ARRL "Antenna Expert" to Retire
R. Dean Straw, N6BV, best known to Amateur Radio operators as the "ARRL antenna expert," has announced his retirement, effective March 31. Straw's main responsibility at ARRL has been shepherding and shaping The ARRL Antenna Book since he took over as editor in 1993 from Jerry Hall, K1TD.
"Jerry was one of my Elmers in Hawaii back in the early 1960s. He had been the editor of The Antenna Book for many years, and when he decided to retire he suggested I put my name in for the position of editor," Straw said. "At that time, I had been in the marine electronics industry for more than 20 years and I wanted to 'give something back' to this great hobby we call Amateur Radio. Now, looking back, it's been a gratifying 15 years that I've been privileged to work at ARRL."
While at ARRL, Straw specialized in antennas, transmission lines and propagation. "I have been able to utilize my training as an electronics engineer in other areas where I could help out. I've enjoyed being associated with some remarkable people at ARRL -- folks who are truly dedicated not only to preserving the legacy of Amateur Radio, but to taking Amateur Radio forward in the 21st century."
In his 15 year tenure at ARRL, Straw served as Senior Assistant Technical Editor in the Publications Group. He was Editor of The ARRL Antenna Book for five Editions (17th-21st Editions), Editor of The ARRL Antenna Compendium series (Volumes 4-7), as well as several editions of The ARRL Handbook. He was co-author of Simple and Fun Antennas for Hams with Chuck Hutchinson, K8CH.
A frequent contributor to QST (he most recently served as the handling editor for "Hints & Kinks" column) and NCJ, Straw has been Editor of numerous ARRL books: ON4UN's Low-Band DXing (4th Edition), Low-Profile Amateur Radio, The ARRL DXCC Handbook, DXing on the Edge, Amateur Radio on the Move, Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur and the ARRL Continuing Education Antenna Modeling course.
ARRL Publications Manager and QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, said, "Back when I first joined the HQ staff, Dean Straw was the man who introduced me to the wonders of ladder line. Before I encountered Dean, I had never heard of ladder line, and I had no idea that this strange-looking feedline could be used with an antenna tuner, giving multiband HF operation with one ordinary wire dipole. Needless to say, it worked -- Dean has been my antenna Elmer ever since. Through all his books and QST articles over the years, Dean has fulfilled the same Elmer role for many. He will be greatly missed."
Straw said, "The Lord has been good to me -- how many people can truly say that their vocation has been their beloved avocation too? My wife has consistently maintained over the years: 'You're having entirely too much fun in this job!'"