The Purdue Calumet Amateur Radio Society was originally chartered in 1960 as the Purdue University Center Radio Club. The club submitted an application for a club callsign and received W9AUB (no special meaning, just a randomly issued recycled callsign). W9AUB has a long history of previous holders. Charles A. Lampel of Indianapolis originally held 9AUB going back sometime earlier than 1925 and then later became W9AUB. From 1930 to 1941, the call was issued to Wilfred J. Bergmann of St. Louis, MO and Edward J. Newill of Pendleton, IN according to the 1948 and 1954 callbooks.
The first club station was housed in second floor room on the north side of the Center Building (renamed to the Millard E. Gyte Building) overlooking the parking lot. Click here for a early 1960’s photo of the Center Building (renamed Gyte) and Inland Steel Research Center (Renamed Gyte Annex). Link is courtesy of the Archives & Special Collections, Purdue University Calumet.
The first transmitter was a World War II surplus Meisner 150 that was loaned to the club for about six months. In a interview with charter member, Bruce, W9OTN, he describes this transmitter as being the size of a coffin and weighing 200 pounds!
The antenna was a multi-band dipole. By 1961, the club was using a Hallicrafters SX-100 Receiver and a Heathkit DX-40 transmitter into a dipole and longwire antenna.
There were very few formal meetings in the early years. The station was available for any club member to drop in and operate when they had extra time. Thanks to charter member, Bruce, W9OTN for providing much of this information.
Ed, W9TW (ex W9PJK) talks about the early W9AUB station:
“The antenna we put up was a full size 160 meter dipole with dipoles for 80, 40 and I believe, 20 meters hanging down from the 160 meter dipole. I think we used wooden spacers between the dipoles. The actual antenna was from the top of the chimney on the NE side of the courtyard (on the N side of the building) to somewhere on the SE roof (don’t remember exactly where on the roof). The feedline hung down from the center of the antenna and entered the second (main floor)( of the building on the North Side – we had a small room that overlooked the parking lot looking towards 169th St. Bruce was a 160 meter buff and we tried operating on 160 but the noise level was very high most of the time. At that time, Loran was still active in parts of the 160 meter band and we were limited to 50 watts input due to regulations. Loran has since disappeared from 160 and the power limits and band segments raised to the current limits.”
From 1963 to 1975 W9AUB is not listed in any of the callbooks.
In the fall/winter 1975 callbook, the W9AUB is once again listed with Dr. Charles Miller (SK), K9HH as the advisor and trustee for the club. The club had a Heathkit SB102 transceiver and a Heathkit SB220 amplifier. There was a HyGain Vertical on the roof that was replaced with a 2 Element Quad. Some licensing classes were offered. Joel, W9WJU (ex Wn9VJE) received his first novice license through the PCARS. The group operated ARRL Field Day for several years up until about 1976 on the lawn south of what is now Lawshe Hall.
1980’s to Present
The current equipment is a Tentec Corsair II and a Mosley TA-33 mounted on a tower on top of the Potter Building. Click here for to see a early picture of the Potter Building featuring it’s massive tower (please let us know if you know anything about the first tower). Link is courtesy of the Archives & Special Collections, Purdue University Calumet. (The date on the description is wrong, as the Potter Building wasn’t built until the late 1960’s).
Stan, W4SV provided the following information discussing the activities of the club in 1994 to 1996. Ralph Skoog, W9OCH (SK) was the station trustee and club advisor. The club station was fully functional and available for our use. Equipment included a Ten-Tec Corsair II on HF, and an Icom IC-228H and AEA PK-232 for 2 meter voice and packet. Packet was still pretty popular at the time, and for awhile Stan maintained a JNOS BBS and packet node in a cabinet on the top floor of the Potter Building. The IPHAM packet node ran 1200 baud on 145.57 MHz and 9600 baud on 430.55 MHz (the packet node ran until about 2001 when it was removed from service). Antennas available were a tri-band beam and 40/80m dipoles for HF, and a 4-element beam for 2 meters. Stan kept a relationship with the school and radio club for a couple more years after graduation and maintained the EET Department website until 1998. It was during this post-graduation period that Stan suggested to Professor Skoog that they request the vanity call W9PUC for the club station: W9 Purdue University Calumet (issued 10-1-1997).
In 2002, the club was reactived after about four years of inactivity. Mark Skowronski, K9MQ was president in 2002. Mark pushed for the club to became an American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Affilated Club. Then ARRL Indiana Section Manager, Jim Sellers, K9ZBM came from Middlebury, IN to W9PUC club station in the Potter Building to present the club with it’s affilated club certificate. Ed Perosky, K9TZT, Mark Skowronski, K9MQ, Mike Wilder, KB9FUM, and Dave Terpstra were present at the presentation.
Starting around 2003, regular monthy Volunteer Examiner (VE) testing was offered at Purdue Calumet in conjunction with the Purdue Calumet Amateur Radio Society and the Lake County Amateur Radio Club through the ARRL. There was better than expected turn out of test taker applicants.
On June 26, 2003, the Purdue Calumet Amateur Radio Society teamed up with the Lake County Amateur Radio Club to host a contact with the International Space Station (ARISS) for young summer camp students from the Challenger Learning Center. The contact was held in the SFLC building, Ed, K9TZT was the advisor and Mark, K9MQ was the control op and Ed Lu was the astronaut aboard the International Space Station. The W9PUC club callsign was used for the contact. Read The Times Article: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/article_2872093c-5d4e-560e-8be6-183efe2a7594.html
John Phillips, KA9PGC 1990 Club President
Chad McClellan, KA9YLV (SK) Early 1990’s Club President
Stan Vandiver, W4SV (ex KD9BE) 1995 to 1996 Club President
Mark Skowronski, K9MQ 2002 Club President
Mike Wilder, KB9FUM 2003 Club President
1960 to 1963 – W9AUB
1975 to 1997 – W9AUB (reissued to club again)
1997 to Present – W9PUC
Charter Members (1960)
Bruce Balsley, W9OTN
Edward P Guzis, W9PJK (now W9TW)
Howard Smith, (Callsign?)
Doug Bastian, (Callsign?)
William Reed Jr. (SK), W9RWN 1960 to ? (Possible first Trustee of W9AUB and Instructor/Advisor)
Richard Bucich (SK), W9CIG 1960-1963 (Instructor/Advisor) Left the area and was a professor of Electrical Engineering at Cal Poly from 1963 to 1988. Silent Key 1999.
Dr. Charles Miller (SK), K9HH ? to 1987 Became a silent key in 1987. Was a member of the Geratol net and held Geratol #417
Professor Ralph Skoog (SK) , W9OCH 1987 to 2001
Ralph Skoog was an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Technology. He received his B.S.E.E. from Purdue University in 1958, and he had instructed student at Purdue Calumet for over 30 years. Professor Skoog has long worked in the local oil refinery industries as an Electrical Engineer, Chief Electrical Engineer, and Electrical Department Head. He has also had ownership in two electrical consulting firms from 1965 to the present, and he has been a Licensed Professional Engineer in both Illinois and Indiana since 1963. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and he has received the Purdue University Calumet Best Teaching Award.
For fun, Professor Skoog enjoys amateur “ham” radio as one of his hobbies (licensed as W9OCH since 1963). He has been instrumental in the formation and continued success of the Purdue Calumet Amateur Radio Society for which he is the Faculty Advisor. Thanks to his diligence and commitment, Purdue Calumet possesses one of the finest in HF/VHF/UHF amateur radio and weather satellite stations. Professor Skoog also recently supervised the installation of a high-speed packet radio network node (TCP/IP) on campus. This node will be useful to students studying wireless networking and also provides a public service to the local community. Professor Skoog became a silent key in 2003. This information is courtesy of Stan, W4SV.
Ed Peroskey, K9TZT 2001 to Present
Ed Peroskey is an Advisor and Instructor for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Department at Purdue University Calumet since 1999.
Current Station Location:
Purdue University Calumet Campus, Hammond, Indiana