At one of the Contest Supersuites I had the good fortune to have a long chat with Wilse Morgan WX7P
I had started our after Contest Dinner chat talking about how he had been recognized as the Oldest Guy there!
Turns out Wilse WX7P has a lot of recognition coming his way, as he was the First VE (by FCC Appointment) during his Alaskan years.
His exploits to put up antennas by Hot Air Balloon were once featured in CQ and he had more pictures to share.
From WX7P at QRZ.com:
Wilse, WX7P, was first licensed in 1952 at the age of 20, sporting his Novice ticket call of WN6PVF. He entered the Navy and served during the Korean War. When discharged in September of 1954, he made use of the GI Bill and completed a five year course in math and electronics at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo known today as the California Polytechnic State University (http://www.calpoly.edu/ ), receiving a BS degree 1959.
Following his university studies, Wilse went to work for the FAA as an electronics tech in Grand Junction, CO. His first project involved checking the sensitivity of UHF receivers and power output of UHF transmitters and driving a snow cat on the Grand Mesa just above Grand Junction (http://www.grandmesabyway.org/ ).
After two years of special training at the FAA academy in Oklahoma City (http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/arc/programs/academy ) in communications, air navigational aids, and radar, he transferred to the FAA office in Seattle where he found himself still doing field work and inspections of FAA facilities.
In 1964, seeking new challenges, he left the employment of the FAA to make printed circuit boards in his basement. By 1969, he sold out his interest in the business which had 92 employees at the time and, once again, seeking greater adventures, went to Alaska in October of 1969, on a fishing trip and came back 20 years later. Once in Alaska, he worked for Federal Electric on the White Alice Communications System (http://www.whitealice.com ), the communications system that linked the radar networks that watched Russia such as the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW Line) and the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BEMEWS) to control facilities. Subsequently, Wilse worked in the Air Force as an electronics engineer. He also served as a LT COL in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) (http://www.cap.gov/ ) and served in Search and Rescue on the Wing Commander staff as Chief of Communications for State of Alaska. True to form as an amateur radio operator, he had the opportunity to experience slow rolls in an Air Force jet over Mt. McKinley while working two two-meter repeaters, one in Anchorage and another in Fairbanks, at the same time…good ole Wilse, always the ham.
By this time, Wilse had acquired the Alaskan call of KL7CQ with two 90 foot towers and two 60 foot towers with Telrex beams in the Rabbitt Creek region near Anchorage. He was quickly working the very first satellites as well as doing lots of DX contesting. As a member of the Anchorage Amateur Radio Club (http://www.kl7aa.net/ ), he served in different positions for 18 years and also became the number 1 life member of the club. KL7CQ left Alaska on October 4, 1989 but not before installing a large beam antenna with a hot air balloon and subsequently the same project with a helicopter. Both of these projects ended up being featured on the cover of CQ Magazine for September 1980 (http://hamcall.net/cqcgi/?res=l&yr=1980&mo=09&pg=001 ) and August 1984 (http://hamcall.net/cqcgi/?res=l&yr=1984&mo=08&pg=001 ).
During his 20 year tenure in Alaska, he taught courses in ham radio at University of Alaska (http://www.alaska.edu/ ) and the Anchorage Community College for 13 years, graduating over 800 licensed hams. He was involved with the very first VEC exam in the nation and was the first VE and the only one ever certified by the local FCC office in Anchorage. All other VEs subsequently were certified by volunteer examiner boards. Roger Hansen KL7HFQ was the Chairman of the VEC committee. Roger, Wilse, and YL KL7KL, Margaret Ogren, administered the first exam ever given in the US on April 17, 1984. Richard Dennis, KL7IOL, was the first amateur to pass a VE exam in the nation.
Also while in Alaska, Wilse became recognized by the ARRL for assisting through amateur radio with saving the lives of 9 souls aboard an airplane that crashed into Lake Minchumina in 1978. He received national recognition in QST and was the recipient of a nice plaque for display in his shack.
Currently Wilse, now WX7P, resides on 21 acres in Rice, WA overlooking the Columbia River with a relatively substantial antenna farm. He is very active on satellites, PSK31, DXing and contesting. Now a days, there are three towers, a 13 element log periodic, a 40 meter 4-square array, a Hy-Tower vertical, full size inverted Vs on 160, 80, 40 meters, and dual yagis for satellite work on an az-el rotator. Look for him on the air but likely you will find him in a contest. When not working DX or contesting, Wilse is involved with the local Panoramaland Amateur Radio Club in Colville, WA (http://www.qsl.net/k7jar ) where he currently serves as President. Wilse is also a member of the Spokane DX Association (http://www.sdxa.org )
Bio last modified: 2008-04-09
I was thinking I remembered talking with Wilse WX7P on the air, and a quick look at my logs showed we indeed had:
The world is made better with the lives of active folk like WIlse WX7P, who no matter what his age has gotten to (remember he was recognized as the real “Old Man” at the Contest Dinner) people like WX7P are always planning for a tomorrow!
This Follow-Up Report was the first I wrote leaving Dayton, and is the last of the series to be posted.
I hope you have enjoyed these snippets about what I saw & learned at the Dayton Hamvention 2008 show.