K2HH - Bud Keller, FD 1936 K2HH

Hugo B. 'Bud' Keller
Wampsville, NY

QCWA # 4949

Hugo Keller - W8MLM/W2OVT/K2HH

I was born on May 24, 1919 in Oneida, NY. My father had been the Oneida Ford dealer there since 1916.

I learned code as a 12 year old Boy Scout and got interested in amateur radio when I bought QST at a newsstand for 25 cents. I built a receiver using a type 30 tube as a detector and another type 30 tube as an amplifier. Using the receiver and a longwire antenna I was able to listen in to amateurs on 75 meters. My first QSO was with Bob Jackson who lived 5 blocks away - using my receiver by removing the grid leak resistor and keying the antenna on 80 meters during the daytime.

Bob and I took amateur exam at age 14 in 1934 in Troy, NY. The exam was conducted by R. I. Batchelor from New York City. It was an essay type - no multiple choice questions - plus code at 10 wpm. Both of us felt very lucky when we passed on the first try - He was assigned W8MJV and then in 1936 W2GOW. I received the call of W8MLM. My first transmitter used four tubes: a type 47 as an oscillator, a type 46 as a buffer, and parallel 46's in the output stage. The plate input to the output stage was 25 watts. The rig was breadboard, using parts from cannibalized Atwater Kent battery model radios. My Dad had a PA system that used push-pull type 250's and I used that to modulate the output stage of my transmitter on 160 meters. My receiver was a National SW 3 receiver. My antenna on 80 meters was an end-fed Zepp and on 160 meters I tied the feeders together and worked it against the ground as a Marconi

I became a member of the AARS (Army Amateur Radio Service - an unofficial, not sworn-in service) in 1940 and drilled on the air weekly. I was 1A in the draft on December 7, 1941 (an easy date to remember!) but the Army had nothing that interested me at the start of WW 2. The Navy however, had the V6 (Radar) program which did sound a lot more interesting so I went into the Navy on January 4, 1942 as a RadioMan 2nd Class. That was followed by a year as a 1st Class RadioMan - training in Aviation Radio (Radar) Material School in Corpus Christi, Texas. 16 of us stayed for MAD (Magnetic Airborne Detection system) training. Following completion of that training I was assigned to LTA (Lighter Then Air) duty and was sent to ZP 51 Blimp Squadron in Trinidad and British Guiana for 18 months. I became Lead Technician and the squadron had best worldwide record - zero days lost due to radar failure. I ended my service at Lakehurst, New Jersey on September 4, 1945.

After getting out of the service I headed back to Oneida and became Secretary-Treasurer at the Ford dealership and eventually General Manager. Dad fancied himself as an inventor and was pleased to devote his time to his creations. I sold the dealership in 1968 but stayed on in sales and inventory control till I retired in 1981.

I got my Class A license and a new call of W2OVT in 1946. Now I was able to have QSOs with some of the wonderful guys I had first heard as an SWL, running 100 watts output on AM and CW, also on SSB starting in 1971. I upgraded to Extra Class in 1970 and the K2HH call in 1971.

I joined the QCWA in 1959 as number 04949, sponsored by Charlie Smith-W2DSS, the Section Manager for the ARRL's Western New York Section. Initially I joined Mohawk Valley Chapter which ultimately failed because it didn't recruit enough younger hams. My first wife died in 1979 and I married Betty in 1986, we live pretty quietly in Wampsville. My activities currently are lots of travel, golfing, gardening, and of course, Chapter 29 meetings! Long live the Finger Lakes Chapter 29 of the QCWA and amateur radio.

Sincerely, 73's, Bud Keller-K2HH, Wampsville, New York

Bud Keller - K2HH
This was taken at the 1936 ARRL Field Day held in Woodgate, NY by the Utica Amateur Radio Club.

In the back row are (left to right):

Al Bujarowicz, now an SK,
Clark Berry W8LGV/K4GJB, originally from Ilion and now living in Massachusetts,
Roger Berry W8PDO/W8RTO, originally from Ilion, probably an SK now,
"Bud" Keller W8MLM/W2OVT/K2HH, originally from Oneida and now living in Wampsville,
Fred Schremp W8MKA/W6JAG, originally from Ilion and now living in California,
Ken Hanson W8MKA/NC4J, originally from Ilion and now living in Florida.

In the front row are (left to right):

Frank North W8DNE/W2DNZ, originally from Utica, now an SK,
Bill Jones W8LVZ/W2QDO, originally from Remsen, now an SK,
Bill Keneficek W8QFE/W2QFZ, originally from Utica, now an SK
Frank Landing W8LGR, now an SK.

October 12, 2009