The Early Years


CVCC the Early Years 70’s – 80’s

As told by W4PM, W4MYA, W4DR, N4ZJ, and N4DEN on April 22, 2006.

Just some scattered memories about CVCC the Early Years – 70’s – 80’s

The 1979 Roster submitted by W4PM:

Early Members:
K4AUN Lance Strickland
K4AUL – Bud Block?????????
W4HJ Monk Bullington SK
K4JM – Tom Jones SK
W4QCW, W4DR – Bob Eschleman
W4XR – Bill Nighman SK
W4MYA – Bob Morris SK
K4ZRX, N4ND, W4PM – Puck Motley
WB4BVY, AD4KE, the now N4ZJ – Tom Ogburn
KB4GX – Glen Duke 
KX4S – Bill Bunting SK
KG4W – Ed Hughes
K4HOT – Dave Jewett SK
NK4J – Charlie Taylor
NK4H – Bob
Jim Pearsall -The guy with the farm in Goochland (field day site)
WA4QOC, N4HB – Henry Boze
W4FEG – Ralph
WU4G – Ronnie
N4BLX, K4RCB – Rick Barber
W4RNP Don Murray(SK) March 31,2007
WA4FMX Jack McCready
K4BKX Rick Genter
WA8ZDT Kevin Drost not in QRZ
N4ZJ the first – Dave Colvert
K4WHN Malvern Barrow
W4BAI Walt Williams
WA4KNP Ed Savedge
W4? Ed Burghardt
? – an N4 who was a big time contest op from 8 land- Tom has that call now I think. Kevin I think.
Others I’m sure but memory fails me.

I remember everyone getting 1×2 calls in 1974-76 except for W4MYA. Bob got that call when he moved to VA from WVA and upgraded from novice KN8NNC to General W4MYA. I always envied him and that call. It took me till 1996 to finally get a W4 call!

I remember the multi-multi’s from W4DR, KX4S, and later W4MYA in the DX tests and a two man multi single from KB4GX.
From W4DR I remember a two rig set up MYA and I had – Two Drake C-Lines rigged so whoever keyed the mike first got the got the L4B amp. While one was running the other was looking for multipliers.

At KB4GX we has a five element 80M sloping dipole array. It commanded the frequency! It snowed like crazy Saturday night and we had to load his P/U truck with cinder blocks to get out of the driveway. I don’t know how I got home? (N4ZJ sezs) At KB4GX – a 7 quarter wavelength per leg sloping Vee towards Europe. (W4MYA sezs) Remember one contest when I was on 15M, Worked someone and heard the op at W4DR trying to work the same station. Relayed DR’s call to the station, and the report was barely copyable. Turns out DR had a shorted barrel in the feedline going up to his 15M beam.

I remember we were trying to get the call of some 9M for a multiplier on 15M at Sugar’s QTH. No one could get it until Bill came over and reeled off the call. This was my first experience observing ESP – long before DSP!

One field day MYA and I set up near the saw mill on Jim Pearsall’s farm in Goochland. It was hot as blazes and the swarms of bugs kept flying into our pair of 3-500z in our active antenna tuner. It sounded like a bug zapper! (W4MYA sezs) We had one of my Drake lines setup with a SB200 or SB220 under a pole barn at Jim’s. As Puck said the bugs bad! One got inside the receiver into the dial. It looked like the BATMAN Sign when you looked at the dial.

I remember a field day when Tom Jones was asleep and someone was trying to copy a CW station who was a bit too fast for him. Tom Jones hollered out from his sleep the right call. Tom could copy in his sleep better than most of us when we were awake! This may be more fable that true but I believe it to be absolutely true! (N4ZJ sezs) The Tom Jones CW story is absolutely true – I was the one trying to copy the call along with Ed Burghardt I STILL have the VVF accukeyer board – BLANK WITH NOTHING INSTALLED ON IT (W4MYA sezs) when Field Day was setup in the little building in Bryan Park near Lakeside. 1A running on generator power

I remember Bill Nighman’s comment whenever we’d mentioned that we had worked a new country, “Who needs it!” I guess he had already worked them all!

One field day we used W4XR’s call. I was in charge of mailing the logs. I took them to work and forgot to mail them in time. Bill never forgave me for that!

How about when MYA’s amp melted down at KX4S – the place stank for weeks! (W4MYA sezs) That amp was so stinky, it was relegated to outside the back door when we used it at W4DR’s place.

We had a club project to build a WB4VVF Accu-Memory keyer. I built a least three of them, two for other guys -. Tom Jones, and K4AUN I think. MYA built one and others also who I don’t remember. (W4MYA sezs) I have 3 of them now. Puck and I built ours together over a couple of evenings. The biggest drawback was it did not have any battery backup. When you turned it off, it lost the stuff you had in memory. I still have mine, Puck’s and K4JM’s.

I used to enjoy the meetings because we met at members’ homes rotating monthly. That was FUN!
We used to be a local club and won a few gavels in that category. Too bad those days are gone…..Puck

From W4DR:
Ed Burkhart was W4LDF. Another early club member was Tommy Toms W4DSW later W4IQ. The farm we went to in Goochland for FD belonged to Jimmy Pearsall who eventually got a Tech license. I don’t remember his call. Another active member of the early CVCC was Alex Clarke whose call was K4JYM. Alex was a faculty member in the Biomedical Dept at MCV and I would sometimes visit him over noon Charlie Taylor, NK4J was active as was Mel Manning WB3D (now in Florida) For several years the club divided into two multi-multi teams for the ARRL DX Phone Contest, KX4S and W4DR. Even though we were only 2 miles apart this worked well and the scores were very close…less than 100K in 3+M. During those years we always won the Small Club Gavel and as I recall the DR team won the interclub competition. Bud Block (K4AUL) was not our biggest contest scorer, but his wife Cecle set the best table. Meetings were always in homes and the host/hostess provided the refreshments which were frequently elaborate. Oh yes another memory was Harry, K4GFH a single bachelor. Harry invited his dates out to the farm to observe FD, but one year got his schedule mixed up and had two girls arrive at the same time. Neither one was pleased! Jimmy P had a 75 foot crankup tower mounted on a trailer so we usually had pretty good antennas for our FD operations. As you can see the CVCC has a glorious history!

From N4ZJ:
Actually the Tom Jones story was for a field day at someone’s house down at the river someplace in about 1975. Sorry I don’t remember whose place it was. We were doing field day from a screen porch, and Tom was asleep on a lounge chair next to the rigs. We were using a dual headphone setup with 2 receivers and one transmitter. That way we could search and pounce, with each of us listening to a different part of the band. When we found a new one, we would tune the transmitter to that frequency and work it (not as sophisticated as today’s mated transceivers, but it worked for its time). I was trying to copy this guy and couldn’t quite get it. I took the headphones off and went to the speaker and asked Ed if he could copy this guy flying along on very fast CW with a lot of static crashes. I asked for a repeat several times and neither of us could copy it. Ed was a better CW op than me and he couldn’t make it out either. Suddenly, in between snores, Tom Jones burst out “It’s K8MD R and you are 1A Ohio” SNORE. He didn’t remember a thing about it when he woke up several hours later. I don’t remember the call, I just made that up for illustration, but the rest is pretty accurate.