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1983

Through the years...

Art Stark VE3ZS

(c) The Canadian Amateur magazine, Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc., CARF Publications, Reprinted with permission

 

While attempting to gain filing space and reduce paper through a "file destruction program", a term which government employees will recognize, the following bits and pieces relating to the Amateur Service since I got my first Amateur licence in 1930, came to light. When taken together they show some of changes which have taken place over the years.

 

In a letter from the Acting Deputy Minister, Department of Marine and Fisheries, Marine Branch, dated May 10, 1930;

 

"I have pleasure in enclosing ... Amateur Experimental Radio Licence #53 call sign VE5AE ... 1930-1931.

 

"The Department has decided to grant permission to Amateur Experimental Licenses to use radiotelephone transmissions in the band 14,100-14,130 kc/s who can meet the following requirements:

 

(a) ... holder of ... Certificate ... of at least Amateur Grade ... for at least two years.

(b) The station shall be provided with an accurate and reliable frequency meter...

(c) The station shall be provided with a properly constructed "monitor".

(d) The transmitter shall be of the type in which a power amplifier feeding into the antenna is supplied from a master oscillator ... preferably crystal controlled.

(e) The modulation system shall be such as to ensure intellible speech . . . 'absorption' and 'grid' modulation shall not be used."

 

From a letter of 14 May 1929 from the General Superintendent to a Divisional Superintendent concerning a request to establish an Amateur station at a government coast station;

 

"We have no great objection to our men putting this apparatus for themselves in certain cases as we believe it is of assistance to them in acquiring a knowledge of C.W. work. (The interstation "C.W." circuits were running at 25-30 wpm!) ... its (the Amateur station) establishment will be subject to the following conditions -

 

(a) The equipment and aerial system shall be so constructed and placed as not to interfere in any way with government stations. (Most coast stations operated on 500 and 143 kc/s using 1000 watts!) Visiting inspectors shall make a special report in this reference.

(b) The antenna system shall not be conductively coupled to ground but one of the various forms of Hertz antennae . . . coupled to the transmitter by an undergrounded feeder system or ... an antenna and counterpoise may be used.

(c) Permission will be granted for ... such transmitters only at stations not provided with a mail service .. .

(d) The OIC of the Government Station may at his discretion cause the Amateur station to be dismantled ... at any time.

(e) The transmitter should not be re-established at another point without obtaining the approval of Headquarters."

 

The licence for 1933-1934, issued by the Department of Marine, listed frequencies in descending order; i.e., from 400,000-401,000 kc/s to 1715-2000 kc/s. There were no bands between 400,000 kc/s and 56,000­60,000 kc/s. CW (Al) was permitted, of course, on all bands, ICW (A2) on 56,000-60,000, 3900-4000 and 1715-2000 kc/s and phone (A3) on 56,000-60,000 and 1715­2000 kc/s.

 

The licence for 1934-1935 listed the same bands but in ascending order.

 

Attached to the 1935-1936 li­cence was a sheet of "Conditions Applicable to the Operation of Licensed Amateur Experimental Radio Stations" which read in part;

 

"Portable Privileges. All licensed amateur experimental stations are authorized to operate one radio transmitting and receiving equipment of a portable nature in the bands 28,000-30,000, 56,000-60,000 and 400,000­401,000 kc/s in a passenger automobile owned by the licensee or at a temporary location. (Too bad if you only owned a truck or the vehicle was in your wife's name!)

 

"Radiotelephone Transmission is Authorized in the Following Fre­quency Bands.

1,715-2,000 kc/s - subject to conditions (a) (b) (c)

3,500-3,550, 3,850-4,000, 14,100-14,300, 28,000-30,000 kc/s -subject to conditions (a) (b) (c) and licensee must have been holder of licence for at least two years

56,000-60,000, 400,000-401,000 kc/s - Equipment conditions (a) (b) (c) do not apply.

 

"Equipment Conditions:

(a) The station shall be equip­ped with a reliable frequency meter.

(b) The transmitter shall be preferably crystal controlled.

(c) The modulation system shall ensure intelligible speech, must not in any case exceed 100 per cent and must not disturb the stability of the transmitter." (So much for FM!)

 

Also in 1935-1936 ICW and phone privileges were deleted from the 1715-2000 kc/s band.

 

Then in 1936-1937 phone privileges could be obtained for the 1750-2000, 3500-3550, 3850-4000 and 14100-14300 kc/s "restricted" bands.

 

On January 27,1938, VE5AE was listed on a roster as being Member #25 of the Canadian Red Cross Network, located at Grand Forks, B.C. with operating frequencies of 3515, 3750 and 3850 kc/s. (The only crystals I had.) (3750 kc/s was also the frequency of the original "Five O'clock Net".)

 

The 1938-1939 licence showed some changes. The first was a change from "C.W.", "I.C.W." and "telephone" to the ITU designators "Al", "A2" and "A3". There was change in fre­quency assignments effective 1 July 1938 which deleted A3 from the 3500-3550 kc sub-band.

 

Then with the outbreak of WW II a letter from the Minister of Transport, dated September 5, 1939 ordered all Amateurs to close down -

 

"Now, in pursuance of the power conferred on me by the Defence of Canada Order and The Radio Act, 1938, and regulations issued thereunder, I hereby notify you that your Amateur Experimental Station Licence is suspended forthwith, and direct you to completely dismantle and render inoperative all equipment installed in your station."

 

Then after a hiatus of some six years there comes a licence for 1946-1947 with a change of address to Ottawa and a new call sign VE3AW. This licence was issued by the Department of Transport and shows a new set of frequency bands -

3.500-3.800 mc/s

3.800-4.000

27.185-27.455

28.000-29.700

50.000-54.000

144.000-148.000

235.000-240.000

420.000-430.000

1215.000-1295.000

2300.000-2450.000

5250.000-5650.000

10000.000-10500.000

21000.000-22000.000

and such other Frequency Bands as may be authorized by the De­partment from time to time."

 

The 1947-1948 licence shows an enlarged list of frequency bands, now including 7.000-7.300 mc/s, 14.000-14.400 mc/s, 3300.000­3500.000 mc/s for Al, A2, A3, but restricting 14.000-14.150 mc/s to Al only.

 

In 1948-1949 the 80-metre sub­band was expanded to 3.750 mc/s and FM permitted on all frequencies above 50.000 mc/s. The 5250.000-5650.000 mc/s band was changed to 5650.000-5925.000 mc/s and 420.000-430.000 to 420.000-450.000 mc/s. The 27.185­27.455 mc/s band changed to 27.160-27.430 mc/s.

 

1949-1950 brought further changes; the 75-m phone sub­band dropped to 3.750 mc/s and F3 was permitted on 75, 20, 11, and 10 metre phone sub-bands.

 

1950-1951 brought still further changes; 1.800-1.825,1.875-1.925 and 1.975-2.000 mc/s were added with Al on the latter two sub­bands.

 

In 1951-1952 the 75-m phone sub-band was lowered to 3.725­4.000 mc/s.

 

In 1952-1953, 50 kc/s was lost from the high end of 20 metres with the band edge becoming 14.350 mc/s.

 

In a letter from the Department of Transport of January 2, 1953, Amateurs were advised that "the inception of TV service in Canada poses an additional (interference) problem" and we were enjoined to recognize "the urgent need for reducing to the lowest practical level, all harmonics and other spurious emissions which may emanate from their stations".

 

About 1954 I changed my call sign to VE3ZS in order for VE3AW to be reassigned to its original licensee who had returned to active Amateur status.

 

On the new licence format introduced by the Department of Communications frequency assignments was no longer shown on the individual licence and it is now necessary to refer to the Schedules in the General Radio Regulation, Part II, to determine what frequencies and modes of emissions may be legitimately used.

 

Oh yes, the file destruction program! That file has now grown by the amount of this screed.

 

Editors note:

Art has used the abbreviations for the now defunct kilocycles per second, (kc/s) and megacycles per second (mc/s) as they appeared in the old regulations until displaced by kilohertz (kHz) and megahertz (MHz).

 

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