Jeff Avery, VE1JFA, in Nova Scotia

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In 1997 I retired and moved from Ontario to Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. In doing so, I had to give up my participation in the Ontario ham radio clubs and also had to give up my VA3JEF Ontario call sign.

Once I was established in Nova Scotia, I applied for and received my new call sign VE1JFA which I still hold today. RAC issued me a new membership badge which is shown on the left. I also joined Lunenburg County Amateur Radio Club (LCARC) and was active in the club for several years. My 2001 membership card is shown on the right.

Eventually, however, my interest in ham radio wained and, although I kept my equipment, it sat and gathered dust.

In Nova Scotia I made a ham radio friend in Art, VE1EP (now a silent key), who had been active in ham radio for many years. He was 87 when he built an Elecraft K2 HF transceiver from a kit which impressed me a lot. He used the K2 for three years before health reasons forced him to give up ham radio. In 2006, when he could no longer use the K2, he gave it to me.

Although I was not active in ham radio at that time, having the K2 gradually revived my interest. Finally, in 2011, I gave away my Kenwood “boat anchor” transceiver and started to put together a ham radio station built around the K2.


VE1JFA in  Nova Scotia

My old G5RV outdoor antenna had long ago succumbed to its last storm and I started to look for an indoor alternative. My house is approximately 50 feet long and I felt that a trap dipole design should should enable me to fit an 80-metre multi-band antenna in the attic. I found, and became interested in, an article on the Web by John DeGood, NU3E, called An Attic Coaxial-Cable Trap Dipole for 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, and 80 Meters. I liked his idea of building the traps using RG58 coax wound around PVC pipe couplers.

I am also attempting to improve my CW speed. My 12 wpm has never been solid and still is not. To bring up my speed, I am listening to the ARRL’s on-air practice sessions and also to audio files that I have downloaded from the ARRL code practice archive at 13 wpm. I have rejoined FISTS and have also joined The North American QRP CW Club, a club with free membership whose mission is ”Encouraging use of CW and helping all hams increase CW speed and proficiency”. Finally, I have updated my entries in The Canadian Amateur Radio Email Database and QRZ.COM.

When Art gave me the Elecraft K2, he also gave me a morse code key and a paddle. These I added to my original key and a paddle that I home-brewed.


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