James W. Young
Wrightwood, CA

QCWA # 20152
Chapter 81
W7FTT - James W. Young

I was born James Whitney YOUNG on January 24, 1941 in Portland, Oregon. I attended both Sylvan and West Sylvan Elementary School before my father was transferred to Seattle, where I attended Nathen Eckstein Jr. High, and finally graduated from Roosevelt High in 1959.

When I was still in Portland, I became fascinated with astronomy with my brother, Mike. We learned the constellations, planets, and used a small spotting telescope given to us by our father. After our move to Seattle, we joined the Seattle Astronomical Society, and I later became its president at the young age of 19. It was through the help of my father, that I became acquainted with amateur radio. One of my father's friends, Mr. Sid Lough (W7VL, a silent key), got me to study and pass my novice test, and I became WN7FTT. I later upgraded to Technician as W7FTT. When I moved to California, I had the callsign WB6FNI, but in 1996, I was able to re-aquire W7FTT through the vanity callsign program.

After working for the Seattle branch of the Bank of California as a messenger, I spent 6 months active duty with the US Army, then became the lead technical guide for the NASA exhibit at the Seattle World's Fair. I was very fortunate to meet John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Garmon Titov, and a few other astronauts. I trained all the guides in a basic astronomy program, as the exhibit brought many related questions.

It was from my 6 month experience at the Seattle World's Fair that I eventually obtained a 47 year job with JPL, now retired as resident professional astronomer at the Table Mountain Observatory. My study at the observatory was comets and asteroids. Because of my long standing contributions to this area, I was honored with the naming of asteroid #2874 as 'Jim Young'. I was in charge of the 0.6 meter telescope facility, as well as all optical alignment and mirror coating for four telescopes. I was the astronomy team leader with a staff of three people. I maintained many CCD cameras used for photometry (brightness changes) and astrometry (positional changes) in asteroids and comets. I produced the quarterly telescope schedules, and was in charge of all safety measures for optical astronomy, as well as the security requirements for our computer network. My XYL, Karen (N6PJL) also worked as a research affiliate with JPL's Navigation team, taking astrometric data of asteroids to refine their orbital elements.

I am the Net Administrator/Awards Manager for the Triple H Net Association, and hold lifetime membership #182; Karen, N6PJL, the association's secretary is member #282. I am the trustee for the association's Club station, W2LTP. This station acquired the previous callsign of the Net's founder, Hank Greenberg. I am a life member of ARRL, HIDXA, and QCWA, as well as an OO for the ARRL. The Triple H Net celebrated its 30th anniversary at a nationally held convention in Des Moines, IA, July 29, 2006. See the bio under W2LTP for additional information about the club station and convention. If you have a previous affiliation or interest in the Triple H Net, and would like more information sent to you, please forward to me (W7FTT) a business size #10 SASE, and request an 'information packet'. Or see the Net's web page at;   www.hhhnet.net

I was married in 1962 to Frances Jean FISHER of Duvall, Washington, and we had two children, Jeffrey (1966), and Jennifer (1967). Although Frances and I divorced in 1974, we are still very close, especially because of the 7 grandchildren (four from Jeffrey and Stephanie, and two from Jennifer and Todd). Jennifer remarried later to Freddie, and gave us our 10th grandchild, Monica Rahn.

In 1975 I married Karen Ann HALBERG (N6PJL), and we raised Bryan and Eileen. Eileen and Ed gave us our 7th grandchild, Ashlie, and Bryan and Teresa STROMAN, gave us our 8th gandchild, Katelyn AnnMarie Young. Eileen now has a second child, Levi Joseph Lemley, our 9th grandchild. Karen is a science and math teacher at Serrano High in Phelan, California. Eileen married Rod Krecic in May, 2010. Our 11th grandchild was born Raine Ann Krecic in August, 2011 in Ohio.

My other loves are, grandchildren (naturally), photography, camping, mountain climbing (Mt. Whitney 6 times), and my summer beach home in Seaside, Oregon, shared with my brother, Mike. I also enjoy attending my grandchildren's birthday parties. But most interesting was when 5 of them attended a surprise birthday party for me (put on by Karen) to celebrate number 60 (January 24)!

My recent ham radio changes include the acquiring of a 5 element yagi (3 on 20 meters and 2 on 40 Meters on a 28 foot boom). In September, 2000, I was able to get a crane company for virtually no cost to place this 'monster' yagi at 90 feet! Also added to the shack was a brand new solid state 1 Kw linear amplifier, and now the DX really rolls in!

I am a 'Wireless-Room' volunteer operator for W6RO, the radio room on the RMS Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach, California. Over the past 25 years, I have served my 'tour-of-duty' on the 4th Friday of each month, driving 200 miles roundtrip each month. Notable persons visiting the 'Room' while on duty, have been VR6TC (now VP6TC), Tom Christian and his wife Betty from Pitcairn Island, as well as HIDXA's Jim Smith, VK9NS.

I did extensive telescopic observations of asteroids and comets for JPL's NEAT group studying near-earth objects. Since late August, 2002, I discovered over 400 asteroids, including 2 near earth asteroids (2003 BV35, 2003 RW11), and an extra-galactic supernova, 2004eg in 2004.

Check www.w7ftt.net/photos.html for astronomy pictures, and my personal photography web site at www.youngsphotogallery.com

January 22, 2015