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Silent Key

I will manage all future requests for QSLs for Mike VK6HD. Direct preferred - SASE + 3GS. Bureau may be too slow - try it, but no promises. NO EQSL, sorry !

I will do my best to clear Mike's oustanding requests.

73, Peter, VK6RZ


Remembrance of Michael (‘Mike’) Bazley VK6HD

Michael (‘Mike’) Bazley VK6HD is regarded by many as simply the best West Australian CW DX operator there has ever been.

For approaching half a century, Mike gave out contacts with CQ Zone 29 to radio amateurs around the globe. When he passed in April 2013, Mike’s computer log had over 100,000 contacts in it and he was the top Australian station in the ARRL DXCC Honour Roll List, with all 340 current countries/entities worked and an overall total of 369 (mixed mode), taking into account countries that have been deleted.

Although active on all the amateur bands from 1.8 MHz through to 28 MHz, Mike was most passionate about low-band DXing, in particular on 160m and 80m. He worked 260 countries on 160m and 329 on 80m – the former total far and away the highest total of countries worked from the Southern Hemisphere on the ‘topband’.

As his good friend George Taft, W8UVZ, noted at a remembrance held for Mike in the USA at the Dayton Hamvention 2013 Topband Dinner: "Considering that Western Australia is some 6,000 – 10,000 miles from most Northern Hemisphere populated areas makes these totals truly amazing. Getting through the EU [European] or JA [Japanese] pile-up became a way of life for Mike. As a gentle person with a very laid-back demeanour, Mike could quickly become a persistent DX chaser when a new one came on the air."

Robin Lyon, VK6LK, also one of Western Australia’s finest DXers and a close friend of Mike’s for several decades makes a similar observation in a Legacy remembrance: "His success was no doubt due that he followed the DX principles of listening, listening and again listening, patience and perseverance."

George also noted that Mike’s style of operating meant that low-band DXers everywhere always had the best possible chance to work Zone 29: "Mike would CQ and work the pile-up until propagation conditions disappeared or there were more no more callers. He was our CQ Zone 29 in most logs and, in many, our first Australian contact. The contest multi-ops will tell you he was most often in their low-band contest logs for Zone 29."

Mike was both a striking CW DX operator and a striking person to meet – being some 6’ 5" in height and the epitome of the description ‘gentle giant’. Originally G3HDA, Mike came from an amateur radio family – his father John was G2BOZ and his elder brother John was first licensed as G3HCT and is now VK4OQ.

Prior to migrating to Australia in the mid-1960s, Mike was a very successful CW DXer and contester in the UK – as were his father and brother. The results of the 1967 CQ WW CW Contest show Mike as G3HDA in 10th place in the World, also beating Al Slater G3FXB to be the top English station. His brother G3HCT was top in the world on 21MHz, whilst their father G2BOZ was the 2nd placed English station on 28MHz.

Mike was happy to share his amazing knowledge of radio and propagation if you were inquisitive about those things. He was an excellent teacher – both in amateur radio and at Western Australia’s Murdoch University where he was the head of the accounting teaching department at the time of his retirement. Owing to his passion for radio and perseverance in working the most difficult of radio ‘paths’, he had a knowledge of these from a Western Australian perspective that was second to none.

Mike had a very open and inquiring mind, but was humble and didn’t preach to others about what he discovered. After trying both horizontal and vertical antennas for transmission on 1.8MHz, he found, against prevailing wisdom, that a predominantly horizontally polarised antenna generally worked best for DX from where he lived. To thoroughly test this hypothesis, he had built a ¼ wave inverted-L antenna with an 80 foot vertical section over a full broadcast-type ground screen of 132 ¼ wave radials – a huge endeavour - and then spent about two years testing it against an inverted vee dipole, making hundreds of signal comparisons in the process.

Finding, slightly ruefully after all this hard work, his original hypothesis had been correct, Mike simply took the vertical antenna down without public remark. When asked by a friend why he hadn’t publicised his discovery, Mike simply smiled and said what worked for him where he lived might not work for others.

At the conclusion of his remembrance at the Dayton Hamvention Topband Dinner, George W8UVZ asked for a round of celebratory applause, rather than a moment of silence, for Mike. This was entirely fitting as the world of amateur radio DXing has a lot to thank VK6HD for – and Mike would have appreciated the gesture.

Mike’s good friend Peter VK6RZ is keeping the VK6HD legacy alive by acting as his QSL manager – for more details, see VK6HD at QRZ.COM.

Deep sympathies to Mike’s widow Pam, his children Suzanne, Juliet, Michelle and Richard and his brother John VK4OQ/G3HCT.

Steve Ireland VK6VZ and Brian Machesney K1LI


6290134 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:28:46, 7717 bytes

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