Dayton Hamvention® Announces 2010 Award Winners
Three Amateur Radio operators -- and for the first time, an Amateur Radio club -- who have made significant contributions to the Amateur Radio Service will be honored guests when the 2010 Dayton Hamvention® opens in Hara Arena on May 14. In addition, Hamvention organizers will recognize a Club of the Year in keeping with the 2010 Hamvention theme: Amateur Radio Clubs Worldwide: The Lifeline. “Choosing the finalists was a difficult process due to the number of fine nominations,” said Hamvention Awards Committee Chairman Frank Beafore, WS8B.
2010 Dayton Hamvention Amateur of the Year
The Hamvention Awards Committee has named Jim Stafford, W4QO, of Roswell, Georgia, as the 2010 Dayton Hamvention Amateur of the Year, noting his 50 years of service to Amateur Radio and his support for public service and unending efforts to recruit and develop hams of all ages.
Stafford, who got his Novice ticket -- KN9MAF -- at age 16, grew up on a farm in South Central Indiana. After graduating Purdue University and MIT with a degree in electrical engineering, he started career at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey. He progressed through a number of positions at AT&T, Southern Bell and Bellsouth, finally retiring after 30 years as AVP-IT in 1994 in Atlanta.
Early on, Stafford reached out to young people to get them interested in the sciences and Amateur Radio. While a member of the Metro Atlanta Telephone Pioneer Radio Club, he started a program called RadioActive Schools, taking science and Amateur Radio to more than 2000 students over several years. Beginning in 1990 as Station Manager, he installed and managed the ham radio station -- W4WOW -- at the SciTrek Science Museum in Atlanta for 10 years. Based on his work with youth and adults teaching Amateur Radio, he was named the 1992 ARRL Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year.
An avid QRPer, Stafford joined the QRP Amateur Radio Club International executive board in 1995, serving as Vice President in 1999, President in 2000-2002 and chairman of the popular Four Days In May event in 2005. As a long time member of the North Fulton Amateur Radio League (NFARL), he joined a team of four others to rejuvenate the club, becoming President in the fall of 2006. Due to club having only 57 members (and only about 10 members coming to meetings) the club skipped Field Day that year. Today, the club has more than 250 members, weekly activities for all ages and is an ARRL Special Service Club.
Stafford presently serves as NFARL’s youth/school liaison. He is also a member of the Southeastern DX Club (SEDX), the South East Contest Club (SECC), the Atlanta Radio Club (ARC), NFARL and the Metro Atlanta Telephone Pioneer Amateur Radio Club (MATPARC). He is an ARRL Life Member. He is married to Marilyn, K4ZOL, and has two children and two grandchildren.
Technical Excellence Award
Simon Brown, HB9DRV, was named the recipient of the 2010 Dayton Hamvention Technical Excellence Award for his invention and development of Ham Radio Deluxe, a suite of free Windows programs providing computer control for commonly used transceivers and receivers.
Brown, a native of Stamford, Lincolnshire, England, has been fascinated by electronics and especially radios since he was a young boy. His first transmission experiments were sadly unsuccessful -- connecting a microphone in series with the mains power cable of an old radiogram. Despite this and similar setbacks, he passed the UK Radio Amateur Examination was in 1973 when he was 16. His first call sign was GD8IQM; after he passed the 12 WPM CW exam 18 months later, he became GD4ELI. He finally obtained his Swiss license -- HB9DRV -- in 2001.
From 1976-1979, Brown studied for a degree in electronic engineering and mathematics at Bangor University, North Wales, passing with first class honors. He never worked as an electronics engineer, instead choosing to focus on computer software development in the early 1980s. He went to Germany in 1986, then Belgium in 1988, followed by Switzerland in 1989.
In 1991, Brown started his ham radio programming passion with the program FT-817 Commander. Working with Peter Halpin, PH1PH (SK), he began working on Ham Radio Deluxe in mid-2003. As of January 1, 2010, Brown has devoted all of his time to developing radio-related software.
“I am very honored to have been awarded the Dayton Hamvention 2010 award for technical excellence, following in the footsteps of Tom McDermott, NE5G (2008) and Copthorne ‘Cop’ Macdonald, VY2CM (2009).” Brown currently lives in Laax, Switzerland with four cocker spaniels.
Special Achievement Award
Dick Ross, K2MGA, was named the Dayton Hamvention Special Achievement Award recipient for his work over the past number of years on CQ magazine.
In September, 2010, Dick Ross will mark his 50th anniversary with CQ magazine. In 1960, Ross started working for Cowan Publications, quickly working his way up to Associate Editor for CQ. In July 1964, he was promoted to Editor of CQ when Cowan Publishing moved its offices to Long Island. As Ross got more involved with the business side of the magazine, he was elevated to Vice President/General Manager of Cowan Publishing Corp in 1976 where he was responsible for all fiscal matters and publishing operations for five publications. By 1979, he was General Manager and Controller for all of Cowan Publications, which at the time was publishing seven magazines. CQ was not the strongest of them, and Publisher Richard Cowan was considering shutting it down.
Ross and Alan Dorhoffer, K2EEK -- his successor as CQ Editor -- bought the magazine from the Cowans in 1979 and set out to build it into a totally new publication. Ross and Dorhoffer quickly got the magazine on a solid footing and within three years, they were ready to start expanding: Popular Communications was introduced in 1982. In the years since then, CQ has published a variety of magazines and books. In 1992, the company added videos to its product line, followed by CDs, calendars and more. Today, CQ Communications publishes CQ, Popular Communications, CQ VHF and WorldRadio Online. The latter, acquired in late 2008, is the first major on-line-only ham radio magazine.
Over the course of the past 50 years, Ross has also become a respected leader in the ham radio community, working closely with the many businesses that make up the ham industry, as well as with contesters, DXers and other active hams through oversight of the CQ contest and award programs. He is also responsible for starting the CQ DX, Contest and Amateur Radio Halls of Fame that honor outstanding amateurs in all areas of Amateur Radio.
Ross believes that the real future of Amateur Radio lies in the next generation of hams. As such, he is a fervent supporter of bringing more youth to Amateur Radio. He dedicates space in CQ and WorldRadio Online to the achievements in ham radio by its youngest members through the “Kids Korner” column in CQ and in the long-running “Youth Column” in WorldRadio Online.
In yet another youth-oriented undertaking, Dick and CQ have been one of two key corporate underwriters of the Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award since 1996. As a result, beginning with Toby Metz, KB0UIM, in 1996, everyone selected as Young Ham of the Year has had the opportunity to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama and take the course of his or her choice.
Amateur Radio Club of the Year
North Fulton Amateur Radio League (NFARL) in North Fulton, Georgia, was selected as the Dayton Hamvention Amateur Radio Club of the Year. NFARL serves the Greater Atlanta area, the state of Georgia and the US with emergency services and training. “Although we narrowed our club choice to NFARL, we had a number of deserving candidates,” stated Beafore. The winner of this year’s award is certainly a great example of the thousands of clubs and organizations around the world perpetuating our avocation.”
NFARL has more than 250 active members. The club features a variety of activities to appeal to the widest range of Amateur Radio interests from DXing and contesting, to QRP operating, rag chewing and project building. The club invites every ham and newcomer to Amateur Radio to visit what they call “the friendliest club in the area.”
NFARL’s monthly meetings focus on topics with broad appeal presented by highly rated speakers. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) offer in-depth training and discussion on topics such as antennas, learning CW, contesting and complex kit building. Mid-Month-Madness events offer opportunities to build antennas and kits, visit members’ shacks, explore new operating modes, delve into the bone yards at local hamfests and similar activities.
The club seeks to help every member grow in their skills and enjoyment of the hobby. HamCrams help new hams earn their first license and quickly upgrade to General, followed by Extra classes to encourage the next upgrade step. A mentoring program helps ensure every ham has access to an Elmer and VE sessions are conducted bi-monthly. A weekly TechNet encourages discussion of all things technical, and a weekly YouthNet offers an opportunity for our young and older members to interact. NFARL promotes Amateur Radio to schools and Scouting, encouraging youth membership and participation in all their events.
NFARL places a major emphasis on the public awareness on ARRL Field Day and enjoyed the largest participation in the nation in 2009. Our sister club -- the North Fulton ARES® -- serves the communities of Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs. The club maintains six repeaters, including EchoLink access and an Internet-accessible remote base station capable of operation on 11 bands.
An intimate dinner on May 15 will be held in downtown Dayton honoring the 2010 Hamvention Award winners.