Ken Bain , AA5CF

m honored to be nominated and accepted into this organization. I want to publicly thank Mark Tyler, K5GQ, for the nomination and his mentorship.

I’ve been interested in any type of radio since I was in elementary school. I would lay in bed at night and listen to Wolfman Jack on a transistor radio my grandfather gave me. I was amazed that I could hear a station out of Chicago down in South Texas. I’ve been hooked ever since.

In 1975 at the age of 13, I practiced code with a neighbor kid and we both passed the Novice exam. I built a Heathkit DX-60B and paired it with a 1962 Mosley CM-1 receiver and I was on the air. I upgraded to General in 1977 but got off the air during college. I hung a wire in the dorm and used a receiver to stay in touch with the hobby. My radio background guided me to earn a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Besides being a radio nut, I was also a huge fan of the space program. When I graduated from A&M, I was fortunate to get a job working in Mission Operations at the Johnson Space Center. I spent half of my NASA career as a Space Shuttle Guidance, Navigation, & Control flight controller in Mission Control. The second half of my career was working with the management team over systems flight controllers for both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. These were busy times, and once again I wasn’t able to get on the air much, but always had a receiver on and stayed abreast of all that was going on in the hobby. Once I retired from NASA and had more free time, I was able to ratchet up operations and get back on the air. I upgraded to Extra and rebuilt the shack when we moved to the Hill Country in Texas.

Back in the 70’s when I learned code, I could never break the 15-wpm barrier. I decided to attend the CW Academy going through Level 1 with John McVey, K4AFE, and the Intermediate Level with Mark Tyler, K5GQ. These guys and that program got me up to 25 wpm rather quickly. I wanted to give back to the program, so I’m now serving as an Advisor for the 2020 Fall Session Basic program. I’ve made many friends as a result of this program and highly recommend it to anyone learning code.

My passion is building, rebuilding, restoring, and operating boat anchors. My current shack consists of my original Novice station (DX-60B and Mosely CM-1), Kenwood TS-830S, Kenwood TS-520S, Collins S-Line, Johnson Ranger, Swan 600 Twins, and a Hammarlund HQ-150. I’ve rebuilt/maintained all of these rigs and rotate through them keeping them in service. I enjoy operating all of them and look forward to meeting you on the air.