ARRL General Bulletin ARLB005 (2010)

ARLB005 Rod Blocksome, K0DAS, Appointed Midwest Division Vice 

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 5  ARLB005
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  February 16, 2010
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB005 Rod Blocksome, K0DAS, Appointed Midwest Division Vice 

ARRL President, Kay Craigie, N3KN, has appointed Rod Blocksome,
K0DAS, of Robins, Iowa, as the new Vice Director in the Midwest
Division. The position became vacant when Midwest Division Director
Bruce Frahm, K0BJ, was elected ARRL Vice President at the 2010 ARRL
Board of Directors Annual Meeting and Vice Director Cliff Ahrens,
K0CA, moved into the Director position.

First licensed as KN0DAS in 1960 -- and an ARRL member since 1962 --
Blocksome credits his grandmother with getting him interested in
Amateur Radio: "When I was 13, she gave me this big console-type
shortwave radio -- it was so big, it couldn't fit in the house! So I
kept it in our workshop and each evening, I would go out and listen
to it and I discovered all these exotic countries on the air. I also
discovered the hams on the amateur bands. One of the hams I listened
to -- William Balderson, W0CKV -- was in Dodge City, about 60 miles
away. So I called him up on the phone and told him I wanted to be a
ham and asked him if he could help me. He showed me what I needed to
do and gave me an ARRL license manual to study. We ordered my Novice
test and he administered my code test. The rest is history."

"I'm honored to be selected as the Vice-Director of the ARRL Midwest
Division and am looking forward to serving the division hams to the
best of my ability," Blocksome told the ARRL. "I grew up in Kansas,
lived in Iowa and have traveled to more than 50 different countries,
so I hope to bring my Midwestern roots - as well as a
multi-cultural/international perspective - to this position."

Blocksome has 42 years of professional engineering experience in
radio communications systems and equipment design. He has designed
several Collins HF transmitters and related equipment and managed
engineering design teams responsible for design and development of
transmitting equipment spanning 0.45 MHz-2000 MHz and at RF power
levels of 10 W to 45 kW. He managed an IPD team developing L-band
receivers and performing system engineering of communication systems
in a full MIL-SPEC environment on the F-22 program and spent two
years redesigning and formalizing the System Engineering Process at
Rockwell Collins. In addition to his career in the private sector,
Blocksome served four years active duty as an officer in US Air
Force doing HF communications systems engineering while on leave of
absence from Collins Radio Company. He holds a BSEE and an MSEE from
Kansas State University.

One activity that Blocksome has been heavily involved in for the
past 10 years is research and analysis in the search for Amelia
Earhart's airplane. "I and several other ham/engineers at Rockwell
Collins have been donating our expertise in radio communications to
this effort," he said. "We have been using our experience in this
fascinating project to get students interested in science/math by
making presentations in the local school system."

Blocksome was a member of a local group of engineers and hams that
conducted a very through technical investigation of a trial BPL
system in Cedar Rapids: "Our efforts were instrumental in convincing
the local power utility to abandon their planned BPL project. ARRL
Headquarters used the technical report on our measurements and
findings in fighting BPL that interferes with Amateur Radio across
the country."

"Rod has been an active ham for many years, with a diversity of
experiences and interests, including DXing and operating from DX
locations, VHF/UHF weak signal operation, classic equipment repair
and restoration and antenna design," said ARRL Midwest Division
Director Cliff Ahrens, K0CA. "I am looking forward to working
closely with Rod, the Section Managers and our dedicated ARRL Field
Organization volunteers to serve the ARRL members and radio amateurs
of the Midwest Division."

Blocksome has been a member of the Central States VHF Society since
1975 and a Charter Life Member since 2001. He has served as
President of the organization in 1984, 1991 and 1998, with 21 years
on its Board of Directors, He is the recipient of the CSVHF
Society's 1993 Mel Wilson Award, given to a member for service to
the Society. In 1994, Blocksome initiated the process to begin
publishing the Society's Proceedings, something other VHF societies
have done since. He also initiated the CSVHF Society's "States Above
50 MHz" program.

An avid Collins Radio aficionado, Blocksome has been a member of the
Collins Collector Association since 1996. He has served two years on
its Board of Directors, hosted three CCA conventions and been the
CCCA banquet speaker at the Dayton Hamvention four times.

He is a charter member of the Collins Amateur Radio Club, serving as
President for four years; he currently serves as the club's Program
Chairman. He is also a member of the Eastern Iowa DX Association and
the Cedar Valley Amateur Radio Club, serving as President two times
and Hamfest Chairman two times.

Blocksome has written articles for various Amateur Radio
publications, including QST. Beginning in 1995, he penned "An HF 50
W Linear Amplifier" for The ARRL Handbook. He wrote "EME -- Iowa
Style" that appeared in the May 1982 issue of QST and he took the
photo that appeared on the cover of the July 1982 issue of QST,
featuring the ARRL National Convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Blocksome also enjoys weak signal work (50-2304 MHz) and Amateur
Radio contesting, both CW and SSB, as a Rover. He also enjoys HF
DXing, both chasing DX and being DX (he has operated as VK2IHY in
Australia in 1996, T30CXX on Tarawa Atoll in 2002 and 2006 and as
T32DAS on Christmas Island in 2008). He likes to restore classic ham
gear - particularly Collins equipment and is active in local Amateur
Radio clubs and mentoring new hams into the hobby.