The Electron Benders Amateur Radio Club has a long history of helping Tulsa and Northeastern Oklahoma during emergencies. The club was started in the early 1950s by a small number of Tulsa-area amateur radio operators. On October 1st of 1956 the club voted to become incorporated within the State of Oklahoma as a 501c3 non-profit organization. The purpose for which this organization was formed was to promote the experimentation, research and practice for the amateur in electronics, to aid and provide communications in disasters, national emergencies and in the defense of our country, and to set up a club station or stations to aid in carrying out these purposes and any other purpose not contrary to the law of the State of Oklahoma. All of these purposes continue forward through its members today. The club at that time also dedicated W5OK as the "Watt Stinson Memorial Station" in memory of the original holder of this call sign.

The picture below, made in 1957, shows some of the membership helping with communications at Tulsa County Civil Defense Headquarters during the Arkansas River floods.  The temporary station was located in the Tulsa Armory.


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The picture below shows the club officers of 1962 with Smokey Stover - K5OOV (SK), Bob Carter - K5EYT and Larry Russell - K5ZCJ. Both Carter and Russell are still current members of the club.


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This picture below shows an ARRL Field Day operation with K5WWA, K5EYT and K5ZCJ taking part.  Note the Collins receiver and the B&W transmitter.  In 2002 the club call W5OK was used for Field Day at Chandler Park.


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Another photograph from the 60s shows a number of the club members working on an unknown project. Those pictured include G.F. Crosser - W5JJR, a long time communications officer for Civil Defense in Tulsa; Clark Wilson - K5DVF who owned an electronics shop on Admiral Blvd.; K5OOV - Smokey Stover a staff member of the Tulsa Tribune newspaper; W0GTH - Dick Weddle, a staff photographer for the Tulsa Tribune newspaper; W5OPQ - Ralph Haynes and K5KUX - Jim Ried, who worked for an oil company in Tulsa.


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In 1966, the International Petroleum Exposition (IPE) was held in Tulsa in the newly-constructed IPE Building located on the Fairgrounds property in the central part of Tulsa.  Members of the Electron Benders, as well as members from several other radio clubs from the area, participated in this activity which provided amateur radio communications to visitors to the Exposition who came from many countries around the globe.   It was a great introduction, to many of the visitors, to amateur radio.  The QSL cards, like that shown above, were available for sale to hams around the area to use in advertising this international activity from their home stations.   This was also the QSL used to confirm the hundreds of QSOs made from equipment at the IPE Building.  We wonder how many of these cards still adorn the proud QSL collections of hams in the USA and around the world.

In the 60s the club membership was close to 100 members strong. Today, while we have fewer numbers, some of those same members are still active in amateur radio and in the club as well, including four who are life members of the Electron Benders by virtue of the fact they have served as club officers.


The Club typically has quarterly meetings, normally luncheons, and any amateur from Northeastern Oklahoma is welcome to join. Contact any club officer for the date of the next meeting.


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The page was updated on 05/17/06 07:43 PM


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