Vincent J. 'Vince' Biancomano
Schooleys Mountain, NJ
QCWA # 22849
Radio's magic first hooked me at age 5 in my hometown of Staten Island, NY, as I intently watched the TV repairman replace the 'fire bottles' with those that came from the beautifully colored cartons in his tube caddy. At age 12, I found ham radio as an errand boy for Miss May, who was a shortwave listener. She introduced me to The Graveyard Net, whose founder, Anton Frey, W2JF, lived only a few miles away. Iggy Ganon, who was Miss May's landlord and a former ham, and Fred Holtermann, also a former ham who owned a hardware store up the block, were there to encourage me. But I had also found Tex Antoine in the early 50s, even before he became the first nationally known weather personality. And so with my first receiver, the Knight-Kit Space Spanner, I scanned the bands for both hams and wx reporting stations like Gander Radio so I could plot surface weather maps. Ham radio or the weather? I was torn between them.
Amateur Radio took hold initially, leading to a career in electronics. It also brought me into contact with some fantastic people who did their best to help me along the way. I forged some long term associations with such legends as Carl Scheideler, W2AZL (at Bell Labs) and Vic Clark, W4KFC. And in the '70s, Doug DeMaw, W1FB placed three of my articles in QST on speech recognition and pulse code modulation, opening the door to the world of publishing. DeMaw.s editorial wisdom and encouragement, his practical approach in doing the most with the least, coupled with my interest in the weather and W2AZL.s efforts to get me on VHF, inspired yet another first: The development, with WA2EQF, of a simple propagation prediction tool for VHF/UHF tropo enhancement (see www.cloudjockey.org).
Yet another ham, John Chiuchiolo (Johnny "Cue"), W2LWB, an engineer at Capitol Records, brought me to the kings of jazz. I particularly liked Charlie Mingus and Stan Kenton; John had recorded them both. Shortly after we met, John invited me to a fair number of recording sessions and introduced me to such personalities as Bob Thiele, Jerome Richardson, Clark Terry, George Duvivier, Bobby Rosengarden, Willie Maiden, and Maynard Ferguson, who I last saw in May 2004. To help me along with yet another goal, there was Gus Browning, W4BPD, who provided the local knowledge I needed to navigate three DXpeditions to Monaco in the '70s with Fraser Robertson, G4BJM, where we were lucky to run into such stars as Roger Moore (The Saint/James Bond) and Cary Grant. Fraser and I are still holding our skeds, too, 35 years later.
Today, golf is my number one love. But I.ve still a strong interest in the various VHF propagation modes, and I.m particularly crazy about tropo and meteor-scatter using traditional (SSB, CW) modes of operation. So if that.s your bag, give me a shout! See you on the bands!
December 04, 2015