The Radio Club of Tacoma is host to the Clifford J. "Doc" Spike, W7OS, Antique Radio Museum.

Doc Spike (1900 - 1991) was an iconic, founding member of the Radio Club of Tacoma.  His personal call sign was W7OS.

The W7OS Antique Radio Museum is located in a room on the upper level of the Clubhouse. Some of the Club's antique transmitters and receivers dating back to the 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's are dusted off for making on-the-air contacts, usually by Morse Code, with other hams around the world.  This is especially the case on Straight Key Night, an annual ARRL-sponsored event that starts at 4:00 PM (PST) on New Year's Eve. We hope you will be listening for the Antique Radio Museum station call sign, W7OS ... "Whiskey Seven Old Socks".

History

Mac and Morel in 1995The W7OS Antique Radio Museum was officially formed in 1996.  Previous to that time, there was a room in the clubhouse, a collection of old gear and a group of RCT members who played with it, even an official RCT “museum curator”.  But only in 1996 did the call sign W7OS become available from the FCC through the vanity call system.

Since his name and call sign are often mentioned around RCT, many members will know about, perhaps even remember, Doctor Clifford J. Spike, a Tacoma dentist and member #28 of the Radio Club of Tacoma.  He played many significant roles in RCT over his long lifetime, several times as an officer, also as a historian and archivist, and of course we issue the “Doc Spike Inspirational Award” every year in his memory.

In 1995, anticipating the future availability of the W7OS call sign, RCT members prepared to obtain it as a vanity call.  Many people think of W7OS as a “second” call sign for the Radio Club of Tacoma, but in fact a club can have only one call sign.  Securing W7OS would require the creation of a separate club, and so the “DOCTOR CLIFFORD J SPIKE MEMORIAL MUSEUM” radio club was formed.  This club was issued sequential call sign KC7KDM in April 1995, and a subsequent application for W7OS was granted in November 1996.  The first QSO by the Museum as W7OS took place on 11/8/96 with Dr. Shin Onisawa JA1NUT.

1st W7OS QSO with JA1NUT

 


In addition to Straight Key Night, the Antique Radio Museum can be heard participating in various contests and events that encourage the use of classic gear.  Here are some of our log submissions:


Remodeling in 2019 and 2020 has outfitted the Museum with additional display shelves and operating positions.  Typically, three radio sets can be put on the air with just a trip to the patch panel to select antennas.  Some folks just come to read:  our extensive collection of Electric Radio Magazine is available for reference.

 

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT

Rich Patrick, KR7W
Curator, W7OS Antique Radio Museum
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