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Friends Remembered Home | Friends Detail

Bill Long (W2EIV)

August, 1999

Subject: [PVRC] Remembering Bill Long, W3EIV Author: Fred Laun K3ZO <> at Internet-E-Mail Date: 8/28/99 4:24 PM It's a shame to let the death of a friend and fellow Radio Amateur go by without trying to leave a little picture of what he did and what he was like for posterity, so since I haven't seen anyone else give a wrap-up of Bill's life on here, I will do my best. I didn't take any notes but I do have some recollection of some of the things he talked about and if I don't get them exactly right they are pretty close. If anyone has anything to add I certainly think it would be appropriate. I wasn't a close friend of Bill's when I first joined PVRC. At that time he was the one I always confused in SS with another PVRC'er, W3EIS, Don McLennon (SK), who later became W3IN and then N4IN. I remember driving around town not long after I came to this area, trying to get a look for myself at all the PVRC antenna farms. All there was at Bill's house, however, was a lone 60 foot wooden utility pole with nothing on it. Bill was on one of his many assignments overseas at that time. However once I joined the Over-the-Hill gang I got to know Bill much better, because he was a regular OTH attendee and also a regular at the Friday repeater lunches at Shoney's in Laurel, and since we had both spent a fair amount of our working lives overseas we ended up swapping yarns on a number of occasions. According to Buckmaster, Bill would have turned 82 only a couple of weeks before his death on Thursday. Up until a few months ago Bill was in pretty good shape and was quite regular at these functions. His pipe was his constant companion and on occasion he ruffled the eathers of a few fellow OTH'ers by dragging it out and lighting it up after unch, no-smoking-area be damned! During the greater part of his working life Bill was a Communications Officer for the CIA. Though there was always a certain vagueness about exactly what he did in that respect given his employer's penchant for iscretion, one had the impression that he was rincipally involved in setting up equipment and communications circuits as opposed to actually doing the operating of the official radios. Among the countries he mentioned having spent a good deal of time in were Taiwan, the Philippines, Iran, Venezuela and Paraguay. Immediately after World War II the ARRL didn't require that a DX station demonstrate that he had obtained a legitimate license or that he was actually in the country he claimed to be in in order to be counted for DXCC. Amateur Radio operators were considered to be proper gentlemen and it never even occurred to the DXCC authorities to question the various operations of Americans overseas, even though there was a little informal discussion among DX'ers at the time about how Gus Browning really knew that he had stepped across the border from Nepal into Tibet when the rugged mountainous area was poorly marked. But Gus worked everyone he could hear and kept the multitudes happy, and so his QSOs from Tibet counted. All of this changed when the infamous Don Miller got into the DXpedition game and tried to re-arrange the DXCC Honor Roll according to what he thought it ought to be. Bill said he managed to get on the ham bands from every country he was in, usually from a radio installation in an American Embassy or Consulate in the country in question. He said that he told Vic Clark and others just prior to one ARRL DX Contest that he would be on from Maracaibo, Venezuela as YV1AW, and so he was, giving everyone in the club what was at the time a nice rare 80 meter CW multiplier. Much later Bill made it known that YV1AW was a self-assigned call and that he was operating from the American Consulate premises even though the Consul General had turned down Bill's request to let him operate from there. Bill simply waited until the Consul went out of town on business. That was Bill's customary way of getting on the air overseas -- assign yourself a call that sounds legitimate and go on the air from the Embassy. But since Bill would show up or only a few QSOs, and usually only during contests, his operations never caused a stir. Bill was known as KC3AG for a number of years because he had forgotten to renew his license in time and W3EIV expired. He was really happy when the recent Vanity Call Sign program allowed him to get W3EIV back. One of his favorite stories involved an ARRL DX Contest which he operated in from this country as W3EIV. Bill knew of a Government rhombic farm which had recently been decommissioned but was still equipped, so he arranged to use it in the contest, operating it by remote control from a location at some distance from the transmitter site. When one British station stopped Bill in the middle of the contest to say that he didn't care whether Bill was using a 20 db rhombic fixed on Europe or not, he was STILL too loud to be legal, Bill called the transmitter technician on the landline and said: "I thought I told you to turn the power way down this weekend." The transmitter operator said: "I did. We've got it down as low as it will go." "How much is it reading right now?" Bill inquired. The transmitter operator replied: "Why it's only reading about 4.5 KW right now." I believe Bill said he made an immediate QRT at that point. Bill's other hobby was sports cars, and I take it he had raced a good bit in his younger days. He also talked about hunting tigers with Iranian Generals in the Iranian mountains during the time of the Shah. Guns were another subject dear to his heart. But his first love was always ham radio and he had been proud to be associated with Vic Clark, Lenny Chertok and other contest giants of this area. 73, Fred Laun, K3ZO

Contributed by: K3NA (K3NA)

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