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Ralph Harris (W7OKV)
Ralph Harris was a very successful amateur radio operator. Senior transmitter engineer in the early 1950's for the first UHF TV station, KPTV in Portland Oregon. We'll versed in HF, Ralph's real passion was 50 Mhz and up!
From his well appointed, Collins S-Line in his basement, he worked the world with a dipole and with homebrew upconverters and a myrid of other cool devices, he worked the VHF and UHF regions with plumbers like contraptions and weird little homebrew gadgets.
Ralph was the kind of guy I could go over at 9am on a Saturday, the next minite I was invited to dinner! The entire day was suddenly gone. He would rag chew, talk technical and pawn through his "storage shack" for cool hand me down items for literally hours on end! The 300 feet of copperweld was just used a few weekends ago, only 20 years too late.
Ralph, was truly my first elmer, and sitting with him in that cigar smoke filled shack while he spun a tail or told me all about the construction of his latest UHF project was truly a great early memory for this 13 year old Novice. During that fateful summer of 1976, Ralph had me hooked both on Ham Radio and working in broadcast industry!
One of his accomplishments was breaking an early distance record on 1296 in the early 1960's.
It's kinda cool that the copperweld he gave me so many years before on that cool August day is going to have RF pumping through it finally! In a way in sort of completes a big loop, I'll be happy to be on the air again!
Ralph Harris, W7OKV Broadcast Engineer, Amateur and friend. Thanks for the memories!
Contributed by: John Webb (WB7NWH)
It was 1956 and I was a 13 year old flying U-Control model aircraft at Delta Park in N. Portland, OR. At an adjacent area a group was flying radio control aircraft. This was the next step in flying and where I met Ralph Harris. During 1957 I graduated to RC aircraft and got to know Ralph. This helped start an interest in amateur radio and KN7DFW was issued during March, 1958.
During these high school years I visited the Harris house on SE Ramona Street. Ralph's daughter Laural was my date at the high school prom. Two years later I left for military service and didn't see Ralph again. My parents, mother in particular (K7GON), kept in contact with Ralph and I learned the family moved into a newly built home on Logie Trail which is NW of Portland.
Ralph was a good friend, not just to me but everyone. He was, in his spare time, a consulting engineer for hire. There seemed to be nothing that he didn't know something about. One of those people that you never forget and really miss.
Contributed by: ROLYNN PRECHTL (K7DFW)
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