[AMRadio] RE: GB> Original T.O. Keyer Article When?

W4AWM at aol.com W4AWM at aol.com
Fri Aug 13 17:42:25 EDT 2004

In a message dated 8/13/2004 17:33:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
acohen at texas.net writes:

> Who was W9TO, and 
> did he have any connection with Hallicrafters?

Courtesy of the ARRL Web News Page: James B. "Jim" Ricks, W9TO, SK: Jim 
Ricks, W9TO, of Lake Forest, Washington, died October 20. He was 86. Well-known in 
high-speed CW as well as in engineering circles, Ricks, designed the popular 
Morse electronic keyer that Hallicrafters marketed as the HA-1 T.O. Keyer (six 
vacuum tubes and a multivibrator; it was reviewed in the Nov 1960 issue of 

He was also founder of the high-speed CW group "CFO"--Chicken Fat 
Operators--(recognized on the air by the dit-dit-dit . . . di-dahhhhh signature, which is 
meant to sound like a chicken clucking). Ricks fondly referred to the CFO as 
"the ultimate disorganization" and was considered CFO Number 1 and dubbed "Big 
Bird." Ricks also wrote "A Useful Formula for a Solenoid Inductor," published 
in May 1947 QST. At the time of his death, he was living in a retirement home 
and was not active on the air. He is survived by his daughter, Carter Ricks 


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