Email from Raymond Miles About His W9YB Days

My nephew Dave Taylor, KB9FDE, has forwarded the notice of the upcoming W9YB antenna party.  Although I won't be able to attend the party, I thought you might be interested in some memories of W9YB from years ago.

When I was at Purdue from 1938 to 1942, W9YB was located in what was then the Electrical Engineering Building.

W9YB operated on a single, crystal-controlled, frequency in the old 80-meter band.  The shack was a small room in the basement of the building, accessible only to members of the Radio Club.

The 1000 watt transmitter was in a locked wire cage that took up much of the room in the shack. The few other items in the shack included a chair or two, and a table on which there were a Hammarlund Super-Pro receiver, a Mackay "bug," and of course an operators' log.

At the time, the Purdue Radio Club had around 20 members.  In my Senior year, I was elected President of the Club in an essentially uncontested election.

While attending Purdue, I lived with my parents at 906 Vine Street, West Lafayette.  There I had my own ham setup, which included a home-made 40 watt transmitter, a Hallicrafters receiver, and a bug I had made using parts from an old alarm clock.  I operated on a single, crystal-controlled frequency in the old 40 meter band.  (That was in the days when it was more common to use wave-length than frequency, and before cycles-per-second became Hertz.)

When ham  operations were suspended following the attack on Pearl Harbor, I dismantled my transmitter and stored the parts in my parents' basement.  I later gave them to KB9FDE's father, the late Major (Ret.) John D. Taylor.  When ham operations were again permitted after World War II, I renewed my license once, but was never again active as a ham.


Raymond C. Miles

Purdue E.E. '42