About Us / Contact Information

History of Yasme

The Yasme Foundation was originally organized in 1959 under Florida law. Led by Dick Spenceley, KV4AA (SK–Silent Key), Yasme was used as the vehicle to raise money to support the ongoing DXpeditions of Danny Weil, VP2VB. Danny was one of the first to travel to more than one location to operate – often solo in a sailboat and lugging hundreds of pounds of radio equipment – specifically to provide DXers with a “new one.” YASME was the name of Danny’s boat (all of Danny’s sailboats were named “YASME”, derived from “yasume,” the Japanese word meaning “to make tranquil”). Spenceley published four issues of The Yasme News to both report on Danny’s exploits and to raise funds to support them.

Danny retired from active DXpeditioning in 1963. At about that time, the famous husband and wife team, Lloyd Colvin, W6KG (SK), and Iris Colvin, W6QL (SK), began what they called the “Yasme Round the World DX-Pedition” under the auspices of the Yasme Foundation. Over the next almost 30 years, the Colvins would eventually operate from over 200 DXCC countries. Yasme volunteers served as their QSL manager, issuing hundreds of thousands of distinctive Yasme QSL cards.

Supported by a sizable bequest from the Colvins’ estate in 1998, Yasme’s activities today are conducted by a Board of Directors made up of volunteers who hold or have held responsible positions in business, law and technical areas.

For a detailed history of Danny Weil, the Colvins and Yasme, see “James D. Cain, Yasme: The Danny Weil and Colvin Radio Expeditions,” available from Yasme as a free, downloadable PDF.

Contact Information

The Yasme Foundation
P. O. Box 20578
Castro Valley, California 94546

Email contact: Ken Claerbout, K4ZW

Board of Directors

• Ward Silver, NØAX, President and Director

After a number of years as a Director, in 2013 Ward was elected President of the Yasme Foundation. He has been an active amateur since his Novice days began in 1972, operating from numerous locations around the world in contests and as a DXer. After twenty years of developing industrial and medical products, Ward is now the Lead Editor of the ARRL Handbook and the ARRL Antenna Book. Finally, he is the author of all three ARRL License Manuals and Q&A Study Guides, working closely with the ARRL and the NCVEC Question Pool Committee to develop appropriate and useful exam questions.  Being entrusted with this set of documents affecting so many amateurs is a pinnacle of his amateur radio experiences. You will also find his byline in the popular Wiley Ham Radio for Dummies – now in its second edition. He has been known to amuse his fellow amateurs by “hamifying” popular songs and performing them publicly with the Spurious Emissions (Out of the) Band. Outside of ham radio, Ward plays the mandolin, dabbles in digital photography, enjoys camping, canoeing, kayaking, bicycling, and various forms of Frisbee athletics.

Ken Claerbout, K4ZW, Vice-President, Secretary and Director

Ken was first licensed in 1977 as WD9DEE while attending high school in Cedar Grove,Wisconsin. He later upgraded to Extra class and obtained the call KE9A. In 1984 he moved to Virginia after accepting a position with the Diplomatic Telecommunications Service in both engineering and management roles, supporting the secure, global network of US embassies and facilities around the world. He later spent six years in the private sector at a global telecommunications provider for Sprint, France Telecom, and Deutsche Telecom. He currently works for the Broadcasting Board of Governors in downtown Washington DC. Ken holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters degree in Telecommunications (Public Policy and Business) from George Mason University. Ken is currently licensed as K4ZW and enjoys contesting and chasing DX on the lowbands, both from his home station and overseas.

Rusty Epps, W6OAT, Treasurer and Director

Charles K. “Rusty” Epps (shown here with his cat, Bosco) was first licensed as KN4BVD in Columbus, GA in 1958. Rusty moved to California in 1968 and quickly joined the Northern California DX Club where he has served as a Director and President, and has been named NCDXC’s DXer of the Year. In 1971 Rusty became one of the charter members of the Northern California Contest Club, and has been a Director, Secretary and President. He also has been named NCCC’s Contester of the Year. Rusty is perhaps best known for his decades of service on the Board of Directors of the Northern California DX Foundation, including two tenures as NCDXF’s President. In addition to his on the air contesting and DX activities, Rusty has been the Section Communications Manager for the ARRL’s San Francisco Section, an Assistant Director in the Pacific Division, a Sixth District QSL Bureau card sorter, and an ARRL Volunteer Counsel. He was inducted into the CQ DX Hall of Fame in May, 1996 and into the CQ Contest Hall of Fame in April, 2005.

Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, Director

Hans was born 19 April 1956 in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands. Although the bug infected him when he was 13 years old, it was not until 1980 when he was licensed as PE1EBF. In 1985 he passed the Morse code test and his callsign changed to PA3EBT. Later the callsign changed to PA7BT and PB2T. Hans is a US Extra Class license holder since 2009 (NB2T). He has served in his national amateur radio society VERON as PACC Contest Manager, HF Manager, Board Member and Vice President. In 2002 he was elected on the IARU Region 1 Executive Committee. Between 2008 and 2014 Hans served as President of IARU Region 1 and from 2017 until 2021 as Secretary. He is the former President (now Board Member) of the European DX Foundation. Since 2012 he enjoys retirement from the Netherlands Army Signal Corps together with his wife Margreet K2XYL. As an active DX-er and contester Hans has operated from 90+ DXCC entities.

Martti Laine, OH2BH, Director

During more than 50 years of amateur radio, Martti J. Laine, OH2BH/AH3D/CU2KG… has experienced many facets of our hobby. Through his professional career he was able to unlock many doors and has activated twelve totally new DXCC entities. His DXpedition style is “Missionary DXpeditioning, ” such as in Albania and Kosovo, in which visiting amateurs leave behind more than what they receive. Martti is a Honorary Member and a 18-year Director of the Finnish IARU Association,  SRAL, a Senior Fellow of the Technical University of Tirana, and a member of the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame, as well as CQ DX- and Contest Hall of Fames. During the past 10 years, he has worked with the Northern Radio Arcala, OH8X (www.radioarcala.com) to secure Amateur Radio’s strong posthold toward it’s future; for youth and those that want to push the envelope higher than average. For the Juletide season, look for Santa Radio, OF9X, with the multi-media, remotely controlled, Santa Claus and his elves, Martti at the sleigh from the Land of Santa for all generations in ham radio. (www.qrz.com/db/of9x)

Bob Vallio, W6RGG, Director

Bob Vallio, W6RGG, was first licensed as a Novice, WN6RGG, in July of 1952, he upgraded to General Class as W6RGG in 1953. Bob has held an Extra Class license since its inception in 1968, and is an accomplished DXer and contester. His DX and contest operations include FO0XX (Clipperton Island ­ ­twice!), XF4L (Revillagigedo), 6Y5BF (Jamaica), 5W1AZ (Western Samoa), KP2A (Virgin Islands), 4U0ITU (ITU HQ in Geneva), VP5VW (Turks & Caicos Islands), 5V7A (Togo) two times, HC8N (Galapagos Islands) four times, OJ0/W6RGG (Market Reef), OH0/W6RGG (Aland Islands), BS7H (Scarborough Reef), in 1997 and 2007, and 9K2HN (Kuwait) in 2014. He has also served in various capacities on the Yasme Foundation Board of Directors since 1965, was a member of the first ARRL DX Advisory Committee, and is a long­time member and past president of both the Northern California DX Club and the Northern California Contest Club. Bob first made Top of the DXCC Honor Roll in 1982 and still holds that ranking; and, was elected to the CQ DX Hall of Fame in May of 1997.

Marty Woll, N6VI, Director

Marty Woll, N6VI, a licensed amateur for over fifty years, holds an Extra Class license and served for over nine years as Vice Director for the Southwestern Division of the American Radio Relay League.   During that tenure he held positions on ARRL’s Administration and Finance Committee, UHF / Microwave Band Plan Committee, Legal Defense and Assistance Committee, and the VHF Revitalization Subcommittee.  Locally, Marty is Assistant District Emergency Coordinator of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Northwest District of the Los Angeles Section, Training Officer and Battalion Communication Unit Leader for the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Auxiliary Communication Service, a licensing Volunteer Examiner and a Volunteer Instructor.  Marty is a founding member of the Southern California Contest Club and has served as a member and chair of the ARRL’s Contest Advisory Committee.  He has been President of the Southern California DX Club and chair of the Los Angeles Area Council of Radio Clubs.  He participates regularly in contests from HF through 10 GHz.  In nearly twenty contest expeditions, Marty has set up and operated amateur radio stations on six continents.

James Brooks, 9V1YC, Director

James was first licensed in the United States in September 1978 but has been active for the last 30 years as 9V1YC in Singapore. A BSEE graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, James owns a television post-production company based in Singapore that produces for networks such as Discovery, National Geographic, and HBO Asia. He’s been a competitor at WRTC and led several DXpeditions to remote areas of the world, some of which are documented in a series of videos he’s been making since 1997. James is on the council of the Singapore Amateur Radio Transmitting Society, a co-founder of the Asia-Pacific Sprint, and a member of the CQ DX Hall of Fame.

Mac McHenry, W6BSY (SK), former Director
Kip Edwards, W6SZN (SK), former Director and Secretary

Silent Key – 6 June 2018 | Born in Wichita, Kansas in 1947, Kip was first licensed as KNØPID at the age of 11. Along with his older brother Craig, KNØPHC, they built a 40 meter transmitter and a Heathtkit AR-3, strung up a longwire and were on the air. The family moved to Washington state and Kip became KN7GGC and later K7GGC. Golf, girls and college soon replaced amateur radio.

Newly married in 1968, Kip and his wife moved to Berkeley where he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 1971. After a stint as a Teaching Fellow at Stanford Law School, Kip joined a major law firm in San Francisco as an associate in 1972 and became a partner in 1978.

Ham Radio Outlet had its main store at the time next to the railroad tracks in Burlingame, California. Intrigued by the big antennas on the roof of the building as he rode the commute train to and from work, Kip visited the store and came away with a Kenwood receiver. It was 1976 and everyone was signing what sounded like exotic DX calls but which were really only stateside stations. In short order, Kip passed the Amateur Extra exam and became W6SZN.

The contesting and DXing bugs bit soon, and hard. Kip was a member of the Northern California Contest Club and served as President and editor of The JUG, the club’s newsletter. He was honored as Contester of the Year in 1982. He was also a member of the Northern California DX Club and served as that club’s President and received the club’s DXer of the Year award in 1988. Kip was on the DXCC Honor Roll and held 9BDXCC and 5BWAS.

DXpeditions include 3D2XX Rotuma (first to activate the new country in 1988-awarded World Contest Expedition by CQ Magazine), F0XX Clipperton (1986), FO0KP (1981), VP5KP (1982—10th in the world CQWW S/O SSB), TI1C (1983—First in the world CQWW M/M SSB), G4/W6SZN (1983), FM/W6SZN (1984-8th in the world CQWW S/O CW) and P40V (1987).

Kip was formerly a Director of NCDXF in the 1980s and served as Editor of the NCDXF Newsletter and the WWDXC Totem Tabloid.  He was a Director and Secretary of The Yasme Foundation, Life Member of the ARRL, Life Member of CW Ops, the Maxim Society of the ARRL, and a member of the Northern California Contest Club, the Northern California DX Club, the Western Washington DX Club, and a founding member of the Kitsap County DX Club.

Fred Laun, K3ZO (SK), former Director and Vice-President


Silent Key – 3 January 2023 | Alfred A. “Fred” Laun, III, was born December 9, 1937. He was first licensed in 1952 as WN9SZR and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison BA (Political Science / Journalism) in 1962. He became a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Information Agency in 1963 and retired in 1988, receiving the Secretary of State’s Award in 1974. He married Somporn Nirabutra of Thailand (deceased in 2011) in 1986, they had no children. Fred is known on the air as K3ZO since 1976 and is a member of the CQ Magazine Contest Hall of Fame. He was the manager of the ARRL Third Call Area Incoming QSL Bureau and President of the National Capitol DX Association. (Photo credit to Bob Wilson, N6TV)