April 2000 Column

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Collector Profile - Stephen Aug, W3DEF

   One of the great things about Ham Radio is its diversity. Another is how well it will wait for you while other interests, like jobs and family, take up your time. When you are ready to return, it gladly accepts you back into the fold.

   Stephen Aug, W3DEF, found this out. His ham radio experience started in 1953 as K2EOF. Like many of us, his teen-age years were exciting as he discovered radio. In the first eight to ten years he owned (and still has) a National NC-125 receiver, a Shure 55S and D-104 microphones and a Bud FCC-90, 100 kc. frequency calibrator.

   Next came a busy career as a business reporter and editor of the old Washington Star. Radio took a back seat as he continued as a business and economics correspondent at ABC News. Still later at ABC he spent 13 years doing business reporting on the "Good Morning America" and the "World News Tonight" shows. For 6 years on weekends he anchored "Business World."

   "Since I retired in 1995, I've become a lot more active in ham radio, " Steve said. "Most of my time is spent with older rigs." In 1990 he started to collect, starting with a Collins 51J-4. He found that he needed to re-learn what he knew about vacuum tubes, but had "plenty" of help from his friends.

   Since then he has added a B&W 5100-B transmitter with a 51SB-B phasing SSB generator. This along with the 51J-4 is one of his favorite stations, where he enjoys AM as well as vintage SSB operation.

   "Changing bands on the B&W takes almost five minutes. There are about 19 dials, knobs and switches that must be manipulated if you're operating sideband," he said. "Phasing out the carrier with those tiny pots can be very challenging, but it's still fun."

   Other stations he owns are a Drake T4X-B and SPR-4 pair (bought in the 70's), a Collins station consisting of a 32V2 transmitter and 75A2 receiver with matching speaker. For receivers he has a Hallicrafters SX-43, an SX-62, and a National NC-183. His modern equipment consists of a Kenwood SSB transceiver, an Ameritron linear and an MJF antenna tuner to a ground-mounted vertical (Gap Titan).

   W3DEF says he enjoys his 1950's radios best, along with his trusty 1955 Royal manual typewriter. Look for him on AM and SSB.



John Dilks, K2TQN    125 Warf Road, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234-8501   e-mail: K2TQN@arrl.net