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April 03, 2004



Thanks Janice for this nice rememberance to your dad. He is truly missed by many that knew him in ALL aspects of his life.

Arne Gjerning N7KA


I have a lot of very fond memories of Bob when I lived in the SF Bay area from 1972-1981. I visited his home in San Mateo many times and spent a number of hours in the "shack" in the back yard. Bob got me interested in EME and was instrumental in my obtaining the goal.

I got the parts and one day Bob and several others came to my home in San Jose to assemble my 2Meter EME array (just like the one in Bob's back yard). Bob took one look and said no way we could finish the job in one day.

We assembled the antenna on the roof of the house and by the end of the day there was a completed antenna sitting on a tower.

When an EME contest was getting close, Bob asked me if I was going to get on and I said probably not because my amplifier was not finished. He said to come by his home on the next Saturday. I did so and he loaned me an amp for the contest.

We had many conversations on 2 Meter SSB across the bay and I enjoyed each and every one of them.

I remember also operating from the Stanford Univ 150ft dish on EME with Bob and Bob Jr on two different ocassions.

I believe without a doubt that Bob was one of the very few hams who were instrumental in pioneering EME for the amateur.

I can not remember when Bob was not willing to help anyone who was really interested in EME and VHF/UHF interests. He was a friend to many and known of by so many more in our hobby.

Janice, your pictures of the early TV days are enjoyable becasue I also knew Bob Melvin and it was interesting to see both Bob's a youngsters. Your web site is very justified and I wish to thank you for the effort.

Arne N7KA

Glenn Yoder

Dear Janice,

I would like to make a comment about Bob's life during the period that I knew him, which was during the last 10 years of his life. I first met Bob at the American Diabetes Association Diabetes Support Group which met twice every month at the Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame.

Bob did not have diabetes, but he always made it a point to see that he and Prentist attended every meeting possible of this Group. He also went with Prentist whenever she had an appointment with a Diabetes Doctor and always did his best to learn the latest diabetes care so he could help Prentist with her treatment.

At times it seemed that Bob had a greater knowledge of diabetes than most of us in the Support Group. Everyone in our group marveled at the loving care and concern that Bob bestowed upon Prentist. Bob set an example for everyone in our Group as to what a spouse can do to help someone with long-term diabetes. We will all miss him.

[email protected]


Con agrado he leido la cronica de la vida y obra de su padre, un verdadero pionero, debe usted sentirse verdaderamente orgulloso de su legado y continuar para los que vamos atras, en la efimera linea de la vida, su trabajo.Reciba un cordial saludo

Lorraine Petitclerc

I stumbled on the site and was amazed. Your dad was my cousin. I had lost track of him years ago. But I remember when we were kids, his family would visit his mom's mother in Santa Rosa, CA and we would get together for Thanksgiving dinners. He and I used to terrorize our parents by playing in the bulls pen and building tunnels in the baled hay stacked in the barn. How great it was to see pictures of him as I remember him. I do so hope you get this message.


Lorraine Petitclerc

John Badger

Thank you for posting this Janice. My Father, George Badger (W6TC, ex W6RXW and Eimac veteran), just passed away last night, and I've been stumbling through the web looking for memories of him. I came across your site and found familiar photos and names. In fact, my father is in that moon shot photo. These guys had a real passion for HR and for building great tubes and antennas.


you're welcome John. I had asked Marshall if he thought it was okay to post your dad's obit on my blog. I will add it.

Lance Collister W7GJ

Hello Janice,

Many thanks for memorializing your father with this web page. W6PO was my first moonbounce contact (on 144 MHz from Vermont in 1979 as WA1JXN), but he had been kind enough to try schedules with me in the early 1970's from my parent's house in Pennsylvania when I was still WA3GPL. Although we were not successful completing a contact at that time, he was very encouraging, and we talked over the phone a number of times and in person several times at your home in San Mateo that decade.

Although for most of the 70's I was not in a place where I could set up a large EME array of my own to fulfill my goal of communicating around the world on a "local VHF radio frequency", I was busy building equipment and gathering parts! After graduating from college I went to work as a design engineer for General Electric in Nela Park. In 1973, the living room of the small apartment in Cleveland, OH proudly sported a 150' roll of 1-5/8" Heliax and a surplus prop pitch motor.

It was while I was in Cleveland that I heard my first EME signals on my own antenna. I only had room on the patio of the town house apartment to put up a 10 element beam (the rear 2/3 of an old 15 element Hy-Gain yagi), but it was enough to hear the famous WA6LET transmissions from the Stanford dish.

While still in Cleveland, I was studying the valuable Eimac Moonbounce Newsletters that Bob published to help show us all how others were solving mechanical, electronic and computational problems around the world. I was struck by the persistent problem being faced by many early EMEers - they couldn't tell where to point their antennas and it was difficult to calculate when would be an appropriate time to try to contact someone else on the other side of the world.

In 1973, some businesses had access to the Dartmouth Time Sharing System, so I wrote a BASIC computer program that could be run on DTSS to calculate the moon's position from two places on the earth. Then in 1974 I rewrote it in Fortran so it could be run on the new DEC PDP10 computers that were being used by some larger businesses. Bob was kind enough to print these programs in his Eimac Moonbounce Newsletters, and part of the mystery was removed for the moonbounce community.

Bob always had the time to answer questions for me and provide advice, and I have tried to follow the worthy example he set. I can't express how big a help his personal help and his newsletters were in making EME achievable by hams all over the world.

It now has been over 30 years since my first EME contact with Bob, but I will never forget his generous help and guidance. Sure I have better equipment now - things have improved a lot since the early days before there were computer designed antennas, low noise transistors or computers in the ham shack. But each moonbounce contact is still exciting and magical and many have led to a chearished relationships with hams half a million miles away. Thanks Bob, for helping me realize this dream, and for making the world a smaller place!

David Sumner

Janice, would it be possible for you to let me have contact information for John Badger (George Badger's son) or to relay to him that I would like to get in touch with him? The ARRL has an award that George won for his last article in QST and we would like to get it to the family. Thanks in advance.

It was a privilege to have known both your father and George.

David Sumner
Chief Executive Officer, ARRL
[email protected]

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