[AMRadio] NN3SI dismantled

VJB wa3vjb at yahoo.com
Sat Jun 21 09:25:27 EDT 2008


The NN3SI station at the Smithsonian was slated to be dismantled last year as part of an overall renovation of the displays there.

It's probably a good thing too.  NN3SI was set up in what appeared to be a small coat room. The bottom half of the door had a small shelf with ham radio brochures, but the interior was poorly lit.

Perhaps most importantly, the station did not match the historic nature of the technology display that it led to.  The Smithsonian has several nice examples of vintage, tube-type technology, but the current station trustee is the onetime AM-hater, Johnny Johnston, the former K3BNS.  

He more recently has headed the QCWA, and expressed his willingness to allow the group's national newsletter to include an article on AM, suitably addressed to his membership of licensees who've been in the hobby more than 25 years.

But according to an AM-er who had approached him to re-work the station along lines that would be compatible with the rest of the Smithsonian's display, he refused to allow the older, functioning equipment to be brought out of storage and placed back in service.  His agenda was like the League's, to show modern ham radio.

Few visitors stopped by during several trips I made there to observe, and the visitor's logbook had only a handful across months of time reviewed.

People who discussed whether it's appropriate to have Johnston as the station trustee, have also been in talks with the new leadership at the Smithsonian. Although kicking him out would be a fresh start, and would time nicely with developing a place for NN3SI in the newly designed display, there's a small problem --

FInding someone to replace him and to staff the station.

SO, the matter is stalled for now.



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