Director 2010 - 2011
Robert E. 'Bob' Smith
Plympton, MA 02367-1617
QCWA # 29532
Bob Smith was born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y. His first radio experience was building crystal sets and, eventually, one and two-tube regenerative receivers from kits ordered by mail from Lafayette Radio and other retailers who didn't mind servicing orders for "two Fahnestock clips at $0.15 each, one five-pin tube socket, etc.". When he was 12, in 1945, he received his first amateur call W2CCZ. It looked awkward but it was an easily recognized call on both CW and phone. He upgraded to Advanced in 1947.
In high school he met Bob Johnson, W2WVC, and began a friendship that lasted many years. Together they attended meetings of the KBT Radio Club (it stood for Kenmore-Buffalo-Tonawanda). Although the members, many of whom worked for Bell Aircraft, were older and more experienced , they welcomed the youngsters into the fraternal aspect of ham radio. Johnson later introduced Smith to the QCWA
Smith's first transmitter was a home built, crystal controlled 6L6 oscillator and an 807 final. His receiver was a Hallicrafter's S-38.
After high school Smith worked as a transmitter and studio technician and, later, copywriter at WXRA in Kenmore, N.Y. This began a pattern of working in broadcasting while attending college. He graduated from the University of Buffalo (now SUNY Buffalo) and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. at Ohio State. He was on the faculty at Boston University where he was chairman of the department of broadcasting and film from 1968-78 and had general management responsibility for public radio station WBUR. From 1978-95 he was dean of the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University where he was responsible for WRTI. He was a member of the Temple University Amateur Radio Club (K3TU). Lloyd Sturgeon, W3LYS, introduced him to the Delmont Amateur Radio Club. Smith served as president of the club in the early 1990s. When he retired he and his XYL, Suzanne, moved to the South Shore of MA to be near their children. Although he was off air while his children were young, Bob has consistently maintained a modest but frequently used station.
His interests are DX (DXCC-CW) and the history of the hobby. He has enjoyed satellite communication and several computer-based modes, but invariably returns to CW. In an attempt to "downsize," he has reduced his collection of telegraph keys from 17 to 5!
January 27, 2011