My story is an example of Travis’ enthusiasm about technology.
I am an Amateur Radio operator
and Travis worked with me at NASA Dryden. As I got to know Travis
I found out that anything technology related interested him and I also
learned that his Dad was a HAM radio operator too. I shared with
Travis one of my favorite HAM activities: Transmitter hunting (kind
of a treasure hunt with radios). I shared the basic premise and
when I saw that he was truly interested I invited him to go with me
on our next T-hunt. This hunt was a shared event, our Antelope
Valley group and the Palos Verde group, kind of a Transmitter Hunt on
steroids. The day of the hunt I explained that normally someone
would hide a transmitter that transmitted every few minutes for about
a minute. I then explained that we had a receiver with a directional
antenna and other geek stuff in the truck. With this equipment and radio
direction finding techniques we would get close with the car and then
when the signal was so strong that it overwhelmed the system in the
truck we would park and find it on foot. I then gave Travis a
hand held radio and directional antenna and a brief tutorial on how
he would use them once we leave the truck on foot. This hunt was
a little different, there would be 15 transmitters not just one.
Travis was jazzed. We went out early to hide the Transmitters
I had made up and then met the others for breakfast in Mojave.
We left the restaurant and
turned on the radio we could here several transmitters. I told Travis
to pick one and we would go find it. It wasn’t long before we
needed to stop and set out on foot. At this point Travis was quite
enthused about it all and before the truck came to a stop he jumped
out with the hand held radio in one hand, and the antenna in the other.
He then spun around on his toes in what could only be described as the
Travis brought this enthusiasm
to what ever he did. From his DARPA challenge (R Junk Works),
to the elaborate Halloween display he and Kathy put together every year.
It was fun to share these things with Travis. I feel privileged to have
known him and honored to call him friend.