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W2RS - Raphael Soifer - Green Valley - Arizona - USA

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    W2RS - Raphael Soifer - Green Valley - Arizona - USA

    Ray Raphael Soifer, W2RS from Green Valley, Arizona, USA passed away 1 March 2022.
    He born in 1943.
    Information from his qrz page:

    I have been licensed since 1955, originally as KN2QBW when I was 12, and have held W2RS since 1976. Extra Class since 1958. General Radiotelephone and Radiotelegraph licenses with radar endorsement.

    I have lived in seven US call areas (W1-W7), and my other call signs have included K1WXC, K2QBW, WA4IJR and G5DDU. So far, I have operated from 44 US states and 23 DXCC entities.

    Interests and Activities

    My favorite ham activity is operating CW, especially to work DX. I have all current DXCC entities confirmed, all on CW except North Korea, as well as 9-band DXCC (10-160). I do not use digital modes other than RTTY, and no longer chase awards or compete seriously in contests. I just work DX and participate in contests for the fun of it. In my active contesting days I operated multi-op at K4CG on HF, W1MHL and WA2SNA on VHF, and G3HUL and K2UYH on EME, among others.

    Other current ham interests include satellites and antique radio. I can sometimes also be found on RTTY or AM, as well as 50 MHz during the sporadic-E season. At previous locations, I was active in weak-signal DXing on 144 MHz, EME, HF and VHF contesting, LF, traffic nets, and various other aspects of amateur radio. I may return to them some day. I have written many articles for QST, RadCom, The AMSAT Journal, and other ham publications, mostly about satellites and EME.

    I have Satellite DXCC No. 13 and Satellite WAC No. 6. both earned entirely via LEO spacecraft. In addition, I am happy to have participated in the first two-way contact in any radio service via satellite-to-satellite relay, with W2BXA (SK) via AMSAT-OSCAR 7 and AMSAT-OSCAR 6 in 1975, as well as the first known contact via satellite ionization trail reflection, a propagation mode first reported by W8JK (SK) in 1958, with K3JTE (now W3PK) in 1960. I was active on 144 MHz EME in 1985-95 with 150 watts and a single Yagi, working 37 stations on CW.

    I have lived in Green Valley, Arizona, since 2004, after relocating from Glen Rock, New Jersey. Green Valley is in the Sonoran desert, about 25 miles (40 km) south of Tucson and 40 miles (64 km) north of the Mexican border. It is 3000 feet (900m) above sea level, and is called "Green" because of the many trees.

    Member Green Valley ARC, Arizona Outlaws Contest Club, Central Arizona DX Association, Southern Arizona DX Association, Chilton DX Club (UK), Norfolk ARC (UK), AWA, QCWA, OOTC, CSVHFS, FISTS and SKCC (11178), among others. Fellow, Radio Club of America. I have belonged to many other clubs at previous locations, including W1AF and W1MX, and have served AMSAT in several capacities, including board member and acting president.

    I have been an International Amateur Radio Union volunteer for many years, currently as a member of the IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel. From 1995 to 2005 I chaired the annual IARU Satellite Forum. I was elected secretary of the IARU Region 2 (North/South America) VHF/UHF committee in`1998 and chairman in 2001.

    My main HF/6m station presently includes an Elecraft KX3 and PX3 with KXPA100 and KPA500 amplifiers, and a Collins 30L-1 as backup. On AM, I transmit on a Yaesu FT-102/FV-102DM and receive on a Collins 75S-1. Antennas are an elevated Hy-Gain AV620 "ground plane" vertical for 6-20 and a 130-foot (40m) long inverted-L for 30-160. I am also a Collins collector; in my Collins station, the 30L-1 is driven by a KWM-2/312B-5 with the 75S-1 as a second receiver. I also enjoy playing with a reconstructed version of my original 1955 Novice station (Johnson Viking Adventurer and Hallicrafters S-38), as well as the KX3 and PX3 operating on low power (10-15 watts), CW of course.

    Other equipment includes an old, but still working, satellite station using Icom IC-290 and IC-490 transceivers and solid-state "brick" amplifiers, a Ten-Tec Argonaut V transceiver and a variety of handhelds. In 66 years, equipment has a way of piling up. I would have had more old stuff were it not for my having traded lots of it in 1962 for a Collins "suitcase station" that I could take with me when I moved around. I still have it.


    I am married with two grown sons, and hold BSEE and MBA degrees. After working in investment banking in New York and London, I now earn my living as a self-employed private investor. My late father was licensed as WV2MIM and KB2VWZ.

    History of W2RS (the call)

    From time to time, people have asked me about the history of my call sign, so here is a brief synopsis, compiled from old government callbooks and other public records.

    The first holder of 2RS (national prefixes were not assigned until 1928) was Albert E. Reymann of New York, NY. He received it in late 1913 and held it for about a year, using a small spark coil with 6 watts output. The call was unassigned from 1915 until 1920, when it was issued to M.J. Schaefer, also of New York, NY, who held it for about three years and ran 1 kW spark. It was again unassigned from 1923 until 1926, when it was issued to Rudolph J. Herdin of Clifton, NJ, who held 2RS (and W2RS) until his death in 1965, aged 81. He had been first licensed as 2AT in 1914 or 1915, and held that call until the wartime cessation of U.S. amateur radio in 1917. As 2RS, he originally ran 14 watts CW, later increased to 1 kW CW and AM. I moved to NJ in 1973 and did not know Rudolph Herdin, but have been told that he was active on 10m in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

    W2RS was again unassigned from 1965 until I received it in 1976. It is not a "vanity" call sign, but was issued as part of an FCC program of the time to recognize longtime holders of Extra Class licenses. In 2016 I celebrated my 40th year as W2RS, which makes me the longest holder of that call. If you have further information about any of the previous holders, please let me know.

    73, Ray
    73 Al 4L5A