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THE CENTRAL ALBERTA RADIO LEAGUE - AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR PROFILE

JACK HUMPHRIES - VE6JRH

(Jack is a "HAM" who, as a person and a great individual, is an inspiration to us all. As a blind Amateur Radio Operator, he demonstrates what one can do with fortitude and perseverance. His words below provide encouragement to those who would like to acquire their "HAM" licence: Gary VE6SNL - Profile editor)

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I grew up on a farm southwest of Drumheller, Alberta, just south of the Horse Shoe Canyon. I came down with Diabetes Mellitus in 1947, which certainly changed my way of life.

My father took ill in 1950 and my work load at age eight got considerably heavier, with lots of chores to do. Dad then suffered a stroke in 1952 and work around the farm got a lot harder. I started driving truck and hauling grain when I was ten years old. Dad passed away in 1953 when I was eleven. I had a younger brother and two younger sisters.

Photo of Jack in operation

I met my XYL in Calgary during 1960 and we went our separate ways until we married in 1965. We lived in Calgary, on 42nd Street SW, had two children, a boy and a girl. We subsequently moved to Olds, Alberta in 1969. We bought a shoe store in 1974 and sold it during the devastating inflationary early eighties. I presently work in Life Insurance and Mutual Funds as an independent broker.


I became interested in Amateur Radio in the mid 1970s. I studied and practiced CW. Then I lost sight in my left eye in 1976, and quit practicing after the trauma of loss and the need to develop some income again. I then lost the sight in my right eye in February 2001.

Photo of Magnifier

Photo of Reader

Jack using the magnifier

In the spring of 2001 I decided to get back at getting my HAM licence, bought a book and began to study with a magnifying device. I studied for three months, and called Garry VE6CIA to do the exam. I passed and got my call sign in June of 2001. I then bought a Yaesu FT28R through VE6JVK and still use it today. I again resumed my work on CW, using tapes, and subsequently passed my code in May of 2002, again with Garry VE6CIA examining.

Photo of Kenwood 570D

Photo of Jack operating HF

Photo of Kenwood 570D

As a blind operator, with limited income, I went to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), and acquired a Kenwood 570D transceiver with an audio frequency readout device and a CCTV magnifier. The magnifier makes it possible for me to read letters that are thee to four inches tall. The audio readout on the Kenwood tells me what band and frequency I am on. There are still many buttons to confuse one though.

Photo of VE6JRH antennas

Photo of Jack's operation

Jack operating HF

Jacks antenna

So I use a Yaesu FT28R hand held unit, an Icom IC2100H for mobile and base station operation on two metres and the Kenwood 570D for HF operation. I use an inverted V dipole for 75 metres, and a three element mini-quad for 10, 15, and 20 metres. The two metre antenna is a Ringo Ranger. The antenna system was installed by four marvellous HAM's, Stew VE6KN, Lewis VE6CHO, Glenn VE6GC and Rick VE6RLA.

The mini-quad was built from two wrecked antennas, and put together by Lewis. It is still functioning today. The 75 metre dipole was installed by my son-in-law Bruce along with Glenn and Stew and the two metre antenna was put atop a 30 foot Delphi tower along with the mini-quad. I acquired the mini-quad from two hams. Neither one worked, so one was made from two.

Jack's basement shack

CCTV magnifier

Jack's basement shack

Jack's basement shack

My shack is in the basement of our house in Olds, Alberta. I have two rigs set up on top of my old roll top desk, along with a phone and the CCTV magnifier beside the desk. The rotator control sits on a shelf on the other end of the desk. I also have a computer with a Zoom Text program that enlarges icons and letters up to sixteen times. This program will also enunciate words as I type them. It is not perfect, but it enables me to function on a computer. I am a member of SARA, RAC, CAARC (presently CARL), and the Three Hills Amateur Radio Club.

 So there you have it. I enjoy DXing as well as local two metre chats. I have been totally amazed at the cooperation from Amateur Radio operators here and abroad. Were it not for their assistance, I would not be operating today. I have developed several very good friends since getting into HAM radio. Many wonderful acquaintances. Those that helped get me started, including VE6GC, VE6RLA, VE6KN, VE6CHO, VE6DHW and VE6CIA

Then the ongoing support from them and others like VE6RWC, VE6BLD, VE6VG and VE6SNL. It has been great. I have had some great DX QSO's to Antarctica, South America, Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, England, Spain and Russia to name a few. I don't get very excited about contesting, so have never tried it. I rather enjoy talking to the contact I meet, thus getting to know something of them and their QTH. So if we make contact, don't expect to get away with a signal report, name and QTH only. I want to get to know you, and your surroundings.

I am presently increasing my CW abilities to get to 25 wpm, and on achieving advanced radio licence status. It could take awhile, but with patience and perseverance it should come to pass.

Looking forward to talking to you, and 73's

VE6JRH - Jack Humphries

Photo of Jack VE6JRH


Profile date: 30 October 2003

(Amateur Radio Profiles are the pure pleasure of Gary VE6SNL, on behalf of and for all Amateur Radio Operators)


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Home  |  Nets  |  Swap and Shop  |  Annual Picnic

Red Deer County Website

CARL/CAARC History  |  Packet Nodes
Repeaters  |  Meetings  Executive   Canadian Red Cross Red Deer Amateur Radio Emergency Service
Other Central Alberta Organizations  | 

Webmaster Email

License Classes  |  Central Alberta Weather  |  CANWARN