Laird Campbell, W1CUT

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KL7AJ, Sep 11, 2019.

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  1. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had the pleasure of meeting Laird Campbell back in 1987 on a tour of ARRL Headquarters. He was a genuine old school New England gentleman. I didn't realize that he wrote a PILE of construction articles for QST...I believe around 200 of them, in addition to his editorial duties.
    Just another one of the giants who have left the building.

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  2. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

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  3. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    One of the great things about the ARRL website is that you can do a search on QST and some other publications and find articles by name, callsign, or keyword. Members have access to the entire QST archive, all the way back to Vol 1 No 1.
  4. W9BRD

    W9BRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    We all loved Laird; he was that kind of guy. A fun fact -- really fun -- was that his office was way in the back of the building in the Production Department, and like another PD office back there had its own separate back entrance. Once a month or so he hosted an informal ARRL old timers' lunch in his office, with standing orders that the gathering not be disturbed. By Goodman, Laird's mentor in his early years at HQ, would park up in the the back lot (driving a white Toyota Supra with W1DX plates, which made a nice splash at hamfests) and bring his lunch and a plaid cooler (chilling the beer of the month) down the slope to that rear entrance, and Laird or another PD staffer would let him in. (Laird's MS was getting pretty tough by then; his staff was devoted to him. They also revered Goodman, who I was told by one was the only person they'd ever met who met the definition of debonair.) Other HQ staffers with names you'd recognize from old QSTs would arrive (through the regular office door!) and they'd all sit around for 1-1/2 to 2 hours trading insults and stories. Beginning about 1987 I had the privilege of being invited to that gathering as well, and much like the eponymous Jim -- N2EY knows who I mean -- would listen to every utterance with rapt attention and respect.

    In addition to Campbell and Goodman, other attendees commonly included John Huntoon, Joe Moskey, George Hart, Bob Rinaldi, and one or more of Goodman's lab-assistant proteges from the 1950s and 60s who had gone on to Great Things and forevermore stayed in touch. One fall Friday in 1989 I had the joy of bringing a particular special guest to the gathering in the person of one W9BRD, in town for my wedding. As Dad had last seen most of them in person when his second stint at HQ -- not in that location, but "down the road" a few miles at 38 LaSalle Road, West Hartford -- ended in 1955 when he and my mom moved back to Chicago with me on the way. That was a lunch among lunches!
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Another fun League guy was Lew McCoy.

    I never met him at ARRL HQ, but met him a few times at the Dayton Hamvention in the early-mid 70s. Lots of jokes, and after our first night playing poker at one of the DX hospitality suites, I remembered to never play cards with him again.

    He hardly ever lost.
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  6. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lew McCoy wrote a pile of articles too! I wonder if ARRL has thought of making compendiums/collections of all of Laird's or Lew's or others' notable articles, a la "Gil." I think they would be great hits.
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  7. W9BRD

    W9BRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, the QST database returns 257 hits for W1CUT. But many -- I'd say most -- of them are not construction articles, but rather are Hints and Kinks, Recent Equipment, and other similar small-scale contributions. Two of my fave features of his are Proxos, a device that puts one's transmitter into SPOT mode when a hand approaches the VFO tuning knob (co-bylined with Goodman), and TATTOO, The Automatic Transmitter Turner Onner Offer. (Think of TATTOO as "keyed VOX," AKA "semi break-in.")
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  8. W9BRD

    W9BRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    As far as the PDFs developed for the QST View CDs go, yes; later QSTs are available in electronic form only as year-by-year CDs for $25ish/year if available.
  9. W4ZD

    W4ZD Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not to take anything away from W1CUT, but the two guys that have always stuck with me from that era in QST were Lew McCoy and Doug DeMaw. Maybe I'm just an old fashioned dweeb, or just really old, I but consider that era to be QST's high point. :)
  10. W9BRD

    W9BRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wish one of my coworkers had followed through on his oft-expressed April Fool article idea: "Building a TV Set from Old Lew McCoy Novice Transmitters."
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