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ARRL Lab Test Engineer Leaves HQ Staff

04/25/2008

After more than 17 years at ARRL, Laboratory Test Engineer Mike Tracy, KC1SX, is leaving the HQ Family and moving to New Jersey to take on a position with Synergy Microwave, a company owned by Dr Ulrich Rohde, N1UL.

Tracy came to the League in 1991 as the night/weekend operator for W1AW. It wasn't long, Tracy said, before the W1AW Chief Operator recognized his talent for more technical applications; when a position in the ARRL Lab opened up in 1993, he recommended that Tracy apply. "I did, and was quickly accepted as the new Technical Information Services Coordinator where I handled many of the technical questions of members and referred others to those more knowledgeable on particular subjects. I also developed some databases and other resources to help in the process of answering members' questions," Tracy said. In 1997 when the Lab Test Engineer Mike Gruber, W1MG, stepped down, Tracy switched seats yet again, testing Product Review equipment.

ARRL Lab Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, said, "When Mike came to the ARRL Lab, he was our Technical Information Coordinator where he helped maintain the TIS Web pages, as well as helping to field technical questions for members. Over the years, Mike, as Lab Test Engineer, helped modernize the test process through new test equipment, new test software and new test methods. In between all that, he always found the time somehow to write articles, watch over the technical content of ARRL's advertising and help other staff more often than his job may have required.

"One of the most pleasant parts of any manager's job is to hear good things about his or her staff. When Mike was in the Lab, my job was pleasant, as staff often told me about how he had helped them above and beyond the call of duty," Hare said.

"Mike's shoes will be hard to fill," Hare said, "but we have hired Bob Allison, WB1GCM, to do just that." Allison, a ham for almost 35 years, most recently worked for a Hartford television station, WVIT, NBC 30, for the past 28 years. Over those years, he has done a lot of things at the station, from testing the television transmitter to day-to-day maintenance of the studio facilities; this, said Hare, "has prepared him to take over this important job in the Lab."

Allison, an ARRL member, has served as a volunteer tour guide at ARRL, offering members a friendly and informative tour of HQ that they will remember for a long time to come. "Although he is new at being an HQ employee, we all feel that he has been part of the family for a while," said Hare. Allison and his wife, Logbook of The World Specialist Kathy, KA1RWY, reside in Coventry, Connecticut. Allison also enjoys sailing and working on Model A Fords.

Allison said, "I have been active on the air since I was first licensed as WN1TDN in 1974, where I enjoy operating, experimenting and meeting people from around the world. I can't say what ham band I like best, except all of them. While I enjoy restoring old radios, I very much enjoy the new ones and digital modes such as PSK-31. I am honored and humbled to be part of the ARRL Laboratory Staff and I'm looking forward to serving our members and testing some really cool, new radios!"

Tracy, whose last day at ARRL is today, said, "The various responsibilities I have held over 17 years at ARRL have taught me volumes about the League's membership, Amateur Radio in general and many, many different technical topics related to the Service. The support I received from other HQ staff was invaluable, and I will long remember my time here."



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