Previous Member Spotlights


Elizabeth A. (Betty) Sproul — W5UGR

Betty W5UGR

Years as Amateur Operator:  “59 — not continuous.  First license — Novice — in 1959 (K0VIS) expired.  Second license — Technician — in 1965 (also K0VIS) with 5wpm code, upgraded to General several years later.  When we moved to Texas in 1974, got the call W5UGR.”

Areas of Interest:  “I have never been a regular user of amateur radio.  I have always contributed other things, like picnics and Field Day lunches and parties.”

Brief History of Ham Radio Activities:  “We went to our first Field Day in 1960, with twin boys age 1 1/2, camped out in a tent!  Between 1990 and 1995 I drove many miles alone, 400 and sometimes 500 miles…I had a handy-talkie radio with me all the time.  I had a little book with call signs and frequencies of the towns I went through in case of trouble on the road.  I did not have trouble, but I could have called the radio frequency if I needed help.  NO cell phones or ON-Star.”  

Other Hobbies or Interests:  “Crochet, entertaining, gardening…Amarillo used to have Quarter Century Radio Club:  that has fallen apart mostly because some died, some just got older or ill, that group just stopped.  We were a good part of that.  We entertained that group in our home several times.”

Brief Bio:  “I support the things that Maurice (W5UGQ) does with amateur radio.”     ~ Betty and Maury have been very supportive of the club and its activities and projects:  they organized the Christmas Potlucks in December ’16 and ’17 and came out to Adrian for Rt. 66  OTA for support and encouragement of all of us “newbies” – some operating for the first time on HF! ~

Your Thoughts on Club Membership Benefits and Club Direction:  “I think Panhandle Amateur Radio Club is moving right along, very well.  Many members contribute something.”


Jim Musgrove — K5BZH


  • Years as Amateur Radio Operator:  Licensed since age 11 (63 years this July) 

“Sanford (my brother) had gotten introduced to ham radio again at Goldthwaite from Lee Tesson, WN5ZTB, who had taken his complete station to the Boy Scout House at Goldthwaite to demo amateur radio to the Scouts.  He was the new high school principal, math teacher, and Scout Master.  My brother, not a Scout, appeared at the meeting.  Apparently 2 of his high school friends who weren’t Scouts either also appeared.  They all got novice tickets not long afterwards.  My ticket at the age of 11, well it is sort of like this, I lived in the sticks, there weren’t other kids near me close to my age.  I hung out with my brother who was 5 1/2 years older than me, and his friends.  When they got amateur radio licenses I saw the writing on the wall, if I didn’t follow suit I wouldn’t be hanging out with them like I had been doing.  I got busy.”

  • Areas of Interest:  CW, DX, Special Events, Activating rare grids…  

“Like many, I have chased DX and have earned a WAS, a WAC and a DXCC.  This was done with simple antennas and lower power levels, typically 100 watts.  I did have some serious VHF beams in Fort Worth on 2 meters and 432 MHz although they weren’t high in the air.”

  • Brief History of activities as related to Ham Radio:  “Amateur radio provided a serious path for my life, it has meant a lot to me.  There have been some years that I wasn’t too active, but for the most part I have been adding to the QRM.”


 “I started out with vacuum tube technology, moved into the world of semiconductors starting out with early day transistors, moved into integrated circuits, and later surface mount technology.  Surface mount parts kept getting smaller and my vision kept getting worse.  The result of these changes has been that very few have the ability to do any of their repairs at home at this point in time.  On the other hand, we have some really marvelous radios at this point in time:  no detectable frequency drift, break-in keying that allows us to hear what is on the air between our transmitted dits and tuning resolution and accurate frequency displays that we wouldn’t have believed possible in the 1950s.

While in the military service at Guam and Adak I was able to spend off hours in the base club ham shacks signing KG6AAY from Guam and KL7AIZ from Adak, Alaska.  I operated a lot of SSB at both sites and a bit of CW.  At Guam, we were using a Central Electronics 100V no tune exciter and a HeathKit liner that used four 811As in a ground grid configuration.  The antenna was a 2 element Yagi on a tower, seems like it was 70 feet.  Later that 100V was replaced with a new Hallicrafters HT-32B.  Adak had a Collins S-Line with the Collins 30L-1 amplifier.  The 30L-1 was later replaced with a new National NCL-2000. We had a rhombic antenna that had a pattern that cut through California that provided us with outstanding phone patch service into the Lower 48.

As the years progressed I acquired various radio interests.  I teamed with WB5VYE, K9MK, and WA5ZKO on outings using SSB and CW operations on VHF, UHF, and microwave to put rare grids on the air, most of this was during VHF contests.  One of my most exciting contacts happened when we were in DM92 near Aspermont, Texas.  DM92 is a rare grid.  I was manning the 1296 MHz station, we were running 15 watts into a long loop Yagi antenna that had lots of forward gain.  The higher the gain, the more directive the antenna is.  We coordinated our 1296 contacts from the 2-meter station.  When Leroy May, W5HN, called me immediately after I had completed another contact I about fell out of my chair.  W5HN had not coordinated the contact, but had intercepted me and called when the other QSO was completed.”

  • Other Hobbies or Interests:  Reading, History

“Like my father, I am an avid reader, have more bookcases in our house than most sane people.  I love history.  What is taught in the high schools and colleges misses lots of stuff.”

  • Brief Life History:  Sometimes I am really slow to figure things out.  It has just been recent months that I came to realize how much influence my brother had on my life, probably more than my parents.  He has been a silent key for about 4 years.  My son holds his call letters.”

“My father Sanford Musgrove was born in Bartlesville, OK before Oklahoma became a state.  He found his way to Texas several years before meeting Altha Nixon, my mother, at the Shell Pipeline Station in Menard, Texas:  she was working as a helper in the Station Boarding House.  There were 23 years difference in their ages.  For a first date, he took her rabbit hunting.  He retired as a Station Engineer at the Eldorado, Texas operation.  He was 58 or maybe it was 59.  I started school in the first grade at Goldthwaite, Texas.  My father paid cash for a 151-acre farm, complete with a rundown old farmhouse, barn, chicken house, wash house, and a few other things such as outdoor johns which he quickly demolished.  [The farm] was more or less a hobby to my dad.  He made a few bucks and had something to keep a couple of boys active.”

 “It was definitely a different world back then.  We may have been what many today would consider as poor kids that had to make a lot of their own toys, but I wouldn’t have wanted to trade places with my grandkids.  I still remember we thought it was as good as finding a gold mine to find a burned out electric motor and make use of the wire for making electric magnets and toy electric motors.  Local lumberyards gave us scrap wood which we used to make toy cars and trucks.  Bull Durham sacks proved useful too.  Those who grew up in my era understood recycling and thought that it was a positive thing.”

“Before I was into high school I understood that a young person going into a life of agriculture was going to be in debt big time.  I figured out that I needed to find another path and I did.  It was amateur radio that provided that path.  I learned several years after I had acquired my novice license that the real intent of the novice license was to create a pool of semi-skilled radio operators and semi-skilled electronics technicians that would be available for our government in the event of national need.  That need supposedly never materialized; however, the real truth is that many of these lads entered our military service and upon taking the basic skills exam while in recruit training, a significant number were placed in appropriate schools to push them a bit further.  I joined the Navy just a couple of days after high school graduation in 1962.  I found myself with orders out of boot camp to ET School at Treasure Island near San Francisco.  I had been blessed!!”

  • Your thoughts on what benefits you as a Club member and direction in which the Club should go and grow:  A big asset to the Amarillo area.”

“How does one turn an amateur radio club from just a club, but a real team with people helping each other get smarter?  The thing I would think is key here is determining what their [members] needs are, their expectations, and what they can do to help you and the club.  We also need to think in terms of connection with other West Texas Section radio clubs by some method where they can share ideas and maybe join forces in certain events. ”   

Check out Jim’s Bio on QRZ!