Murray D Lampert Silent Key VE3HI

Murray passed unexpectedly on November 19, 2017


This was a shock when I heard this a Murray was still young and very active in his business and hobby pursuits. My condolences go out to Joy his lovely wife. The ham radio and SWL community will  miss him.

My favourite story about Murray shows how big his heart was and how was always helping the ham community grow and prosper.

When I got first licensed I operated a set up similar to the novices back in the day with a separate receiver and transmitter. I used the Yaesu FRG-7 SW receiver (had the Barlow Wadley loop design) and built my own 5 watt crystal controlled transmitter. I used an A/B switch to switch back and forth. I made tons of contacts on 40m cw with this set up with a dipole in the backyard. I knew that after 6 months on the air I could apply for the 10m endorsement and that would get me on SSB. I was working on getting my Advanced ticket with the Metro Ham club. Many hams were using the Yaesu FT-101 as it also had the ability to be used on 11 meters and I was going to go with that radio as well but when I got the new issue of CQ Magazine from Hamtraders one Saturday, I was blown away by the Kenwood TS-820S when I saw its advertisement. I told murray I wanted that radio. Murray told me that I would b get the first radio from his shipment from Kenwood. I was so excited and sad as I need to come up with another $500 to buy it. If I recall it was $1200 plus another $300 for the VFO and maybe $50 for the speaker and another $80 for the desk mic. So I hustled anything and everything from milk bottle returns, another newspaper route, cut grass, wash cars and even sell balloons at the christmas parade.  Note you probably could have bought a Ford Pinto for $3000 in those days.

Every saturday I would bus it up to Murray’s to hang out in the shop and use his demo equipment to make contacts and chat with the local hams. Murray always welcomed hams to hang out in his shop and have a coffee and talk radio. It was a real community.

Then one day Murray told me the shipment would be in during the week and I could come and pick it up.

So right after school, I took the bus to Hamtraders to pick it up with cash in hand.

Murray opened it up and we put it on the bench to test it out and Murray showed me how to tune the 6146 finals for maximum output on the Bird wattmeter and we boxed it back up. I was shaking with excitement through out the whole time. I finally was a real ham with a real radio. I owned the TS-820s and that was a ton better than a FT101E. That radio was really my start with the progression of other Kenwoods until I went Icom when the Icom 735 came out.


Here’s the thing – Murray knew I would not able to carry all the stuff home on the bus because the radio itself was like 40 pounds so he offered if my Mom said it was Ok to drive me home with the stuff. He closed the shop and brought me home and offered to ge me set up but I declined as I knew he should go back to the store, besides I wanted to set it up on my own.

Murray also gave me for free 100 feet of RG-58 coax, a 10 meter Hy-Gain beam, and a Swan SWR bridge. I was blown away by his generosity and had never asked for any discounts or freebies. I was all set up for 10m SSB no doubt. My first SSB contact was with Murray as he operated from the store shack and we had agreed on 28.6Mhz. I had put up a simple dipole in the attic for 10m.

That was not just excellent customer service but it was how Murray was. Always helping others.

The 10M band in those days was like 20m – jammed packed with signals from around the world. I used to work Japanese hams like crazy once I got my beam up and many VK and ZL stations too. I probably spent an hour a week doing QSL cards. I worked DXCC in a weekend during the CQWW SSB and won several 10M band contests. 10M is still my favourite band and I owe it to Murray. That gift of the beam was really a turning point in my hobby because I was really going to be saving money to get a mobile 2m FM radio as my next purchase. Murray taught me the importance of antennas and helped distill a DIY and build your own mentality. He made a very good point “if you can’t hear them you can’t work them” and on HF the antenna is key.

I eventually worked at his shop part-time and also did many cellular telephone installs and mobile 2 way installs.

There were days when the other employee Angelo Meffe (Radioworld) and I would spend the whole Saturday doing back to back installs together. Murray would show up with Pizza or Mr Subs for lunch to keep us happy while we drilled holes in Mercedes and BMWs installing the Alpine cellphones. Those days they usually ran 5 watts and we would use Larsen antennas. To this day the Larsen brand is still my favourite antenna and best performing one. My 2/70 has to be over 30 years old.

Murray ran his shop for the long term gaining loyalty from his customers and was always focussed on real world customer service.

Eventually Murray started Century 21 and became a big Bell Cellular dealer and got out of the ham business. This opened an opportunity for Angelo to start Norham Radio.

Murray as usual was always ahead of the curve and had this very interesting comment to say that is still just as current today as it was 16 years ago.

The last time I talked to Murray was too many years ago as he was interested in doing a charity golf tournament and he knew I had done several with proceeds going to Sick Kids. Murray always always gave back to the community.

My biggest regret was not reaching out to Murray for coffee last spring when he sent me an email in response to a listing for a radio he was selling. We promised to catch up and share family pics and get caught up on the time that passed.


Where have all the hams gone?

Murray Lampert (VE3HI) on July 17, 2001
View comments about this article! 

My XYL and I recently returned to the air after an absence of some 8 or so years, during which we were otherwise occupied raising children and growing a business. We purchased and installed an ICOM IC-706MkIIg into our Windstar along with the most amazing mobile antenna of all-time the High Sierra HS-1500 “screwdriver”. That was in March… and we worked all continents in the first few hours after the installation. We worked 50 plus countries during our month on vacation while mobiling up and down the eastern seaboard. We arrived home at the end of March.

My question or statement of opinion is simply this…. we have noted:

1. Where have all the hams gone? Propagation has simply died. We don’t hear the DX we did in March. Nowhere near what we heard and worked in March. The HF bands appear to be sparsely populated.

2. Where have all the hams gone? I am mobiling almost every morning in Toronto, a city of several MILLION people. Eight years ago it was tough to find a repeater to talk on…. today it is tough to find someone to TALK TO! There is rarely a conversation going on anywhere it would seem.

3. Where have all the hams gone? I remember eight years ago having trouble finding a spot to call CQ or to carry on a QSO. Today, it seems that our bands are thinning out. Very much so.

So… my statement of opinion and my question….. “where have all the hams gone?”.

It is downright scary, to say the least.

Murray VE3HI




Dayton Xenia Hamvention 2019 Military Nets and HF Pack meet up

As usual the highlight for many is the 3 Military Nets going on this Saturday May 19, 2018

  1. 12:00 Noon is the AM Net  or aka World War II net on 3885kc AM.

Joe WA4VAG will be Net Control
2. 1:15PM the HFpack Net is on 18157.5kc USB

Mark Francis KI0PF is NCS
3. At 2:30PM the Cold War Net is on 51.0Mc/s FM..

Net Control will be John K9WT


Pre-Hamvention® D-STAR Meet Greet and Eyeball QSO – Dayton (Xenia)


Thursday May 17, 2018 Time: 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

marions pizza ve3ips.jpg
Marion’s Piazza
1320 N Fairfield Rd GPS: 39:43.596N 084:03.392W (Degrees:Minutes.decimal minutes)
Beavercreek OH 45432
(937) 429-3393
From Dayton, go east on US 35 toward Xenia. Turn north at the N Fairfield Road exit.
Marion’s Piazza is on the right one half mile immediately after Tim Horton’s. If you went to the
traffic light at Dayton-Xenia Road, you have gone too far. Turn right at the light and turn right again after Pizza Hut. Go behind Pizza Hut and you will see Marion’s Piazza.
(Note that N Fairfield Road is approximately 8.5 miles east of the I-75 and U.S. 35 intersection.)

From I-675 exit 13, go east on US 35 toward Xenia for approximately 2 miles. Follow
directions above.

From I-675 Exit 17, go south on N Fairfield Road 3.3 miles and turn left at the light onto
Dayton-Xenia Road. Immediately get into right lane and turn right after Pizza Hut. Go behind Pizza Hut and you will see Marion’s Piazza.
Marion’s Menu, Individuals may order from the menu and are responsible for own purchases.

Dayton D-STAR:
147.105+ W8RTL^^C and 443.050+ W8RTL^^B – Higher profile with coverage in the Dayton and Hamvention® areas. Handheld from Hamvention® site may be possible.
145.270- W8HEQ^^C and 444.0875+ W8HEQ^^B – Medium profile (in northeast Dayton
suburb of Huber Heights). May need mobile antenna with higher power from Hamvention®.
Hamvention® D-Star Simplex – 446.1000 Digital Code Squelch CSQL code number 13
Other D-Star Repeaters (South of Hamvention® and may require mobile rig from Xenia):
443.150+ KE8AOQ^B Lebanon,OH; 145.160- W8GO^^^C Wilmington,OH; 442.150+
W8GO^^^B Wilmington,OH; 145.150- W8RNL^^C Hamilton,OH; 442.625+ W8RNL^^B
Hamilton,OH; 145.350- K8BIG^^C Cincinnati,OH.
Good coverage analog FM repeaters are:
146.940- Tone 123 Hamvention® Talk-In
146.985 (-) 123.0 PL Alternate Talk-In
145.525 Hamvention® Traffic Bulletin Station; begins – Thur 7am, Fri 5am, Sat 5am, Sun 7am
147.165+ Tone 123.0 Xenia
443.100+ Tone123.0 Xenia
146.640- Tone 123 Skywarn Weather
145.110- Tone 67 ARES®
146.820- Tone 77 Good coverage Dayton area
442.925+ Tone 123 Excellent coverage Dayton area
223.940- Tone 123 Good coverage Dayton area Echolink W8BI DARA
Get Hamvention Alerts – text: Hamvention18 to 888777 from smartphone

Dayton – Xenia D-Star Events at Hamfest

There are a lot of forums for digital radio operators and the D-Star team always does an excellent job with activities and workshops.


See Ya”ll there!



For those just getting started in D-STAR and those looking to add to their D-STAR experience, this class is where you want to be. The class will be given by the experienced instructors from the GeorgiaD-STAR group and Icom who have presented seminars and training across the country. The three-hour class begins at 8:00am on Friday, May 18, on the first day of the Dayton Hamvention 2018 and will be held at the Drury Inn in the heart of the Hamvention hotels at 6616 Miller Lane. The cost of the class is only $25.00.

The class will feature will cover topics of interest to beginning D-STAR users including:

  • D-STAR basics
  • The D-STAR user registration process explained
  • Getting started with your D-STAR radio
  • Linking to repeaters and reflectors
  • Helpful hints and tips to get the most from D-STAR
  • D-STAR Data (DRATS)

To register, head over to–Dayton-Hamvention-2018.aspx


Thursday, May 17, 6:30-9 PM – Pre-Hamvention Meet, Greet, and Eyeball QSO and Social Event – Bring your HT

Marion’s Piazza
1320 N Fairfield Rd
Beavercreek OH 45432

Friday, May 18, 8:00-11:00 PM – D-STAR InfoCon 2018

D-STAR InfoCon
Drury Inn Ballroom
6616 Miller Lane
Dayton OH

Friday, May 18, 11:45-1:00 PM – D-STAR Forum

Forum Room 2
Dayton Hamvention

Friday, May 18, 6:30-8:30 PM – D-STAR Friday Evening Gathering

Drury Inn Ballroom
6616 Miller Lane
Dayton OH


Call Sign Frequency Reflector Location
W8RTL C 147.105+ REF030C Dayton
W8RTL B 443.050+ XRF038C Dayton
W8HEQ C 145.270- Dayton
W8HEQ B 444.0875+ XRF038C Dayton
KE8AQQB 443.150+ Lebanon
W8GO C 145.160- Wilmington
W8GO B 442.150+ Wilmington
W8RNL C 145.150- Hamilton
W8RNL B 442.625+ Hamilton
K8BIG C 145.350- Cincinnati

Dayton D-STAR Simplex

DARA suggests using 446.1000 Digital Code Squelch CSQL use #13 as a D-STAR simplex frequency at Hamvention®. Don’t forget to update your repeater list before you start your journey!



Vendor Booths
Icom 2508-2509, 2608-2610, 2708-2709, 6001
Kenwood 1407-1411, 1507-1511
NW Digital Radio 1105
RT Systems 3805-3806
Bridgecom Systems, Inc 1103-1104
Wireless Holdings 6211

If there are any corrections or additions, please drop us a note at


Top 15 Countries for D-Star Repeaters (Voice)

Country Voice Nodes
United States 888
Germany 148
Canada 139
Italy 112
Japan 105
United Kingdom 88
Sweden 80
Poland 50
France 45
Australia 37
Spain 32
Netherlands 26
Denmark 26
Norway 25
Brazil 23

Dayton (Xenia), Ohio Hamfest – FDIM Four Days in May

The QRP ARCI runs a concurrent QRP conference and build-a-thon at the same time. Here is the information you need to attend but tickets may already be sold out.

Hotel rooms are still available for the Hamfest but the FDIM rooms are sold out.


Vendor Night

Thursday 17 May 2018
8.00pm – 10.00pm

Vendor Night is free of charge !

Vendors and QRP clubs from around the World will be selling kits, components, antennas and all kinds of goodies.

This is a great place to buy kits and parts.
Vendors at FDIM 2018 included –

  • Brad Thompson, AA1IP
  • Elecraft
  • DX Engineering
  • Four State QRP Group (4SQRP)
  • Kanga UK
  • Kanga USA
  • LNR Precision
  • Pro Audio Engineering
  • QRPme

QRP Club Night

Friday 18 May 2018
8.00pm – 10.00pm

The QRP Club Night is free of charge !

A night of fun, games and socialising and swap shop.

QRP Clubs and groups will have a table to promote themselves.


More events are planned for those with tickets but I believe its been sold out


W1AW Morse Code Practice Schedule


As we move forward in 2018 to learn Morse Code or improve on our current skills, the ARRL offers ongoing code classes using content from the magazine. You get to learn the code and read about ham radio information. You learn twice!

Receiving morse code on a radio as opposed to a cellphone or tablet app allows one to use the radio controls for filtering, Noise Reduction, PBT and with noise crashes and sometimes interference. Its learning as you would when being on the radio.

Or I can send a cassette tape or vinyl record of the morse code lessons for the analog students.

w1aw sched


4 Band Off Center Fed Dipole OCFD

I have been looking for a field expedient  antenna that does not need any band switching. I am using my linked dipole but to change bands I need to link/unlink the connectors which can be time consuming. So looking through various antenna books in my reference library I found a simple 4 band antenna that is efficient and NO TUner needed.

In 20 minutes I had spooled out the wire and soldered up the connectors and the next day went out in the field to try it out.

However, I have found variations in the design and baluns. I have done some testing with the 4:1, 6:1, 5:1 and even a 9:1 balun and have found the 6:1 seems to work best for my situation. I do find that the height of this antenna can vary the swr a bit so the radio internal tuner can handle the swr and match it quickly but i have a radio that does not have a built in tuner (hence the use case for this antenna).

A quick check into the net with a temporary install proved a easy 5×7 at 20 watts signal report.

4 band ocfd ve3ipscopyscape-banner-white-200x25


Heil PR-40 Icom HF Transceiver Settings

The Heil PR-40 is a studio grade pro series microphone that offers a wide frequency response. It is typically mounted in a shock mount in the shack using an external trigger switch for PTT. It includes a built pop or breathe filter in the mic eliminating and external screens. Bob really thought this one out.

It uses a dynamic cartridge offering a very smooth response with some peaks at 100hz and around 5Khz

This microphone as such would not need any EQ settings but experimenting with it there can be some adjustment to start from. I suggest trying a -4 for Bass and +4 for Treble and adjust from there.

The compressor if used should be set to wide.

This is not really a DXer mic but a rag chewers mic based on the response pattern. I would look at the Pro Series 7 boom sets with the legendary dream machine HC-4 cartridge that is peaked for speech that will cut through the noise and pile ups. You can also swap out cartridges to change the frequency response.

The other mic for Icom is the iCM which is an electric mic cartridge to provide some more gain into the radio.

I am looking forward to trying the Heil HMM mic but it seems to be a mess of cables as it needs an adapter cable. It would be nice for them to make a rig specific model to keep the cabling neat and tidy. Bob has engineered some improvements that offer better sound over the OK Icom mics included in the box.

I also recommend a Heil over any Icom desk mic.

Field day is a few months away so there is lots of time to throw all your spare change into the Heil Fund jar but it will need lots of loonies and toonies. Remember you are making an investment not just for an ergonomically better mic design bit also in sound quality.





Heil Microphone DIY Trigger Switch

The Heil microphones have a jack for a separate trigger switch or foot switch to activate microphones that are on a boom.

This is also ideal for Contesters that use a boom mic so they have an extra hand for logging and tuning.

Heres the thing – its just a switch so mount it however you wish.