AA4MI - Carl S. Zelich Director 2014 - 2015


Carl S. Zelich
Chuluota, FL

QCWA # 13738
Chapter 45
AA4MI - Carl S. Zelich

Carl, AA4MI, ex: WN1DZA, W1DZA, W8LMM, AC8LMM & W4OBR was raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

His mother sent him to the local public library during the winter months because it was warmer there than at home. Within a building full of books, Carl began reading and his interest settled on the Electrical section. There he found instructions to build his first crystal receiver and at age 7 was listening to local radio stations during those cold winter nights.

He attended several Stratford Amateur Radio Club meetings. This club inspired him to get his Novice license. WN1DZA, in 1956. He continued on with his amateur radio studies and proceeded up through Extra class.

While attending Fairfield College Preparatory School in Fairfield, CT, Carl, as a member of the Physics Club, built a transistor receiver using the famous first transistor CK722. This effort took the entire treasury of the club and the "smoke test" was a success.

His amateur radio exposure lead him to a new career. He served with the US Army Security Agency from 1959 to 1962. There his amateur radio talents were used to their fullest.

In '63, he worked for a public utility's accounting department. His supervisor came over to him and asked, "Carl, you know something about electronics don't you? Aren't you a "ham" or something?". Carl nodded his head yes. Immediately a huge pile of manuals, books and diagrams were dumped on his desk! His supervisor said, "There's a new thing called a computer or something downstairs; see what you can do with it." Thus his computer career was born.

During the next 30 years, he worked for several major corporations as a computer programmer, computer programmer analyst, senior computer programmer, lead programmer, system analyst and senior computer programmer specialist. He concluded his last 18 years at the Kennedy Space Center in software development for the Space Shuttle Project. He was also Training Instructor for more than 2,000 recent college graduates entering the computer workforce there.

In December '79, the FCC opened a window to allow Extra Class operators to request their suffix. Carl requested the "MI" suffix to fit his former Merritt Island QTH in FL. The FCC the realized it had started to assign the "AA" prefix too soon and it was immediately closed. But not before a very rare prefix and a 2x2 call sign was issued! Carl's station was in great demand by certificate hunters and worldwide by DX stations. Thinking he was a new country, he sent out over 5,000 QSL cards in 1980, 4,000 in '81, 3,000 in '82 and '83!

He is past president of the Indian River ARC, Brevard Repeater Assoc. and founding member of the Brevard Amateur Radio Packet Assoc. Carl is an ARRL Life Member, Assistant Director SE Division, Volunteer Examiner and Official Relay Station. He is also past president of the Space Center Amateur Radio Society (SCARS) at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida. He was a member of the Launch Information Service and Amateur Television System (LISTS) of Brevard County.

Carl also was one of the 5 original hams who established a 2 meter 1 kilowatt launch service for the east central region of Florida. It's purpose was to provide exact launch status for every mission leaving the Cape Canaveral area. This station was acknowledged by Kennedy Space Center officials and consequently, they have installed a receivers in EVERY vehicle at the space center! The signal reports for the station have been received from the Bahamas, Cuba and Georgia areas. Additionally, this signal has been repeated by repeaters in those areas to extend the signal coverage beyond our wildest beliefs! It is even retransmitted on h.f. amateur frequencies!

Carl is also a member of the Society of Wireless Pioneers(2713-M), Veteran Wireless Operators Association, the Quarter Century Wireless Assoc.(13738), the Old Old Timer's Club(3887), the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service(RACES), Lake Monroe Amateur Radio Society(LMARS), Straight Key Century Club(1128), North American QRP Cw Club(1237), FISTS(7451), Croation Telegraph Club(579)and the 10-10 Club(15485).

He has also been awarded Honorary Membership in May 2006 in the North Brevard Amateur Radio Club (NBARC) for his Special Event Management of the Space Shuttle Special Event Station N4S, (NASA for Space). A 25th Anniversary Certificate honoring the Space Shuttle was authorized by the Florida Space Authority at Cape Canaveral Air Station and signed by Lieutenant Governor Toni Jennings, State of Florida.

He holds WAC, WAS, DXCC and various other awards. His current DXCC standing is 291 countries on cw.

Carl's most recent award is "The Karl Lambert, KB4DCR Memorial Education and Training Delivery Award" presented by the Lake Monroe Amateur Radio Society (LMARS) on December 2, 2010 for providing outstanding leadership and personal involvement in developing and delivering education and training programs on behalf of LMARS in keeping with its constitutional mission and purpose.

Examples of his efforts include Code Training, Weather Balloon launch and tracking, Career Day for Seminole County Public School Teach-in, Lake County Elementary Schools Amateur Radio Club, "Talk to the Astronauts" ISS Space Station contacts for 400 college students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Daytona, FL. and many other programs.

The LMARS Board of Directors is thrilled to present the first Karl Lambert Memorial Education and Training Delivery Award to Carl Zelich, AA4MI.

Carl lives on a 7 acre homestead in Chuluota, Fl. He currently runs 1 kw on h.f. to a 1,000 and a 2,000 foot flat top and other antennas. Plans are underway for a rhombic and materials have been purchased. It will probably be about 500 feet long but he is still planning.

His days are kept busy with his wife, Julie, and step daughters, Nicole and Candice, and 2 cats, Nala and Bubba.

September 1, 2014