I am Bob Locher, known in amateur radio circles also as W9KNI, and this is my blog. As I write this I am quite new to blogging, so please be patient with me as I learn the WordPress software. There will be three sections to this blog. One deals with subjects of interest to amateur radio operators. The second will hopefully be of interest to people interested in photography, and the third will be labeled “Musings” and will contain essays on various aspects of life. Though I have fairly strong political opinions I will endeavor to keep them out of my blog. I do have opinions on a lot of things that are not political, and I will not afraid to state them.
I will value comments on my offerings, but I do give fair warning – I will read all of them but will rarely if ever respond. I have no interest in starting flaming wars or encouraging them. In that respect, this blog will be more of a soap box than anything else.
You will note there is no provision for email here. Why? For one thing, having been involved with customer service for many years, much of it by email. I want to retire from that and NOT get into long email exchanges. So I am going to be a curmudgeon. You don’t like what I have to say? Fine. Go start your own blog and say what you think. We will all be richer for it – or not.
Lastly, I do enjoy writing. I will try to make this a site worth returning to. This site will not come to full flower overnight – I figure it will be a work of at least a few years.
So, now it begins. First – who am I?
I was born in 1942. Yeah, I am old. I’ve been a ham since 1957, active most of those years, primarily spent chasing DX, and mostly on CW. I was raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Art Collins, W0CXX, founder of Collins Radio, was a family friend and my original mentor. Art signed off my Novice License application.
I am a co-founder of Bencher, Inc. now honorably dissolved, and founder of Idiom Press, which is now owned and operated by N0UN and Ham Radio Supply. (https://www.hamsupply.com)
I am the author of “The Complete DX’er” and of “A Year of DX”, published by Idiom Press, available from Ham Supply as above or from ARRL.
I live in western Oregon, about 8 miles west of the city of Grants Pass. Grants Pass is in a beautiful area, mountainous, with a mild four-season climate. My wife Judy and I have lived here now since 2004, and we have no plans to leave.
I have several goals for this blog. In the amateur radio section, I plan to share some of the techniques used to get my station and antennas to work. I have LONG runs – it is 550 feet from the back of the amplifier to the antenna feed point – a lot of coax and a lot of rotor control cables. Other amateurs have had a lot of tips on their websites that have helped me – I am hoping some of my tricks will help others as well.
I’ll discuss some of the gear I use and why I selected it. And as a long time veteran of amateur radio as a business as well as a hobby, I’ll offer a few insights I’ve arrived at there.
I will discuss DX’ing matters as well.
Photography: I became seriously interested in photography about 1959, and bought an Argus C-3 camera, a simple but adjustable 35 mm camera. That lead to a Yashica SLR, then a Pentax Spotmatic, then a Leica 3f, followed by a Leica M2. In the mean time, in 1966, I became an employee of Burke and James, a old line photographic equipment manufacturer and dealer. I wore many hats there over the next few years – inside sales, manager of the lens and shutter repair department, then outside sales to dealers. I represented the company in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, then was promoted tot he Chicago sales territory, the best in the company.
During that time the company was in a considerable state of flux, then split into two companies, and both eventually failed. The day after the company was closed my boss at that time and I co-founded Bencher, Inc.
After a difficult two years, Bencher started to prosper. We manufactured and sold photographic copy stands, Majestic tripods, a line of graphic arts camera shutters, and photographic changing bags.
I was (and remain) an active ham radio operator during that time as well, and an opportunity came our way to buy a failing Morse code sending mechanism, commonly called a paddle. We optimized the design, retooled it and became an amateur radio supplier as well as a photographic equipment provider. Over the years we sold 160,000 paddles.
During that period I got burned out as an amateur photographer – enough was enough – and put the cameras on the shelf.
Fast forward to
I renewed my interest in photography a few years back after I gave up flying a Cessna 172, and in fact have had articles published by the PetaPixel web site.
Here are links to these articles:
You will note there is no provision for email or discussions here. Why? For one thing, having been involved with customer service for many years, much of it by email. I want to retire from that and NOT get into long email exchanges. So I am going to be a curmudgeon. You don’t like what I have to say? Fine. Go start your own blog and say what you think. We will all be richer for it – or not.
The opinions you see here will be my own unless I specifically indicate otherwise. This site will not come to full flower overnight – I figure it will be a work of at least a few years.
I hope you find it interesting.
Bob Locher W9KNI