Historic Amateur Radio Station
The history of W6JE (originally 6JE) dates back to the earliest days of wireless communication. W6JE was included in the 1913 U.S. Commerce Department list of radio stations. Over the past century-plus, many different amateur radio operators have kept W6JE on the air, advancing wireless experimentation and pioneering new modes of communication. The station, located in California for most of its history, is now based in Gilbert, Arizona. W6JE spans the entire era of wireless communication, from spark-gap radiotelegraph transmission to space and terrestrial digital communication. Steeped in history, yet looking excitedly to the future—this is W6JE.
Current W6JE station equipment includes a modern Kenwood TS-480HX transceiver and vintage Kenwood TS-520 and Drake TR4C transceivers. Maximum output power is approximately 200 watts into a pair of horizontal wire antennas. A Kenwood TM-V71A VHF/UHF FM mobile transceiver, mounted inside a Nissan Xterra, takes W6JE on the road.
Amateur radio (ham radio) unites people, electronics and communication. Under U.S. and international law, the amateur service is open to qualified persons who are interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest. The service presents a unique opportunity for self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations. Twenty-seven frequency bands across the spectrum are allocated to the amateur service internationally. Some 1,300 digital, analog, pulse and spread-spectrum emission types may be transmitted.
W6JE is active on all HF bands, 160 meters through 10 meters, as well as on multiple VHF and UHF bands. Current operating modes include SSB, AM and FM voice, a variety of digital formats and, in honor of its heritage, Morse code. W6JE has communicated with other amateur radio stations in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Antarctica and space. W6JE also periodically conducts experimental short-range digital transmissions.
John Edwards, the current licensee of W6JE, is a technology writer and journalist. John has written for a wide range of major publications and is the author of several books on technology topics. He is also a former 73 Magazine columnist.
W6JE is licensed under the authority of the Federal Communications Commission. John Edwards holds an Amateur Extra Class operator license, which grants the maximum number of operator privileges allowable under law.
W6JE operator John Edwards is a Life Member of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the U.S. national association for amateur radio.