Learn about the Rich History of the DVRA at the July Membership Meeting

On Wednesday, July 13th 2022, the Delaware Valley Radio Association monthly meeting will feature a presentation by Gary Wilson, K2GW and Joe Jesson, W2JEJ titled “The History of the DVRA”.

In peron meetings will continue this month at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 137 W Upper Ferry Rd, Ewing Township, NJ 08628 (Driving Direction). For the convenience of our members, this meeting will also be hosted on Zoom this month. Members will receive an email with instructions on how to join the Zoom teleconference by July 11th. Members of the public are invited to request conference credentials by sending a message to webmaster@w2zq.com

It’s rare for any Radio Club to exist for almost 100 years.  How did this happen to the Delaware Valley Radio Association?

How did the DVRA have as members one of the first ARRL Directors, a noted Antarctic explorer, Signal Corps Officers and civilians, Fusion physicists, EME experts, black hole explorers, Electromagnetic Pulse experts, and DXpedition leaders?  How did its trainer get designated the ARRL National Instructor of the Year?

How did the club run the largest hamfest on the East Coast?  Which famous hams has it contacted? How did the club find its permanent home?  Why has it had two different callsigns?  How has it been financed over the years?  What artifacts are hidden at the shack?

We’ll learn all this and more as we explore our club’s interesting history at the July 13, 2022 regular club meeting of the DVRA, so that we can embrace our future by building on our past.

Gary Wilson, K2GW will lead the exploration of the club’s history, and Joe Jesson, W2JEJ, who worked for one of the club’s founders in the 1960’s, will provide some insights about its beginnings.

Open to the public. Feel free to join for all or part of the meeting.

  • Combined Directors/Business Meeting from 7:00 to 7:30 PM
  • Featured presentation at 7:30 PM
  • 1/2 hour Social gathering after presentation

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the meeting!

Gary Wilson, K2GW, is an Amateur Extra Class ham, having been licensed since 1975. He currently serves as Assistant Section Manager of the Southern New Jersey Section of the ARRL and has been a member of the DVRA since moving to Mercer County in 1979. He previously served in Air Force MARS, as Mercer County Emergency Coordinator, and as Southern New Jersey Section Emergency Coordinator. He has assisted in numerous actual communication emergencies, including blackouts, the WTC attack, blizzards, and hurricanes.

Having been in Scouting for over 50 years, Gary helped manage the K2BSA Radio Merit Badge program at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree and recently edited the BSA Radio Merit Badge pamphlet. He also helped lead NA1WJ ham radio operations at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree. A graduate of Lehigh University with a MBA from Pace University, he previously managed computer networks and information security technologies in the financial and pharmaceutical industries before retirement.

Joe Jesson, W2JEJ, is an Amateur Extra Class ham who at 13 began working for DVRA Co-Founder Les Allen (W2CCO) at Allen & Hurley’s Communications shop in Trenton in the 1960’s.  Upon promotion to service manager, his first FCC license was Commercial, not Amateur, so he could legally calibrate all commercial transmitters.  Back then, you learned technology by attending classes, reading books and publications, and by having great mentors!  Fortunately, he had the best – “B.B” Wentzel (W2HX), Carlton B. Polhemus (W2RMJ), Ed G. Raser (W2ZI), and Ray Whitley (W2RLY) – as members of the Trenton/Hamilton Civil Defense. Meeting in a township building with an underground nuclear shelter and massive diesel generator, they built emergency backup power and communications facilities to survive and communicate after “the bomb”.  Life-long learning motivation for a young kid!

Currently, Joe is an Engineering Professor (Adjunct) at TCNJ and often uses amateur radio as engineering examples in his classes and as an advisor with student projects.  Each summer, he gives a security workshop at Indiana University of PA (IUP) where his students learn the value of amateur radio when electric and cellular systems fail.  Joe also helps teach at our Radio Merit Badge days.  Joe is CEO of the RFSigint Group consultants and actively consults on wireless patents and on the cellular and wireless semiconductor global supply chain management issues.


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