Amateur Radio Station VE3JW, sponsored by the OVMRC, and located at the CANADA SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MUSEUM, St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, was officially opened on March 19, 1974. Amateur Radio Callsign VE3JW, was used at the station and was originally issued to Jim W. Cotter of Ottawa.
Jim W. Cotter lost his sight in early childhood when a box of dynamite caps exploded in his hands. He received his Amateur license in the early 1920’s and was probably the first blind radio Amateur in Canada. He operated his home station under callsign C3EN and later, when VE letters were allocated to Canadian Amateurs, he obtained callsign VE3JW, his initials.
Jim W. Cotter became a silent key on December 29, 1969 at the age of 67. Amateur Radio Station VE3JW is dedicated to his memory and to the many Amateur Radio operators who pioneered in radio communications. In view of the fact that the station is dedicated to the early pioneers, the original 10″ spark coils and hand sending key from the Voice of Atlantic Seaboard (VAS) was used during the opening ceremony. VAS was the first Canadian radiotelegraph station capable of transmitting commercial trans-Atlantic messages and commenced operation in the early 1900’s. Mr. Cotter’s nine year old granddaughter, Jayne Arbuckle, pressed the hand sending key to create the spark to officially open the station .
The original station equipment used in 1974 was provided by Heathkit in kit form. The equipment was built by members of the OVMRC and included one HW101 SSB transceiver, HP23B Power Supply, and a SB200 Linear Amplifier. A 30′ tower with a Mosley 3-element tri-band beam was assembled by the members and installed on the roof.
SPECIAL EVENT DAY – VE3JW 30TH ANNIVERSARY
Celebrating VE3JW 30th anniversary, OVMRC held a Special Event Day on Friday, 19th March 2004, at the Amateur Radio Exhibit Station.
As the station is dedicated to Jim W Cotter, first blind Radio Amateur, the Cotter family was invited to participate. Also invited were all local or visiting Amateurs.
The object was to have each participant complete at least one radio contact. Those doing so were awarded a special commemorative certificate showing a colour picture of the VE3JW station, and inscribed with the contact coordinates, and your name and call.
Shown here are three members of the Jim W Cotter family who visited the VE3JW station during the celebration. Peggy is seen holding her certificate for having completed a radio contact, which was the farthest distant contact of the day. The large screen at the rear shows this contact: T99A, Bosnia. In the middle of the picture is Grandson Clark and Great Grandson Cleary.
From 2015-2017 the Science and Technology Museum underwent renovations and was closed to the public. Unfortunately, when the museum re-opened, the VE3JW exhibit was retired. The OVMRC is presently considering an alternate or portable configuration to allow amateurs to learn/practice radio operation, however, at this time VE3JW is a part of history.