Topband: VK6HD SK

Jon Zaimes AA1K jz73 at
Fri Apr 12 22:59:51 EDT 2013

Very sad to hear of Mike's passing.

Flipping back through my old logs, handwritten on something called 
paper, it appears our first QSO with Mike was on 40 meter CW in January 
of 1980. But it is the second QSO I recall most, on 80 CW on the last 
day of that month. We had had several exchanges when Mike reported my 
signal had suddenly dropped several S units but he still had solid copy. 
Looking up, I realized my manual antenna switch had been left with my 
new "Beverage" receiving antenna connected to the transmitter, and Mike 
was still hearing me with my 25 watts going into a wire only a few feet 
off the ground. We both had a laugh when I told him what happened and, 
back on my real transmit antenna, we carried on at full strength for a 
few minutes more.

It was those golden ears of Mike's that gave us so many hundreds of 
contacts on Topband -- the first in January of 1981 and the last 32 
years later. He was there keeping the vigil, frequently the only DX 
coming through. He'd drop in for a quick hello, just to let us know the 
band was open -- halfway around the world -- when there was no other 
sign it was open to anywhere. We'd swap notes on the weather, band 
conditions and pass along tips on DX the other might need. Often he'd 
stop back a half hour later with a new signal report. In the years 
before packet and the Internet, and even after, he'd drop in quickly to 
let me know one I needed in his part of the world was just a few kHz up 
or down the band, and I'd do likewise.

We will miss our dear friend. Mike helped keep this band alive for so many.

73 and GL DX,

Jon AA1K

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