KEW66 Meter

It was 1966. I was nearly 15. A now-rescinded law allowed me to drive a car at that age and obtain a license at 15, so long as I had a licensed driver with me. A generous father provided the vehicle, a 1954 Vauxhall Velox. The licensed driver was a friend (or was that fiend?) of my older sister, one Tiger Harvey - who didn’t have a car. He was aptly named.

Tiger and I enrolled in nightclasses for a Ham Radio certificate at Marlborough Boy’s College in Blenheim, about 30 minutes drive away. We dutifully attended classes each week for most of a year I think. They were taken by Bill Huntenburg who was part of the American contingent at Base Woodbourne, a rather secret operation at that time. He was a specialist in ultra long wave radio communication and one suspects was involved in testing communications with submerged submarines. He was a really good guy and a positive role model in my life.

Tiger and I eventually completed the course and I became ZL2TMW, the T indicating I never passed my 12 word per minute morse code test, but could work on the 2 metre (144 Mhz) band. In fact I never transmitted, instead electing to use the then-new 27 Mhz Citizens Band equipment. Tiger had two sets with the callsigns NN134 and NN135, the NN indicating we were under the auspices of the Nelson Radio Inspector. I forget the legal power outut, but it was only of order 1 watt at most. Tiger being Tiger, he built a 150 watt linear amplifier that provided substantially better coverage from the ground-plane aerials we used. He could converse into Australia under ‘skip’ conditions.

All that is background to the KEW-66, because it was about that time of my life that a KEW-66 analog meter entered my workshop. The one pictured is unfortunately not my own, that got lost somewhere down the track of time but this one is identical. Manufactured by Kyoritsu, it provided 20,000 ohms per volt sensitivity.