Norman R. 'Norm' Rashleigh
Orleans ON, Canada
QCWA # 33351
I've been a licenced amateur radio operator since 1963 at the age of 16. Although my main on-air call sign is VE3LC which I've held since 1990, I still hold my original call sign, VE3DVF. In the early days as a teenager, I designed and built all my own equipment using surplus or borrowed parts. My first transmitter used tubes from our home TV. I never caused TVI since the tubes were either in the TV or in my rig. I used to pound the brass on 40 Mtrs, or operate SSB with a home brew phasing exciter or operate on 2 mtr AM before FM and repeaters became popular. When first on 2mtr FM in Toronto, I used a 6 volt Motorola 80 D (D for dynamotor) installed in my father's 1954 Packard, what a joy it was to flatten the old car battery with long transmissions.
In 1969, I graduated from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto as an Electronic Technologist. There I was a member of the "RyeHam" amateur radio club. While at school, I worked summers at a 2-way radio shop owned by a ham, (Lee, now ZL2AL and famous organizer of many DxPeditions). After Ryerson, I worked the first 7 years of my career with Canadian National Telecommunications in the railroad radio business in Toronto with a bunch of hams. The high lights of that job were 1. being in a train wreck and 2. operating HF train mobile. Leaving CN in 1975, I took a job with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Ottawa; there I met my wife. I'm still with the Mounties designing and implementing public safety mobile radio systems. And yes, most of my RCMP colleagues are hams as well. I dare say, the fact I was a ham was why I got hired into my two career jobs as both the hiring supervisors were hams too. At the RCMP, I usually take on the responsibility for Engineering Students hired for "COOP" work terms. Under my tutelage, they get well educated in ham radio and must take the exam; I'm an accredited examiner authorized by Industry Canada. Most students before their work terms, had never seen a spectrum chart and had no notion that frequencies are a scarce and a regulated resource.
Over the years, my ham radio operating has been relatively casual. Here in Ottawa, I set up repeater VE3MPC; its still going strong using a micro-processor controller I designed and built and programmed over 20 years ago. I've operated several years ago on 70 cm, 2 mtr, and 6 mtr for contest events. I was also involved for many years with an exclusive group in the 90's on the Ottawa Hi speed (56Kbps)amateur TCP/IP packet network. We were amazingly well connected in those days before the internet became mainstream. Currently, I operate mainly from my car on HF and 2 mtr FM. I also beacon out my position on the APRS network. Recently, I built and operate from time to time a 40 Mtr "RockMite" QRP transceiver - what fun!
During my life, I also learnt to fly and almost killed myself; I owned and rode a few motorcycles and almost killed myself. I still own my old 1968 BWM 69S but I'm waiting for my retirement to restore it and ride it again. I also spent 3 years of my life restoring a 1946 MG-TC sports car, but alas, sold it in 1987. For the last 14 years, I've been building a ham shack in the bush were you may find me on the air operating an IC 740 and Henry 2Kw Amp delivering lots of RF to wire antennas in the trees.
And yes, of course, I must mention, I did get married in 1978 to a dear lady by the name Ginette and she's still wondering how she got involved with a guy like me. I think it was my red MG TC sports car that impressed her at the time. Unfortunately, I've never been able to convince her to become a ham. Ginette and I have two children, Melissa and Neal, now adults but still at home. Ginette now joins me on weekends at the ham shack in the bush since I installed hot running water and a flushing toilet.
In 2005, I'm looking forward to retiring from the RCMP after a 30 year career.
That's the bio up to now.
Cheers and 73 de Norm
January 18, 2015