We are honored to have Roy Wright K4AXQ as our next speaker at HacDC Amateur Radio Club
HAM PROFILE - ROY LEE WRIGHT "K4AXQ"
My passion for radio communications evolved when I was about nine years old in Galax, Virginia by modifying my parents Phillip's AM broadcast receiver to become wireless intercom to a second Zenith AM receiver. Next, I was building radio kits and repairing radios/TVs by twelve at my second cousins Radio and TV Repair Shop in Galax, Virginia. This shop became my home during the summers and most weekends to earn funds. The mayor of Galax, Camet Higgins, was a successful Shell Oil distributor and active ham who owned premier ham radio station - one KW Collins gear studio, 100 ft. tower , 3 element beam that really tweaked my ambition upon each subsequent visit. He loaned me his paper tape code training machine and soon I was ready for my Novice Class code and operating/station license exam. My success was realized in Spring of 1953 with FCC's issuance of my Novice Call sign KN4AXQ. Just missed a W call sign by a few weeks, I was told, somewhat disappointed. The following year 1954 (thirteen/y/o), my code test and exam earned my General Class License K4AXQ followed by earning First Class Commercial Radio Operator License. Further, I was engaged during high school by Civil Air Patrol, Civil Defense and National Weather Service to provide radio communication monitoring, repair and storage services.
During this timeline, I was requested to build Heathkits for future hams and CBers and was enrolled in home study course at thirteen from Radio and Television Training School out of Chicago, and began designing, collecting 833s and 813s and 877s mercury vapor rectifier tubes and by fifteen had found enough angle iron, aluminum sheets and radio labor repair money to start construction on my first homebrew KW- AM crystal / VFO Transmitter that exist today in my ham shack in Galax where my 93 year old mother resides. O' yes, my Hallicrafter SX-99 faithful shortwave band receiver was truly a gem. The local AM radio station chief engineer was an often visitor to observer their 1KW transmitter and often spurious sidebands.
My ham radio activity flourish with every open time slot for daily phone/ CW nets on 75 and 20 meters. One of my neighboring ham friends, W4FMP - Bill Bland (sk) was successful in landing an engineering technician job at Research Laboratories for Engineering Sciences (RLES) within University of Virginia School of Engineering. My Galax High School graduation and first marriage was 1959. Bill asked if I would like to be considered an intern technician at RLES and Engineering Student. I immediately agreed and gave up my admission slot at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
My ham radio activity continued in Charlottesville, NASA Wallops Island, Baltimore and Gaithersburg. My father and I built a summer cabin atop 3,440 foot Briar Patch Mountain summit in the late fifties near Galax, VA and a new ham radio service was just evolving on 2 meters. I purchased in Washington, DC a GE Progress Line 2-meter Repeater from FBI surplus site that I installed within the cabin. Several local hams expressed interest in supporting this site, so in 1973, I chartered Briar Patch Amateur Radio Club and appointed the Board of Advisors and Officers and gave BARC permission to the property and land to operate a functioning activity. The club today has over 100 members with an active Radio License Training program at Galax Hospital and High School. (www.w4brc.org).
Each decade of my ham and shortwave radio listening with limited transmissions has been a good mental stimulus and has further engaged me to be an avid communication technology reader and participant. My first time to join a Washington Metro radio club was Alexandria Amateur Radio Club in 2007. I have enjoyed my membership meetings, activities and volunteer services as the current webmaster for W4HFH.ORG.