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Delafemme Print. . . a favorite of mine - a little of this in all of us



My first radio was a homebrew crystal set which allowed me to pick up the local station WFRA, as well as the legendary KDKA in Pittsburgh. I was fascinated by the fact that I could let the radio play all day long without batteries or an electric plug. This was followed by a Knight-Kit Star Roamer (below) which is working great after all these years. It took a whole summer on a early morning paper route to earn the $39.95 for the kit, but it was well worth it . . . I can remember the day the package arrived from Allied Radio in Chicago. In the excitement - and haste - of construction I mis-soldered a connection, and the radio was non-functional. Thanks to the late Joe Froncek for troubleshooting the radio and finding the problem . Jim Froncek, KA3RDA, his son and I spent hours playing with radios and AM broadcast transmitters and SWL'ing and BCB DX'ing as WPE3GOC with a 300' long wire antenna running east-west.

 Enjoyed the classic AM 50 kW "flamethrowers" including  the Big 8 - CKLW, WABC (Cousin Bruce Morrow, Dan Ingram, Chuck Leonard, Herb Oscar Anderson, Charlie Greer) WLS, WCFL and WIBbaGe.  And there was  Hy Lit and many others. Would have loved to listen to the "Real Don Steele" on KHJ but he, and 'Tina Delgado' continue to be alive on internet airchecks.

Was introduced to the ham bands listening to AM ops including the legendary Mike, W2OY who would pin my S-meter . I was so enthralled with radio that I would ride my bike to the antenna site of the local AM station, WFRA, and spend hours studying the towers  configuration and construction.  Eventually approached the station's owner, the late Bob Sauber, and asked if I could get a job as a DJ, since I had obtained a 3rd Class FCC license.  Was offered an evening radio shift at WTIV in Titusville, Pa. (1000 w day/ 250 w night) for the summer prior to returning to college. The ham radio bug started with a visit to Jim K3TLP,  then living in nearby Oil City, PA.  He demonstrated his T60, first time I ever layed my eyes on a transmitter - and this kindness 'struck the match that lit the fire'  for amateur radio.  I am forever grateful to this fine, A-1 OP. Am a lifetime ARRL member since 1981


 November 17, 2016 - Antenna farm  - made possible through the kindness and technical expertise of Charlie W3JCB (in the bucket),  Tom AB3KW, and  Doug N3COW.

      Anna and I visiting Radio Nederland's Sterba Curtain Arrays in Bonaire, Dutch Antilles. 

Antennas - Mosley  TA-54XL @ 70' on a LM-470 tower - Thank you Bill W1GY,  for  maintaining and upgrading this fine tower..  HY-Power 160-6 OCDipole. VHF/UHF Tennadyne T-28  for 50-1296 MHz @ 82'. Diamond X6000A  Vertical for 144-440-1296 MHz@ 85' Enjoy HF DX activity and have worked 332 active and 342 total. Have always enjoyed reading about and watching DXpedition footage.  Still enjoy BCB DX'ing and participate in the  Collins and Drake and St. Max Kolbe nets. 

Great radios from Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I am so grateful to Dave Knepper, W3ST for his technical skills in helping me with these rigs, as well as his friendship and sage advice. 


Member of the Fort Venango Mike & Key Club, and a lifetime ARRL member, I was first licensed in 1969 as WN3LTU. First novice CW QSO on the Hallicrafters HT 44 and SX 117 gear at St. Mary's College - Seminary club station WB4ABF in St. Mary, KY.  My elmer - Jim Shook, WA4KVI - many TNX!  Relicensed in 1979 as N3AFV, and assigned KB3H in 1980 while living in Philly during my neurosurgical residency at Temple University.  Spent my first month's income to  purchase a first rig - the Drake Tr4Cw w/RIT / 34PNB at "Hambuerger's" in nearby Willow Grove, PA. It had been sitting on a lower shelf unsold because the newer digital TR-7 had arrived 


Passionate about vintage gear, especially Drake, Hallicrafters, Collins and Hammarlund. I have driven thousands of miles to inspect and avoid shipment. It's always an honor to meet the fine ham ops who have been the generational caretakers of these classical American masterpieces. Yes, they can drift a bit, but they provide a true multi-sensory experience - sound, light, smell and heat - the essence of electronic "soul".  Special thanks to Jeff Covelli, WA8SAJ and Ron WB4HFN, for their expertise in optimizing my Drake and Hallicrafter gear. 


Amplifiers - Alpha 9500 with the EIMAC 8877,  a Drake L4B with its original EIMAC 3-500Z 'bottles', a Drake L7, and the Collins 30S-1, designed by the legendary Collins RF guru, Warren Bruene.





Some vintage rigs from the legendary Hallicrafters Company at 5th and Kostner in Chicago . . . Hammarlund rigs - a clocked HQ-180A (owned by a SK friend Tony K3UKW) and the HQ-215 which was the final offering out of  Hammarlund's Mars, North Carolina location.


Diagnosis - Metastatic Halli tosis

Knick-Knacks around the Shack

This is a segment of the original KDKA Radio broadcast tower from 1936 to 1994.  Originally erected in Saxonburg, it was later moved to Allison Park, PA where it remained in use until June, 1994.  Made of carbon steel, it was manufactured by the American Bridge Company and was 718 feet tall.  Over the years it was painted several layers of orange and white paint so it would stand out, along with its 36-inch rotating beacon.  I purchased this at a charity event hosted by the late, great air personality John Cigna - who I used to listen to initially on WOWO, Ft. Wayne, In. and then KDKA, 1020, in Pittsburgh.

R.L. Drake Promotional Insert - 1970's

Hallicrafters - Sitting atop the HA-1 T.O. Keyer is a Promotional Ball Cap that snaps to form a driving hat!

M104 - "The Sombrero Galaxy"    7" Questar Telescope on an AP 1100 Mount - iPhone 6

You are welcome to check out my nature photography website - WetlandSplendors.com.- which features imaging from Venango County's wetlands and waterways.


Allegheny River and French Creek ( Washington Crossing) - Franklin, PA.  I grew up 200 yards downriver from here


8149049 Last modified: 2017-06-10 00:24:32, 9606 bytes

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