Fair winds, Walt

Although not a ham, Walt Mathers exemplified the ideals we strive for in public service and fascination with technology, how things work, and making old things work again. Walt was our initial contact with the NS Savannah and helped us host one of the larger Jamborees on the Air, personally providing tours to over a hundred Scouts and a similar number of family members each year.

The note below is from Erhard Koehler, the ship's administrator for the NS Savannah and a strong supporter of scouting, STEM programs, and by extension amateur radio:

By now the word has been spreading about the death yesterday of our good friend Walt Mathers.  Walt was admitted to hospital on January 3, and later diagnosed with leukemia.  His initial prognosis was not good, but Walt faced his illness with a deep and abiding faith.  He said he would win no matter the outcome, and he kept that faith right up to the end.

We will have time to share many stories and reminiscences in the days and weeks to come, and frankly, for those of us who knew him well, for the rest of our lives.

On Monday, the ship's flags will fly at half-staff, and as is our tradition, we will gather at noon to remember Walt and toll 8 Bells.  Details of Walt's service will be provided when they become available.

As many of you know, Walt's exuberance got the better of him during the reactor lift and a couple of the evolutions later in the week.  For those who don't know, I had the opportunity to conduct a special GET-I refresher for Walt and Valerie in mid-February.  Walt was at home, looking and sounding well - like his normal self really.  He was really looking forward to coming back to the ship, and he was able to do so a couple of times later in the month.  I'm very pleased that we had that evening together, and that his last visits to Savannah were pleasant ones.  Bob Adams and I visited Walt on Thursday afternoon, and I had the opportunity to say goodbye, to thank Walt for all he's done, and to tell him what a privilege it is to know him.

My thoughts today keep coming back to Tennyson.  Walt was a Navy man long before he was "Workin' on the Rail Road", and despite his many eclectic passions, in the end I think it was always the sea that called to him.  Fair Winds Walt.

Crossing the Bar, Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,

And one clear call for me!

And may there be a moaning of the bar,

When I put out to sea.

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew from out the boundless deep

Turns again home.

Twilight and the evening bell,

And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell,

When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place

The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot face to face

When I have crost the bar.

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Tom Farrell W3RCJ (Silent Key)

With deep sadness we report the passing of long-time friend and ATV enthusiast Tom W3RCJ.


Mr. Thomas E. Farrell, transitioned from this life on March 5, 2023. Mr. Farrell was born on August 2, 1927.
A viewing for Mr. Farrell, will be held on Friday, March 24, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Vaughn Greene Funeral Services, 8728 Liberty Road, Randallstown, MD 21133.
On Saturday, March 25, 2023, a homegoing celebration for Mr. Thomas E. Farrell, will be held at Vaughn Greene Randallstown Chapel, where the family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. with services to follow.
Immediately following services, the Interment will be held at the Druid Ridge Cemetery. Published by Vaughn Greene Funeral Services - Randallstown on Mar. 9, 2023.

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2023 Nominations and Holiday Parts Monday, Dec 12, 7:00 PM at the Greene Turtle Owings Mills

The 2022 holiday party will be at 7 pm at the Greene Turtle in Owings Mills, MD. Come celebrate the end of the year with your fellow hams!

The nominees for 2023 are:

President - N3GXH
VP - vacant
Secretary - K2GZL
Treasurer - KB3SKN

Chairman - K0ryx
Board 1 (formerly K9FXY) - N3CVA
Board 2 (formerly K5KNK) - KB3PLX

Board up in 2023

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BRATS Meeting, circa 1976

How many folks do you recognize? Some are Silent Keys while many have a lot less hair than in the hip 1970s. Thank you to Rick WA3USG.

BRATS Meeting 1976
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BRATS Monthly Meetings

BRATS Monthly business meetings are the second Monday of each month at 7:00 pm.

Microsoft Teams meeting: Join on your computer or mobile app Click here to join the meeting Or call in (audio only)+1 703-660-4565,,186770830#   United States, Arlington Phone Conference ID: 186 770 830# Find a local number | Reset PIN Learn More | Meeting options

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Chuck Nemec K3PVZ, Silent Key

With deep sadness we announce the recent passing of fellow Baltimore area radio amateur Chuck Nemec K3VPZ. He died from congestive heart failure. Chuck was a CW guy and loved working DX. First licensed in 1962, he accomplished much over his years in the hobby. He will be missed.

Haight Funeral Home & Chapel P.A.

  • Address
    6416 Sykesville Road
    P.O. Box 195
    Sykesville, MD 21784
  • Telephone
    (410) 795-1400

Link to Chuck Nemec's funeral arrangements, on the Haight Funeral Home web site:

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On-line Technician Class Licensing Course starting Sept 9

I am starting a free Technician Class course on Zoom beginning Thursday, September 9  and running for 7 sessions.   Sessions will start at 6:30, and run 3 hours.  No charge, of course.   These are the classes sponsored by the National Electronics Museum that we have been holding for years.  Please publicize this with your club and anyone you know whom you think would be interested.  Those wishing to sign up should email me at roland.anders@comcast.net.

Thanks, Rol Anders K3RA

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Joseph Cotton W3TTT, SK 07/31/2021

With deep sadness we announce the passing of fellow radio amateur Joe Cotton W3TTT on July 31, 2021. An avid project builder, amateur radio enthusiast and mentor, he leaves behind many friends. We thank him for service to our club and the amateur radio community at large.

Joseph Cotton Obituary – Pikesville, MD | Sol Levinson & Bros.

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Leon Neufeld N3LN — Silent Key

Leon Neufeld N3LN, of Baltimore, MD, passed away on Friday, April 23rd, 2021 at the age of 75. A long time, early BRATS member and connoisseur of area hamfests. He was active in HF, ATV, and 2-meters FM and was known far and wide as a great ambassador of amateur radio. Helpful to all; he will be missed. Details at Sol Levinson.

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Operating course on Zoom begins Thursday, April 15

The National Electronics Museum is sponsoring its well-received Operating Course again starting April 15, 2021 and running each Thursday for 11 weeks from 6:30 to 9:30 EDST on Zoom.   There is no charge for participation.  The purpose of these classes is to provide information to help licensed radio amateurs to participate in the many on-the-air activities available in the hobby.  The presenters are very experienced in their topics—many are nationally known experts—and they will be available to answer your questions following the presentations.   The exact order of presentations will be determined and published in the next few weeks.   These are independent presentations, and participants are free to participate in any or all of the evenings.   Feel free to pass this announcement along to others, but we request that all prospective attendees register by emailing Tom Christovich at tom.christovich@gmail.com . You will receive confirmation of enrollment and the Zoom link for attendance by reply email.  Here is a tentative list of topics:

All About Operating-an Introduction

Amateur Radio Organizations: Local, National, and International clubs, societies and groups devoted to specific aspects of amateur radio

Ham Radio Operating Award Hunting—from working Lighthouses to the DXCC Challenge



VHF/UHF Weak Signal Work

Remote Station Control Over Internet

CW in the No-code Era

Digital modes

Imaging Operating


Logging Software

HF Propagation

Amateur Satellite Comms

Portable (backpacking) Operation, including Park and Summits

Setting Up an HF Station

Emergency and Public Service Communications (ARES and RACES)

Traffic Handling

Lightning Protection and Grounding

73, Rol Anders, K3RA

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