A Visit to the Real Life Candy Store

| August 19, 2012 | 0 Comments

By Don Smith, KI4FON

In July I had the good fortune to spend several days with W9EVT on Washington Island, WI. If you do not know George he has a collection of some 1100 plus radios civilian and military types the majority of them in working order. I copped his photo from his QRZ page and yes I sat in that same chair. I also had the opportunity to have a QSO with Dave WA3GIN with George participating in the QSO. What a hoot!

George Ulm, W9EVT, sits among his collection of 1,100 or so radios at his Washington Island, WI, ham shack.

In addition to working Dave I worked several other stations as well. George is well known on the bands. Everyone I worked using KI4FON/9 Washington Island knew I was using George’s station. With a full KW of power there are not many places that George cannot get into. The antenna farm helps tremendously. The farm consists of three towers at 100 feet each as well as several wire antennas and a vertical.

While operating I was using an IC 7800 pushing an ALPHA top of the line amplifier. The rotors utilize a digital control box, gotta have one of those for the shack in Alexandria. George also has a Flex 5000 but it was not in line when I was there. He had to send it back because the finals were weak and he had not unpacked the radio.

George and I had some long conversations about amateur radio and radios in particular. He showed me several of his prize radios all very easily identified. There was one that had him stomped. It was a Collins military radio in a rack, in fact he two of them. The one that stumped had a plate on its face the said “NASA WALLOPS”. He understood the NASA part but could not figure out the WALLOPS meant. As a good ole Virginia boy I was able to solve his mystery. Of course the radio had been at the Wallops Island facility on the banks of Virginia’s eastern shore. It sure is fun solving a mystery for someone like George.


W9EVT’s expansive ham shack on the shores of lake michigan

Just a couple of footnotes about my trip to Washington Island, WI. Two years ago my wife and I traveled to Door County, WI. to attend the celebration of the wedding anniversary of some close friends. Through some messages posted on QRZ I was aware of who George was and knew we were not far away. I arranged a trip to visit George and also took my wife to a nationally known fiber arts studio that just happens to be a mile away from George’s QTH. My wife decided she had to take one of the classes the studio offered. Apparently the class she wanted fills up fast, hence the two year wait. What a deal she went to class and I got to play with George’s radios.

Aerial view of Green Gate Farm.

If you look closely at George’s QRZ page he lives on Green Gate Farm and yes there is in fact a green gate. On the property are four cottages available for rent. One of the cottages is in the ham shack and is called The Shack. I was present when Susan, George’s XYL was showing a potential around. They did not understand why she called it a shack, so I offered an explanation. This is not intended to be a sales pitch but if your XYL is into fiber arts it could mean an opportunity for you to play with George’s radios.

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Category: Amateur Radio

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