Alan Burgstahler


Member of Cactus Radio Club


Alan Burgstahler lost his 3 year battle with cancer on August 19th, 2008. He managed to put 34,029 contacts in his log in the 5 years since he got back on HF. KT7G has his logs and will be handling the cards for him.

Originally licensed in 1958, after more than 45 years of having the amateur radio call of WA6AWD, he changed his call to something shorter and to reflect the call area where he was living. His new call as of March 16, 2004, was N7BF.

Alan was one of the founding fathers of the Cactus Intertie System. Alan and Robin, WA6CDR, dreamed and constructed the beginnings of the Cactus Intertie System as if it was their beloved child. Alan had been playing with some control system ideas using touch-tone control and transistor-resistor-capacitor timing circuits to latch and unlatch relays. This unique team with Alan designing control systems and Robin designing the RF system to precise technical standards has produced the most unique and best sounding amateur radio linked system in the world. Alan continued refining the control system design, modularizing it as well as advancing it from a hard wired command system to a programmable microprocessor controller. Most of the commercial controllers used in amateur radio repeaters today are based on the designs that Alan developed. Alan personally built all the controllers for all the Cactus Intertie communications site from 1971 through 1978 in the bathroom of his house in Riverside California. A lot of times he had help from the people he was building the controller for. These people routinely "camped" at his house while the construction was going on.

Even after Alan moved to Washington, he continued to be an avid supporter of Cactus. Alan would routinely continue to attend the annual Cactus Intertie meetings in Southern California.

Alan got back into HF the fall of 2003, and had a great deal of fun with contesting and DXing, mostly using CW and RTTY, with a little PSK31, Olivia and SSB thrown in. Alan was a member of Western Washington DX Club. All contacts are valid for the WWDX Club's Totem Award. See for info.

Alan's web home page can be found at

Alan was one of the nicest people I ever met and a great friend. He will be missed.

Ken - WA6PYJ
October 3, 2008