John Chitwood, K3RGB, SK

K3RGB John S. Chitwood
St Petersburg, FL 

QCWA # 32728
Chapter |32|20|222|

First Call: KN3RGB issued in 1961

Got interested in shortwave radio when my grandfather brought a 17 tube Zenith radio (broadcast band to 18 MHz) to my parents. home in the mid-1950s. While I really I enjoyed listening to shortwave broadcasts, I enjoyed listening to ham stations on 40 and 75 meters AM even more. In the summer of 1960, I saw an ARRL novice license manual for sale at Ship.N.Shore radio in Ocean City, MD, so I bought it. Joined the radio club in high school (Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Radio Club/W3CDI), and learned Morse code. Studied the license manual, took the test, and received my Novice license, KN3RGB, in 1961.

I got right on the Novice bands (80 and 40) using a Hallicrafters S-38E and a one tube (117L7) crystal controlled transmitter that I built in a steel index card box. I also immediately began preparing for the General Class exam. It took me 4 visits to the FCC field office in Baltimore until I passed my 13 wpm receiving test. On that same 4th visit, I passed the written test and received my General Class license, K3RGB. This was followed by my Advanced Class license, and, some years later, after studying for the written test, and listening to W1AW code practice broadcasts, I earned my Extra Class license.

I was a frequent operator at W3CDI, taught code classes and license classes and served as Secretary and then President of the club. Joined the Baltimore Amateur Radio Club in which I served as Secretary for a couple of years. I was named as Club.s trustee for the Foundation for Amateur Radio. I was then elected to serve as the Secretary of the Foundation for Amateur Radio for a term or two.

Became the EC of the Baltimore Area AREC (now ARES), and was a member of the Baltimore City Civil Defense radio team in the 1960s.

Although not ham radio related, between April and September 1964, I was employed at Radio Baltimore WCAO where I served as a control room engineer, production studio engineer, and a maintenance engineer. While attending college, I was hired by NASA.s Goddard Space Flight Center as a student trainee and then after graduation, as an electronics engineer at NASA, from which I retired in 2001.

Joined QCWA in 2004 as a member of chapter 20. Later, also became a member of chapter 222 and 32.

Served as a member of the Foundation for Amateur Radio.s Scholarship Committee from 1972 to 2018. Assumed the responsibility of managing the Committee.s funds in the early 2000s, and was then elected Treasurer of the Foundation for Amateur Radio, a position in which I served until November 2018.

After moving to Saint Petersburg, FL in late 2015, I am still in the process of getting my station set up, but I have been continuously active on 80 . 10 meters mobile, VHF and UHF, and APRS. Now, residing in the Tampa Bay area, I am a member of chapter 32 where I am doing my small part in revitalizing the chapter as interim secretary.


November 25, 2019