Silent Key – W4QM, Dale Streiter

I was saddened to read of the passing of another old friend recently …

SB SPCL @ ARL $ARLX002
ARLX002 Past ARRL Southeastern Division Director H. Dale Strieter,
W4QM (SK)

ZCZC AX02
QST de W1AW
Special Bulletin 2 ARLX002
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT January 28, 2020
To all radio amateurs

SB SPCL ARL ARLX002
ARLX002 Past ARRL Southeastern Division Director H. Dale Strieter,
W4QM (SK)

Past ARRL Southeastern Division Director Harmon “Dale” Strieter,
W4QM (ex-W4DQS), of Cocoa Beach, died on January 6. An ARRL Life
Member, he was 92 and a founding member of the Maxim Society.

Strieter was ARRL Southeastern Division Director from 1970 until
1973.

During World War II, he served as US Maritime Service radio officer
in the Pacific. After the war, he received a bachelor’s degree in
electrical engineering from Michigan State. He got his amateur radio
license in 1947. Strieter later earned an MSEE from Michigan State,
and then worked as an audio engineer.

In 1958, Strieter moved to Cocoa Beach to work for General Electric,
a NASA contractor, and he served as the guidance engineer on the
Mercury and Gemini manned spaceflight missions.

Strieter was a prolific DXpeditioner. After 20 years with GE, he
returned to sea in 1979 as a radio officer in the US Merchant Marine
on a ship generally anchored at Chagos. As VQ9QM, Strieter logged
more than 200,000 contacts from nearby Diego Garcia, between 1986
and 2001. He retired in 2002.
NNNN
/EX

I first met Dale when I worked as a contractor for Ford Aerospace on Diego Garcia. He was one of a diverse group of hams there. Some were Navy personnel, some Merchant Marine like himself, and others were contractor personnel, like me. Over time, he became a close friend, and we shared many hours together, operating from the club station there on the island, sharing meals and drinks, or just sitting and talking. He was an interesting person! I was in awe of his CW prowess!

One morning, we woke up and the lagoon was empty of ships, and the normally deserted airfield was full of B-52s and KC-10s. Desert Storm was underway.

I eventually left the island and returned to the States, and like many good friendships, distance caused this one to lapse. Still, I thought about Dale and all the others every now and then, and reminisced about the “good old days.”

Rest in peace, old friend!

73 de Dick N4BC

Old and New

Even though the bands were a bit crappy, I worked a new one this evening … S92HP in Sao Tome and Principe, on 60 Meter FT8. Of course, it’s not confirmed yet 😀 .

I tried to find some of the spotted POTA activations, but no joy! Twenty and forty were not cooperative. Once again, I could hear hunters working them, but the activators were down in the hash. Forty had a constant S5 noise level with static crashes over S9. Rough conditions!

73 de Dick N4BC

What’s Up? (Redux)

Hasn’t been a lot happening, lately. I’ve been busy with non-hobby items, like WORK :-D.

I DID work Burkina Faso, XT2AW, on 60-meter FT8. I was just tuning around, seeing what was going on, and saw his CQ. I jumped on him, and the rest is history!

I’ve been adding to my Parks on the Air totals … I’m up to 50 parks worked now, and I spent some time this past week tuning up some antennas for my first activation in the near future.

73 de Dick N4BC

Low Bands

Last night was a good night on the lower bands … 80, 60, 40 meters. I had 22 QSOs, mostly on 80 meters, and mostly FT8. There were two CW QSOs mixed in there. I worked VP9/AA1AC in Bermuda on 40 meters and VP2MKG in Montserrat on 80 meters. Both had moderate pileups going, working split, and I got them on the first call. The VP2 was a new country for me with my N4BC callsign. I think I’m up to 95 confirmed with that newer callsign.

80 meters stations that heard me
40 meters stations that heard me

The low bands seem to be the place to be during the solar minimum. I was decoding stations all over the world … Asia, the Americas, Europe … they’re out there! I don’t have a superstation, either. I’m running 100 watts to a 31-foot homebrew vertical. Not a model of efficiency. My tuner is working overtime! But it works!!

I guess the moral of this story is … put a signal out there. Get some wire in the sky. You won’t catch any fish unless you get a line in the water. Good fishing!!!!

73 de Dick N4BC

Reminiscences

Yesterday evening, I was home alone, sitting in the living room, and outside it was nasty … almost dark, a chilly drizzle, foggy … nasty! As so often happens in circumstances like that, my mind drifted back to earlier times … reminiscing about friends no longer with us.

For some reason, my mind dredged up Max DeHenseler, HB9RS. Max passed away in 2014 after a 50-year “career” in ham radio. He was 80 when he left us.

Max, HB9RS

First licensed at twelve, he went on to make a name for himself in ham radio circles. Look him up on QRZ.com as HB9RS for a full description of his activities and honors. He operated all over the world, thanks to his job at the United Nations as their Chief Cartographer. He was instrumental in establishing 4U1UN, the United Nations HQ station.

I first ran into Max on the air when he was ET3RS in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I was living in the Seychelles Islands, operating as VQ9D. Almost every day, Max could be found on the air, and we sort of made it a habit to listen out for each other and chat about the things that hams chat about 🙂 . It was usually a pleasant interlude from the huge pileups we both used to generate. Being fairly close (geographically), we could override the QRM. Max left ET3-land eventually, and returned to UN HQ at New York.

Max’s QSL Card at ET3RS

One year, George, VQ9GP and I flew back to the US on vacation at the same time and Max graciously invited us to stop by UN HQ in New York City for a reunion and tour. George and I showed up and we had a great time and a great tour.

Unfortunately, that was the last time I saw Max … our paths just never crossed again. That happens a lot in our hobby. We’re so far-flung and distant from each other, we develop friendships without ever meeting physically.

Max was such a gentleman and great ham, I consider myself privileged to not only have been his friend, but to actually have met him. I wasn’t disappointed when that happened. He was the same great guy on the air or in person.

73 de Dick N4BC