On The Cover: May 2008

Russ Miller, WA3FRP

On the Cover


Russ Miller, WA3FRP, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, says he’s “probably one of the last old-school RTTY stations still on the air.” Indeed, while the vast majority of RTTY stations active today (a growing bunch) use computers as terminal units and sound cards as modulators/demodulators, Russ actually has a radio-teletype station with a “real radio” (it glows in the dark) and a real teleprinter.

His transmitter, which occupies both of the 8-foot racks seen in the photo, is a Collins T440/FRT AM/CW transmitter built for the U.S. Navy in 1959. He got it in 1970 from a ham who was just about ready to sell it for scrap. Russ’s receiver (not visible in the photo) is a Collins R-390A, and the teleprinter is a Model 28ASR, which includes a tape perforator and reader. His antenna is a simple trapped dipole covering 40–10 meters.

“I got into RTTY in 1967 at the University of Pennsylvania,” Russ explains, noting that while he was there, the radio club became the first college station to work all continents on RTTY. After graduation, Russ went to work, appropriately, for Western Union, running the Telex department in their Philadelphia office. “What was my hobby became my profession,” he noted, explaining that he went on to a long career in data centers and information management, currently running his own IT consulting business.

But the pressures of work, family, etc., took him away from ham radio and his gear sat in storage for 30 years until he retired from full-time work in 2004 and rediscovered the hobby. Since then, he has worked 204 countries on RTTY (194 confirmed) and is just two zones away from RTTY Worked All Zones (he needs Zones 26 and 28). “Ham radio,” he notes, “is fun.”
(Cover photo by Larry Mulvehill, WB2ZPI)


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