Neal Lowe — W5PVI
Years as Amateur Radio Operator:: 69 years
Areas of Interest:: CW, SSB, building and repairing
Other Hobbies or Interests:: Electronics, Aviation, Sailing,
Brief Life History::
My name is Horace Neal Lowe. I was born in the Piney Woods of East Texas, but moved to Amarillo in 1941 at age 12 years. WWII was going on while I was in high school. The military draft started at age 18 and most male graduates could expect to be called as soon as they finished high school. Amarillo High School started teaching “pre-induction” courses including one in Radio. These went for a half a day for a full year. I enrolled in my Junior year along with Gordon Berry W5LTM and my future wife’s brother, Buddy Enochs W5KWU. I joined the Sea Scouts when I was 16 years old and learned to sail a boat on Buffalo Lake. Since then I’ve been sailing at every opportunity, all the way from the Mohne See in Germany to the blue Pacific off Long Beach.
I went by Neal until I joined the Army to get the G.I. Bill in 1948. I was assigned to the Army Security Agency: three years as a Morse Code Intercept Operator and three years as a Radio Intelligence Officer. I got my Ham License in 1949 (69 years ago) with call sign W5PVI.
I got out of the Army in 1954 and came home to Texas. That fall I enrolled in Electronic Engineering at Texas Tech and built a 6AG7-6L6 12 C.W. transmitter. With a Hallicrafter S-40, I would work C.W. on 40 meters when I had time. I stayed with C.W. until SSB became popular.
In 1957 I left Lubbock in the rear-view mirror and went to work for Collins Radio Company in Dallas. I loved working there, but there were too many people in the Metro-Plex for a “ole country boy” like me, so we moved back to Amarillo in 1961.
I worked at Pantex as Engineering Support for destructive testing of explosive devices until 1968, when I moved to the Electronics Technology Department at Amarillo College. Charles W5CEH was in one of my first classes. I was appointed sponsor of the AC Amateur Radio Club and spent one Christmas break putting together a Heathkit SB-102 for the club.
I have been interested in aviation most of my life, but had needed my money for other things. When my son got his Flight Instructor rating, I was his first student. I got my Private Pilot License in 1982.
I first joined PARC when it met at the old Soncy school house. One of the other members at that time was Charles WA5PEO. Over the years since then I have taught Ham license classes and Basic Electronics classes for the club. I have avoided being a club officer, but for several years I was appointed to organize Field Day. I am pleased to see the next generation taking an interest in the club and assuming leadership in its activities.
73, Neal W5PVI
Field Day 2018