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2008 ARRL 160 Meter Contest

01/17/2009 | W1OP Post script: W1IUX, SK

Except among a few DX stations, he wasnt known very well outside of his local radio club but he was responsible for thousands of contest and DX QSOs with Rhode Island. He was Zaven Zeke Tenkarian, W1IUX, affectionately referred to as the old man; he was dedicated to making Club Station W1OP a world-wide communications facility not only for contesting and DX but also for public service.

Zaven spent five years re-engineering a 13 element Collins 237B-1 Log Periodic Dipole Array, which became W1OPs signature antenna. That antenna proved its worth in the aftermath of the Armenian Earthquake disaster of 1988 by providing the first signal heard when the band opened and the last signal heard when it closed. Constantly improving the station, he converted several commercial amplifiers to amateur use and built the clubs fast-scan ATV repeater.

160 meters, however, was his favorite band. He always endeavored to make sure W1OP was on the air for the winter 160 meter contests to ensure that Rhode Island was among the multipliers. Many years, it was the only Rhode Island station on the air in the contest. With limited real estate for 160 meters, every winter was an antenna adventure with a combination of inverted Ls, slopers, long wires and Beverages.

I operated with him in the 2007 A.R.R.L. 160m Contest, as I had for many years. A week after the contest, he suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.

Surrounded by his handiwork - the amps, antenna tuners, and antennas operating this past contest in December 2008 was a memorial to his contributions.

We at The Providence Radio Association miss the old man greatly.

R.I.P., OM.

-- John -- W1GS