Bob Smith, KB6DI

January 9th, 2014 | by K6USY |


The prodigal son returns. No, this isn’t a bible story, but we should give a hardy welcome back to this month’s featured ham, Bob Smith, KB6DI. He has returned to our hobby after a multiyear hiatus. Read on!

Bob was born and raised in Fresno. He graduated from Bullard High School and also attended Fresno City College.

He was a friend of Larry Webster, K6RPH who gave him his novice examination after convincing him that there was more to radio than CB in 1974. Stan Ostrom, W6XP, another friend also was in there pulling for ham radio. His first amateur radio call letters were WN6JDM. He progressed to technician class and general class and then to advanced class where he changed to his present call sign.

He worked at Webster Radio and might have sold or repaired early radios for many of us. His other profession was a brick mason and contractor.  He followed his father’s footsteps into this field. He and his company were involved in many construction projects in our area. One of his prides is the all stone Wawona Bridge in Yosemite Valley which was one of his last big projects a few years ago.

His favorite aspect of amateur radio was DX chasing. He told me that he had gathered 295 countries in the old days. He was an avid member of the Northern California DX Association.

His hamming wained with work and other things and about 15 years ago , he sold off most of his gear and took down his antennas.

With his recent retirement, however, just a few months ago, he dug out some old gear and assembled a station using all tube radios and fell in love with the hobby again. You see this station in the included photograph. I would wager that some of you can identify the rigs in the picture.

The other photo is around 1978. He and Stan Ostrum were assembling a 20 meter monobander Goliath for DXing.

Let’s welcome Bob back to the hobby and wish him many more years of operating.

By: Joe Capell, W0PJD