N8COQ - Kenneth R. 'Ken' Barnes N8COQ

Kenneth R. 'Ken' Barnes
Rochester Hills, MI

QCWA # 30967
Chapter 36

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Hans Jens W8HFM trustee of the Derby Wireless Association (Birmingham, MI) I received my Novice license in early July of 1971.

Out of high school I joined the United States Air Force and had the pleasure of working on Collins radio gear for Uncle Sam.

In the early eighties I attended Michigan State University where I was active with the MSU club station W8SH while studying Electrical Engineering.

Out of college I taught electronics and robotics in Hazel Park, Michigan and enjoyed showcasing amateur radio to my students along with Roy Cook W8RYZ.

For the next thirty plus years I specialized in controls engineering, first with Allen-Bradley (where many of my colleagues were avid amateurs), Siemens (where as an applications engineer I had a great time chasing DX while mobile in route to customer sites), ZF (running HF mobile from our northwest Indiana QTH to work in Chicago), LeTourneau Technologies (surprising Houston emergency management nets with an "N8" call sign), Volkswagen in Chattanooga, TN (where I could zip over to Lookout Mountain and DX Europe from several thousand feet), Jervis B Webb (where I would roll out the 75 meter dipole at their facility in Harbor Springs and check into the Wolverine and Great Lakes Emergency and Traffic Nets), ThyssenKrupp System Engineering (where from an antenna restricted neighborhood I would roll out the dipole at dark, make QSOs and take it down after midnight) and most recently at Gehring (where as their Senior Controls Engineer I run mobile daily back and forth from work usually in the Corvette).

I participated in USECA's antenna shoot-out with my 1985 Corvette, but with very little ground plane on 75 meters needless to say did not win (hi hi). Gordon Helm N1CKG and myself transmitted ATV from the Corvette running laps around Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Michigan to give those not brave enough to strap into the passenger seat a cockpit eye view.

I am active in Oakland County Emergency Management and participate in siren tests. My XYL and myself operated 440 FM and ARPS as "Rover 1" from our Corvette in this year's 20th anniversary Woodward Dream Cruise providing additional "eyes and ears" for Royal Oak.

Our best QRP DX is approximately 99 miles standing on the conning tower of the submarine USS Bowfin in Pearl Harbor and talking to KH6IJS on Maui running low power (150 milliwatts) on 2 meter FM with a rubber duck from a Kenwood TH-21AT handheld.

I relish contacts using vintage radios, love classic cars, dabble in ATV and try to make it a habit to observe the sun (right photo) every day the weather permits.

N8COQ - Kenneth R. 'Ken' Barnes

June 22, 2015