In memory of our friend,
Clinton M. Kerrison - K5ZR (ex-WB5CKM)
January 18, 1949 - May 30, 1977
Clinton M. Kerrison was " ahead of his time" on being an electronic builder and tinkerer, building highly accurate frequency counters in the 70's and being professionally involved in avionics in the Ft. Hood area.
K5ZR, David Evans - K5SOR, someone else & I operated 160 meter contests from Clint's home near Copperas Cove, Texas. K5SOR, WBØYEA, WA5LYN, K5ZR and I operated from the college's TV transmitter site there with 160 meter dipoles up about 220 feet! I have a photo of that here somewhere. I got to climb the 1000' (up to 220 feet or so) TV tower Sunday morning to take the dipoles down and remember frost on the tower rungs and seeing Ft. Hood Army helicopters flying below me as I did this, as the base of the tower was on a high ridge/hill just south of Stillhouse Hollow Lake just South of the Bell County Expo Center.
We used one of the very first " automatic CQ " keyers, an electro- mechanical nightmare consisting of a variable speed geared down DC motor with a round disc of semi-rigid cardboard attached to the shaft, with notches cut out along the edge, with the CW for whatever contest you were in at the time, that then keyed a photo-interrupter and keyed a relay that keyed the 160 meter transmitter. It was rack mounted in a short 19 inch rack. A pot slowed or sped up the code speed.
Clint died at Scott & White hospital at Temple, the big hospital on the right you pass going to the Belton Hamfest, I believe of pneumonia or complications of it.
Clint stumbled onto a hill country rancher with a large ranch and lots of cattle and an old vacant farm/ranch house on it, and the rancher let Clint and his bride live there free so that he could have someone to watch his cattle and the back gate to his large property.
At the 160 meter operation at Clint's home, we used balloon supported 1/4 wave wire verticals with bunches of radials made of cheap throw-away phosphor-bronze wire. Being in avionics, Clint had access to the large weather balloons, and we went to a Target or K-Mart store near Ft. Hood and talked the manager into letting us fill the weather balloons up with his helium bottle that he sold balloons to the kids ( with an attached stupid looking clown head on it ) for 50 cents a balloon. This guy had to have lost money on us!
We couldn't get the balloons out of the front door, and ended up taking the helium bottle out in the parking lot, and filling them there with droves of kiddies wanting to buy one of the big balloons. Hi! I had a 1972 Ford pick-up with a camper cover on it, and we transported the several helium filled balloons back to Clint's that way.
Another TDXS friend of Clint and Dave's was Tom Jakubec - N5ZR who was friends with Clint and got a similar callsign, like his friend. Tom was a U.S. Army helicopter pilot in training at the time at Ft. Hood.
Sam Neal - N5AF
July 14, 2004
Top photo taken 1973, courtesy of David Evans - W5SOR