Jim got his start in electronics during his high school years working in a radio repair shop after school. Although he knew about ham radio, there were no hams around to help and his entrance into ham radio had to wait a few years. Jim continued to work in radio & TV repair until he started college in 1954. There he got involved in the ham radio club at the University of Kentucky Club Station, W4JP. He got his Novice license in May of 1955 and then upgraded in December 1955; from there he was hooked. In 1957 he earned his First Class Radio Telephone license with Ships Radar endorsement and went to work in a TV station in Lexington, KY. After a short time, he got a call from WHAS-TV in Louisville, Ky. and worked there for the next ten-plus years.
In 1968 Jim went to work for General Electric Co. as a District Service Engineer for their Broadcast Television Division and moved to Atlanta. After eleven years with GE he moved to the Varian Radiation Division, later to become Varian Medical Services. It was here he worked with Linear Accelerators used to produce high energy electron beams and photon or X-ray beams. He continued in this line of work until his retirement in 1997.
These beams are used in the treatment of cancer patients at hospitals and radiation clinics and Varian also made an industrial version used to X-ray such items as Solid Rocket Motors and the weld joints on reactor containment vessels, among other things. Linear Accelerators create the high energy beams by accelerating electrons to approximately 99.998% the speed of light and using the electrons directly or slamming them into a target to produce photon beams.
Join us on May 23rd to see and hear more about these interesting devices.