The Central Radio Association ,  from the Rockies to the Ohio                                              (top file)

by KØIP,   my connection with this radio association is very simple,  My Grandfather became a member in 1916
I will present more about him and his history towards the bottom of the page ,   This page is dedicated to the preservation of Amateur Radio  history.

DO you have any information about the Central Radio Ass'n.        email    KØIP

Thanks to input from many other hams, I have a little information about an organization .. The Central Radio Association, 
which unlike the ARRL located back east were the population was concentrated  the Central Radio Association was out in the "Wild West" 
well OK maybe it wasn't totally wild in the early 1900's it was far less populated ....   It was a active organization of
experimenters interested in the NEW invention, RADIO    Fact:  in July 1915 the ARRL the first QST was still 7 months from publication .  

 From info in the ARRL book 200 meters and down,  it's apparent the Central Radio Ass'n was formed in 1911,   Three years before the ARRL.
There was a lot of "arcing" and "sparking" going on out in the midwest.

This Certificate was my grandfathers, he lived in Shawnee Kansas.
Fremont Jones..
FJ  issued  4 April 1916,
FJ's  certificate was issued 1 year before the USA entered WW1. When the war broke out Fremont Wilson Jones along
with his best friend Carl Goddard dropped out of high school and  joined the Navy. FJ served on a troop ship making 23 trips
back and forth to Europe,  I'm not sure what Carl did in the war, apparently they joined together, and wanted to serve together, 
but  they got separated at boot camp..  I'm sure Carl was involved in FJ's early radio experiments,   Carl live in the next farmhouse
up the road..  about 1 mile  from FJ,     This link takes you down the page for pictures of Fremont   CLICK for Pictures of FJ.  

Here is the latest addition to the collection, dated 28 July 1915 ,   AB, for Arnold Barta  who lived in Cedar Rapids,  Iowa
its NUMBER 330.  This certificate and the info about AB  was supplied by his Grandson  Keith Farley  WAØSVC .. .. 
for a very interesting biography of  Arnold   this link will take you down the page    Personal info about AB     lots of his pictures below

now here's a certificate from 24 June 1915,  Its the oldest one we have found,  NUMBER 309..                 supplied by Dale WØHSK
it looks like Safford made some modifications to his certificate , I think the original text was ,  a 4 inch coil and maybe Twenty or Thirty miles distance . 
I understand he lived in Topeka Kansas, and later became W9QV then W0QV..

Fact:  a bit curious,  they assigned him  9QV  which might  have followed some sort of government scheme at the time ?? 
but on the two later certificates "AB" and "FJ" they appeared to have abandon that strategy ??


OK Guys,   since I started looking for information , with your help,  we have found out several facts... 

heres a paragraph from the ARRL book 200 meters and down.  It says the Central Radio Assn was formed in 1911.
info supplied by
Charlie KØTHN

 from Glenn KFØED  Here the link to the mention of Central Radio in an old issue of The Popular Science Monthly, dated 1915.


WOW,  would I love to get a copy or PDF of this Blue book  ,
it would list a lot of radio pioneers  !   Anyone having one please contact me,  




Just below is personal info about my grandfather  FJ

and a bit further down the page is personal info about AB, supplied by his Grandson  Keith Farley  WAØSVC


  FJ,, Wilson Fremont Jones  - Shawnee Kansas

Now if your interested , here's a short history about my (KØIP)  Grandfather  Wilson Fremont Jones

here are a few pictures of FJ,  Wilson Fremont Jones sr. he went by Fremont, he was my grandfather, he died when I was just a kid,
I really didn't know him at all, he lived in California and we lived in Shawnee, Kansas.

Born November 25, 1898 in Olathe, Kansas at the Johnson County Jail.   Not because his mother was a criminal , but
because his father John Wilson Jones was the County Sheriff.
Their house was the front part of the jail. My great grandmother , his mother, actually cooked and served dinner to the prisoners. (How things have changed)
He (FJ) died March 4, 1954 in California. Buried at Rosehill Memorial Park, Whittier, California.

US Navy WW1, he was a gunner on the Great Northern (a ship)  he made 23 trips back and forth across the Atlantic,  taking new troops over and
bringing home the wounded. After WW1  He was with the Kansas City, Missouri Police Dept as a patrolman, motorcycle cop and a detective.
He quit the Police Dept because of the corrupt Pendergast regime in Kansas City. Then , He was a salesman for Hall Brothers which is now Hallmark Cards.
His territory was the state of Minnesota.
He later went to California where he was a car salesman. He also owned his own Chrysler dealership in Whittier,  California.
during WW2 he worked as a security guard at a defense plant in San Pedro  .

his wife  Rose Ellen Kanally         Fremont Jones US Navy  WW1 

Fremont Jones, the little guy and his father . Side Note::  His father John Wilson Jones , was  Johnson County Kansas Sheriff  1898 - 1901,  and later served 12 years county commissioner, until his death in Shawnee, Kansas. (1939)
California  car salesman
Kansas City Mo,       Police department


This was his own Chrysler dealership




At the time of his marriage to Jennie Hart ( of the Hart House at Old Shawnee Town)  he was Sheriff of Johnson County. 
He was also a County commissioner for 12 years.
He was a farmer and auctioneer. as commissioner he was responsible for one of the most modern roads in Johnson County, KC - Olathe road, which follows what is now  Southwest Blvd from KC, to Johnson Drive in Merriam, to Nieman road in Shawnee, south to 75th street,  west to Quivira Road, south through Lenexa city center and on to Olathe, the road was made of brick. laid by hand !  Link

His Farm was located at 67th to 71st Street, between  Nieman & Quivira, Now Shawnee Village,   this was not far from his wife's parent's farm, the first location of the "Hart House",,   75th and Quivira Rd..   that house was moved to Old Shawnee Town, and is now know as the "Truck Farm".  A travesty, and loss of true Shawnee history  ..



AB,,  Arnold Barta  -  Cedar Rapids Iowa  --  This biography by  his grandson Keith is very interesting reading, a little long
                                                                                but give it a chance, and you will find it interesting.


By his grandson Keith Farley WA0SVC

July 2018

Arnold Barta was born in Oct. 1897, the middle of 3 brothers, each 3 years apart.  He grew up on a small farm and orchard several miles outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a town of about 25,000 in 1900.  Both of his parents were of Czech heritage.  We are fortunate enough that Arnold left us with a 27 page biography of things he remembers, and I am using it to write this.  So here is a glimpse into the time in which Arnold grew up, and some of his early life experiences that lead to his career choices later on.  His early life was similar to other kids who grew up in the late 1800’s, or even early 1800’s for that matter.  The family lived in a five room farmhouse, heated by a wood stove, and the boys slept in the unheated upstairs.  They had an outhouse, and an outdoor hand operated water pump that sometimes froze in the winter, a barn and several horses, cows and of course chickens. Farming was all done by horses.   He attended a one room country school through the 8th grade.  Each winter a student hired by the teacher had to come in early and start a fire to warm up the school, (Arnold did this one winter) and someone had to fetch a bucket of water from a nearby farm, which all the students shared with a dipper.  Mail was delivered by horse and wagon to a box about ¼ mile away.  He remembers walking to school and passing a nearby farm, where the aged grandmother  who had been born a slave, sat and smoked a pipe on the porch and watched the world go by.  He tells of his parents buying six 50lb sacks of flour in the fall, and storing them on a table with each leg in a can of kerosene to keep the mice away, and smoking a hog butchered in the fall over a smoky corn cob fire.  He wrote about gypsies travelling around in brightly painted covered wagons and camping wherever they pleased.  On a train trip in about 1909 with his mother and younger brother to visit relatives on a farm 30 miles outside North Platte, NE., and Denver, he got exposed to a bit of the rapidly fading old West.  In North Platte, he got to see Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and out on the prairie on the way to the farm, buffalo wallows, a tree where horse thieves had been hung several years before, and abandoned sod houses, where homesteaders had tried to make a go at farming.  In Colorado, he got to see Pikes Peak, and the former boom town of Cripple Creek, though well past the boom days was still a productive gold mining town.

Back in Cedar Rapids, things had started to change, and rapidly!  He saw his first airplane, a biplane, circling from the schoolyard in about 1910. Also in 1910 he saw his first Edison phonograph with cylindrical records.  Around 1911-13 he hired out to help with grain threshing, using a steam tractor at harvest time, as well as the winter ice harvest on the Cedar River, where the ice was cut into 300lb blocks, floated to shore and stored in ice houses to be sold for cooling food in “ice boxes”.  Somewhere around this time, (year not given), Arnold saw his first motion picture, a silent one of a train wreck, in a big black tent at a carnival.  In 1912, the family got telephone service in the form of a hand crank phone and about a 15 party line.  Around 1915, the farm well ran dry, and a well driller was hired to drill a deeper one.  They started the job with a steam tractor, and when that broke down, the job was finished with an old drilling rig powered by a horse walking in a circle.  Autos were more or less a curiosity until about 1909, then were seen in rapidly increasing numbers.  Most deliveries were still made by horse and wagons (mail, milk, ice, etc.).  Arnold’s older brother bought an Indian motorcycle in 1915, and Arnold learned to ride it, and repair and maintain it.  It turns out he was quite gifted mechanically and this experience would benefit him later.  He walked, bicycled, or hitched a ride into Cedar Rapids from the farm to attend high school from 1912-16 when he graduated.  Arnold related a story about being offered a ride home from high school by a lady who lived nearby and recognized him.  She was driving a buggy pulled by a single horse.  Upon crossing the railroad tracks in town, the newly installed crossing gate came down with no train in sight, and hit the horse on the rump.  The horse took off at a gallop, breaking the gate on the buggy dashboard, and they had a wild ride until the lady was able to finally get control of the horse.  In 1916, the family got their first car, a 1916 Model T Ford, and their buggy was sold. 

In about 1914, Arnold became interested in the new technology of radio, along with several friends and acquaintances.  They started out by building crystal sets using catwhisker detectors.  Electric power came to the farm about this time, powering a well pump for indoor plumbing, as well as a home built spark gap wireless transmitter.  Arnold and his friends founded the CEDAR WIRELESS ASSOCIATION.  (I thought perhaps Arthur Collins of Collins Radio fame may have been among them, but he was too young, having been born in 1909)  Arnold used his initials AB for Arnold Barta.  Government licensing was not enforced until after WWI, so unless you interfered with military or commercial stations, amateurs were pretty much left alone.  The power level used was 500 watts, and the most distant communication was about 50 miles.  The transformer shown in the picture was home built to power a spark gap transmitter about 1916. 

Being mechanically inclined, Arnold left in the fall of 1917 for Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) in Ames Iowa, to study mechanical engineering, but for some reason stopped off in Des Moines on the way and enlisted in the US Army.  Because of his knowledge of motorcycles and radio, he was assigned to the Signal Corps, headquarters Company, 6th Field Signal Battalion.  His training took him to Ft. Logan, CO; Ft. Leavenworth, KS; Camp Wadsworth, SC, among others.  If you look closely you can see the crossed signal flags on the gas tank of the motorcycle Arnold is riding in the picture, the signal corps emblem.  At Ft. Leavenworth, he mostly transported officers to court martials in a sidecar equipped motorcycle.  His designation was chauffer.  In July of 1918, he left on a troop ship for France.  Once there, they received more training, and eventually sent into position just behind the front lines.  Arnold was kept busy as a motorcycle courier, delivering orders, observer reports, supply requests, etc.  During the early part of the war with the armies stalemated, a web of field telephone lines were set up and used, but later on, as the Germans were being pushed back, there was not time to string up telephone lines, and couriers delivered most of the messages.  Radio was not used much due to the probability of enemy reception.  When the division was on the move, Arnold drove heavy trucks.  These would have been trucks with solid rubber tires, many with open cabs and or chain drive, powered with small 4 or 6 cylinder engines, geared so low as to have a top speed under 20mph.  He specifically mentions open cab 4 wheel drive “quads”, Packards, Fiats, Fords, and Pierce Arrows.  Also mentioned are being bombed and machine gunned by German planes.  Shortly before the armistice, Arnold writes about passing burnt out trucks and tanks, dead soldiers and lines of German prisoners marching toward the rear, and the sky lit with explosions ahead.  After taking shelter in a deep German dugout on Nov. 10, 1918, when they crawled out in the morning, all was silent, the armistice had been signed. At this time they were right on the Belgian border.  In the winter of 1918-19, Arnold was given a week of leave, and spent it at the town of Chamonix, near the Italian border, S. of Geneva Switzerland.  He was discharged at Camp Dodge, IA., in June 1919. 

After spending six months at home, Arnold left for the well known Dodge Wireless and Telegrapher’s school in Valparaiso, IN.  He took and passed the Radio operators Commercial First Class exam in March 1920, and received license # 17160.  Somewhere about this time, he purchased the Moorhead tube in the picture, apparently planning to build a tube receiver.  (A very interesting article on Moorhead tubes appears at  This tube, a Moorhead Class B, or Marconi VT Class 1 was manufactured from late 1919 until perhaps early 1921.  It is a gas filled “soft” detector, similar to the 00-A.  This tube was likely purchased from WWI or radio operator pay.

After the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the inquest found that the closest ship available for rescue did not receive the distress signal, as the operator had shut down the ship’s radio for the day.  As a result of this, the radio act of 1910 was modified in 1912 to require ships at sea to have a radio operator on duty at all times.  This effectively required each ship to have at least two radio operators.  Thus, Arnold came to be offered a job as 2nd radio operator on the SS Matura, employed by the Marconi Company, and leased to the shipping line.  The radio operators were considered ship officers, though not in direct employ of the shipping company.  The SS Matura sailed from New York to Trinidad, Georgetown, British Guiana.  The ship returned to unload in late April.  The radio operator had no duties while in port, and Arnold was able to see Coney Island, the Statue of Liberty, and a baseball game between NY and Philadelphia, when Babe Ruth’s fame was just starting.  He sailed in May to the same ports, and in June on the SS Caldas, a combined passenger and cargo ship, to Jamaica, Colon, Panama, Curacao, Aruba, Puerto Cabello, Puerto Colombia, and Cartagena.  On the way back, a passenger died from smallpox, was buried at sea, and the people on the ship  were vaccinated, quarantined, and the ship fumigated after returning to NY.  In November, he sailed on the SS Santa Louisa through the Panama canal, and down the W. coast of S. America to Valparaiso, Chile.  This involved crossing the equator, and Arnold got to witness the ceremony for passengers and crew crossing the equator for the first time, and were required to have a permit from King Neptune, god of the ocean.  After returning to NY in December, Arnold requested a leave, and headed back to Iowa by train.  Never quite having gotten his “sea legs”, Arnold decided not to continue as a radio operator.

In the Spring of 1922, at age 25, he headed to the Sweeney Auto School in Kansas City.  After graduation, he came back to Cedar Rapids and, after several false starts with unreliable partners, opened the Barta Garage. In 1926, he married my Grandmother, Agnes Irene Kouba. The Barta Garage eventually employed 3 other mechanics, and ran it until 1960, when he lost his lease, and, being 63, decided to retire.  It was tough, but he had done well, keeping older vehicles running in times of poverty and rationing....the depression and WWII. 

Now Arnold, having been around the world a bit, was very interested in the news, particularly world news.  He read the newspaper, news magazines, and listened to radio news every day.  Obviously he knew of shortwave radio, but didn’t own one, until late 1941/42.  In those days radio models came out in years, just like cars do today.  The next year’s models would be introduced in the fall, in time for holiday buying.  I don’t know if it was WWII heating up in Europe, or the Dec. 7 attack on Pearl Harbor, but Arnold bought a 42-355 Philco 8 tube AM/SW/FM radio, probably so he could get the news straight from the countries at war. It was bought between about Sept 1941, and March 1942.  1942 production was cut short by several months as most manufacturers were switched over to military contracts by the end of March, and no more civilian radios would be built until 1946. I now have this radio, and it still worked until about 2 years ago, when the filter capacitors went bad.  I plan to rebuild it soon.  As a kid, when I discovered it up in their attic, I would drag it down the steep narrow stairway and fire it up.  I could never understand why I could receive nothing on FM, and the numbers were all wrong.  This was the pre-war Armstrong FM band, also known as FM1 (the first), or FM 45 (the approximate center frequency).  AM and shortwave boomed in with just the loop antenna inside the wood cabinet. 

So was this the end of Arnold’s radio career?  Not quite!  In 1964, in an effort to get me to quit building model cars and airplanes, my Dad bought me a Heathkit shortwave radio kit, for Christmas 1964.  By new years, I was listening to shortwave.  Of course Arnold, or “Gramps” as I called him, upon seeing this new radio with a BFO (beat frequency oscillator) started copying code, and in less than an hour could write out messages so fast it almost sounded like teletype to me!  I found out later he was over 20 wpm in under an hour after having not used the code for 44 years!  In a couple of years short wave listening had lost its appeal somewhat, so I started learning code for the amateur novice license.  Of course Gramps was right there to help, and with some studying, he became WNØWTS in the late 1970’s.  After being plagued with insufficient selectivity, he built a solid state Heathkit with a crystal filter, borrowed my Knightkit T-60 transmitter, and started making contacts.  I’ll bet more than a few seasoned amateurs that went up to the novice bands for a few contacts were surprised to hear WN0WTS going over 20 wpm with a straight key! 

Unfortunately, health issues and the loss of my Grandmother to cancer in 1983 finally put an end to Gramp’s radio career before he could get his General License.  He died in 1987, a few months short of 90. I marvel at the changes he saw in his life, not only in radio, but our way of life in general.  I still miss him!

The Below Pictures are not in any order, click image to see a bigger copy.

WNØWTS  , Arnold's ham shack in 1979, Cedar Rapids IA

Arnold at Ft Leavenworth Kansas,  ~1918  WW1