Edward J. 'Ed' Wolfrum
Royal Oak, MI
QCWA # 15827
I was originally licensed as KN8HJU in 1957 at age 11 as a Novice and have been active ever since. I have always held this call and hope never to lose it. It's a great CW call, but with the H & J silent in spanish, not so great for DX phone. Back then most of my Novice activity was on 40 meter CW with a BC458 WWII transmitter modified for crystal control and later back to the BC458 internal VFO when I upgraded. I used an S-38D as a novice receiver for what it was worth! Later I had a second hand Heathkit AT-1 then a DX-100 and an National HRO-5 receiver. That was a great CW and RTTY receiver. That's what a 11-14 year old kid with a paper route could afford.
My shack is still "vintage" by todays standards, but I spent so much time with the audio mods on my TS-520 I can't bear to part with it. I also have a TS-120 for emergency/portable work and a FT-817 for QRP. That QRP rig is the only one I have to work the WARC bands. Right now I have an 80 meter inverted V Zepp, fed with 450 ohm open wire as an all band antenna, with a home brew tuner and a 4BTV vertical, ground mounted with 4 radials for low angle radiation DX work. For VHF I have a home brew 5/8 wave round plane on a mast on the roof to which the center point of the Zepp is supported.
I have been active on almost all modes starting with RTTY in the early 60's, VHF FM and repeaters in the 70's though Oscar in the 80's and now PSK31 and other digital modes. I have always been active in public service work and took on the job fully as the RACES radio officer for the City of Royal Oak in the 1980's. I still spend much of my ham radio time on CW and usually QRP in that mode. I am NOT a contester nor a DXer. I enjoy amateur radio as a technical and friendship pursuit.
At age 14 I passed the First Class Commercial License and worked in commercial broadcasting in the Detroit market for a number of the AM and FM stations and helped install the WOMC Stereo upgrade in the early 1960's. This lit the fire for my love of audio. When the Mike McLean, Chief Engineer at Motown records stopped by to see the new stereo FM operation and invited me for a visit to the Motown studio I snapped up the offer. I had some knowledge of the Motown operation as I had sold an audio interface device I was building for the broadcasters and studios to his predecessor Ron Malo. When at Motown I was offered a job by Berry Gordy himself and thus began a 50+ year career in audio engineering. This was broken only by a short stint in the seminary to confirm if God wanted me as a priest or as an audio engineer. While in the seminary I worked during breaks at Golden World Records until its sale to Motown. Work for and the construction of several other Detroit areas studios and broadcast stations continued while still working free lance at Motown as well. This finally led me to United Sound Systems, the mothership of Detroit recording studios, where I ended up as Chief Engineer until the sale of the studio by it's owner, audio pioneer Jimmy Siracuse to Don Davis a well known record producer. I completed a EE undergraduate degree in 1969 while working at United and taking night classes. I later did post-graduate work and completed a Ph.D in Electro-Acoustics in 2002.
In 1967 I started my own business Audio Graphic Services, which provided remote recording services, consultation and technical support to United and other Detroit studios an record companies. After leaving United and with the help of Jimmy Siracuse, I built a small multi-track studio to complete the remote work not done for other studios. This business has developed with my wife on the graphics side and continues today doing audio and acoustics consulting and design. You can visit www.audiographicservices.com for more info if you are interested.
My life has always had it's contact with amateur radio because my career started there and this continues today 55 years later. Life is such a gift to us and my amateur radio buddies are a great part of my life. God truly does draw straight with crooked lines.
December 23, 2015