If you have not yet discovered the Engineering and Technology History Wiki (ETHW)
website, now would be a good time to surf on over and take a look at the vast resources
there - particularly the "Oral-History" series of in-person interviews of our field's
top scientists and engineers. Among them are
Beverage (of Beverage antenna fame),
Dr. Ulrich L.
Rohde (N1UL, Synergy Microwave founder,
Harold S. Black
(negative feedback amplifier inventor),
Harold A. Wheeler
(AGC & electrically small antenna inventor),
Dr. Irwin Jacobs and
Dr. Andrew Viterbi
(Qualcomm co-founders), and of particular significance to me (see below),
Dr. David B.
Leeson (W6NL), founder of California Microwave and
Ham radio contesting champion. Many of the oral interviews were conducted in
the pre-Internet era and some of the people are no longer with us.
According to their About Us page: "The
Engineering and Technology History Wiki (ETHW) is a website powered by MediaWiki
with thousands of articles, first hand accounts, oral histories, milestones, archival
documents and lesson plans pertaining to the history of technology. The ETHW is
one of the world's premier sites for the documentation, analysis, and explanation
of the history of technology; the scientists, engineers and business people who
made these technologies happen; and on the history of the organizations to which
these men and women belonged."
Equally important: "The ETHW is not a 'how-does-technology-work' site. The scope
of the ETHW is historical; instead of focusing on the inner workings of technology,
it aims to explain how the technology was developed, who were the major players
involved, and what long term significance the technologies have. The ETHW is not
only an encyclopedia of the history of technology, but it also contains a full range
of materials that relate to the legacy of engineering, including personal accounts,
documents, and multimedia objects. In that sense, it is a combination reference
guide, blog, virtual archive, and on-line community. "
Dr. David (Dave) B. Leeson, W6NL
California Microwave Items Currently Listed on eBay.
California Microwave 5−Year Employee Pin
California Microwave PE84P-129(-) Oscillator
California Microwave TR43-CW52 Waveguide
A few days ago, I had the honor of being contacted Dr. Leeson as part of
his search for information he wants for some work he is doing. His name is familiar
to amateur radio contesters who participate in DX (long distance) events. Most Hams
do their part from home-based "shacks" while others join in during Hamfest gatherings.
Some adventuresome and hardy souls set up temporary (and sometimes fixed) stations
in remote locations around the world in order to provide rare and exotic contact
opportunities, where coveted
QSL cards can be collected.
Dr. Leeson's group (HC8N)
set up in the Galápagos
Islands (of Darwin fame, note Beverage antennas - see Dr. Harold Beverage
above), and went on to win more than forty world DXing trophies. Dr. Leeson
is the founder of California Microwave, which was eventually bought by Northrop
Grumman. There is nothing I can add to the mountains of information available about
Dr. Leeson and his accomplishments, so instead I posts some links to his 70+
decades of technical pursuits (see below). His "Oral-History" interview with
ETHW is a must-read to get a feel for the good nature and sense of humor that even
a genius-level thinker and high-achiever type person can possess.
Your Help Requested in helping Dr. Leeson locate sources
for two items. Please contact him or me if you can assist.
- An editorial in a late 1940s or early 1950s science-fiction magazine titled
"Will We Fly to the Stars?"
- An article from the 1960s called something like "The Craft of Microwaves," written
by someone at Stanford Research Institute
Here are just a few items regarding Dr. Leeson and/or California Microwave:
- Engineering and Technology
History Wiki (ETHW) Oral-History: David Leeson
Physical Design of Yagi Antennas, David B. Leeson
Wireless Projects, Engaging Heads and Hands, Are Put on Display
Contesting in the Galápagos Islands
California Microwave Inc. Will Give out $891,000 in Employee Bonuses Friday
- IEEE Xplore papers
Radio at Stanford - Its Role in Competitive Advantage, D. B. Leeson, W6NL (see
list of "Historic Careers Sparked by Amateur Radio")
California Microwave Sells Government Business [to Northrop Grumman], Changes Name
Northrop Grumman's California Microwave Systems to Begin Work on Sixth U.S. Army
- The Forgotten
Hostages, 60 Minutes
W6NL 40-Meter Moxon Yagi Design, Dave Leeson
- David B. Leeson, Consulting
Professor of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University
Microwaves in the Land of Sun and Honey, Microwave Journal
Story of the Broadband Dipole, Dave Leeson, W6NL - QEX
Phase Noise: A 50-Year Review, David B. Leeson, Life Fellow, IEEE
Posted August 11, 2021