AWA Journal

(used to be The Old Timer’s Bulletin or OTB)

The AWA Journal is AWA’s quarterly publication mailed to dues paying members.  Its content is a mixture of columns, radio related news and feature articles on many different facets of communications history, personalities and technology. The Autumn issue features a discussion of upcoming AWA on-air events along with a review of past events; the Winter issue contains a retrospective of the AWA Annual Conference, with the Summer issue containing full details for that event.

The Spring 2024,

Vol. 64 #2 Issue

From the Editor

After several false starts, Spring is here in Western New York, a short (in my opinion) and glorious break between shivering and sweltering.  Spring is a great time for installing antennas, checking out flea markets—and for spending time with friends and family.  The Operations Department has been busy with outside maintenance, and the AWA campus looks great!  This issue of the Journal includes a 2024 AWA Conference Registration card.  This is not a mistake!  The card is your early registration ticket for five days of immersion in radio history, fine dining and excellent fellowship.  In response to member requests, we are providing a card with this year’s Spring Journal.  Full Conference details (and another card) will appear in the Summer issue, and on the AWA website.

Volunteers have continued to equip the Edward Gable Amateur Radio Station with both operating and display equipment, and the Ham Shack now is a highlight for Museum visitors. Photos and further details appear in the “President,” “Curator” and “Operations” columns of this issue.

Have you ever wondered how the “dots and dashes” were assigned to letters of the alphabet in Morse code?  It was not a random process, but was carefully calculated and thought out by Morse and Vail.  Gary Price explains their process in this issue’s Feature Article “Morse by the Numbers.”  Also in this issue, Dan Merz takes us through the process of restoring an Atwater-Kent horn speaker, while Dave Minchella begins a new “Breadboarding” series—the step-by-step diagnosis, restoration and use of classic electronic test equipment.  As always, Dave would be pleased to hear from anyone who has restored or is using a device similar to one of his featured projects—or who has comments or questions.  Thanks also to our other Contributing Authors, whose columns and articles have made this another great Journal.  Likewise, if you’re working on an interesting project, send me a note and photo, and we will gladly share it in the “Letters” department.  

AWA Operations Manager Brad Mitchell has resigned due to a planned move to Michigan.  We thank Brad for all that he has done for AWA, and look forward to seeing him at the Conference.  We also are pleased to introduce Dan Waterstraat, W2DEW, as our new Operations Manager.  Dan grew up in the Honeoye Falls, New York area.  He repaired radios in high school and assembled circuit boards for Star Headlight & Lantern during summer vacations.  After obtaining a degree in Electrical Technology, he worked for Graflex(Telex), building test equipment and performing equipment calibration.  He retired from Eastman Kodak in 2006 after a career of building test equipment and writing LabView software programs for instrument control.

Dan Waterstraat, Operations Manager

 Dan obtained a Ham license in 1968, and enjoys restoring antique radio and test equipment.  He has co-authored a Journal article, and has contributed to the AWA Fab-Lab series.  Dan also is a member of and a volunteer for the Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, where he enjoys heavy equipment operation and maintenance, along with building signal control equipment.  He is married to Sue, KC2SUE.

If your travel plans take you to or through New York’s Finger Lakes or Rochester regions, plan to add the AWA Museum to your itinerary.  The Museum belongs to all of us, and if you haven’t been by for a while, there are many new exhibits and hands-on displays for you to experience.

Enjoy this issue of the AWA Journal, and I hope to see you at the Museum and at the Conference!

— David D. Kaiser, Editor

Table of Contents

From the President

Amateur Radio Column

Journal Editor Contact

To contact The AWA Journal Editor, please use the contact from below.