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Friends Remembered Home | Friends Detail

Morgan Richards (W5HBM)

July 1, 1984

(This entry is about an interesting ham whom I knew slightly from a Field Day adventure in the early 1970s. I would hope that there are other hams, who know more about this gentleman than me, that will add-some-entries and tell us more.) /// Morgan Richards, W5HBM, was a ham operator living on a ranch a few miles east of Dripping Springs, Texas, (about 30 miles west of Austin) in the early 1970s. /// I became aware of Morgan when Tom Lytle, W5WR, (from Houston) was invited by Morgan to come up to his place to operate Field Day from in June 1970. The invitation was open-ended (Morgan said others could come) so I, and my friend Roger Bryant, WA5RNL, drove to Dripping Springs from San Marcos (I lived there and Roger was attending Southwest Texas State University which was in San Marcos). /// The reason that I've never forgotten that Field Day experience was that Morgan's ham shack was situated in a building that was pretty-much on what might be considered a small 'mountain-top' (or at least what passes for a mountain in the hill-country west of Austin). /// I don't know Morgan's background but his ham shack was filled with pictures of Air Force big-wigs and his station appeared to consist mostly of former military radio equipment as well as Collins S-Line gear. Situated as it was on that 'mountain-top' (it was probably 200 to 300 feet above all the surrounding terrain) Morgan's shack had amazing views in all directions. ///(as best I remember) Morgan's radio shack was a building that was essentially 'T' shaped with the 'top' of the 'T' being the equipment end and the 'bottom' being configured as a recreation/sleeping-porch area. The equipment end was probably about 30 by 50 feet in size and the recreation/sleeping-porch portion was about 25 feet wide by 50 feet long. That part (the recreation/sleeping-porch part) had a pool table in the middle, windows on all three sides that opened-out on to the view from that little 'mountain-top', and cushioned sofa-like furniture around the walls under the windows (which were screened). One of the Texas hill-country's significant characteristics is that it is common, even in the middle of a hot, Texas, summer, for a light blanket to be needed at night as temperatures routinely drop into the 50s (at lower elevations, south of the hill-country, nighttime temperatures routinely stay hot & muggy all night long). The result being that during 24 hour 'marathon ham operations', such as Field Days, that recreation/sleeping-porch area provided a pleasant location for tired hams to catch-some-sleep on the sofas, with soothing nighttime breezes able to waft-through the screened windows. /// Well, that's what I remember about my 1970 Field Day experience operating from W5HBM's mountain-top ham shack just east of Dripping Springs, Texas. (From some old information I located on-line I believe that Morgan's place had the mailing address of 'Dripping Springs Ranch'). (Paul N. Nix, WB5AGF, 23 March 2016)

Contributed by: Paul N. Nix (WB5AGF)

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