Only a few HF antennas are so notable as to have been named after the inventor. The Sterba Curtain (Ernest J. Sterba), the Beverage (Harold H. Beverage), and the most popular G5RV (Louis Varney, G5RV) come quickly to mind.
Louis Varney, G5RV served in the Royal Corps of Signals in an HF Interception and DF unit during World War Two. Legend has it that after leaving the service in 1946 he moved into a house that had a garden barely 100ft long - and a need for a multi-band HF antenna. Eventually, Louis came up with “The G5RV Multi-band HF Dipole”.
As significant as that invention may have been for all of us contending with small lots, I once stumbled across a letter to the editor of QST magazine from Varney penned in 1941 that I think was even more valuable than his contribution to HF radio. His words demonstrate the resilience, can-do attitude, and positive spirit of the radio amateur during a particularly tough time.
“Rarin’ To Go”
Chelmsford College, Arbour Lane,
Chelmsford, Essex, England
In these unfortunate days, after experiencing the longest enforced period “off the air” that I can remember as a radio amateur in twelve years of continuous operating, I feel that you might like to know how the “G’s” are carrying on.
As you know, a great many of the amateur fraternity are serving with the various forces. Others are engaged in research work and production jobs. Whenever and wherever conditions permit, amateurs stage meetings and yarn about “the good old days” on the air. The enthusiasm and belief that one day the ether will ring again with our crystal notes is unabated by present world conditions. A large number of Dominion and Colonial hams have been able to make personal contacts with friends whom they had encountered first over the air, and we have been proud to know these boys and give them a welcome.
Local District and Town meetings of the R.S.G.B. continue and, in the circumstances, are well attended. Everywhere enthusiasm is high and amateur progress in U.S.A. is followed and discussed eagerly.
Of course with the ever present possibility of heavy objects being apt to fall in a somewhat disconcerting manner from a sky which, in happier days yielded much goodly DX — or at worst some real English weather! — the conditions of life are slightly changed and a fellow has to get acclimatised.
There are, however, some things without which one just could not get along — and QST is certainly one of these! Every month it brings real pleasure to those of us who are, perforce, off the air but “rarin’ to go!” when the ban is off.
So good luck to you over there — and CUAGN before so long!
Signed —R.L. Varney, G5RV