Bruce - WA1YZN

WA1YZN.jpgNear the top of any list of active hams in the area is Bruce Bohannon - WA1YZN. Bruce has dabbled in many areas of Amateur Radio...Traffic Handling, Emergency Communications, Public Service...and occasionally you might find him in a weekend contest or chasing some rare DX.

Born and raised in Keene, Bruce spent 8 years away in the Air Force serving a locations such as Bitburg AB -  Germany, Eglin AFB - Fort Walton Beach FL, Phan Rang AB - Vietnam, Davis Montham AFB - Tucson AZ and Beal AFB - Marysville CA.

Bruce is currently the Emergency Operations Coordinator for the town of Swanzey.

Let's let Bruce tell you about his Amateur radio "career".

"I became interested in Ham Radio when I met W1EVN, Howard Morse.  That was back in the late 50’s.  I tried taking a ham class with the radio club at Keene Teacher’s College but never finished. I got interested in CB radio in the early 60’s and continued until 1976 when WA1FHB (Dave McLanahan Marlow, NH) challenged a group of us to stop fooling around with CB and make the move to Ham Radio. We took the challenge. We met at Scott Porter’s (WA1YTW) house over the winter months, where Dave mentored us and we all worked hard until we passed our Novice tests. On July 30, 1976, I was licensed as WN1YZN. I received my General (WA1YZN) ticket on June 6th 1977.  I still have my first log book.

My first setup was a Yaesu FT-401B and a three element Cushcraft tri-bander on a 35 ft. tower. In 1979,  I upgraded the tower to an 80 foot Heights Aluminum tower and that’s what I’m using today. The one thing I really remember when I made the tower change is that I was able to contact Capetown, South Africa with ease. The new height opened up a whole new world of contacts.

In the early 80’s, WA1HTK, Tiny Casavant, introduced me to Phone Patching. That’s where I got reacquainted with Buzz Shaw, WA1NHP, while Buzz was in the Navy. I was checking into the Maritime Service Net on 14.300 one day when I got a call from Buzz. I first met Buzz on CB back in the 60’s while I was in high school and he was in college. I still have a picture of the ship he was on with a 30’ tower on the bridge and a Telrex tri-bander beam.

Over the years I have done phone patching, message handling and a lot of other public service work with many hours of enjoyment. One highlight was during the 1976 floods in Keene. Dave Buck, N1BEW and I established a secure 2 meter link from the Otter Brook dam to the Emergency Operations Center at the Keene Fire Station for Fire Chief Guyette. We did this with 2 meter sideband.

Currently I still do public service events, some contesting and general rag chewing."


Bruce - WA1YZN