Archive for the 'Tech info' Category

Central Toronto Amateur Radio Club amateur radio certification courses

The Central Toronto Amateur Radio Club offers a variety of amateur radio certification courses throughout the year, including certification for the:

Basic Qualification

Advanced Qualification

Morse Code Qualification

For more information about upcoming courses, please check out the club’s website at:


President – CenTor ARC


Dufferin Amateur Radio Emergency Services group is offering the Basic Qualification Amateur Radio course

The Dufferin Amateur Radio Emergency Services group is offering the Basic Qualification Amateur Radio course for anyone who is interested in obtaining their Amateur Radio Operator Certificate.

The course will be approximately 10 weeks and will run from 7pm to 9pm starting April 22, 2013 in the new Edelbrock room at 30 Centre Street in Orangeville.

The cost of the course is FREE, however the Basic Qualification Study Guide is required at a minimal cost of $45 and should be obtained from and reviewed prior to the start date.
There is no age restriction for the course, & anyone with an interest in amateur radio can sign up. The Industry Canada Basic Qualification exam will be administered on the last night of the course, and is also provided at no cost.

For further information, contact Jason Miles VE3TYG,


Jason Miles VE3TYG

Dufferin Amateur Radio Emergency Services

Industry Canada Accredited Examiner

Bulletin RAC 2011-004F – Demande d’information, interférence par des appareils TV au plasma.

Bulletin RAC 2011-004F – Demande d’information, interférence par des appareils TV au plasma.

Selon des membres du Niagara Peninsula Amateur Radio Club, du bruit et
des signaux originant d’écrans au plama de télévision numérique causent de l’interférence considérable à leurs activités HF, et ils ont demandé assistance à RAC. Des plaintes de ce genre requièrent de l’information spécifique et détaillée avant que RAC puisse considérer amener ce sujet à Industrie Canada. Pour réunir cette information, RAC fait appel à ceux de ses membres qui possèdent une télévision à écran plasma pour qu’ils rapportent leurs expériences d’interférence de la part de tels produits. Spécifiquement, les rapports doivent décrire la marque et le modèle de la TV, une description de leur station HF et de leur système d’antennes, ainsi que la nature exacte de l’interférence (quelles bandes, quels bruits, etc.). Des essais pour y remédier devraient aussi être tentés, comme l’utilisation d’étrangleurs ferrite sur les cordons d’alimentation et les câbles de transmission, si de l’interférence est détectée. Les radioamateurs possédant une instrumentation de pointe tels que des analyseurs de spectre et des antennes calibrées devraient mesurer les niveaux d’intensité des signaux à des distances spécifiques; ces mesures vont ajouter de la crédibilité à notre enquête. Nous désirons également recevoir des rapports de radioamateurs qui peuvent certifier que leur propre TV au plasma ne cause aucune interférence significative à leurs opérations de radio amateur. Tout l’équipement numérique domestique, incluant les appareils de télévision plasma et ACL, doit se conformer au standard NMB-003 (ICES-003) d’Industrie Canada (appareils numériques, norme sur le matériel brouilleur) pour être commercialisé au Canada. Également, les appareils TV avec syntonisateurs peuvent être certifiés selon la norme NTMR-7 (BETS-7) d’Industrie Canada. Prière de mentionner dans tout rapport soumis si une étiquette sur le poste TV ou une note dans le manuel indique qu’il est effectivement certifié et conforme selon les versions courantes des normes NMB-003 et/ou NTMR-7.

Envoyez les rapports à Norm Rashleigh, VE3LC, VP, liaison industrielle,

(Traduction par Serge Langlois, VE2AWR)

RAC Bulletin 2011-004 E – Request for Information, Interference from Plasma Television Sets.

RAC Bulletin 2011-004 E – Request for Information, Interference from Plasma Television Sets.

According to members of the Niagara Peninsula Amateur Radio Club, noise and signals originating from Plasma Screen digital television set are causing considerable interference to their HF activities and have asked RAC for help. Complaints of this nature require specific and detailed information before RAC can consider taking this matter to Industry Canada. To gather this information, RAC invites its members that own a Plasma Screen television to report their experiences of interference from such products. Specifically, reports should describe the make and model of TV, a description of their HF station and antenna system and the exact nature of the interference (what bands, what sound etc). Remedies should also be tried and reported such as using ferrite chokes on power lines cords and signal cables if interference is detected. Amateurs with advanced instrumentation such as spectrum analyzers and calibrated antennas should measure signal intensity levels at given distances; these measurements will add credibility to our investigation. We also want to know from amateurs that can attest that operation of their own plasma TV causes no noticeable interference to their amateur radio operations. All digital domestic equipment, including Plasma and LCD television sets must comply with Industry Canada standard ICES 003 (interference causing equipment standard for digital equipment) to be marketed in Canada. Alternately, TV sets with tuners may be certified under Industry Canada BETS 7 standard. Please indicate in any report submitted that a label on the TV or notation in the manual indicates it is indeed certificated and compliant under current issues of ICES 003 and/or the BETS 7 standards.

Send reports to Norm Rashleigh, VE3LC, VP Industrial Liaison,

RAC Bulletin 2010-034 E – CARAB News on Electrical Interference

RAC Bulletin 2010-034 E – CARAB News on Electrical Interference

The Canadian Amateur Radio Advisory Board [CARAB] is a joint Radio Amateur of Canada [RAC]/Industry Canada [IC] consultation body which met last October 28th in Ottawa. In addition to items noted previously in a previous RAC Bulletin, RAC had raised the issue of utility electrical interference.

IC communicated the following to CARAB members after its November 2nd meeting with the Canadian Electrical Association.”

Geoff Bawden VE4BAW, Co-Chair, CARAB / President, Radio Amateurs of Canada


On November 2, 2010, the annual Transmission Telecommunications Task Group (TTTG) meeting between Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) and Industry Canada was held. Industry Canada took the opportunity to relay to the Association concerns that had been raised at the October 28, 2010 Canadian Amateur Radio Advisory Board (CARAB) meeting relating to electrical interference.

CEA representatives were reminded of requirements under Industry Canada?s Interference Causing Equipment Standards (ICES) – 004 and given examples to demonstrate that, fundamentally, a clean electrical utility is beneficial for the utility.

CEA representatives indicated that front-line electrical utility staff may not be familiar with the requirements of ICES-004. It was noted that many utilities may not always have the expertise available to locate sources of electrical interference, however, some specific utilities indicated that they do in fact have experts in this field.

Industry Canada pointed out to Association members that radio amateurs can be a resource as they may have skills that could be used to help identify sources.

The CEA thanked Industry Canada for bringing CARAB?s concerns to the meeting and acknowledged that there are benefits to locating sources of electrical interference. Industry Canada indicated that the CARAB would appreciate receiving the CEA’s views and reaction to this matter and the Association agreed it would respond.

Lanark ARES Balloon Launch 2010-11-20

Lanark ARES Balloon Launch 2010-11-20

(Via: Norm Rashleigh, VE3LC – RAC VP Industrial Liaison)

The Lanark Amateur Space Agency comprised of members of the Lanark North Leeds ARES Group launched an Amateur High Altitude Balloon from Perth Ontario on 20 November 2010. This launch undertaken by VA3ZKS, VE3ZBO, VA3KAI, VE3BSB and Zach McCracken the son of VA3ZKS was an attempt at the world height record for amateur balloons.

The flight was designated LASA 8 and transmitted as VE3REX-11 via APRS. VHF transmitted flight parameters including location, height, direction and speed were picked up by the extensive network of APRS digipeaters and gated to the internet so that Amateurs could follow the flight in real time. Feed back indicates that the flight had a large following.

Following the launch, chase cars which included VA3ZKS, VA3ZBO, VE3BSB, VE3OAX, VE3ICF and VE3JGL tracked the flight on in car computers equipped with VHF receivers, tncs and the UI View tracking program.

VA3QV of Ottawa ARES organized a group of amateurs to provide down range communication support to assist the chase cars with additional tracking and recovery. Thanks to VA3NPL of Prescott-Russell ARES, VE3AFV of Seaway Valley ARES, VE3XID and VE3RMJ for their patient monitoring of the down range repeaters and the HF comms frequency.

The tracking transmitter package included a Garmin 18 LVC GPS an Argent Data Surface Mount Open Tracker and a 300 miliwatt MX 146 transmitter. Power was provided by 3 AA batteries outputting 5.4 volts at launch.

VE3REX-11 attained a record setting altitude of 39,899 meters or 130,903 feet before bursting and descending by parachute to land in Jay, Maine. The balloon reached speeds of 256 kilometres per hour and travelled a flight distance of 598 kilometres.

VA3ZKS and VA3ZBO located the flight package during the evening by picking up beacons directly from the flight package which had landed in a tree a few meters from the edge of a river. They returned in the daylight to retrieve the package and return to Perth.

The flight package contained a picture of John W1AKV who had assisted the Vermont recovery of LASA 7 launched 7 Nov 2009. John who was 90 and became a silent key 7 Nov 2010. The picture is being sent as a memoriam to his friend K1XV in Vermont

Many thanks to all Amateurs and Clubs that have shown an interest in this aspect of Amateur Radio and have provided financial support for the flight consumables.

73 Barrie VE3BSB

New Kenwood TS-590

I stole this info off Bob Baillargeon’s excellent blog VE3MPG’s Blog where he talks about the highly anticipated release of the Kenwood TS-590.

Along with the normal stuff we expect from a new HF transceiver the TS-590 is said to have excellent receiver capabilities thanks to a 1st roofing filter directly after the mixer section and a second roofing filter which comes after the post amplifier. At around $2K this could be a real contender for those wanting a competition-grade transceiver under the current price range of $3K to $5K (and up).

Stranger than Fiction

Sometimes when I’m reading an article in one of the ham radio magazines it’s so weird that I have to check I’m not reading the April issue and the article is an April Fool’s joke.

I was getting caught up on my reading when I sat that the June 2010 issue of QST had a brief article by editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY on page 98 called Quantum Transistors?

In the article Steve reports on news that for the first time, “physicists have demonstrated that physically separated particles in solid-state devices can be quantum-mechanically entangled.” Okay so what the heck does that mean? Entangled photons split apart continue to act as one. What happens to one happens to the other regardless of distance and when we say distance we don’t mean just across a circuit board but distance measured in lightyears! The report on this phenomena was reported in Physical Review Letters.

So what? Well this could mean we could have transistors that have unlimited on/off switching speeds and a change to one electron could happen in another electron somewhere else. Talk about zero delay in using your remote station transmitter.

How much loss?

At Field Day here in Oakville I was amazed and a little shocked at how much misinformation some of the new hams had acquired.

For example, one of the guys said he’d never use RG-8X coax because it was so lossy. According to him, 100 watts of power into 100 feet of RG-8X would result in 50 watts of radiated at the antenna. I didn’t say anything at the time because I didn’t have the facts in front of me but I do now :)

Thanks to the Orchard City ARC in Kelowna, British Columbia I’ve got my answer which for Radio Shack RG-8X at 10 mHz is 80 watts out not 50! The club has posted a line loss calculator as well some other information about basic antenna design here at this link.

So where is all of this incorrect information coming from? I’m sorry to say I hear it just about every day on our active two-meter repeater. One new ham says something that’s technically wrong and since it doesn’t get corrected immediately on air, the statement takes on the status of fact and gets repeated. I’m as guilty as anybody else about not stepping in and offering a correction. At least when it comes to coaxial loss statements I know I’ll be offering factual information thanks to the Orchard City ARC.

Six Meter Contest

Here’s an opportunity to experience a unique contest in the ham radio contesting world. The ARRL’s VHF contest is on this coming weekend. With lots of HF rigs including the six meter band, this is your opportunity to try your hand on the “magic band”. If you’ve got a horizontally polarized six meter antenna ( a homemade dipole will do) up 30 feet or more, you’ve got a great chance to experience the wonder for yourself.

Propagation on six is just plain weird. The band opens in the hot weather with May and June offering opportunities to work stations across North America and into the Caribbean. Power (while always useful) isn’t necessarily the determining factor as conditions can propagate weak signals as well as QRO stations.

If you’re a newcomer may I recommend not trying to work the DX with a vertical antenna. Polarization issues on VHF/UHF are much more exacting than on HF where signals get bounced around and shifted by the ionosphere. This weekend, if conditions are good, expect to see sporadic-E propagation which can take an absolutely dead band to wide open in a matter of minutes. It’s…well magic.

If you’ve got two meter or higher capabilities, then you can participate on those bands as well.