Dayton Hamvention 2008 Follow-Up Report No. 1 – WX7P

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

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 ( ), 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 ( ).

After two years of special training at the FAA academy in Oklahoma City ( ) 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 ( ), 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) ( ) 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 ( ), 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 ( ) and August 1984 ( ).

During his 20 year tenure in Alaska, he taught courses in ham radio at University of Alaska ( ) 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 ( ) where he currently serves as President. Wilse is also a member of the Spokane DX Association ( )

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:

K9ZW worked WX7P QSO Log Entry

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.




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2 thoughts on “Dayton Hamvention 2008 Follow-Up Report No. 1 – WX7P

  1. K2CLH says:

    I went up to Wilse’s place for the 2012 SSB Sweepstakes. He has a nice setup and is a big part of VE history.

    ten years old

  2. k9zw says:

    Sadly Wilse WX7P has become a silent key;

    As John N7UR wrote in a QRZ forum post:

    The Country’s First VE, Wilse Morgan-WX7P SK

    It was just two short weeks ago that I visited with the ever pleasant Wilse Morgan WX7P. I have learned that Wilse has since became a Silent Key, having succumbed to cancer on June 16 [ 2013 ].

    I have known Wilse for a dozen or more years. We really got acquainted at a long ago SeaPac DX Luncheon. We were seated side-by-side and the speaker was a “no-show”, which left the two of us with plenty of time to swap tales. It was very easy for me to like Wilse. It was also plain for me to see that Wilse was a man who got a lot out of ham radio and it was even more evident that Wilse “gave as good as he got”.

    WX7P had an amateur radio career that spanned more than seven decades! First licensed back in 1952 as WN6PVF, it would be under the call KL7CQ that Wilse Morgan would go down in the history books and shape the future of amateur radio in the United States. Working on behalf of the Anchorage Amateur Radio Club, Wilse petitioned the FCC to become the first Volunteer Examiner in the United States and submitted a proposal outlining the VEC program. Wilse was the only Volunteer Examiner ever to be certified directly by the FCC (all others have been certified by their repective VEC’s). In 1984 Wilse, along with Roger Hansen-KL7HFQ, and Margaret Ogren-KL7KL administered the country’s very first amateur radio examination by a VEC.

    Wilse had a varied professional career. He served our country in the U.S. Navy. Was employed in electronics for several years by the FAA. Owned and operated a successful printed circuit board company with nearly 100 employees. Went to work in Alaska on the DEW Line and Early Warning radar systems. Taught amateur radio for 13 years at the Community College in Anchorage.

    Wilse was on the DXCC Honor Roll with 280 confirmed and he helped others acheive this goal by volunteering as a card checker. In fact he was busy performing that task two weeks ago at SeaPac. He also spent considerable time manning the ARRL booth at the convention and it was here that Wilse and I shook hands for the last time. SeaPac weekend was busy for Wilse in addition to manning two booths, he also topped it all off by filling the room when he gave his seminar on building a 1000 ft. Beverage antenna

    If all of this wasn’t enouth Wilse was serving as Assistant Section Manager for Eastern Washington at the time of his passing.

    I’ve heard it said that men sometimes wear the hearts on their sleeves. With Wilse I believe he wore it on his back. I do not recall ever seeing Wilse when he was not wearing his bright red vest, emblazoned with amateur radio patches, badges, and pins.

    Wilse had many awards including being inducted into the CQ Magazine Amateur Radio Hall of Fame in 2009 and one from the ARRL for helping save 9 lives from an airplane which had crashed into remote Lake Minchumina in Alaska.

    Two days before becoming a Silent Key Wilse received a plaque for high score in the NW Division for Unlimited Multioperator in the 2012 ARRL June VHF contest, breaking his own record with a score of 101,010 points from 532 QSOs

    RIP Wilse WX7P and God Bless,



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