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Larry Lambert, N0LL, Lance Collister, W7GJ, Nail Down Fred Fish Memorial Awards 6 and 7


Larry Lambert, N0LL, and Lance Collister, W7GJ, are the latest 6 meter enthusiasts to qualify for the Fred Fish Memorial Award. They represent the first Magic Banders to receive the award since 2011. For those who are unfamiliar with this operating achievement, the Fred Fish Memorial Award honors Fred Fish, W5FF (SK), the first radio amateur to work and confirm all 488 Maidenhead grid squares in the 48 contiguous United States on 6 meters. Those duplicating Fish’s accomplishment qualify. Lambert, who has received FFMA #6, got into ham radio while in high school in Kansas (he was WN0TRO) and made his first 6 meter contact in 1969 on AM with a Knight Kit TR-106.

“Being self employed and having an expert knowledge of propagation at 50 MHz was a big help in getting to 131 countries and FFMA,” Lambert said. His last grid square was FN67, which he checked off recently by working VE9IQ in New Brunswick. He gives partial credit to his power company with responding to his line noise complaints for his VHF successes. His antenna is just 5 elements on a 12 foot boom. “I'd like to have a good 6 meter beam someday, but I only have two towers and the winter north winds are bad,” he explained. He has a 6 meter beacon which he calls “one of the top propagation beacons in the world.”

Collister, who has received FFMA #7, started out in ham radio on VHF in 1966 — his first contact was on 2 meter AM, when he was WN3GPL. His final grid square also was FN67, made on JT65 moonbounce (EME) and on his birthday. He realized he was close to completing his goal a few years ago, after he started sorting through his QSL card collection and realized he’d already worked many, and he began closely following operations from rare grid squares.

“Being located in a northern corner of the country, it was especially challenging to connect with rare grids on the East Coast,” he said. “The northeastern USA is particularly difficult, because all the Es clouds must line up above the Canadian border to provide a propagation path back there, and usually it seems most of the summer Es clouds are over the central or eastern half of the country, below 45° latitude.” So, EME was the answer in his case.

Both Lambert and Collister would agree: 6 meters is truly the Magic Band.