EARS History

Our club began with a few Amateur Radio operators meeting at each others homes in the 1950’s.  The group expanded by helping others interested in Amateur Radio to obtain their operator licenses. The organization as we know it today began in 1959. League Affiliation occurred in 1960.

Club members first met at the Union Bus Station on Second Street in Edmond where the underpass currently is located.  Over the years the Club Station has been located at the bus station on Broadway, old Edmond Town Hall, Physics Department at Central State University now University of Central Oklahoma, and its current location, the Edmond Downtown Community Center.

There were originally five charter members; one is still an active member of our club.  One of the five charter members gave the club its name (EARS). In 1957, the club became incorporated for the first time. In 1986, a group of club members designed the club logo as seen on this website.

Club membership has grown from its five charter members in 1957 to the high point of over 150 members. ARRL Special Service Club status has been maintained for a number of years.  In 2000, the former club call sign KC5ORP was changed to the vanity call of K5EOK (Kilo Five Edmond Oklahoma). IRS 501(c)3 non-profit status was attained in 2007.

EARS 1st President Milt Heflin – K5KRM talks about EARS and the charter members

Following written by Karl Kueteman – AE5ZU

A little over a year ago (2014), I corresponded with Milton Heflin – K5KRM, EARS’ first president regarding the early days of EARS and its charter members. K5KRM, Milt gladly provided some information and photos. Enjoy.

K5KRM, Milt on the charter members:

W5WAH, Harold Burks…my “Elmer” starting in 1956…I would walk a couple of blocks from our home on Ayers where I could see his “shack” area…if I detected some activity I’d walk the other three blocks to go “bug” him…at night or early morning I could see if the lights were on in his “shack”, and he had a “real” radio shack…he would let me play with his Collins 75A-1 receiver and helped me learn code (I’m on the lookout for a 75A-1)…he also administered my Novice Exam..he is a Central State grad and went to work as a physicist at Tinker Field in a Chemistry Branch from 1958 – 1962…he then took that expertise to NASA at Langley Research Center in Virginia from 1962 – 1993…in retirement he lives in Newport News, Va. and his wife Susan (deceased) used to live just a few houses from us in Edmond in the late 50’s…today he is W4OWT…he’s very active in a RV net that meets early mornings (0700 Central) on 40M, 7191…his picture is from 1965 while in Newport News…

W5ERY & W5JCY, Allen & Bertha Watson…our favorite “Mom & Pop”…Allen attended our charter meeting although I sorta consider Bertha a charter member as well…Bertha passed many years ago (Jan 19, 1988)…Allen was a “transmitter engineer” for WKY-TV back in the 50’s and 60’s…Allen would invite me and my high school buds to the transmitter building where we got to watch him do his thing…later I would find it interesting that one of his duties was to log the commercials that successfully made it to the “airwaves”…he did this on an old “Crowne” manual typewriter…the QSL card you see with the EARS emblem was designed by his son, Allen III on the back of the QSL card it reads, “EARS Certificate awarded for 4 stateside or 3 DX QSO’s with EARS members, List on request. S.A.S.E.” Somewhere I have Certificate #1…when I find it I’ll send you a PDF copy…their picture is REALLY misleading…normally you could NOT even tell there was a desk there due to all the clutter…Allen worked many years in the UCO Physics/Science Department as a jack-of-all-trades, fixing stuff and solving problems…quite a character…

W5ERY, Allen Watson, Jr became a SK on September 27, 2010. Check out his gravestone.

K5CBA, Preston George…I lost track of him after I left Edmond in 1966…he probably got the most with the least out of Ham Radio…he used to live just north of the businesses at 123 N. Broadway…I found him out by seeing his 40M dipole…if I recall he was very active with the old MARS activities…I have no idea today if MARS is still alive…his QSL card from 1957 was a very popular used design back in those days…notice our QSO was when I was KN5KRM! I had been licensed only a couple of months…from his picture you can see (maybe) that he like Hammarlund receivers…I think the large piece of equipment to his right is a RTTY unit supplied by MARS…

K5CBA, Preston George became a SK on April 18, 1993.

K5SAM, Henry Just…he and I were VERY close…with his wife Hilda they were like a second set of parents…he was a radio operator in the German Navy in WW2…one of the ships he served on was the “Prinz Eugen”…I’m really guessing at the spelling…he came to this country ending up in Edmond after the war and worked many years in the printing business for a Mr. Kolb…he then started his own printing small business in the 600 block of West Main…he’s the most avid Morse Code guy I have ever run across…he and I would work DX CW contest together from his shack while Hilda would prepare food/snacks to kill for! I left Edmond in 1966 and with each annual return trip back home I would always spend some time with them…he was very talented and loved making a straight key sound like an electronic keyer…he was a bit of a renegade but his heart was always in the right place once you understood his motives…he was very special to me for many, many years…and that was from more than the EXCELLENT German beer he kept for me at his home! The picture is from the 1990’s of Henry and me in his shack, north side of Edmond…Henry became a SK several years ago…

K5KRM, Milt Heflin…First EARS president…we had other officers but I don’t remember who did what…one of my early rigs seen in the picture (B&W 1959…Heathkit DX-20 and DX-40 transmitters with Hallicrafter’s S-20R receiver ) was in our home at 820 East Ayers, now an UCO parking lot…under some of that concrete is the base of a 40-ft Rohn Tower for my home built Cubical Quad, then a 3-element tri-bander made by an Oklahoma company down in the southern part of the state…I can’t remember the name of the company or town where I made the trip to pick up the antenna…the top picture in the “Later rig’ attachment is of the rig I had when I left Edmond in 1966 (Heathkit DX-100, home brew amp and Drake 2B receiver…I bought the homebrew)…that home was just north of the water tower at 420 N. Baumann…one of my jobs at NASA’s Johnson Space Center was serving as a “Recovery Engineer” for the recovery of the crew and Apollo Command Module after splashdown in the Pacific…I was on the scene for 8 splashdowns of Apollo…for one of the recoveries I took a Collin’s rig with me (in the picture) and operated off the helicopter carrier USS New Orleans…I took my Hy-Gain 14AVQ vertical to use on the ship…what a ground plane!! The last attachment is today’s version of K5KRM, rig and all, a 1974 Kenwood TS-520 using a 20m dipole…maybe one of these days I’ll get a vertical set up where I can do 40m as well and then have some chats with EARS members and will ship them one of those old EARS QSL cards!

If you enjoyed reading our early EARS history, contact K5KRM, Milt at miltheflin@comcast.net. He would like to hear from you.