John Ashurst – K5FS
Years as Amateur Operator: 42
Areas of Interest: DX, Rag-chew
Brief History of Ham Radio Activities: Taught Novice years ago, Route 66 Events, Lamar Science Day, Van Restoration Crew, Skywarn
Other Hobbies or Interests: “Growing Older” 😉
Brief Bio: “Retired from National Weather Service and Military”
Read more about K5FS: John’s Bio on the Quarter Century Wireless Association website
Your Thoughts on Club Membership Benefits and Club Direction: “Fellowship, etc.”
Elizabeth A. (Betty) Sproul — 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!
Carol Musgrove — WD5DCZ
I had been interested in ham radio since I started talking to Jim when he was stationed in Alaska. We soon met by mail. I worked in an office with Jim’s sister-in-law: he was on active duty in the Navy. We soon started making phone patches and a bit later talking direct from a friend’s house in Austin. We wrote and connected via radio for about a year before we met in person.
After having 3 kids and being pregnant with the fourth, I started taking classes. I was attending college and saw a notice that classes taught by the Plano Amateur Radio Klub (PARK) were starting, so I signed up unbeknownst to Jim. I took my novice test and got my license as WD5DCZ in1977 just before having our last child.
I have chased transmitters, talked on 2 meters and sideband, but my favorite activity was contesting. It was a lot of fun and I got to “meet” lots of great people. I love getting QSL cards. I lack about five states having my WAS.
I don’t get on the air much anymore because I spend most of my time sewing. Jim does call me into the shack once in a while to make a contact. I have lost my fist altogether. I am sad about that. I really liked Morse when I was doing it.
Arthur Castillo K5PM
Name and Call Sign:: Arthur Castillo K5PM
Years as Amateur Radio Operator:: 5
Areas of Interest (i.e. CW, DX, Packet, etc.):: QRP, VHF/ UHF, Light Contesting
Brief History of Activities Related to Ham Radio:: I got my Tech license in 2012 and Extra a few months later. I really enjoy field day and other public facing ham radio events.
Other Hobbies or Interests:: I ride motorcycles (certified IBA Rider), shoot sporting clays, tinker with computers, and also hold a private pilot license.
Brief Life History (as much or as little as you would like to share):: I’m relatively new to the ham community but I try to be as active as I can.
Your thoughts on what benefits you receive as a Club Member:: I think the club van and the local VHF/UHF repeaters are great. I also enjoy the monthly meetings.
Your thoughts on which direction the Club should go and grow:: Long term I think it would be nice for the club to have a station and maybe a small steel building where we could hold meetings/events. I’d also think we would benefit from interfacing with WTAMU and Amarillo College.
Walter Casey — KG5UAB
Name and Call Sign::
Walter Casey KG5UAB
Years as Amateur Radio Operator::
1 year +
Areas of Interest (i.e. CW, DX, Packet, etc.)::
VHF/UHF presently (ragchews, nets)
Brief History of Activities Related to Ham Radio::
New member, I work “on call” a lot
My HT radio (Baofeng UV5R) works great – I take it with me on the road.
Other Hobbies or Interests::
Drone flying, fishing, gold panning, metal detecting
Flying a plane (which I have not done because of the cost lol).
Brief Life History (as much or as little as you would like to share)::
From Oxford England UK Explore Oxford
Moved here in 1980
Welcome to Amateur Radio and the Panhandle Amateur Radio Club, Walter!
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
Name and Call Sign:: Kim Opitz, K5OPI
Years as Amateur Radio Operator:: 26
Areas of Interest (i.e. CW, DX, Packet, etc.):: Nets, Special Events, Community Service
Brief History of Activities Related to Ham Radio:: My husband WA5X had been licensed for about 4 years and was urging me to get licensed. In 1992 PARC held their Hamfest at Amarillo Civic Center, at which there was a seminar covering the Technician Class license. I attended the seminar after which they administered the exam for Technician which I passed. The code requirement had been removed at the time so I held a “no code” license, so I was jokingly referred to as a “Spam” by some of our friends in the hobby. Unfortunately, I must admit that I am still a “Spam”. No code yet.
For several years I was active in PARC and ARES doing net control for a few of the MS150 Bike Tours. After about 4 years or so I changed jobs which required much more of my time and I became inactive in the hobby.
I rejoined the hobby and PARC in late 2016. Upgraded to General Class in January of 2017 and after being elected President of PARC in November of 2017, I upgraded to Amateur Extra Class in May of 2018. Next step, code! I am truly enjoying the challenge of being President and the association with all the fantastic folks in PARC!
Other Hobbies or Interests:: Reading, crocheting (as my “arthur” and cats will allow), cats, granddaughter, World of Warcraft, and most recently, Jeeping.
Brief Life History (as much or as little as you would like to share):: Born in Ogden, Utah and spent my childhood up until early teens in Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah. As the saying goes “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could”.
My father changed jobs when I was in my early teens which led to many moves for our family. We went from Salt Lake City to El Paso, to Santa Fe, to Amarillo, to Albuquerque. Just couldn’t stay out of Texas, though. Met and married my first husband in Albuquerque and moved back to Amarillo due to his job with Santa Fe Railroad.
After my divorce I moved to Raton, NM and then to Plainview for my job. When I married David WA5X in 1985 I moved back to Amarillo and have been here ever since.
I spent the bulk of my working life working for electrical suppliers, starting as a secretary, moving to counter sales, purchasing, and outside sales.
I am currently enjoying retirement.
Your thoughts on what benefits you receive as a Club Member:: Being retired from a job which was filled with meeting people, I am truly thankful and enjoying the association and challenge of PARC. Helps keep me “young” and gives me a sense of purpose.
Your thoughts on which direction the Club should go and grow:: I would love to see the Club come together, old and young, Old hams and new in utilizing our special assets, knowledge, and talents to make an impact in the Amarillo and Panhandle areas. I would like to see us promote this hobby and encourage new Hams! Let’s actively search out and pursue opportunities to share our hobby and provide community service when and where we can. I am very proud to be a member of Panhandle Amateur Radio Club. The sky’s the limit!