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N5VA History:

Ray Hill KB5SF who has been very instrumental in startup and operation of N5VA provided the following:

“The Amateur Radio Station at the Veterans Medical Center, Albuquerque came into being, the best I can figure, during 1965. I have been able to locate logs dating back to 1975. The Call sign prior to 1975 was W5DCR and the principal operator was Harold W. (Ike) Isenhower, W5EAW. In 1975, Robert Scupp, WB5YYX had the call sign revoked and got the call sign WB5MII. No one seems to know why he did this, but it happened. Until 1991, the station was located on a “Catwalk” between Buildings #2 and #7 in a maintenance closet. (Very small space). Being in a wheelchair, I found it extremely difficult to get into that small place. I spoke with Russ Kleinman, WA5Y, a surgeon at the VA about this situation. This was in 1990 – I think somewhere about February or March. He told me that Dr. Fiedler, a Spinal Cord Specialist, who was in process of getting a Spinal Cord Center built and he might look favorable upon making room for the radio station. I spoke with Dr. Fiedler about this and he told me to get with Russ and draw up the plans for one and he would see what he could do. Well, he had the present station constructed in accordance with our plans. Originally, the plans called for two separate compartments to be provided for two stations. The building was completed in November of 1990 and we moved the station over there to its new location in February or March of 1991. Sometime later we started trying to get a Call Sign that would reflect that it was a VA Medical Center. We were finally given the present Call. The Paralyzed Veterans of America replaced the old Swan 350 with a new Ten Tec Transceiver donated by KB5SF. I do not Recall the year, but Toby Cross, KA5YGK, donated a lot of the present equipment.”