Ben R. Pooley
Lockeport, NS Canada
QCWA # 11182
NAQCC # 1610
I passed the British Radio Amateurs Exam in 1951, but, due to our imminent departure for VE7-land (and for lack of the license fee!) my first callsign was not G3***, but VE7AFP in 1952. Like many others at the time, my first transmitter was a 6V6 crystal oscillator with a hand key in the cathode circuit. My main interests were, and still are, HF CW DX, and building gear.
In 1959, wanderlust struck. I built a transmitter for HF CW to work on any power supply from 110 - 240 volts AC or DC. It had 4 50L6 tubes, selenium rectifiers, and plug-in coils, and would run about 15 watts input. An on-air Fiji contact had told me he could probably get me a job there, which he did, with the Fiji Posts and Telegraphs Department. The next year was quite busy on-air as VR2DG (yes, that was long before Fiji became 3D2) and those 50L6s got a good workout. Then a beautiful Maine schooner arrived in Suva, looking for crew who could also work the radio, so a short stint as VR2DG/MM - which must have irritated a lot of people; quite a 'rare' call but no DXCC credit!
I left the boat in Brisbane and briefly signed VK4DE before moving to a job in South Australia as VK5BP for a couple of years. During this time Jeff, VK5NQ, and I took a two-week trip to Alice Springs as VK5BP/8, VK8s being a bit scarce then. My next callsign was G3PAH, where I stayed six years. At that time I became interested in Land Rovers, another incurable affliction - I now have a 1950 and my 'daily driver'1989 Land Rover '90'. For my first Land Rover, in the 1960s, I built a 160 and 80 metre mobile AM transceiver. I still have it, and recently fired it up. After replacing one capacitor it worked fine for a check in the local AM net. Not bad for 50 year-old gear.
All that is ancient history now. I have been in Nova Scotia, as VE1AHX, for 45 years. I enjoy kit-building. I have Small Wonder Labs SW40 and DSW30. The main rig is an Elecraft K2, and I admit to having the KPA100 amplifier for when the going gets tough! The latest kit project was Fox Delta's Antenna Analyzer, a great little tool. I still have the Vibroplex Original Deluxe, bought in an auction in the VE7AFP days, but mostly use a Kent paddle now.
My wife and I have been married nearly 35 years, since she arrived and totally and happily disrupted the life of this (then) 44 year old bachelor. I am retired from a printed circuit board assembly business in Lockeport, NS.
Still enjoy some DX hunting, though with decreased tolerance for the abuse and other shenanigans, and still enjoy CW, though the error rate goes up as years seem to etch away at the link between brain and keying hand!
October 15, 2015