K1AA - November 28, 2009

Norman Gertz - K1AA
Orlando, FL

QCWA # 8668

GERTZ, NORMAN, age 88, of Orlando passed away on Nov. 28, 2009. He was born in Providence RI to the late Benjamin and Tillie Gertz. The majority of his life was spent serving his country in the United States Marine Corps. He was a veteran of WWII and Korea. His passion in life was family and amateur radio. His wisdom and knowledge will be missed.

He was predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Gloria, on January 1, 2009. He is survived by daughter, Sandra (Eric) Nartic of Sanford; granddaughter Kimberly (Douglas) Johnston of Windermere; great-grandsons Chase and Brody Johnston, and brother Raymond Gertz of Cranston RI.

Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 10 a.m. at Beth Shalom Memorial Chapel. Services entrusted to BETH SHALOM MEMORIAL CHAPEL, 640 Lee Road, Orlando FL 32810. 407.599.1180.
Published in Orlando Sentinel on November 30, 2009

Subject: The passing of Colonel Norman Gertz
It is with great sadness I have to pass along the news my Grandfather Colonel Norman Gertz passed away Saturday the 28th. He will be missed greatly by his family and friends. My name is Kimberly Johnston his Granddaughter and I can be reached by email at kvidic@cfl.rr.com or by phone at 407-902-8164. If you have any memories of Norman I would love to hear them. I will keep you updated on the service arrangements. We thank you for your friendship.

Kimberly Johnston

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Norm Gertz, K1AA.

This afternoon I received a phone call from Kim, His granddaughter, that Norm had passed away.

Norm was one of my mentors and I might say my CW elmer. I even convinced him to try VHF and introduced him to the world of 6M DXing (becoming his elmer). Norm was never afraid to try something new in Ham Radio. It is ironic that this weekend is the CQ Worldwide CW DX contest. This is the first year K1AA will be absent. His key is indeed silent, Rest in eternal peace old friend.

Services for Norm will be at the Beth Shalom Chapel on Lee Road just west of I-4 (across from Home Depot) at 10 AM Tuesday, December 1, 2009.

Bob Cumming
Stolen from the January 2001 issue of the Ocean State ARG newsletter - N1VDF Editor ( http://members.cox.net/n1vdf/JAN-FEB-2001.pdf )

K1AA - Norman GertzI was first licensed in 1937 and my first call was W1KYK which I held for 39 years before succumbing to the 2 letter call K1AA. First receiver was a single tube regenerative receiver and a firth transmitter was a TNT with a 201A tube. My power supply as an old "8" eliminator supply from home type BC receiver. I upgraded the transmitter by moving up to a Type 45 tube and finally to a 210 tube. I changed over to a Hartley transmitter before making the move into a crystal controlled rig.

My very first band operation was on 160M. During those early years the band conditions were fantastic. No man made noise whatsoever, extremely quiet, you could hear and copy the weakest of signals. I was able to buy a Sears "Silvertone" All Wave radio from a fire sale, modified it with a BFO and an RF gain control and I was in heaven. That radio served me until I left for Washington in December 1942.

I had afternoon skeds after coming home from high school, those were usually half hour or more QSO's between friends. I made lifelong friendships during those years. Contacts in general were not as brief as they are now. You were likely to learn about the occupation, other hobby interests and family life of the person you were talking to. In general, there was an air of courtesy and fellowship among the fraternity. CW operators always slowed down to the speed of the other station automatically.

The majority of amateurs in those days were on CW for a number of reasons. It was the depression and going on phone required more equipment and a microphone etc. My first efforts on phone were made with a salvaged upright old style carbon telephone. Those years were a DX man's dream. When 10M opened upo you suddenly could work the entire world with a few watts.

One significant difference was that most stations were rock bound and it was customary after calling CQ to look up and down the band and hear someone calling you 20 to 30 Khz off your frequency.

The establishment of the 5M band attracted many adventurous amateurs. Most started out with the same identical one tube regenerative transceiver. It was amazing what results could be obtained with just a simple little rig. It wasn't long before the superhet receivers and crystal controlled transmitters evolved. Some old timers could not live with the congestion on 5M so they migrated to 2 1/2M!

During those years the percentage of amateurs that owned commercially built radios was very small. First of all, there were only a very few companies manufacturing amateur radio equipment.

Many amateurs built every piece of gear themselves. Usually, the main consideration was how much money you had to spend on component parts. Cannibalizing old broadcast receivers was a very common practice to obtain parts.

My very first antenna was a single wire which I strung up into a tree during a snow storm. I later went on to an open wire line feeder type with home made spreaders. My first beam was a Workshop 10M 3 element beam which I purchased after WWII. Keep in mind, there was no coax in those days so you had to use other means to feed your antenna. Matchboxes were built by the individual amateurs as none were available otherwise.

This site lists newsletters from Jan of 2000 through Dec of 2001 but only 3 are available via a google search. The Ocean State ARG site is at members.cox.net/osarg. NØUF, QCWA Webmaster