Thursday, May 14, 2020

Milestones: Four Well-Known Hams are Silent Keys

Former longtime ARRL Treasurer Jim McCobb, K1LU, became a Silent Key on April 1 at age 77. McCobb was an active DXer and Contester and kept tabs on the ARRL's accounts for 32 years before stepping down in 2012.
Dick Knadle, K2RIW, also passed away in April. A prominent ham in New York State, he was a technical authority on many topics, most notably VHF/UHF propagation.

Also joining the list of Silent Keys in April was Ronan O'Rahilly, who founded shipboard pirate station Radio Caroline in 1964. According to Newsline, the station continued to broadcast from international waters without a license from any particular country until 1980; and is now back on the air, with a license from Great Britain, and occasionally operates on the ham bands as well for special events. O'Rahilly was 79 and had suffered from dementia.

Finally, controversial 160-meter operator Herb Schoenbohm, KV4FZ, passed away at the end of April. He was 84. The first top-band contact in the U.S. Virgin Islands for many hams, Schoenbohm's ham license was in limbo for seven years, following a 1992 felony conviction on federal fraud charges, according to the ARRL Letter. When Schoenbohm's ham license came up for renewal in 1994, began proceedings to deny him a new license term. The battle lasted through 2000 and he was finally re-licensed the following year.