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Jon Stromsland - WA6LJS

I was first licensed as an amateur radio operator in 1958 while in high school and living in Westchester, California. My first call was WA6LJS.  In 1960 I joined the Air Force and after radar tech school at Lowry Air Force Base, I was trained on the B-52 bomber Radar Fire Control Systems that controlled the .50 caliber guns in the rear turret. 

Photo of a B-58 Hustler.
B-58 Hustler

Before being assigned to a B-52 wing, I volunteered to train on the B-58 Fire Control Systems.  I went back to school to learn the new systems and was finally stationed at the Strategic Air Command 305th Bomb wing at Bunker Hill AFB in Indiana, where I maintained the radar systems that controlled the M61 20-mm Gatling gun in the rear turret of the B-58 Hustler.

After being discharged from the Air Force in 1964 I moved to Addison, Illinois and went to college under the GI Bill.  I went to work for the Zenith Radio Company in the engineering department.  My call sign was changed to WB9DAC, and I operated on 20- and 40-meters using both SSB and CW modes. 

In 1967 I left Zenith and took a job in the engineering department with the Motorola Television Division which was later purchased by the Matsushita Electric Company, the parent company of the Panasonic Company. While at Panasonic I operated the WB9DAC repeater on 145.33 MHz out and 144.73 MHz input. The repeater was located on top of the Panasonic building in Franklin Park, Illinois and ran 100 watts.

In 1995, we closed the Panasonic building in Franklin Park and moved all our engineering to San Diego to be near our manufacturing facilities in Tijuana, Mexico. In the San Diego office I was Assistant General Manager of the IT department where I managed the Computer Aided Design Systems and IT functions.

In 2009 I retired from Panasonic after 41 years and decided to get back on the HF bands. In November 2010 I purchased an Elecraft K3 Kit, built it and changed back to my old call WA6LJS under the vanity program. I am active on all HF bands except 80- and 160-meters with a ground mounted 31 foot S9 vertical antenna with 31 buried radials fed at the base and an MFJ993BRT antenna tuner. I am also still active on 2 meters.

In May of 2012, I installed a K4KIO Hex Beam on a 40 foot crank up tower and have noticed a great improvement over the vertical. In June of 2012 I built the Elecraft KPA-500 amplifier and now run 500 watts into the hex beam.  I still use the vertical at 100 watts on 60-meters and 500 watts on 40-meters.

I currently reside in Jamul, California with my dear wife of 49 years, Rosemarie.  We have seven grandchildren residing in Illinois and Wisconsin.  I am a former AFFC Deputy Commander and currently serve as the club's Finance Officer.  Additionally,  I am the Net Control operator on Tuesdays for both the morning and evening radio nets.

73 - Jon Stromsland, Finance Officer, AFFC #523

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