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ARRL Author, QST Technical Editor Joel Hallas, W1ZR, SK

11/29/2021

Retired QST Technical Editor Joel R. Hallas, W1ZR, of Westport, Connecticut, died on November 25. An ARRL member, he was 79. Hallas retired in 2013 but remained active as a contributing editor, handling the popular “The Doctor is In” column in QST and the podcast of the same name. He had been a radio amateur since 1955.

“Joel was not only brilliant, he shared that brilliance with the ham radio community in a way that taught innumerable hams things they needed to know in order to experience success and enjoyment,” said ARRL Publications and Editorial Department Manager Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY. “He was a fine mind, a generous mentor and colleague, and a consummate gentleman. He will be missed.”

Retired ARRL Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY, recalled Hallas as “an iconic figure in amateur radio media as a prolific author of QST articles and ARRL books, and even in the audio podcast community. I greatly enjoyed being Joel’s sidekick for the popular ‘Doctor is In’ podcasts. He had a wry sense of humor both on and off the microphone and a remarkably stoic attitude toward the illness that would eventually claim his life.”

Hallas authored six books about communications technology, published by ARRL. His titles include Basic Radio; Basic Antennas; The ARRL Guide to Antenna Tuners; Hamspeak; The Care and Feeding of Transmission Lines; Understanding Your Antenna Analyzer, and The Radio Amateur’s Workshop.

Hallas earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Connecticut and an MSEE from Northeastern University. He previously had worked for Raytheon as a radar systems engineer and for GTE as a nuclear weapons effects (electromagnetic pulse) analyst and as a satellite and terrestrial communications systems engineer, as well as for IBM and AT&T. He also taught at the college level.

He enjoyed sailing, as described in the July 2009 issue of QST. He and his 24-foot sloop Windfall — fully equipped with a ham station that used the insulated backstay as an HF antenna — graced the front cover.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Nancy, W1NCY. 



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