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William "Bill" Hickox (K5BDZ)
April 20, 2009
William “Bill” Hickox – K5BDZ, died on April 20, 2009.
Bill, K5BDZ, known as the ‘Big Dumb Zebra’ was a good ham, a good neighbor, and a good friend to many hams.
Bill’s QRZ.com entry says it all, succinctly; “Licensed since 1955. Enjoy QRP, including designing, building, testing, experimenting with all types of QRP equipment, and all types of antennas and related equipment. Also enjoy traveling to Europe, fly fishing, and sharing all with family.”
You can read Bill’s travelogues at http://www.bensbauernhof.com/billsbackroadsaug01.html .
Bill, born in 1941, grew up in Phillips, Texas up in the panhandle. Bill came into the hobby as a 14-year old in 1955 and just in time for the greatest solar cycle in ham radio history; Cycle #19. One of Bill’s favorite stories (and this one is true - hi) was one time his nephew came to visit Bill and his wife, Suzanne in Houston. Bill got on the HF radio to show his nephew how this ham radio stuff worked and after calling CQ were called by a VU2 and chatted for 20 minutes. Boy, talk about serendipity -- great propagation and dumb luck – hi.
Bill started “Tejas RF” in the early 1980’s. His company produced QRP kits, like the Back Packer series of QRP transceivers. Bill’s company was one of the first to address the then oncoming QRP kit building trend that is such a massive part of ham radio today. Bill’s designs and products were published, reviewed, and much sought after by the QRP community. Bill was onto something and he had some innovations in his designs that were ground breaking.
I’m sure there are others that have known Bill longer and better than I, but I do know that Bill had a passion for the ham radio hobby, the people, the technology, and the fundamental natural phenomenon of RF. We are a strange lot, ham radio ops, but we do have a fierce and meaningful camaraderie within the ranks. We will all sadly, but surely miss the Big Dumb Zebra. Rest in Peace, K5BDZ, 73. dit dit dit dah dit dah dit dit
Contributed by: rick hiller (W5RH)
Bill was a good guy and produced some very nice, high quality kits. After reading a favorable QST review, I put together one of his Tejas Backpacker II transceivers. It was my first small QRP radio and he was most helpful with advice on getting the best performance from it. Years later, I still enjoy using it.
R.I.P. Bill de Chas W3KC
Contributed by: (W3KC)
Contributed by: rick hiller (W5RH)
Bill was an original and leaves a void never again to be filled. Knowing him as I did, he’s probably looking down on us with a Texas-sized smile from hearing all the comments being made on his behalf. Rest in peace old friend. dit dit dit dit ditdah.
Contributed by: Rod Hotz (K5BGB)
I was a good friend of Bill K5BDZ for many years, sharing our interest of QRP equipment and homebrew/kit construction of this type gear. I am still to this day impressed by his BackPacker II transceiver. Bill put a lot more research and work into this very fine radio than a lot of Hams may realize. I leaned on Bill for technical advice and he never let me down, that is for sure. Our Ham radio hobby suffered a real loss with the passing of Bill. 73's my good friend... Byron W5FH
Contributed by: Byron Tatum (W5FH)
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