Episode 394 – Robin Critchell – WA6CDR


Robin Critchell, WA6CDR, had a profound influence on many young hams operating in the VHF and UHF bands in Southern California in the 70s’ and 80s.  He and Alan Burgstahler, WA6AWD, at the time and now a silent key, created the Cactus Intertie, now the World’s largest full duplex radio linked amateur radio network. “Top band” or 160 Meters is Robin’s favorite band, and he has participated on DxExpeditions, had an incredible career in the communications industry, and can fix just about anything.  WA6CDR, is my QSO Today.


Our Listener Sponsors

This list is the total amounts contributed as sponsorships and/or donations since Episode 1 in July 2014.  Only those who agreed to be publicly recognized are on the list below.

. Father:  Howard Critchell, W6IHP, W2HPK
Mother: Iris Critchell, now 102, Licensed Pilot, member of the “Ninty-Nines”
First License:  Novice 1958, General 1959, WA6CDR  
First Rig: 
Johnson Viking Ranger Transmitter 
Hammarlund HQ-140 Receiver

160 Mentors:
Nilan Kinkaid, W6EIG
Roy Dunann, K6HXT
Wilbur Alexander “Alex” W6KIP

Airline Pilot, Western Airlines
North Atlantic Air Ferry Command, WW2
Women involved in Aviation, the “Ninty-Nines”
Bates Foundation Harvey Mudd College
USC Flight Training 
CW – Morse Code
160 Meters or “Top Band”
Cal Poly Pomona
General Dynamics
McFarlane Communications,  “Macomco” – Southern California Two-Way Shop
Kellogg Hill, Pomona, CA
KCBS Channel 2, Los Angeles
Herbert Hoover, Jr.  W6ZH
CQ Magazine 160 Contest
Stu Perry W1BB
Loran Beacons on 160 Meters
Transmitter Input Power
Douglas DC-7 Airplane
Bush Gorbachev Summit, Malta
XZ0A DXpedition to Myanmar
160MHz Beverage Antenna
Marti Laine, OH2BH
Milt Jensen, N5IA
Four-Square Antenna 160 Meters
Radio Propagaion Skew Paths
Greyline Ducted Propagation
Ducie Island VP6DX DXpedition
N5IA 9 Circle Antenna Array, 160 meters
San Bernardino Microwave Society
X-Band Transverter for Amateur Radio 10GHz
LNA – Low Noise Amplifier, 10GHz
TWT Microwave – Traveling Wave Tube
Cactus Intertie
Cactus Intertie History
Alan Burgstahler WA6AWD
Toroid Based Tone Decoders
Cathode Follower Audio Mixer
Fred Daniel, W6FNO
Remote Base – an alternative to repeaters
Television Translator
6C4 Vacuum Tube
12AU7 Vacuum Tube
RDL – Resistor Diode Logic 
Op Amp Audio Mixer
Wire Wrap
Cactus Intertie Jacks Peak, New Mexico
DTMF – Dual Tone Multi Freq

Greatest challenge facing amateur radio now: finding new hams to take over and maintain the amateur radio “systems” built over the last 60 years.  

Excited most by: 440Mhz and Xband, digital modes are interesting. 

Advice to new or returning hams: use the tools that you have to know how to handle an emergency when cellphones disappear. 

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WA6CDR X-Band Rig
Cactus Intertie WA6AWD Control System Circa 1970s. 
VP6DX DXpedition  2008

Cactus Intertie Remote Base Station with Duplex 420 MHz Links

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