W2AEE in the 1954-5 by Vincent O'Keeffe, W1IDL

The following is based on email received from Vincent O'Keeffe, W1IDL, in November, 1998.

I spent a year as a grad student there in the mid-fifties and was a member of the radio club. At that time and being very poor I had only a little home brew rig of my own and a Hallicrafter S-38C!!! I was very impressed with the equipment at the club during the year I spent a Columbia.

The main transmitter was some sort of monster that sat on 75 meters all the time. The receiver at that console was, as I remember, a Collins. Most memorable was the fact that the KW controlled the frequency at all times!! It put out a grand AM signal from all reports.

A second position was 500 w of homebrew and was always on 40 meters. Also (as I remember) a Hammarlund receiver. This similarly put out a fine signal.

The third position had some sort of Johnson rig and a HRO receiver. This seemed to be the "band hopper" rig.

Most operation was on 75 and 40 meters; I remember no 20 meter operation at all.

I believe all antennas were LW.

The club was quite active at that time. We held weekly meetings and almost every time I went to the station there was someone either on the air or "hanging around"....there was a lot of that altho many members used that area at the top of the engineering building as a good place to study.

There were a couple of "gooney boxes," i.e., Gonset Communicators....two meter AM rigs. We used those upon the occasion of Dwight Eisenhower's initiation into the presidency of Columbia at St. John's. As I remember even the Queen of England came to that extravaganza --- the club provided communication between the church and the line of limos....so that when Senator X was in line, we would call in his vehicle.

I was a musician....most of the members were in engineering. One of the fellows used to maintain a sked with his father in California --- I was impressed by this for my little 20 watt rig at home was no match for the W2AEE equipment!

I have looked back with fondness upon that year.... I suspect that ham radio does not hold as much fascination for the students of today; that is understandable. I hope that their fascination with the net/web, etc matches my wonderful times at Able Easy Easy.

73 de Vince, W1IDL