Category Archives: BIO

BIO: Michael Siegel W2RT

Mike Siegel, W2RT, obtained his first amateur licensed in 1962 while still in high school, and later upgraded to Extra Class. He also holds a First Class Commercial License with radar endorsement. While in engineering school he worked in Aerospace under a DOD contract. For a short time after college he worked for the Ferrari North American Racing team on gearing, traction, and race timing.

Later on he worked for the ABC Television Network.  His responsibilities there included Video Tape Technical Support, Post Production Special Effects Editing,  and RF Engineering.  During his tenure with ABC he was honored by receiving many awards for his work.  Some of the honors he received were a  Gold Hugo award for editing, a Dupont award in television, a Peabody award in Journalism, various Film Writer awards for some of his projects, and a collection of 9 National Emmy awards.

His work consisted of News and Documentaries, Sports, 3 Olympics games, and even some Soap Operas.  Upon retirement from ABC he was offered a position teaching engineering subjects at a local technical school.  Within a couple of months he became the head of the schools competition robotics team. Eventually he elevated the team from novices to a nationally ranked team.  He was hired by F.I.R.S.T. (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to be their Senior mentor in New York.  Mike is now recognized as the F.I.R.S.T. Senior Mentor Emeritus of the F.I.R.S.T. organization.

Over his many years he has been in Whose Who in America three times in two different industries.  Along with his wife, Elaine, they are both accredited ARRL Volunteer Examiners.  Mike is both a Lifetime member of the A.R.R.L. and AMSAT.

Today he enjoys his long term activity in  Amateur Radio and is the proud member of an all Ham family.

BIO: Ray Smolenski N4RU

FCC licensed since 1959
Extra Class licensee since 1970
Formerly licensed overseas as ZL0ACH & VK9LRU

Key achievements:
DXCC Honor Roll (both Phone & Mixed Mode)
DXCC (8 bands)

Radio related affiliations:
BRARA member
SFDXA Treasurer
Past President of SFDXA
Past President of Motorola ARC-Plantation
ARRL Life Member

BSEE & MBA – Univ. of Michigan

Past local area employers:
ADT Security Services
Spectra Systems, Inc.
Sensormatic Electronics
Motorola, Inc.

Community affiliations:
South Florida resident since 1976
Past HOA President in Plantation
Boca Raton homeowner since 2000

BIO: Les Kalmus W2LK

Les found Ham Radio with some High School friends and became K2SHL when he got his general. He became interested in DX and discovered that contests were a great way to find more DX and started contesting in the early 1970’s. In 1996 he received W2LK.

In 1992, he operated from the US Virgin Islands for his first experience on the other end of a pileup. In 1998, he and his friend Steve Weinstein, K2WE, were the first Americans licensed to operate from Vietnam since the war as 3W6LK and 3W6WE.

Since then for CQWW CW, he has operated from J7, KH6, CT9, V3 and PJ7 and for many years from K2LE and W2AX in Vermont. In 2011 he was part of the VK9HR Lord Howe expedition, in 2012 ZL9HR, Campbell Island, in 2015 TX3X, Chesterfield Island and in 2018, VP6D, Ducie Island.

He has been active on all bands from 160 to 6 meters and particularly likes 160 and 80 meter Dxing. He is a member of Cwops (726), North Jersey DX Association and Boca Raton Amateur Radio Association and, in the past, has been a member of the Hudson Valley Contesters and Dxers, Order of Boiled Owls of NY and the Yankee Clipper Contest Club.

Professionally, he started his career with IBM as a programmer, worked in several banks and brokerages and eventually ran a successful IT consulting and staffing business with his wife, Barbara.

Bio: Rob Adams KC7FBN

Rob Adams has been a licensed ham since 1994. He was been a member of Seattle WA ACS radio team for two years. Rob has been active in two way radio for 30 years. In the early 90s he facilitated bringing a volunteer EmComm radio group into Sea-Tac International Airport to support the Airport Chaplaincy.

BIO: Rick Rosen K1DS

Rick Rosen, K1DS, has been a ham for 60 years. For the past 30 years he has had a keen interest in VHF and up activity and he has been a member of both the Northeast Weak Signal group, the Packrats and the Florida Weak Signal Society. He has operated bands from 1.8MHz through 24GHz and LASER. In the past 16 years he has built up a moonbounce station with CW operation on 144, 432, 1296 and 2304MHz. Now that he is a snowbird, he has limited ability to have antennas, but has managed to find opportunities to continue his EME activity with a modest station and the use of JT65B digital mode. He has been the author of many of the QST ARRL VHF contest results for over 15 years, most recently focusing on the EME contest. He has attended all of the International EME meetings since 2002 including this year’s meeting in the Netherlands, visiting the Dwingeloo 25 meter EME and astrophysics dish and research facility. He’ll show us how we might be able to make a moonbounce QSO too.

Bio: Ralph Boyd KK4GUB

Ralph Boyd, KK4GUB, is an Amateur Radio Astronomer with a PC coAntrolled Spectral receiver tuned on the 21cm (1420MHz) spectral line for neutral Hydrogen. He has written software to collect the RF radiation from Galactic nebula clouds, and will be speaking about and demonstrating aspects of Radio Astronomy.

Ralph retired from Motorola in 2008 after 40yrs as a Software Engineer. He graduated with a BS degree from Auburn University in ’69 and served in the US Air Force as a navigational repairman for SAC, repairing the navigation beacon radios on KC-135 tankers and B-52 bombers. Following his time in the military, he worked for various electronic companies in medical equipment, high tech R&D, and communications (modems & cell phone).

Bio: Bruce Ratoff KO4XL

Bruce Ratoff, KO4XL, is a retired Electrical Engineer whose interest in electronics goes back to early childhood. He got his professional start at the very beginning of the personal computing era, and has done design and development in many different hardware and software disciplines. Bruce fulfilled his lifelong interest in becoming a radio amateur while working at IBM in Boca Raton, and has held an Amateur Extra license since 1992.

Bio: Steve Martin KN4FEN

Steven Martin, KN4FEN, has been a computer hobbyist since 1981 when he bought a Timex Sinclair 1000 (2k RAM, tactile keyboard). That hooked him, and then he moved to Apple and Microsoft operating systems over the years. That led to working for a color prepress house (printing industry) as a Digital Desktop Publishing manager, which lead to being a systems engineer for a world-wide company that manufactured equipment for the printing industry.

Steve moved from Chicago to Boca Raton in 1998 when he was promoted to National Systems Engineering Manager for Siemens-Nixdorf Printing Systems (later became Oceand later Canon).

He is now semi-retired, and mostly work on electronics items of all shapes and sizes. From 1974-1991, he setup and used a number of CB radio mobiles and bases as a hobby (26-27MHz).

It wasn’t until 2016, that a new friend (KM4IQH –> W4ZXE) suggested Steve get into Ham radio, and shortly thereafter he secured his Technician and then General licenses.

Steve is now the proud owner of 3 VHF/UHF radios and various antennas and accessories such as tuners, analyzers, linear amps, a SignaLink, and mics, etc. He enjoys many of the local nets, and recently became a NCS for the South East Florida Traffic Net. Very recently, Steve started a new net called “The Not Qwight Right Net” on a the 146.82 mHz repeater on Thursday nights. He also enjoys using Echolink to talk to other hams around the world.

BIO: Kai Siwiak KE4PT

Kazimierz (Kai) Siwiak, KE4PT, was first licensed in 1964, and holds an Amateur Extra class license. He holds 41 US patents, has authored many professional papers, four textbooks, and has contributed chapters to other books. Dr. Kai is a member of QRP-ARCI, Life Member of AMSAT and a member of ARRL where he serves on the RF Safety Committee and is an ARRL Technical Advisor, and Contributing Editor for QST, and Editor of QEX. Kai is an avid DXer who carries a small “DX Go-Bag” station on his travels. Kai will present “No-cost Software for Portable DXing — Digital Modes and Propagation Prediction”, subtitled, “Plan Before You Go!”. As long as you have an HF transceiver no older than a teenager, you can add an audio interface and a small computer to create a Basic Software Defined Radio. Then, add any of the many free digital software packages to operate modern high performance digital protocols. Finally, maximize the effectiveness of your DX-GoBag station experience by using modern free propagation software packages to plan your operating mode, time and band! We will step through the Basic SDR concept, identify the digital software packages, and walk our way through free software propagation packages.

BIO: Richard Ladisky WB1J

Richard Ladisky began scuba diving over 35 years ago and eventually decided to join love of diving with his passion for photography and adventure travel. His specialty has become the most dangerous, the most unusual and the discovery of new or newly discovered species.

He is retired from public education and supervision after 35 years, and Director of Homeland Security in CT after 34 years.

For ten years he has done underwater photojournalism for a company in California that has sent him around the world to photograph the wonders below.

In his “spare” time Rich has used his amateur radio license to communicate with a cosmonaut on Mir and the astronauts on both the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. He has confirmed contacts with people in every country and entity on earth.

Rich has done shows for numerous clubs, civic groups and foundations, the Florida Dive Show, and for ten years has presented his adventures at Beneath the Sea in N.J., the largest diving and photography convention in North America.

His work has shown in galleries and he recently had a two-month one-man show, as well as a one-month showing at two Community Centers.

Two of his images have just been part of a yearlong exhibit at the NOVA Southeastern University Oceanographic Center in Florida.

He has recently joined the ranks of many scientists, explorers and astronauts by presenting his work for the “On the Shoulders of Giants” series at Talcott Mountain Science Center in CT. A second show followed.