoken at the 2009 CactusCon hamfest, and that the club pledged to put his presentation on-line.  But Google and I can't seem to find it.   Do any of the Scorpions or anyone else out there know where Chuck's hamfest talk is? 

Bob KD4EBM has been out there.  He reports that hams can bring their rigs and make use of the Titan site's large Discone antenna:

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