George Fremin III K5TR (ex: WB5VZL)

Photo of George Fremin III K5TR

When Bryan Edwards W5KFT decided he wanted to build a world-class contesting and DXing station at the ranch in 1992, he sought out the help of George Fremin III WB5VZL. George lived in south Austin at the time, and had been developing his phone contesting skills by operating at the N5AU super station in Rockwall County, Texas. One of the largest amateur radio stations ever built, N5AU was designed specifically to win the Multi-Operator, Multi-Transmitter category of the CQ World Wide DX Contest, Phone, which the team at N5AU accomplished in 1986. George had nearly unlimited access to the station in the 1980s, and began operating other major phone contests, like the ARRL November Sweepstakes, from the station. Having accomplished his principal goal in creating the station, Gordon Fogg N5AU began looking for a new challenge in radio contesting. By the early 1990s, he had set his sights on building a competitive contest on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. When Bryan called in 1992, George was also ready to set his sights on a new project.

George had gained valuable experience both operating at, and helping to maintain, the N5AU super station. Many of the lessons George had learned went into the design and construction of the new station at the W5KFT Ranch. George did all the tower work at the ranch and installed the antennas. The use of many fixed antennas, selected by remote coax switching, was something that worked well at N5AU. Most of the original tower and antenna work was done in 1993. George was a member of the team operating the first contest from the new station, the CQ World Wide DX Contest, Phone, in October, 1993. George also made the first Single Operator contest entry from the ranch with his 9th place finish in the Single Operator High Power category of the 1993 ARRL November Sweepstakes, Phone.

From 1993 to 2001, George operated in over 50 contest efforts from the W5KFT Ranch Station. His victories from the ranch include the Single Operator High Power category of the ARRL November Sweepstakes (1994), the Single Operator High Power Phone Only category in the IARU HF World Championship (1996, 1998, 1999), the Single Operator High Power Phone Only category of the ARRL 10 Meter Contest (1998), and the Single Operator Single Band 15 Meters category of the ARRL international DX Contest, CW (1998). George was also a member of the team that won the Multi-Operator, Limited Band category of the ARRL June VHF QSO Party in 1998. No other operator has had as many Top Ten single operator finishes from the W5KFT Ranch Station.

In 1999, George purchased his own property on a hill top in rural Blanco County, Texas. Over the next two years, he built a new garage with attached radio room and put up five radio towers. By the fall of 2001, the new K5TR contest station was ready for action. George now operates all of his serious single operator contest efforts from his own station. George has his own amateur radio web site.