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Submarine Museums and Radio Rooms

The following was forwarded to me as an email by VE4BAW.  I added a few pictures off the internet to dress things up a bit but the text is courtesy of Donald Courcy,  VE2CW.

As you will see from reading through his article he has a great deal of love for our submarine fleet and he wears the dolphins proudly…


HMCS OJIBWA is a cold war Canadian Oberon Class submarine which
was in  service in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1965 to 1998. The
submarine has  been acquired by the Elgin Military Museum of St. Thomas,
Ontario and  will soon be towed from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Port Burwell, Ontario  where it will be preserved and operated as a submarine museum.

Plans are being prepared to restore the radio room onboard the
submarine as an active ham radio club station, operating under
call sign VA3ZFQ,  in memory of OJIBWA’s former international call sign CZFQ.

I am a former submariner who served onboard submarines HMCS
OJIBWA, HMCS  ONONDAGA and HMCS OKANAGAN during the cold war. I have agreed to  sponsor call sign VA3ZFQ until a local ham radio operator in the  Port Burwell  area, with an advanced radio certificate, comes forward to take  over as  the sponsor.

Call sign VA3ZFQ has just been assigned to HMCS OJIBWA Submarine
MuseumAmateur Radio Club (HOSMARC). To view the VA3ZFQ info at, CLICK ON THE PICTURE OF THE SUB (ABOVE)

Once the submarine has been towed from Halifax and installed at Port
Burwell, the restoration of the radio room will begin.
Volunteers will  be needed to assist in the project. We will also be looking for old  naval radio equipment. Details about the radio room restoration
will be  posted in the coming months on the:

VA3ZFQ page at

For more information about The Ojibwa Project in Port Burwell,
Ontario, click on the Museum Logo (above)

If you are interested in helping out during the restoration of
the radio  room onboard OJIBWA, and/or in joining the HMCS OJIBWA Submarine  MuseumAmateur Radio Club (HOSMARC), send an email to

You might recall that I was involved in a similar endeavour 3
years ago  in Rimouski, Quebec, where OJIBWA’s sister submarine HMCS
ONONDAGA was  installed as a submarine museum. The radio room onboard ONONDAGA  is now  on the air as a ham radio club station and operating under call sign  VA2GNQ in memory of ONONDAGA’s former international call sign  CGNQ. The  station is operated by members of the St-Lawrence Amateur Radio  Club found at

For more information about HMCS ONONDAGA’s ham radio club
station, please click the sub (above)

For more information about HMCS ONONDAGA’s Submarine Museum in Rimouski,Quebec,click the sub (below)

Donald Courcy,  VE2CW
Sous-marinier Partenaire: Musée du sous-marin ONONDAGA -
Rimouski, QC
Member # S72-0007 – Ships Company – HMCS OJIBWA Submarine Museum
- Port Burwell, ON
Sponsor for VA3ZFQ – HMCS OJIBWA Submarine Museum Amateur Radio Club (HOSMARC) – Port Burwell, ON

Member: Submariners Association of Canada
Member # 0732 – North American QRP CW Club
Member # 15344 – FISTS (The International Morse Preservation Society)
Member: Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC)
Membre: Radio Amateur du Québec (RAQI)
Member: Submarine Veteran Amateur Radio Club (SVARA)
Member: Club Radio Amateur Rive-Sud de Montréal
Webmaster and Radio History Keeper:
Personal Website:


So thanks again to Donald for sharing this information with us and many many thanks for doing all this work to get the Subs Radio Rooms back on the air.

Donald also advises that the story (in much more detail) will be coming out in a TCA Article in the future.

Just remember…  The original Amateur Radio Social Media device used a “Key” and not a “Keyboard”.

73 from Ottawa… Bob

2011 AGM Dates updated


From an email rcvd Jan 9th….


Could you change the dates on the blog for the 2011 AGM and NL Hamfest to July 30/31, 2011. We discovered a conflict with the Halifax DX Forum.


Doug Mercer  VO1DTM 
Vice President Field Services
Radio Amateurs of Canada

Society of Newfoundland Radio Amateurs


Hamfest NL 2011


The Radio Amateurs of Canada 2011 AGM

The Executive and members of SONRA are pleased to host these special events and encourage Hams from everywhere to join us on July 30th and 31st in historic St. John’s Newfoundland.

The events will be held at the RCAF Club in Pleasantville and at the headquarters of Fire and Emergency Services Newfoundland and Labrador, our sponsor for the events. Highlights include:

* Youth perspective presentation

* Digital technologies presentation

* Video – “Igor- the storm of the century”

* Complementary Saturday lunch

* Saturday evening banquet

* Complementary Sunday brunch

* RAC 2011 Annual General Meeting and Q&A

* Old fashion bluegrass jam session following banquet

* Whale watching tour

* Opportunity to operate from Historic Signal Hill

Stay tuned for more information about this event by visiting and

For more information contact Paul Burggraaf VO1PRB at or Doug Mercer VO1DTM at


Posted on behalf of VO1DTM by VA3QV

From the VPFS

This posting comes to us via Doug Mercer VO1DTM who is the RAC Vice President for Field Services

The YASME Excellence Awards are given to individuals who through their own service, creativity, effort and dedication have made a significant contribution to the cause of Amateur Radio. The contribution may be in recognition of technical, operating, or organizational achievement as all three are necessary for amateur radio to grow and prosper. With the 2010 Excellence Awards, YASME recognizes the following individuals in order to recognize them and inspire others on behalf of Amateur Radio now and in the future.

·        Ramón Santoyo V, XE1KK who is recognized for his work in advancing ham radio in Mexico and Central America and his service to the international radio community as IARU Region 2 Secretary. He is a strong proponent of radiosport and the World Radiosport Team Championships. Voices like Ramón’s help the amateur community work together worldwide, strengthening our position and reputation as important members of the wireless community.

·        Makoto (Mako) Mori, JE3HHT who deserves much credit for popularizing RTTY by writing the MMTTY software modem and making it available for integration into logging software. MMTTY is a great product and Mako has exhibited great ham spirit with a huge effect.

·        Bruce Horn, WA7BNM who continues to generate useful and innovative web applications including a complete upgrade of his excellent contest calendar web site. His 3830 score reporting and compilation service and Cabrillo log submission tools have changed the nature of radiosport.

·        Rick Meuthing, KN6KB for developing the new WINMOR sound-card digital mode software now gaining wide use in the worldwide Winlink 2000 system. Many attempts at approaching the performance of the proprietary PACTOR III protocol and hardware failed before WINMOR, attesting to the difficulty of the problem.

·        Mikael Styrefors, SM2O who has developed the Remote Radio Control interface. The ability to connect radios and operators transparently and robustly over the Internet is a key technological element of putting top-grade remote HF stations on the air – something more common every day.

·        Alex Shovkoplyas, VE3NEA for developing DX Atlas, Morse Runner, HAM-CAP, CW Skimmer, Rocky and other innovative software. Alex’s products are making a remarkable impact on the competitive HF operating environment. Making this software available to the amateur community at little or no cost demonstrates excellent ham spirit.

·        Pepe Ardid, EA5KB who makes it possible for many Latin American DXers, who are in many cases saddled with deficient postal services and QSL Bureaus, to confirm contacts with attractive and unique QSL cards. Pepe contributes countless hours of service in support of his fellow amateurs so they can continue to participate in one of amateur radio’s most cherished traditions.

Thanks go out to our VPFS for sharing this with us…

Eastern Ontario ARES Report

Today’s posting comes to us courtesy of Mike Hickey VE3IPC who is the DEC (District Emergency Coordinator) for the Seaway/Capital Districts of Ontario ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service)


Subject: New Eastern Ontario ARES promo video clip – for ARES, Officials, & the public.
Hello fellow ARES Group EC,

I trust you had a great holiday and I hope you will have a healthy and prosperous New Year.

The Eastern Ontario [Seaway/Capital] ARES District is pleased to announce and present our new ARES Promo Video production that is now posted on our ARES District website (still under construction) for anyone to view on line and or download the WMV 36 meg 7.5 minutes short video clip.

TVCogeco News in Renfrew Ontario in May 2010 did a news video piece on the ARES training course that was being given by the Eastern Ontario ARES District leadership while conducting an ‘in school’ ARES ‘on air’ exercise of the training that the two Renfrew County ARES groups (RCE & RCW-ARES) received.

With special permission and co-operation from the TVCogego and TVCogeco News for Renfrew/Pembroke Ontario we were able to access their raw footage and create a post-production ARES promo video.  We thank TVCogeco for the use of their raw footage and facilities that allowed us to create this new ARES Promo video.  We also wish thank their regular volunteer at TVCogeco Renfrew, Nathan MacIsaac – VA3NCM, for providing us his technical expertise and operating the editing equipment in making this video production.  We also wish thank TVCogeco News Renfrew Camera Engineer Jeremy Charboneau who created the original news piece, for creating the introduction part of the video and all the credit info we requested to end the video with.

We also wish to thank our volunteer Webmaster Dave Gabrieled in Ottawa for creating our website and for posting the video for all to see.

This video is intended to be used as part of the ARES presentation to any local municipal government’s emergency management officials and NGO leadership like that of the local Red Cross as an educational tool explaining – what is ARES, what they do and why.

To view and or download the ARES promo video visit, < > and choose < VIDEO > then select < ARES Promo Video >.  Please send your comments to < >

By all means please do share this info with each of your group members for their viewing.

Mike Hickey – VE3IPC
DEC for Eastern Ontario ARES
Jan 04 – 2011

Mike has been working on behalf of ARES in Eastern Ontario first as the EC (Emergency Coordinator) for Prescott Russell and now as the DEC for Eastern Ontario.
If you have any questions or comments on ARES in Eastern Ontario please feel free to contact Mike at
If you have any questions or comments on Field Services in Canada please contact the Vice President Field Services at

Just remember…  The original Amateur Radio Social Media device used a “Key” and not a “Keyboard”.

73 from Ottawa… Bob

The RAC Insurance Policy


Since the RAC Bulletin advising Members about the changes to the RAC Insurance Policy came out there have been some questions being raised.  With the intent of keeping our members better informed I have asked 1st vice president Ian MacFarquhar VE9IM to address some of the questions we have heard recently.

I thank him for the time it took to construct his reply to your conerns and questions…

December 16, 2010

Fast Facts on the New RAC Insurance Program
In order to help in the dialogue around the new RAC Insurance Program we have put together some points to help members understand what has transpired:

1. The existing Policy could not be renewed:

The previous insurance provider informed RAC during the year that they were reconsidering the policy and may not renew citing concerns over risk. We argued that risk was low as there had never been a claim. They did not cancel with RAC until early December. The cancellation was non-negotiable.

2. RAC was prudent and proactive:

Having been forewarned, and to be prudent, a RAC committee was formed over the summer, led by a highly experience insurance professional, who is also of ham of over 40 years, to scour the market for the best coverage and value RAC could get. MONTHS of volunteer work went into this.

3. Cost of Insurance has increased:

In the intervening years since the old policy had been negotiated, the costs of this type of liability insurance have risen dramatically. As well the tolerance for risk, as evidenced by the withdrawal of the previous insurer, had changed. Insurers were demanding new conditions and requirements if they were to provide insurance to the RAC organization.

4. RAC polled Clubs to determine needs:

RAC surveyed the Clubs that were in the Insurance program as to their activities, events and requirements. These were used to insure that the coverage would match the requirements.

5. Coverage “Gap” uncovered:

Based on the information supplied to RAC by the Clubs, the insurers indicated that the previous policy may not have provided the coverage that many over time assumed it did. The RAC Insurance team were determined to eliminate any gaps and provide a solid option at the best price possible. New conditions are being demanded by Insurers. The new reality is that to provide the kind of solid coverage demanded by RAC members for amateur radio types of activities, including  ARES, the Insurer made certain requirements and stipulations.

6. Club Incorporation is required by the Insurer, not RAC:

To be perfectly clear, the conditions and requirements to be eligible for coverage are determined by the Insurer, not RAC. Would that it be different, but it is not. For instance, RAC doesn’t require a Club to be incorporated for anything, even Affiliation (although it is encouraged for a Club’s own protection). This requirement is set by the Insurer and was the same with the previous insurer.

7. Insurer not RAC requires Affiliated Club membership for individual coverage:

RAC doesn’t insist its members be part of an Affiliated Club. This is the Insurer’s requirement, not RAC’s, and only if the individual RAC member wants to be eligible for personal coverage. Again, these requirements were stipulated by the Insurance Company, not RAC.

8. Discrimination by RAC ? :

The Insurer’s insistence that only RAC members of an Affiliated Club would be eligible for personal coverage came as a surprise to the RAC Insurance team and we worked vigorously to have this requirement removed, without complete success. The insurer had its reasons for this which we are lead to believe are of a legal nature, and they were immovable on it. Regardless, we worked hard and developed a “work
around” for those RAC members not in an Affiliated Club. We got the
Insurer to accept a compromise whereby a RAC member could join ANY
RAC insured Affiliated Club and instantly be eligible for coverage. Again,
RAC didn’t invent this requirement the Insurer did. We simply tried to find a way to make it more workable for our members. And we spent a huge amount of personal volunteer time achieving this. We are examining the possibility of establishing a national insured RAC Affiliated Club for 2012 which could be joined for essentially the individual insurance cost.

9. “Cash grab “ ? :

The RAC insurance program operates on a not for profit, cost recovery basis. The fees collected from Clubs for insurance are used for, and only for, payment of the premium RAC has to pay for the master policy. RAC DOES NOT MAKE ANY MONEY FROM THIS PROGRAM. Far from being a “cash grab”, RAC has lost money on the this program for years and even now carefully struggles to try and break even.

10. Cost is too high :

The cost of this kind of coverage from insurers has more than doubled in recent years. RAC has no choice but to charge more just to try and break even. These costs are beyond the control of RAC. Insurance companies have advised that the cost of equivalent coverage for a club would be higher in the open marketplace. Bear in mind that RAC has to PREPAY the complete policy insurance premium, up front at the beginning of the year and then try an re-coup it, club by club. The insurance companies insist on payment at the commencement of coverage so RAC is on the hook for the total cost from the get go.

11. Fee for Non RAC Club members is too high:

Should RAC members be subsidizing non RAC members in their Club for coverage ? The higher fee for non RAC members in a Club is the only way to try and provide some fairness and equity. As RAC is doing all the work and taking all the risk, financial and otherwise it seems logical that RAC members in a club should benefit.

12. Not enough time:

This was an unfortunate reality. The previous insurer would not let us know definitively whether they would renew or not until early December. We had to have an alternate plan ready to go, which we did, and then act as quickly as possible. We polled clubs in October for information and tried to get all our ducks in a row as best we could. We ALL would have liked more time for this but it was not in the cards.

If you have any questions or require more information, please contact the RAC Insurance Manager, Jerry Beneteau at

Ian MacFarquhar P.Eng. VE9IM
1st Vice President
Radio Amateurs of Canada
December 16, 2010

As always if you have any concerns on this or any other RAC statement you can contact me via email ( ) and I will pass your concerns on to the Director or Executive member  best suited to look into your query.

Just remember…  The original Amateur Radio Social Media device used a “Key” and not a “Keyboard”.

73 from Ottawa… Bob

A little more on the RAC Winter Contest

So far things are looking good… Our Facebook Event Page for the Contest is growing on a daily basis.

We have heard from many amateurs who are setting up in EOCs, Museums, club stations and even one group who are going to snowshoe to a remote cabin and operate QRP with battery power and a woodstove for heat.  This year could be the best RAC Canada Winter Contest ever.  Look for RAC Official stations across the country giving out contacts and having fun talking to Canadians.  RAC President Geoff Ve4BAW will be operating VA4RAC in Winnipeg.  Give a listen for him…

Who knows who you might hear in the contest this year!!!

The success of the event will be determined by you the Amateur Radio Community.  Without your participation there is no contest.  We need people to get out there and talk it up and be out there and make contacts in the contest.

Back in 2006 some members of the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club activated Bate Island for the Canadian Islands on the Air (CISA) during the Canada Winter Contest using the Callsign CF3RCS (Canadians Freezing  3 Real Cold Spot) we had a lot of fun but it was cold on the Island in the Winter… Thanks for Propane heaters… and coffee…

Picture Courtesy Larry Wilcox VE3WEH <sk>

This was our operating location for the contest before we set up the walls

Picture courtesy Larry Wilcox VE3WEH <sk>

The shelter after the walls (blue tarp construction)

Left to right VA3SIE, VE1SBC,VA3UMP & VA3QV

Photo courtesy Larry Wilcox VE3WEH <sk>

Ken Halcrow VE3SRS/VE8RCS making CW contacts during the contest.



<—Our Coffee machine

Our Heating Plant —>


Pictures courtesy Larry Wilcox Ve3WEH <sk>

I know we went through 2 20 pound propane tanks in the 24 hours just to keep the temps above freezing.  But we did have fun even when the weather took a turn for the worst overnight…  Heres what Saturday morning looked like for us…

Pictures courtesy Larry Wilcox Ve3WEH <sk>

But the bottom line is that we had fun… We operated the Contest and we made a successfull activation of the Island for the CISA Program.  No frostbite (almost) and everyone had a great time…

Pictures courtesy Larry Wilcox Ve3WEH <sk>

Hope to work you in the contest this year…

Just remember…  The original Amateur Radio Social Media device used a “Key” and not a “Keyboard”.

73 from Ottawa… Bob

The reason behind this posting is to show you that you don’t have to go somewere rare for a DXPediton.  You can have fun in your own backyard.  Bate island is approximately 6km West of Parliament Hill in Ottawa.  It is an island in the Ottawa River and accessable via a bridge.  No backpacking… we drove there…

View Larger Map
But we did have fun… so get active and get on the air…


RAC Bulletin 2010-025E – SHARP-1 Launch

RAC Bulletin 2010-025E – SHARP-1 Launch

VIA Derek Hay, VE4HAY


All is still GO for a launch on Friday, October 22 at 10 AM. The hardware all looks good except for the camera which is giving us trouble after the kids attempted some firmware and hardware mods. April is going to try and replace it tonight with a similar unit.

The cut down circuit works great. We are still doing some last minute
fabrication of the bits and pieces (running kite string/balloon line through NiCr wire inside glass tubing etc. – Alan knows this). We will probably finish this tomorrow evening in Elkhorn. We are bringing (I hope) every conceivable piece of gear with us. The flight radios will transmit at 29 and 31 second intervals as VE4SHS-14 (Garmin GPS 16x LVS) and VE4SHS-11 (Garmin GPS 18x LVS). -11 will show a balloon icon on the map. The former will give about 6 m resolution for the lat and long. The chase car is VE4SHS-10. I’m
the driver. All together there are five vehicles with 5 staff and 20

Today Bruce Feaver predicted the winds to be light and from the west with some northerly component (I sure hope so) on Friday. Alan will e-mail us all his flight predictions using Balloon Track and will be monitoring things from Portage la Prairie. It looks like our payload may be a little over weight but not too much – say 1100 grams instead of the ideal 1050. We will adjust weights accordingly but this may lower our burst altitude somewhat. We do not have much going for us in terms of maps. McNally Robison gets the new edition of Backroad Maps – Manitoba on Friday – too bad for us. I have some decent road maps but not down to section roads like Alan’s UI View maps. Bruce Feaver will file the NOTAM and we will give him the time and
position (DMS) of the landing which he will pass on to NavCanada.

We have cell phones. All the other staff have phones and we will e-mail all those details Thursday evening from the resort in Elkhorn. We also have a couple of 2 meter transceivers (ICOM IC-V80). I’m VE4SHS and Bohyun Lee (grade 12 student) is VE4BHL. I’ve programmed in the WPG repeater as well as Starbuck and Bruxelles. Hopefully that will get us on the repeater system. We have some crazy neon colours to wear while searching so hopefully none of us attract hunters.

We are not nearly as prepared as I would have liked but we are at a point where we just have to go for it. It has been a lot of work in a short time and we are all starting from scratch. I’ve been very sick and unproductive the last few weeks but others (especially, April, Bruce, Craig, Alan, Adrian, Mike and Jeff) have really been a big help as we approach launch time. Even if we don’t retrieve our package, it will have been a tremendous learning experience and we will just fund raise and start over.

Finally; if the winds do not cooperate, we may try a tracking exercise. One car could take the beaconing cube and drive off. After a twenty minute head start the rest of will try to follow. I’m not sure this would actually work as we will be on the ground and the APRS repeaters/gateways are far and few but we will try to come up with something. I don’t like to think it won’t happen after all the time and money spent but it could get scrubbed. This is the only time I wish I lived in Saskatchewan.

Keep your fingers crossed and if you can, follow us online at


Mike: Please forward this to our SHARP grads.


Robert Striemer
Teacher | Shaftesbury High School
2240 Grant Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
R3P 0P7
tel: 204.888.5898 | fax: 204.896.5492

RAC Bulletin 2010-019E – Ballooning & Ham Radio

RAC Bulletin 2010-019E – Ballooning & Ham Radio

As part of the SHARP project (Shaftesbury High Altitude Robotics Project )
students & teachers from Shaftesbury High School in Winnipeg will be
launching a balloon running two APRS beacons with the call signs VE4SHS-14
and VE4SHS-9 for tracking purposes on October 22nd, 2010 from Erickson,
Manitoba. It is anticipated that the balloon will land somewhere around
Portage , MB or east of there. Participating in the project are between 15
and 25 students including recently certified Amateur Radio Operator, Bohyun
Lee VE4BHL, who got her ticket last spring via the course at Garden City
High School.

Frequencies: 144.390 APRS
Chase vehicles: VE4MRS repeater 145.310- tone 141.4 tone
VE4PLP repeater 147.165+
Anticipated launch time: 10:00 CDT
Anticipated duration: 3 hours
Estimated height: 100,000 feet

There is no back-up date in event of poor weather.

For more information on the project please contact
Robert Striemer
Teacher | Shaftesbury High School
2240 Grant Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
R3P 0P7
tel: 204.888.5898 | fax: 204.896.5492

thank you


Derek Hay, VE4HAY
Midwest Regional Director
Radio Amateurs of Canada

Bulletins RAC 2010-019F – Les ballons et la radioamateur

Bulletins RAC 2010-019F – Les ballons et la radioamateur

Projet de ballon des étudiants à Winnipeg – 2010-10-01

Comme partie du projet SHART (Shaftesbury High Altitude Robotics Project)
les étudiants et enseignants de Shaftesbury High School à Winnipeg va lancer un ballon de Erickson, Manitoba, avec deux radiophares APRS avec les indicatifs VE4SHS-14 et VE4SHS-9 au fin de tracage, le 22 octobre 2010. Il est prévu que le ballon va atterir autour de Portage, MB ou a l’est. Participant au project sont entre 15 et 25 étudiants incluant le radioamateur récement certifié Bohyun Lee VE4BHL, qui a réussit le cours au Garden City High School.

Fréquences: 144.390 APRS
Véhicules de chasses: répeteur VE4MRS 145.310- tone 141.4 tone
répeteur VE4PLP 147.165+
Heure prévu de lancement: 10:00 CDT
Durée prévu de vol: 3 hours
Altitude prévu: 100,000 pieds

Il n’y a pas de date alternatif prévue en cas des mauvaises temps.

Pour plus amples renseignemnets sur le projet SVP contacter
Robert Striemer
Shaftesbury High School
2240 Grant Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3P 0P7

tel: 204.888.5898 | fax: 204.896.5492


Derek Hay, VE4HAY
Administrateur régional midwest
Radio Amateurs du Canada

Traduction par James R. Hay, VE2VE

RAC Bulletin 2010-018E Bulletin number 1 from San Salvador

RAC Bulletin 2010-018E Bulletin number 1 from San Salvador
Oct 2, 2010
Salinitas, San Salvador

Radio Amateurs of Canada President Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW, and Vice President International Affairs Daniel Lamoureux, VE2KA, have arrived in Salinitas, San Salvador to participate in the IARU Region 2 Triennial Conference held from Oct 4th to 8th.

Representatives from the Region 2 Member Societies are meeting once every three years to review all facets of Amateur Radio and to set policies aiming at promoting, protecting and defending our privileges.

Further reports will be sent to you during the Conference.

Daniel Lamoureux, VE2KA
IARU Region 2 Executive Committee Member.