Station Tour: VA7LC

At the tender age of 15 years old, I joined the Royal Navy and spent the next 18 months at a shore based establishment, H.M.S. Ganges near Harwich on the south east coast of the United Kingdom. We underwent various skills testing, and eventually I ended up in a class of about 30 boys divided into equally into Signalmen (bunting tossers) and Telegraphists (sparkers). Apparently my skills placed me in the telegraphist group. From then on, we practiced the Morse Code intensely every day. Once we reached about 15 wpm we were then taught to type until we could copy 25 wpm on a typewriter. After that we were posted to our various ships. I spent 10 years in the service, and I can say that 90 percent of my time was spent copying millions of 5 letter/figure groups from cw broadcasts. I served on several ships and also spent 18-month tours in Gibraltar and Malta. Using a hand key was very rare and left to the more senior ranks! No bugs allowed and keyers did not exist! Towards the end of my career I was posted to Portishead Radio (GKG), the largest ship-to -shore radio station in the world operated by the Post Office in the United Kingdom. We worked alongside the civilian radio operators. The highlight of this posting was when the Queen Mary, GBTT came up on 12 Megs, QTC 500. It was Christmas time and it took most of my shift to count the words! and QSL each of them. Queen Elizabethís callsign was GBSS. In any event as you can see most of my life has been spent around receiving and sending CW. 

When I left the Navy, radio was left behind, and I needed to support a wife and two children. I became a Constable in the Liverpool City Police. This was for 5 years, the last 3 of which were spent on a motorcycle. Shortly after this in 1966 we immigrated to Canada.  Shortly after arriving in Vancouver, and looking for a job, I worked at the Vancouver Airport radio station for about a month and was then offered a job at another radio station. It was on the north end of the Queen Charlottes. I donít think so! It was in Vancouver that I met VE7ADO, Don Bain, and he got me interested in radio again. I became VE7CGN in 1977. I spent a few years pursuing various aspects of the hobby. A little Heathkit building, some award chasing, a little DX. Some rag chewing, then computers came along and became my new hobby and I dropped out of ham radio. The year 2001 brought big changes in our lives. My wife Shirley and I moved to French Creek on Vancouver Island. I decided to re-activate my call. Unfortunately it had been taken so I ended up with my present call VA7LC. Then came the station rebuilding. It took me 6 months to dig the hole for the 48-foot Delhi, very rocky ground! Presently I have a Force 12 C4E yagi for 10, 15, 20, and 40 meters plus 12 and 17 meters. For the other bands I have a DX-B sloper from my tower to cover 30, 40, 80 and 160m....Les

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VA7LC Shack

 

The rig is a YAESU FT 1000 Mark V-Field. On the top shelf is my 2m rig, Kenwood TM V7 dual bander, Hy Gain rotator and an Alinco DM-330MV power supply. To the right of the Mark-V is an MFJ Versa Tuner.

 

The Antenna is a Force 12 C4E on a 48 foot Delhi. Attached to the top of the tower is an Alpha Delta DX-B sloper for 30m, 40m, 80m and 160m, although I do have 40m on the yagi as a single dipole.

 


 
My key is a Kent Engineering Iambic and the other one is a Vibroflex square brass racer, on the bottom shelf is a Logikey by Idiom press and a hand key for emergencies!!

 

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Last modified June 13, 2005 by Paul B. Peters, Show contact information
Copyright © 2000 -2003 Paul B. Peters, VE7AVV. All rights reserved.