A Lifetime of Amateur Radio



W0ZKE in 1957

I received amateur license Wn0ZKE ("n" for Novice) at age 12, after accompanying my best friend (W0ZKW) to a TV repair shop whose owner was a ham. I upgraded to General Class W0ZKE within the year. During my high school years, I operated mostly on the twenty meter AM and CW bands. The station shown at left was a Collins 75A-1 receiver and a homebrewed (not by me!) AM transmitter, modeled after the Collins 32V-3.

In 1969, I operated in Cambridge, England as G5APG, using a Collins KWM-2 transceiver borrowed from a buddy. I passed my Amateur Extra Class exam in 1970 when I moved to Ohio and was licensed as W8KFL. In 1977, I acquired my present callsign of W8ZR.

Over the years, I have been interested in DXing, contesting -- all on the HF bands -- but my primary interest has been in "homebrewing" my own equipment. I've built numerous rigs, amplifiers, etc., over the years, many of which have been published in QST, the ARRL Handbook, and the Radio Handbook, edited by W6SAI (SK). I also collect and restore vintage ham radio gear from the 50's, 60's and 70's, and have written several articles about restoration projects in Electric Radio magazine.

Professionally, I am an experimental physicist and university administrator, now retired. I was a physics major at Princeton U.,received my Ph.D. at Cornell U. in 1969, and was then a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University in 1969-70. Finally, after going to school for what seemed an eternity, I finally earned a paycheck as a physics professor at Ohio State University, where I worked for 26 years and where I also was a department chairman and dean, plus a few other administrative roles. In 1996 I was appointed president of Miami University (OH) and in 2006 I pulled up stakes, and moved to Santa Fe, NM. to pursue a second careeer as a writer.



W8KFL's station in 1971

W8KFL's station in 1971, Worthington,Ohio


W0ZKE operating the twenty meter band in Kansas City in 1958


Twelve-year old Wn0ZKE

Thirteen-year old W0ZKE leaning against unguyed tower that blew down in six months


W8ZR's Contest Station in 1977

W8KFL in 1977 in Worthington, Ohio. Above: operating CQ World-Wide DX Contest, Below: dangling from a crane at 110 feet, fixing 5 element 20 meter yagi

Antenna Repair in 1979