QSLing for W3BTX: Send to W3BTX DIRECT (with QSL,sae + 1st class postage) or VIA the W3 BURO. (Sorry NO LOTW or EQSL's) *You can also call me at 814-941-9964 if needed.
"60 Years in HAM RADIO & 42 Years as a Life Member of the ARRL": I became interested in Ham Radio in 1954 when I was 11 years old. My older brother & I found out that the local Horseshoe Radio Club held meeting every month and offered training in code and theory. In addition to the scheduled meeting, club members would send (AM modulated CW) as code practice every evening on the low end of 160 Meters. We learned how to take an old broadcast radio and tweak the tuning in order to copy the code and that’s how we learned CW.
In April 1955 we took the “novice” test and received our calls. I became WN3BTX (at 12 years old) and my older brother Tom became WN3BZN. In those days, the “novice” license was a “training license” and was only good for 1 year. We both took our “conditional test” and we both still hold the original calls today without the Novice "N." We were very lucky back then, because we had a very good club sponsored training support system. Seasoned member’s would take us under their wing and take the time to polish our operating skills. We used an old WW2 command transmitter (with a 67.5 volt battery for bias) and an old donated SX-11 receiver. We were in DX heaven. We both became ARRL Life Members in 1973. *I personally think that most clubs have lost that “training support system” that is so important for newly licensed hams. We now seem to get them licensed, and then forget about the ongoing support needed to keep the spark alive.
Today, I still have my original call “W3BTX” and I presently hold the Amateur Extra Class License” the FCC 1st Class Commercial / Radar license and the “DXCC Top of the Honor Roll award.” In 1993, I also took the Dutch exam in Aruba and became “P49T.” I presently hold the DXCC Honor Roll from Aruba.
In June of 1988, I helped Jimmy W6JKV & Dick K5AND (N4HSM back then) obtain permission to set up the 1st ever VHF / UHF operation from the Holiday Inn in Aruba (P4). I remember that installing that 50 foot beam on a flat roof (with a lot of wind) was to say at the least "very interesting." 6 Meters + 2 Meter SSB / CW & Moon bounce was the thrust of the operation. Some 10 Meters was used as an intercom frequency. My call at that time was P40T
In June of 1989, I was part of "The Carolina DX Asso Team" that put St. Martin (FS) on the air for the1st time on VHF & UHF. In addition to some HF, our purpose was to operate 6M, 2M, OSCAR B & J modes. My French call at the time was FS7T.
During the 1980's I was also licensed as ZF2BT, VP2ETX, OE/W3BTX, DL/W3BTX, HB9 & HB0/W3BTX
In June of 2008, myself and other interested locals formed a new contest club in Blair County, Pa. We requested and was issued the call “W3PN.” Also, starting in Sept of 2007, I used the special issued Aruba prefix / call “P41USA” during the anniversary timeframe on the September 11, 2001 attacks on the USA. This was again activated in 2008 and scheduled again for 2009.
In 2009, W3PN was issued the special 1x1 call "N3U" for use each year over the Sept 11 timeframe. These yearly operations are to keep "Remembering September 11, 2001 through Worldwide Communications." All information for "N3U/Flt93" is listed on QRZ.COM..
Note: Both N3U/Flt93 and P41USA operations hold a special meaning for me. While living in Florida our consulting company was doing business with an insurance company located in the World Trade Center in NYC. A group of us left Orlando on Sept 11th to fly to NYC for a meeting that afternoon. We left at 8:30AM and our plane turned around and returned back at 9:00AM. I still have my boarding pass and often think about "what if" we had left a day earlier for our meeting on Sept 11, 2001.
VHF / UHF from EL98 Central Florida and from FN00tm in Central PA
In 2000 while living in Florida (EL98), I became interested in 6 Meters again. [*I started on 6 M back when I got my license back in 1955 in Altoona, Pa.and amazingly worked about 25 countries using a HEATHKIT Lunch Box running 5 watts on AM.) I presently have obtained DXCC (155+ countries), WAS, WAC, WAZ (32 Zones), 650 grids squares and 71 Maidenhead grids confirmed on 6 Meters.
Being retired, I also have the time to get involved with local politics as a Public Official. I presently serve (as Chair) on the Altoona, PA "City Planning Commission" (Pop 50,000), the County Planning Commission and also on the Local Emergency Planning Commission (LEPC - EMA/911). *When returning back to Altoona in 2003, my 1st appointment was with the "City Zoning Hearing Board" and was able to re-educate the city with "New Zoning Thinking" on the positives of “Ham Radio Towers.” This resulted in changing the Zoning Rules on "Amateur Towers Height" (now at 150 Feet) in the city.
My present station operation is limited to 2ea 50ft foldover towers (no more climbing towers) with a Force 12 XR5 (5 band beam) on the top of one tower and a M2 7el 6Meter beam on top of the other tower. Between the towers I have a HD nylon rope (attached at the top of each with a pulley) supporting resonent wire antennas for 160, 80, 60, 40 and 30 Meters.
73's & "SEE YOU ON THE AIR."
Bob Gutshall, W3BTX / P49T (Trustee for W3PN - P41USA- N3U/Flt 93)
N3U/Flt93 (Pa crash site) & P41USA (special events in Aruba) - W3PN (club station trustee) - W3SO (VHF Contest Operator)- *Member of the "Blair Amateur Radio Society" (BARS) and the "Potomac Valley Radio Club" (PVRC) Contest Team. Life Member of ARRL.
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