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A Tribute to Harvey Heinz, W8MPB

by WB4AIO on 25 March, 2010

A scan of Harvey's signature from one of his many "care packages"

by Kevin Strom, WB4AIO

THANKS to Mike, ex-N3GVA, some precious audio files were recently rescued, and we once again have access to the recordings of W8MPB, Harvey Heinz, made during his final days with us in March, 1999. We also get to hear KE2LO, W9OAG, N8ECR and other voices which we sorely miss on 3950 these days.

W8MPB Returns - Initial Test (March 1999)
W8MPB Returns - Harvey Himself (March 1999)
W8MPB Returns - Harvey Himself 2 (March 1999)
W8MPB Returns - Scott is Home (March 1999)
W8MPB Returns - Scott's Reward (March 1999)

One of the humorous graphics created by Harvey Heinz, W8MPB. His mailings also included copies of rare books and texts, spiced with technical information and original cartoons mocking the jammers and would-be censors of 75 meters.

Harvey Heinz (who also held the call sign N8TFB for a number of years) was a well-known regular on 3950 kHz and the Liberty Net.

His “info-pack” mailings of articles, original cartoons, and inside information from his P.O. Box in Gladwin, Michigan were frequent and welcome visitors to our mailboxes. These “care packages” contained reams of printed materials and, in later years, diskettes containing text files, graphics, schematics, and sometimes even entire books. Harvey was the creator of the N8TFB Trap Dipole, which was used with success by quite a few stations in the 80s and 90s.

When these recordings were made, Harvey had cancer and had just suffered a severe attack of pneumonia from which he never recovered. He had to go on oxygen and was unable to repair or maintain his station. Not only was he sick, but he was off the air and cut off from his friends.

Thanks to the hard work and kind heart of Scott, WB8RAV, Harvey got back on the air for a time just before the end. These recordings document his comeback and Scott’s mission.

Harvey Heinz worked for Collins Radio when it still was Collins Radio. According to a friend, “I don’t know if you know this, but Harvey worked for years for Collins Radio Company. He worked all over the world for them, and is quite the practical RF engineer.  I met Harvey years ago on Liberty Net.  We used to converse quite a bit, and he told me the story of how when Rockwell was taking over Collins, how all the Hebrews wearing yarmulkes were going through the plants and books, and snooping around.  They didn’t try to hide it.  Then and there Harvey decided to retire from Collins/Rockwell.  Just at that time all the Collins gear went downhill and has never come back as far as I know.”

Most of the 3950 regulars received Harvey’s frequent mailings. One wrote to me, expressing hope that Harvey could some day get on the Web: “Yep, you are right; if I want to send any pictures to Harvey I have to mail him a disk.  He’s not on the Internet yet, but he tells me there is a provider in Gladwin.  He just needs a push to get him online. I don’t think he realizes all the ‘damage’ he could do by having full access to the Internet.  Boy, if ever there was a fellow who should be on the Web, it’s Harvey.”

One week after W8MPB returned to the air, we received this email from the late KE2LO, Gene:

“I have just been informed by Harvey’s brother that Harvey passed away last night. He awoke briefly to hold his wife’s hand and say goodbye, then gently passed.

“This is a sad day for me and all of you. As a friend of Harvey’s I will miss this pillar of principle and the wisdom he afforded to all.  I will miss the friendly phone calls and the care packages that Harvey sent to all of us.

“For you who never had the fortune of talking to or knowing W8MPB, I am sorry; you would have liked him and he would have appreciated you.

“Harvey’s brother Russell said Harvey left him instructions that if he passed, he was to call me and I would inform all of his friends on 3950 that he says goodbye and 73.

“Special thanks to everyone who helped or offered to help make Harvey’s last days with us as comforting as possible.

“A very special thanks to Scott (WB8RAV), Craig (N8SFY), and the ham in Gladwin — Scott Wolfing — that Craig contacted to help Scott get Harvey back on the air for the last time.

“73, Gene (KE2LO)”

The voice is now silent, but the radio waves continue to travel through the cosmos, and the wisdom is passed on to new generations of our people.

I don't know if you know this, but Harvey worked for years for Collins
Radio Company, he worked all over the world for them, and is quite
the practical RF Engineer.  I met Harvey years ago on Liberty Net.  We
used to converse quite a bit, and he told me the story of how when
Rockwell was taking over Collins, how all the Hebrews wearing
yarmulkes were going through the plants and books, and snooping
around.  They didn't try to hide it.  Then and there Harvey decided to
retire from Collins/Rockwell.  Just at that time all the Collins gear went
downhill and has never come back as far as I know.

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