John H. Dilks K2TQN
Organization: ARRL, AWA, SOWP, VWOA
Address: 125 Warf Road
Egg Harbor Township NJ 08234
John Dilks was born into a history-rich family in southern New Jersey. Following his parents interest in local history, he began gathering history where ever he found it. Many of his ancestors were coastal Schooner Captains. Little did he know then, that his appreciation for the sea and schooners and radio would lead to a great historical story.
In the 1950’s he developed an interest in radio and became a licensed ham radio operator. His radio hobby would lead to a 38-year career in electronics and computer technology with the Bell Telephone System. John Dilks was also a pioneer in the personal computing industry. In 1976 he originated the first national Personal Computing Show, and continued in Philadelphia during 1978 he sponsored the first ever Computer Music Festival. Thousands attended.
Over the years John began to collect radio artifacts and radio documents of significance. He owns a reference collection of historical documents, letters, and library of more than one thousand early radio books and thousands of early radio magazines. He started a small radio museum; at first in his home, then later put it in a 30-foot mobile museum, where he traveled to radio swap meets and conventions displaying his collection. In 1999 this led to him being invited to write a monthly 2-page radio history column in QST magazine, the most widely read Amateur Radio publication in the country.
Retired in 2014, John has written over 170 columns on radio history for QST magazine beginning with the January 2000 issue.
It was his good fortune to meet a descendant of Don Mix at one of the radio events he attended. Don was well known among radio hams since the early 1920s. In joining the 1923 MacMillan expedition on the Schooner Bowdoin, this established him as a leading radio amateur. He became a writer, editor, engineer, and had a long career in radio.
Don's relative gifted John with Don's personal diary and his photo albums with about 200 photos in them, all from the 1923 expedition. John wrote 6 columns on the expedition in QST magazine and made several presentations to amateur radio groups around the country.