WARREN BRUENE 1916 – 2013

Bruene Memorial Photo


On September 28th of this year, Warren Bruene (W5OLY) left this earth. He did not leave us. No one that ever knew him, dealt with him or knew of his work will ever be far from his memory. We will hold that dear.

Warren Bruene is the man that gave us some of the transmitters that helped win WW II. He is the man that designed and gave us the 30K series transmitters, the Bruene Coupler, the very effective Pi-L Network, Tetrode Neutralization, the 30S-1 and many other innovative designs and key pieces of technology. In the field of RF design, he was a legend.

Warren loved his job as he loved his family. Even in his last years – his body starting to fail him – he loved to talk Collins and he loved to talk RF – and did so quite engagingly. In this coming Q3 issue of the Signal Magazine, at the printer this week, he writes for us and helps us understand our equipment and its performance. He was 95 years young when he passed, but his mind was sharp.

Warren went to work for Collins at the end of the depression in 1939. He had graduated with his EE degree in 1938 but there were no jobs at Collins that year. In 1939, he applied again and approached and convinced Morgan Craft to hire him, first as an assembly worker for 50 cents per hour and then two months later, as an engineer. He served Collins for 44 years.

During WW II he worked mostly on Navy ground transmitters and then after the war on both commercial and amateur designs ranging from the 30K series to the 250 kW Voice of America transmitters that were installed in the US, Canada and Australia.

He of course was the man behind the 4CX1000 PA in the 30S-1 and many other transmitters. He was the holder of many patents, including key IP on the Directional Coupler, Tetrode Neutralization, RF Feedback and Gain Control. He was most proud of one of his last patents laying out the fundamentals of Digital AM Modulation which was the future of all AM.

The Signal will be running a full biography of Warren very soon in the future. Included here is a copy of his Obituary.

Warren was a fine man and we will miss his presence greatly, but he will always be with us. We will remember him every time we put power to a 30K, or a 30S-1 or hook up a Bruene Coupler.

Please keep Warren’s Daughter Jo, and her family, in your thoughts as they go through this difficult time.

We are lucky for the time that we had with him.



Bruene, Warren B

Born November 1, 1916 on a farm near Beaman, Iowa.  Went to be with the Lord September 28, 2013 in Richardson, Texas.  Preceded in death by his father Fred Bruene, mother Luella (Benz)Bruene, wife Mildred (Meyer) Bruene, brother Dick Bruene, and sisters Doris Richards, and Jean Polhemus.  Survived by his sister Merle Turner, daughters Jo Lilley (Tom), and Julia James (Steve) four grandchildren Tommy Lilley (Jeni), Sara Duffey (Erin), Carl Seidler (Katie) Jennifer Spring (Alan), and nine great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be October 2 from 6-8 pm at Restland Memorial Park.  A memorial service will be October 3 at 11:00 am at First United Methodist Church in Richardson, TX.  He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather.  Warren and Mildred began married life in July 1941 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and moved to Richardson, TX in 1964.  He was a longtime member of IEEE, Richardson Ham Club, Collins Collectors Association, Toastmasters, and FUMC. He had a stellar 44 year career at Collins Radio Company/Rockwell, followed by 6 years with Electrospace Systems.  He was an innovator and inventor (22 patents), published many articles in technical magazines, coauthored a book and wrote chapters in many other handbooks.  He gave numerous technical speeches throughout the country, served on committees to write regulations and standards for the DOD, FCC and others. During the Cold war, he designed communication transmitters for the Strategic Air Command  and  Voice of America.  He received considerable recognition for his work including the “Professional Achievement Citation in Engineering” from Iowa State University and had his biography listed in “Who’s Who in America” for many years.  He was loved and admired and his life will forever be remembered by his family and many friends.