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JH5GHM Donates Foot Switches to W1AW


Katsuhiro “Don” Kondou, JH5GHM, has donated eight of his custom-made foot switches to Maxim Memorial Station W1AW. ARRL Field Services and Radiosport Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, said Kondou visited ARRL Headquarters and operated from W1AW during the ARRL Centennial National Convention in 2014 and felt that W1AW needed better foot switches. Now, he’s made that happen.

“We really appreciate Don’s generosity!” said Patton. “The foot switches are really a nice addition to the station, as they are solid, comfortable, and don’t slide around on the floor.” Patton said that in a multi-station environment, such as W1AW’s, using a foot switch instead of VOX while operating phone allows each operator to talk more normally and quietly, not bothering adjacent operators. VOX, he said, often makes ops shout.

In his article, “A Prototype Foot Switch for the Future,” in the July/August issue of NCJ, Kondou said many radio amateurs do not appreciate the importance of a foot switch in a contest environment. While many types of foot switches are available, he said only a few are specific to Amateur Radio use.

“I became frustrated with their flexibility,” Kondou said of the commercially available units. “Finally I decided to design a more comfortable foot switch.” His eventual design represented the culmination of considerable experimentation. Kondou has said operators won’t appreciate the comfort of his foot switch design until they try out his low-fatigue design.

An enthusiastic contester, Kondou participated in World Radiosport Team Championship 2014 in New England and is a member of the CQ World Wide DX Contest Committee. He was licensed in 1978 and is a graduate of the Tokyo Institute of Technology.




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