Amateur Radio

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The picture above was taken on May 15, 1997.
The student operating the Kenwood 440 is Derek Latimer.
Derek was in my after school class at Bowie Junior High for three years.
I taught Amateur Radio for the Ector County ISD for 7 years.
Derek recently looked at the picture and said the student wasn’t him. 


This page is dedicated to the Amateur Radio operators who advanced the frontiers of Radio Science and have provided invaluable emergency communications that has saved thousands of lives. 

Teaching Amateur Radio

For eight years, it was my privilege to teach amateur radio classes for the youth of the Ector County Independent School District, two years at Travis Elementary Math and Science Magnet School, and six years at Bowie Jr. High. I taught two enjoyable summer sessions for the Gale Pond Elementary School.  I hope this page will encourage young people to take up this fantastic hobby for their enjoyment and to enhance their knowledge of math, physics, and radio communications. 

The students also learned to copy Morse Code. I should especially like to recognize Mr. Pete Shugar who has assisted me as Chief Engineer for the Ector County ISD Amateur Radio Program. Mr. Shugar has excellent knowledge of radio science. He is the master of fun scientific experiments. His experimenter's table at our classes was the center of much hands-on learning activities. I taught amateur radio classes at Travis Magnet, Murry Fly, Gail Pond Alamo, and Bowie Junior High. Hats off to all the members of the West Texas Amateur Radio Club for their invaluable help with the class, especially the 50 antenna we put up at Travis Magnet! 

I recently added Amateur Radio to my tutoring program. I call it Don Potter's STEM Program. The kids are currently working on their Technician License. I enhance the lessons with Morse Code so the kids can start working HF as soon as they get their Technician License.  

Find Our More about Amateur Radio

Anyone interested in radio communications will want to check out the ARRL web site at: ARRL  This site has all the information you need to get started in this exciting hobby. ARRL Technician License Class

Ham Radio for Dummies (2002). Contains a lot of information, most of which is still valuable. Here is the 2013 edition. By the same author, I highly recommend, Circuit Building for Dummies

Here is the Morse Code Practice Tool that I have been using lately to get my ability to copy code back up to 20 wpm. I highly recommend it. 

Here is Russ Farnsworth’s 1959 The Radio Code by Word Method. I learned Morse Code with this method. Here is the printed material

I recently watched the movie Lincoln. There were numerous scenes in the Telegraph Office. Lincoln was able to orchestrate much of the work from that office. Anyone interested in the part telegraph played in the Civil War will want to read David Homer Bates marvelous Lincoln in the Telegraph office (1908). 

International Morse Code: Radioman 3  2, Chapter 4: Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Training Course, 5th Ed. 1967. This is a wonderful source of information on all aspects of Morse Code. 

Zen and the Art of Radiotelegraphy by Carlo Console. This book is an excellent introduction to every aspect of Morse Code. 

The Art and Skill of Radiotelegraphy by William G. Pierpoint N0HFF. 

Here is a copy of my Heathkit HW 101 HF SSB/CW transmitter i built this unit from a kit i about 1979. I used it for both 
SSB and CW for many years. I still have it. 

Here is a restoration video for a Heathkit HW 101 like I built.

Here is another excellent HW 101 Video

Learn Code the Easy Way (Archer, sold by Radio Shack) 

Archie’s Ham Radio Adventure. I have a copy of this in my Radio Room. 

Tune in the World with Amateur Radio (1981) outdated, but lots of interesting and useful information. 

Fifty Years of ARRL (1891) 

ARRL Introduction to Morse Version 1

ARRL Code Kit 5 to 15 wpm. Accompanying printed material

ARRL Antenna Book (2008) by R. Jean Shaw 

ARRL Basic Antennas: Understanding Practical Antennas and Design

The FOC Guide to Morse Code Proficiency by Gary Hinson ZL2iFB. 

Morse Code - Wikapedia. 

Learning the Radio Telegram Code (1956) ARRL. This is the book I use to teach code. 

Here is the the Morse Code Practice Tool. This is a veritable marvel. You can copy News from BBC and other news outlets and past in a text to hear in code. I recently listened to the first chapter of Ephesians, pretty cool~

Teaching Morse Code to Second Graders in 1917. I have started using Morse Code to help my dyslexic students with their spelling and reading. This is multi-sensory learning at is best, and it's FUN! 

Paired Association Leaning of Morse Code and Braille Letter Names by Dyslexic and Normal Children. (1976)

Reception of Morse code through motional, vibrotactile, and auditory stimulation (1997)

How to Learn Morse Code - Semiconsciously. A brief study indicating that some learning is possible without conscious attention. I used to listen to code in the background and think it contributed to my ability to copy. I did the same when learning Spanish. It is an interesting area to explore. 

Musical expertise generalizes to superior temporal scaling in a Morse code tapping task. (2020). Truth is where you find it! One of my code students is a drummer, his progress is impressive. 

The Rhythm of Life: The Perfect Rhythm of Morse Code (2014), a Master’s Thesis by Cassandra Mohapp. 

Modern Morse Code in Rehabilitation and Education: New Applications in Assistive Technology (2000) by Thomas Wayne King. 

Here is information on my first receiver, a Hallicrafters SX 28

Free Online Electronic Books 

My old class buddy, Jimmy Elliott, sent me the link to this excellent, free electronic textbook.  Lesson in Electric Circuits by Tony R. Kuphaldt. 

I appreciate Jim Elliott sending me the link to this excellent website, featuring cutting edge Radio Electronics from 1913 to 1931. 

Comprehension of Morse Code Predicted by item Recall from Short-Term  Memory  (Sept, 2021). Not sure what to make of this study, but it involves expert Morse Code operators. 

Acquisition and Retention of Morse Code Reception Skills by Debora a Marie Lawson. 

A Small Assortment of Memorabilia from My Years in Amateur Radio

1. My Lesson Plans for a Ham class at Gale Pond Alamo in Odessa, TX. 

2. An Equipment Inventory of the Ham gear donated by the Stan McVey Estate for the ECISD Amateur Radio Class.

3. A Video of my Amateur Radio Class at Bowie Jr. High

4. A Video of my Ham Class at Gale Pond Alamo. This includes a visit to Channel 9 News where we got to do a production
   on their studio equipment. 

5. A Video of a Disaster Drill we did at the Murry Fly Elementary School. This was a great drill with the local Disaster Teams

6. Here is a paper I wrote on “Amateur Radio” in 1962 on Ham Radio when I was in the 10th grade. 

7. Lesson Plans for my 1995 Amateur Radio Class at Gale Pond Alamo. 

8. My Daughter Linda’s Ham License. Linda got her Novice license at 8 years of when Morse Code was still a requirement. She
    was the Little Darling of the Ham Club in Winchester, Indiana 

9. Here is the 1983 Relay. This was just before I got my Extra Class License. My General call from Indiana was WD9GQL.

10. Here is the 1993 Relay. This was the year I served as President of the West Texas Amateur Radio Club. 

11. Over the years, several of my students got their Ham License and several went into various communications' fields.
      Here is a picture of me awarding A Technician-Plus student with a radio

12. Here is a CQ Letter to my Ham Students at Travis Magnet announcing Field Day. My students loved to participate in the
      Annual ARRL Field Day events. 

13. Odessa American article about Mrs. Stan McVey donating her late husband’s Amateur Radio Station to my Amateur Radio
       Program with the Ector County ECISD, where I was also an elementary bilingual teacher. 

14. ECISD Express article about the McVey donation of Amateur Radio Equipment to ECISD. Dr. Sue Bradley was my principal
      and Dr. Gene Buinger was the ECISD Superintendent. Mr. McVey bought that top-of-the-line amateur gear for his Army
      Mars Station, which he used to run many phone patches for service men in Desert Storm. I was also privileged to be a
      member of Army Mars

15. Here is Mr. Pete Shugar’s QSL Card. When I moved then program from Travis Magnet to Bowie Junior High, Mr. Shugar
      became my Chief Engineer. His daughter Debbie got her license with me.

16. Here is an early picture of me and David Flax, one of my Ham students. The radio is the Heathkit HW 101 HF Transceiver
      that I built in 1979. We used my Ham gear until we got the Kenwood 840 and 440 from the McVey estate. 

17. Here is one of my first Newsletters after starting the class at Travis in 1992. That was a wonderful time of my life to be
       able to share my hobby with so many young boys and girls. 

18. Emergency Service Award for manning a ham communications station in the local hospital in Winchester, Indiana when the telephone service was out for several days.