The story behind the card #27 VE3HC by John Heys G3BDQ

The Canadian city of Guelph, Ontario some 50 miles west of Toronto is located in the most industrial part of Canada.   It got its name from the Hanoverian Royal family who became the King Georges of England through most to the 18th Century.

Fred Hammond was a prosperous manufacturer of loudspeakers and held the call VE3HC  for many years. He is best remembered for his lavish radio station and his museum of antique radio apparatus which was housed in a purpose built building and was (is?) open to the public.   He gained his licence before WW2 and I have a QSL card from him to a Surrey amateur that is dated April 1939.   This card showed his shack at that time which was a large room housing four 6ft tall racks full of transmitting equipment.  After the war Fred had a small bungalow specially built adjacent to his home which he called  “The transmitter building”.

The card illustrated shows a part of this building’s interior and on its reverse it lists all the details of his equipment.   No QRP man, he had four separate transmitters, each crystal controlled and tuned to operate on a specific frequency within a waveband,  The frequencies chosen were 50.9 mHz, 28488 kHz, 14197 kHz , and 3850 kHz.  The three higher frequency rigs each had an output stage with push-pull 304 tubes.

The 304 is rated for an anode voltage of between 2500 and 3000 volts and when used as a push-pull pair can deliver an output of 1600 watts.  The 80 metre TX used a pair of 806 tubes in push-pull.   Each transmitter had its own modulator (for AM) with push-pull 810s in class B, with each pair delivering 725 watts of audio.

For reception Fred used a Hallicrafter SX28A and a Hammerlund Super-Pro together with various pre-selectors and VHF converters.   He employed three monoband rotatable beams for the higher bands and a three wire system at 60ft for80 metres.   The 6 metre beam had 8 elements and was at 50ft,    The 10m 5 element beam was up at 55ft and his 4 element for 20 metres was at a mere 42 feet.

The pictured card confirmed a QSO with the one time well known Cambridge amateur G5JO and is dated August 1947.   By contrast, in that month and year G3BDQ used an ex-RAF 1155 receiver and a 25 watt TX using a 6L6 valve, and could only dream of the super stations of the super rich.

g3bdq-signature ve3hc

By John Heys G3BDQ – January 2006.

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