AMBLER , John "Jack" 1925 - 2010 Jack passed away peacefully at the Foothills Hospital on February 18, 2010 at the age of 84 years. He is lovingly remembered by his wife, Monica Barron; children Darcy and Steve; grandchildren: Arianna and Alessandro; Monica's daughters Brenda and Karen; Karen's son Levi, and many friends and relatives. We all love you and will miss you. His ham radio buddies, former colleagues from Mobil, and friends and relatives are invited to a Celebration of his Life on Sunday, February 21, 2010, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at 9994 Hidden Valley Drive N.W. In lieu of flowers, donations to the C.N.I.B. would be greatly appreciated. The family wishes to thank the staff of the Special Care Unit of the Foothills Hospital for their care and compassion. VE6CAQ has gone silent.
Hello Members and Friends,
It is with deep regret that I report the passing of QCWA Wild Rose Chapter 151 member, Jack Ambler, VE6CAQ.
As a result of a bad fall, Jack was admitted to the Foothills Hospital a few days ago. Shortly after, he came down with pneumonia and passed away this morning, February 18.
Jack will be cremated tomorrow and there will be a gathering at his home this coming Sunday, February 21, between 2:00 to 4:00 PM, for family and friends.
Jack's address is;
9994 Hidden Valley Drive N.W.
Ken Oelke - VE6AFO
QCWA Wild Rose Chapter 151
I became interested in amateur radio in 1972.
I received my licence and call sign in 1973 after attending "Amateur Radio Basic" course at SAIT (October 2nd,1972 - April 18th,1973). I took my exam at DOC, Calgary.
My first call was VE6CAQ, which I still retain.
I did not receive help except for maybe advice. I always put up my antennas on my own.
I built my own equipment initially. I built a DX60, CW transmitter, a VFO and an SWR plus Power Meter. My first receiver was a Hammerlund used radio bought at a local electronic surplus store. After that I built a Heathkit HW101, CW-SSB transceiver in 1974 prior to getting my advanced on May 7,1976.
My first antenna was a mobile whip (with loading coil) which I modified with a homebrew antenna tuner and radials. I then constructed a 40 metre double bazooka and a 20 metre dipole which I used for portable operations using a HW7 , QRP transceiver. I then purchased an 80-40 Morgain folded dipole and then after that an 18AVT all band vertical; ground mounted with buried radials. I did not operate while living in a condo from June 1979 to April 1987 and then moved to a house. I then constructed an 80, 40, 20 multiple dipole. Living in apartments from 1988 to 1996 I have used Diamond CP6 and Cushcraft R7 verticals plus a B&W folded dipole ( 3.5 - 30 mHz) for HF. I used a Ringo Ranger for 2 Metres at the house from 1987 to 1988 and at apartments in Calgary and an ICOM, AH7000 Discone and Cushcraft AR270 respectively for 2M - 70 cm. I have had a Larson 2 Metre mag mount for mobile and now use a Larson AD 2/70 for both mobile and home base since I moved to a house on April 1st, 1996 plus the old reliable B&W folded dipole for HF. I have a Cushcraft A3S with a 40 metre element which I plan to put up when I can find a good roof tower. Yard and power line restrictions at the rented house preclude a ground tower and the roof will likely have to be fixed before putting up a roof tower. Moved to a new house in 2002 and use a 40-10 metre inverted V.
In December, 1987, I bought a Kenwood TS440 SAT transceiver, which I still have and loan out to visually impaired Amateurs. At that time I bought a Kenwood TH 215-A, 2 metre hand held and later a Yaesu FT811 70 cm handheld. I have an ICOM 2400, 2 metre - 70 cm mobile and a Yaesu FT 5200, 2 metre - 70 cm rig for a base. I have a Kenwood TS 680, 160 - 6 metre rig (I should put up my discone which includes 6 metres) plus a TS 940 SAT HF rig.
I have operated on 80, 40 and 20 metres plus 2 metres and 70 cm.
On July 1st, 1973, @ 0140 GMT I made my first CW contact with VE6BBA, Don Billey in Edmonton on 80 metres (3670 KC). My most distant contact was with K3DR in Johnston, Pennsylvania using an HW7 running 2.5 watts CW from a portable location at LSD 9 - Section 30 - TWP 109 - Rg. 6 W6M in northern Alberta.
The first amateur club I joined was CARA in 1973. I dropped out in 1980 and rejoined in 1988.
The only emergency situation I assisted in was when a 2 metre mobile asked me to call the police when he had a fender bender. I relayed the information that the police could not come out for a fender bender and that he should go to the nearest police station.
The most interesting event I participated in was helping provide communication for " Ride for Stars", a horse back ride from a farm near Irricana into Irricana to raise money for STARS Air Ambulance.
I enjoyed most assisting visually impaired amateurs as coordinator for the CNIB amateur radio program. Also all public service activities. I coordinated several Paraplegic Association "Wheel Chair Relays".
I had some difficulties with my building. When I built my Heathkit DX60 and VFO I could not use the VFO since there was a defective band switch. I sent the DX60 to Heathkit and they said they couldn't find anything wrong. When they returned the DX60 I found that the band switch was put together wrong at the factory. I dismantled it and put it together right and it worked fine. When I built the Heathkit HW101 and went on the air with it in 1974, I had trouble with cold solder joints (fixed by Heathkit in Edmonton), a defective circuit breaker (replaced myself). While using the HW101 for CARA code practice from Nov/75 - March/76 while taking my advanced I had trouble with a relay dropping the first dot (acknowledging to code instructor). John Ower, VE6AVO chastised me for not sending the first dot. A modification to correct this was published in QST. I did not modify the rig but sent _..._ at the beginning of each transmission. I had trouble operating my DX60 and Hammerlund receiver since a nearby ham sent out harmonics every 5 KC across all bands using a 40 metre inverted V with ladder feeder. Likely he had no antenna tuner or filters.
I have attended three hamfests. The first was a national convention in the Calgary Inn during the 1970's; the second the first RAC convention in 1994 and the third was the "Edmonton Space and Science Centre Hamfest" in 1995.
My interest in radio started when I was in Infantry Signals at the end of WW2. I decided to go into amateur radio in 1972 after building a Heathkit short wave radio and monitoring the amateur bands. Prior to that I built a stereo, signal generator and VTVM and studied Heathkit electronics courses using the test equipment. After taking my basic licence I took "Electronics 2" (1974-75) at SAIT (semiconductors and transistors); "Amateur Radio Advanced" (1975-76) at SAIT and "Instrumentation" (test equipment - 1976-77) at SAIT.
I have no amateur recollections prior to 1945.
I have attended CARA meetings (1973-1979) at the Hillside-Sunnyside community centre and from 1987 to present at the Golden Age Club.
Jack Ambler VE6CAQ
December 31, 2002