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John Fox (W0LER)
5 April 2015
On April 5th this year John Fox WØLER passed away peacefully at Birchwood Senior Living in Forest Lake, MN where he had been living for 4-5 weeks before his death.
John was born in Wadena, MN. John obtained his ham radio license when he was 15 years old. He operated mostly on 80 and 40 meters in the early days. One of John's mentors Bob Hall WØCRO (SK) helped John become interested in VHF operating. John spent a lot of hours operating on two meters and 432 MHZ. Working Meteor Scatter, Tropo, Eskip and just Rag Chewing. We used to gather on 2 meters and have daily chats with WØPN Ron Dunbar (SK), WØRLI Hank Oredson (SK), George WØMD (SK) and many of the rest of the group from the Arrowhead Radio club in Duluth. Sometimes we would be talking the night away even though we had to work the next day.
John was a member of the North Star VHF society, which had a membership that numbered in the hundreds and held an annual banquet usually in Elk River, MN. This club survived into the late 70's and was a predecessor to what would become the NLRS club. Around 1980 When I joined up with Fred Bagg WBØAKN and started Midwest Amateur Radio, we helped sponsor Jon Lieberg KØFQA as he set up an annual get together that coincided with the Robbinsdale Amateur Radio clubs Mid-Winter Madness. John and I attended each of these gatherings.
About 1985 Paul WØUC took over the planning for these annual gatherings and the Genesis for NLRS was formed. John was an active volunteer for NLRS over the years.
John was a team member for Project Oscar and assisted that group in the launch of many Oscar satellites. Project Oscar evolved into Amsat and John's involvement in Amsat included thousands of hours of data collection at his home station over the years.
John attended the first gathering of what would become the Central States VHF Society and attended most of their annual meetings for the next 35 years. He was a past President of Central States and was involved in helping set up many conferences over the years.
Years ago John built the majority of his own station equipment. Lots of which is still operational today.
Over the years the local guys would question John when he would appear to be working a station that no one else could hear, but a quick call to John and you would quickly hear the station he was working talking to John as you were on the phone with him. I don't know exactly why he had such good luck with DXing from his site, but he really could hear much better than many of the rest of us with his station.
John and Karl W2AZL (SK) worked the first ever 432 Mhz meteor scatter contact and received an award from the ARRL for that achievement.
John and Ron Dunbar WØPN (SK) discovered the occurrence of inverted Doppler while monitoring telemetry signals from the Oscar Satellites. This effect was verified by NASA and later explained by a Scientist in Germany.
John worked 47 of the lower 48 states on 2 meters and was only lacking Nevada. He tried many times to work K7ICW on Meteor Scatter but they never were able to complete a contact. John was out of town both times I worked K7ICW on Tropo at s9 +20db. I tried my best to get ahold of him so he could work him. This was during the times of the One Ring phone calls to let others know the band was open, but I let it ring of the hook.
I do not have enough time today to recall all of John's many achievements over the years, or to really give a complete picture of his devotion to this hobby. He was a great Ham and loved this hobby and what it gave to him over his 62 years of being licensed. He will really be missed by all who knew him.
Contributed by: Richard Philstrom (W0TLE)
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