Bernie Lupinacci, W1CDM, Silent Key
I was deeply saddened to receive the news that Bernie had passed away peacefully, February 14, after a long illness.
I came to know Bernie in the earliest days of the EchoLink project, back in May of 2002. Bernie had been a long-time experimenter of extensions to 2-way communications technology, and was one of the early adopters of techniques to interconnect Amateur repeaters with each other over the Internet. In those days, voice-over-IP (VoIP) was relatively new, and most of us were still accessing the Internet over dial-up connections. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the idea of extending Amateur Radio by embracing the possibilities of the Internet.
Bernie immediately offered to help with the day-to-day support of EchoLink, picking up much of the workload of handling more than 200 new-user applications each day, 365 days a year. He also worked tirelessly to answer support questions, and often would jump on the air to give help to new users via EchoLink. He was the trustee of a wide-coverage repeater in the San Diego area, which (of course) had EchoLink capability.
Bernie gave all of us wise counsel over the years, rooted in his energy and commitment to this project. I have truly appreciated Bernie's endless dedication and contributions to Amateur Radio. He will be greatly missed.