Originally published in the January 1982 C&E.
As the DX world now knows, Oklahoma’s great Q.R. Zedd held his incredible Mt. Williams expedition on Norman’s North Campus between November 8 and November 12. Zedd, operating alone on the heights of the cow pasture promontory except for the help of his nubile, blonde, 19-year-old QSL secretary, Tondelayo Schwartz, was on the air for 101 hours, SSB and CM. During that time, Zedd made slightly in excess of 26,000 contacts, 17,000 on CW and 9,000 on SSB.
By the bands it went like this:
- 160 meters — 927 contacts including WAS, WAC ‘and DXCC.
- 80 meters 2,500 contacts, WAS, MAC, WAZ, and 178 DXCC countries.
- 40 meters 7,200 contacts, WAS, MAC, WAZ, Islands of the World Award, talked to Wayne Green, and, contacted 213 DXCC countries.
- 20 meters 10,221 contacts, WA Everything, 314 DXCC countries worked.
- 15 meters 4,000 contacts, WAS, WAC, WAX, WAJ, 311 DXCC countries worked, and heard W5MCN.
- 10 meters 1,200 contacts, WAS, WAZ, DXCC (198) and picked up oak leaf clusters for the coveted Yodar Kritch, Chatanooga ChooChoo, New England Nutmeg, and City of Roses certificates.
A few contacts were made on 6 and 2 meters, as well as 70 cm and down. Zedd also spoke to Carl Sagan’s spaceship somewhere billyuns and billyuns of miles out there in the cosmos, and Carl promised an autographed QSL card from Andromeda. Zedd yuked that he hoped it would not be too much of a strain.
“All in all we had a real nice time,” Zedd told assembled reporters when he climbed down from the pile of dirt. “We got a little handicapped for the Charles Whiskey when I fell down on the first trip up and busted all the fangers of my right or CW Sending Machine hand, but it worked out real nice and I was glad to get in the practice sending left-handed and with my toes.
“Other than that we didn’t have no real problems.”
Some of the worthy who clustered about the snow-swept lower elevations of the famous Mt. Williams during Zedd’s incredible expedition were quick to point out-that the great man, as usual, was being overly modest. It was known, for example, that many other events emperiled the intrepid Zedd and the voluptuous Tondelayo.
Only a few hours into the expedition, for example, Zedd and Tondelayo were distracted and put off their regular QSO pace by the unexpected arrival of a local university president, Bill something-or-other, who nailed a CONDEMNED sign on the front of the No. 1 Alpha linear and tent, saying he needed the space for parking for some kind of energy center.
Scarcely had this strange apparition vanished into the frosty night when Zedd’s remote campsite was again terrorized, this time by a Cessna 182, flying backwards and inverted. The pilot, wearing a baseball cap with the strange legend N5MS emblazoned across the bill, later told authorities that this was his normal mode of flight when operating simultaneous two-meter HT and QRP CW, and so was subsequently released on his own recognizance, whatever that means….
Before the expedition was finished, furthermore, Zedd also had to cope with:
A strange-looking person in bib overalls and a blue-green Ford truck, who kept muttering about junk;
An erstwhile OO from Moore, KB5EK, who put up thirteen sloper antennas, trying to prove some kind of point to the great man, before Zedd was finally forced to confiscate his wire cutters and copy of the 73 Long Wire Antenna Book.
A rotund, individual carrying his own 12-foot dish, insisting he wanted to show Zedd that satellite TV was better than DX anyway, and
Two representatives of the Japanese legation in Dallas, complaining that Zedd’s booming signal into their homeland was creating DX pileup riots in both Tokyo and Osaka.
Zedd says all QSLs will be answered within sixty days.
“What this here little trip proved,” the great man concluded, “was that you can have a little fun with modest equipment and antennas. At no time did we ever run more than one Signal One and one Alpha 77, and because we was near the airport, we only put up hundred-foot towers and never more than eight elements on any of our monobanders. You don’t got to spend a lot of money or throw in the big stuff when you’ve got real operating skills.”
CBS-TV, PBS, Reuters, and the Mickey Mouse Club of Peoria, Ill., all shot news film of the event. Nosebleeds because of the altitude of Mt. Williams prevented an in-depth, live interview with Lesley Stahl — which, considering Tondelayo’s expression when first told about the plan, was probably just as well.
Zedd was resting at press time, but earlier promised new sensational announcements before spring. The world holds its breath.