Club news

Our most recent event was a Fox Hunt, held on September 12. Present were George- W1BOF, Brenda- KC1DZO, Kim - KC1DZN, Dee - AB1ST and Bill - KA1PTW.
Bill ran the event, and the rest of us were doing the hunting. We had a great time, learned a lot, and are excited for the next event - whatever it may be!


James E. Thayer Memorial Club Station


James E. Thayer Memorial Club Station James E. Thayer, W1FZ, (SK) was originally licensed as 1FZ just after WWI. 1 He was a resident of Farmington, NH. and in 1933 became one of the founding members of the Great Bay Radio Association. He was an avid DX-er and stood among leaders on the ARRL DXCC Honor Roll. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale University and Harvard Business School. According to his family, around the time of WWII Jim made many calls to deployed service members in the European Theater. He made these calls on behalf of families from the Farmington area. In his later years he was very active on the radio; he made many international QSO’s and had several file cabinets full of QSL cards. Some of his more notable radio contacts were with the King of Saudi Arabia, and Senator Barry Goldwater. There is hardly a ham in the local area that hasn’t been to his Field Day site on Breezy Hill. Even as he approached 90 years old, he would jump on his tractor, hay the field, and make his pasture available for the annual event. In addition to his DX achievements, Jim was known throughout the world as one of the few owners of the famous Big Bertha tower. His tower array weighed 4 tons, extended 111 feet above the ground, was un-guyed and 11 feet of it was below ground. The whole thing rotated inside a tube which was anchored with nearly 20 yards of concrete. One coax feed line ran from the shack to the top of the pole where a remote controlled switch shifted the feed from one antenna system to the other. There were stacked arrays on 6, 10, 15 and 20 meters while 2 and 40 meters had single beams. 2 Jim did much of his own climbing. His tower had steel steps that started at about 14 feet above the ground and went all the way to the top. He had been known to say, that from there on a clear day you could see quite a way. Jim was a reserved and gentle man, who was extremely generous to the residents of his community. He demonstrated this generosity and commitment to amateur radio by making it possible for some newly licensed hams to acquire equipment for setting up their first station. Sadly, Jim passed away in October 1997. Soon after his death his family granted the Great Bay Radio Association (GBRA) use of his call. Without a doubt, he will always be remembered as one of our area’s greatest ham mentors. Jim will always be missed. 1 “Citizens Radio Call Book” November 1922, p 29 2 “Strays” QST, September 1958, p 58
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