Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

Frank Howe, MBE - G3FIJ Silent Key
Frank became a Silent Key on Wednesday, 27th May 2009 aged 81.

He was a leading Member of the Colchester Club and will be greatly missed.

The Funeral was on Thursday, 11th June at Colchester Crematorium.

CARS were well represented - it was standing room.
The Service was conducted by the Rev John Chandler and Don Scott read the Tribute,
the Reading was by Rita Skinner. Afterwards there was a Wake at the Cherry Tree, Mersea Road.

Photo after the service

Frank Howe G3FIJ by Peter Best G8BLS

I have just received news that Frank Howe G3FIJ went SK on Wednesday evening in Colchester General Hospital. He had been unwell for some while.

It is an understatement to say he will be sadly missed, as those of us who did our Amateur Radio and other technical learning at North East Essex Technical College & School Of Art NEETC&SOA will have learned a GREAT deal from Frank over many years, 50 in my case!!! Many of your members will have attended the 'Colchester Tech' in the 1960s during their Marconi apprenticeships, there were many there in my day.

I first met Frank in October 1957, (just after Sputnik 1 had been launched) at an open day at above place of learning, when he was playing recordings of the signals from that pioneer of the Space Age.

I last saw him at his QTH about 5 weeks ago when he waved me off from his front door, after we had spent an hour chatting about 'things'.

My first QSO was with Frank on 22nd April 1968 on 70cms AM!! and the last was about a month ago on 2m FM via GB3PO!

We will all miss his carefully enunciated phonetics of "Foxtrot India Juliet" and of course his CW 'fist' which even I could recognise!! !!!

Peter Best G8BLS

Frank Howe G3FIJ by Malcolm Granville GI8AFS

I first met Frank Howe almost 50 years ago.   The Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company had agreed to accept about 30 of us as apprentices and entrusted Frank to convert our 'O' levels into City and Guilds and ONCs to turn us into useful radio engineers for the company. He inspired us from the start, with a completely practical approach.

We were nearly all crystal set builders and broadcast SWLs and the radio lab was a real wonderland, with all the best of test equipment, a CR100 receiver and transmission lines across the ceiling - that actually showed us how swr worked.

The Russians had just launched the early Sputniks and G3FIJ had special antennas, hastily built Yagis of wood and wire, up on the roof of the NEETC & SA. He inspired us with such projects.

An amateur licence was not a requirement by our Marconi bosses, (who were paying us just over 3 a week) but Frank introduced all of us to the amateur world and suggested that, as we were doing the study anyway, we should attempt the RAE, which in 1960 about a dozen of us did.   A 'B' licence in those days only let us use 70cm, (2m came later) and there was very little commercial equipment, so the skills of soldering, knowledge of components and how to use test equipment, all learned from Frank, were all employed in homebrew projects.

I still love working with valves. Some estimates suggest that he was responsible for 7-800 new Amateur Licences in his career - a staggering achievement from a great Radio Amateur.

Malcolm Granville GI8AFS

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