Jay Thompson W6JAY

Wins Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award for 2004

W6JAY with HPM plaque

A medal-winning transmitter hunter and member of the Hospital Disaster Support Communications System (HDSCS) of Orange County California has been named as a 2004 winner of the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial scholarship award. Nineteen-year-old Jay Thompson W6JAY of Santa Ana, California was selected during a meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Radio Relay League on July 17, 2004.

The Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award is given annually to a licensed radio amateur under the age of 21. It is intended to provide a tangible reward to those deserving young amateurs who contribute their time, skills and energies daily through their commitment to Amateur Radio. The winner's accomplishments and contributions to both the community of Amateur Radio and the local community are exemplary. Winners receive a cash prize and a suitably engraved plaque. W6JAY received his award on August 28, 2004 at the annual ARRL Southwestern Division Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, where he also gave a presentation about getting started in ARDF.

In 2003, W6JAY was given the "Young Ham of the Year" award by Amateur Radio Newsline®, a non-profit news service for ham radio operators.

Originally licensed as KF6TTZ, Jay upgraded to Amateur Extra class and received his special namesake callsign in December 1998 at the age of 13. The next year, he joined the ranks of international-rules transmitter hunters by competing at the First International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 ARDF Championships in Portland, Oregon and bringing home three medals.

Y2K was a big year for Jay in ham radio. In February, he and his father (Richard WA6NOL) joined HDSCS and became very active in that organization, participating in most of Orange County's mass-casualty incident drills at participating hospitals. In the fall, they traveled to Nanjing, China as members of Team USA to the 2000 ARDF World Championships.

Jay has continued his radio-orienteering and public service activities, all the while earning top grades at his high school. In the summer of 2001, he participated in the First USA ARDF Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, capturing four gold medals. He enjoys HDSCS meetings, including his introduction to Personal Protective Equipment for chemical/radiological contamination in the photo at right above. His emergency communications training paid off when he and his father were emergency communicators at Garden Grove Hospital following the April 2002 Metrolink train crash in Placentia.

W6JAY's further activities have included the Third USA ARDF Championships in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Fourth USA ARDF Championships in southern California, the Fifth USA ARDF Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Sixth USA ARDF Championships in Raleigh, North Carolina. In all of them, he has had medal-winning performances. Jay competed in the ARDF World Championships for the second time when he traveled to the Czech Republic in September 2004. He also likes to introduce persons in his age bracket to the fun of Amateur Radio at Scouting events by putting RDF gear into their hands and showing them how to find radio foxes.

Congratulations to W6JAY and his family! Below are some more photos.

Medals in Portland
W6JAY (at right) won his first ARDF medals at the 1999 IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships in Portland, Oregon.

Starting line in China
Jay and a competitor in another age category bolt from starting line at the 2000 ARDF World Championships in China. Contestants are individually timed. (Photo by Richard Thompson WA6NOL)

Medals in Albuquerque
W6JAY on the winners platform at the 2001 ARDF Championships in Albuquerque, beside medal presenter Mike Eaton K5MJE.

Operating Field Day
During Field Day 2001, W6JAY makes radio contacts for HDSCS at the Burgen Brunswig facility. (Photo by April Moell WA6OPS)

Jay at HDSCS meeting
At the annual HDSCS Year-end/Year-beginning meeting in January 2003, Jay confers with Al Way KC6NLP about a question on the "Final Exam." At that meeting, Jay and his father received certificates for being in the "Disaster Dozen," the twelve most active HDSCS members of 2002.

W6JAY teaches RDF
W6JAY explains radio direction finding to a Scout at Jamboree-on-the-Air 2000.

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This page updated 13 May 2007