Dick Stout , KE7RD, President and founder was first licensed as a teenager back in 1949 when sending and receiving morse code at 13 WPM along with a good knowledge of how transmitters and receivers worked was required. His employment career included working on the BOMARC missile project at Boeing, repairing HT’s and pagers at Disneyland, running the amplifier division at Fender during the “tweed” era, and starting and later selling California Radio Sales, a major CB distributorship. In semi-retirement he was the sound engineer for the Sun City rec centers and ran the Sun Bowl shows for 15 years. In the service he operated MARS stations, K6WAR & K6WAM.
You will find Dick at the shack most days, offering help to members and sharing his many years of electronics experience.
Gary Franklin , K8BKB, is Vice-President of the club and has decades of experience in electronics and amateur radio. He has experience with many aspects of the hobby. First licensed in 1961 at age 13. Extra class since 1978. Enlisted in the Air Force 1966. Loaded munitions on the F4 Phantom. Vietnam veteran, PhuCat and DaNang AFB. Attended Western Michigan University after active duty , BS Mechanical Engineering 1974, MBA 1983. He enjoys repair and restoration. Bring him your 'boat anchor' for an evaluation!
Dan Ford, K2LH
My trip down the road to Ham Radio didn’t start until more than 20 years after I was born in 1935. My father was a police reporter for the evening newspaper in Buffalo and there were no hams in our family. With WWII starting when I was a boy radio parts were not readily available so it would have been hard to even think about it. After high school I went to the University of Buffalo for a year and a half and then ran out of money and motivation and got a job with New York Telephone Company. Initially I was in the Central Office and spent 14 years learning the art of Telephony. Then I moved into engineering first working with trunking and routing. That involved forecasting and servicing. At one time I had to design a new trunking system for Niagara County when New York Telephone wanted to replace all of the Electromechanical switchers with Electronic and Digital ones. About that time I decided it was “time to go west young man”. I was able to make contact with an engineer in Phoenix who got me in touch with the Third Level District Engineer who was in charge of the work that I was doing. He said that they had a guy that was transferring to Denver in a few months and needed to replace him and that if I fly down and talk with them I could probably get that job. My wife and flew down and I had the interview and got the job. Bye Bye Buffalo. After doing the same kind of work for a few years I then moved into a planning job where we planned the DC power systems, AC standby plants, floor space and distributing frames in Central Offices and Radio Sites in Arizona. When I retired I had all of the Radio Sites and about a dozen Central Offices IinArizona. Best job I ever had. The opportunity to get an early retirement in 1992. The following year they moved the whole operation to Denver. Along the way I joined the WVARC for a couple of years until the Thunderbird Radio Club was formed. I was aCharter Member of the Club and wrote Articles of Incorporation. I had been a Charter Member of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Communications Posse and was the Commander when it was formed and also wrote the Articles of Incorporation for it too. After moving to Peoria I went back to WVARC. Moving forward a few years and Dick was trying to work with WVARC to establish what had become the Shack. The rest of that is history.
Fred Peters, K7WFP
I received my first Crystal Radio Kit in 1957 and my father and I built several Heath Kits. My father was a pilot for Western Airlines and I got bit by the flying bug. My Amateur Radio hobby slipped away as I solo'd in a Sailplane in 1964 and moved on to powered aircraft earning my Commercial, Multi Engine Engine and Instrument Rating in 1968.
I enlisted in the United States Navy and was an Aviation Electronics Technician working on most of the military aircraft flying during Viet Nam War. I was fortunate to be selected to be a member of the Maintenance Crew for the United States Navy Blue Angels after completing advanced electronics school. I was with the team 1972-1973 and was Honorably Discharged. After completing my Military service I pursued my flying dream finishing my Aviation Career flying for Federal Express as a B777 Captain/Instructor. I have flown many aircraft from a Sailplane to the B747 accumulating more than 20,000 flight hours.
I never lost my enthusiasm for Amateur Radio and used HF extensively to communicate while flying Oceanic Crossings and over many foreign countries. Upon retiring from Fedex in 2014, I set out to get my Extra Class license which I earned February 2019.
I really enjoy the Digital part of our hobby as well as talking with Hams all over the world.
Alven Brite, WE7I
I was first licensed in Idaho Falls, ID in 1981 as a Novice with the callsign KA7LVH, and upgraded to General a few months later. I worked quite a lot of 15M and 10M CW at that time; those were good ole days! After the Navy, I moved to Arizona to work at Palo Verde. With three young daughters and working lots of 12-hour days, I put my HF rig in the closet and depended on 2M/70CM to satisfy my ham radio needs.
I upgraded to Extra in 2001 while I was mentoring a friend, helping him get his Tech license. I found it useful to be studying for an upgrade while he was studying. It made it more real, I think. After I retired in 2016 as an IT manager, I moved back into HF, picking up my straight key and enjoying CW again. This past Christmas I splurged and bought a new Yaesu FT-450D. The 450D has several excellent CW operating features that my vintage Heathkit HW-101 could only dream about. Since I don't have an HOA, I have been able to experiment with various antennas in my backyard. But... since my wife is the ultimate HOA, I have to keep my antenna projects within reason!
Pat Regan, KB7OM, was first introduced to electronics when he was 15. A kid across the street had just gotten his ham ticket was up in a tree stringing up an antenna. He showed me his radio and his key and we listen to the dits and dahs. He explained it was morse code. He called CQ and someone came back! My interest was piqued!
I entered the military. Then life, family, career took all of my time. I spent 35 years as a truck driver and got caught up in the CB craze. I retired in 1997, moved to AZ in 1999 and bought a house in Sun City. My neighbor had antennas up. He bugged me until I got my license. I got my license in 2002. Started out with a 2m/440 rig, TS440 Kenwood with a CB antenna.
Listening on 10m, I heard a strange callsign calling CQ. I picked up the mic and he came back to me! He was in Croatia (~9k miles from Sun City). I was hooked and began my upgrade path. My main interest in ham radio is in antennas, how they work and how to build them. I also enjoy restoring old rigs.
Krissy Larson, KI7GJJ
I began my radio hobby in 2016 when I retired from Honeywell Aerospace. I mainly use VHF/UHF and digital modes (D-star, Fusion, DMR) at home. When I'm camping, I set up my Buddy Pole and 991A "Shack in a box" and play on the HF bands. Someday, I'll get HF working at home, but HOA restrictions are slowing me down.
My other hobbies include hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking. I originally developed an interest in Ham Radio to support my hiking habit, but it took retirement to allow me enough time to study for my exams. My other reason for pursuing the hobby, is to freshen my technical skills. My background is in computers and electronics, but too many years working in the management ranks dulled my technical skills.
Greg LaHaie, K7YDL, was first licensed as a youngster at age 11. Quickly advancing through Novice, Technician, General, and Advanced class by 1962, Greg continues to explore all aspects of this fascinating hobby. Now an Extra Class, Greg brings a wide variety of radio operating experience to the Shack. Over 60 years of CW, AM, FM, SSB, EME, JT65, FT8, Slow and Fast Scan TV experience, he is quick to volunteer as an 'Elmer' to newer hams. And, Greg can make house calls to advise on antennas and operations at your shack!
Bob Manning, KF5NOX
I'm another of the "Johnny come lately" to ham radio. I grew up in Arizona, enlisted in the Navy, and was out of the state for forty years. I spent over six years in the military as an Air Traffic Controller. When I got out, I got my Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science. I worked on flight simulators, and wrote operating systems and interrupt handlers for flight management systems. If it was a relevent computer certification, I probably had it at one time or another (CISSP, CCNA, CCNP, MCSE, MCITP, RHCSA, ...). The last twelve years of my IT career was working for the Department of Defense.
Growing up, my oldest brother was big into electronics and CB radios. That planted the seed that later motivated me into getting my Technician license in 2011. I upgraded to General two years later, and Amateur Extra in 2018. I returned to Arizona in 2019. Since I retired in 2021, I have been restoring old radios. I'm a computer expert, but not a radio expert like the other board members.