Archive for the 'RAC Bulletin' Category

RAC Bulletin 2014-010E – Distracted Driving Bulletin: New Brunswick confirms exemption for Ham Radio Operators.

RAC Bulletin 2014-010E – Distracted Driving Bulletin: New Brunswick confirms exemption for Ham Radio Operators.

2014-03-18

Radio Amateurs of Canada is announcing today confirmation that the New Brunswick Government has tabled new legislation to provide an exemption to that province's distracted driving law for amateur radio operators. The announcement was made at the Legislature in Fredericton today with amateur radio operators in attendance at the invitation of Minister of Justice's Troy Lifford recent invitation. RAC member Alan Thurber VE1AKT was formally recognized in the Legislature with extensive recognition of his involvement in amateur radio, various groups and the community in general.

While RAC finds victory in today's announcement, we hope the New Brunswick government will make this a permanent exemption. RAC took a strong positions going as far back as December 2010 with respect to New Brunswick's then new legislation banning the use of any mobile radios for amateur operators. "It goes without saying we are extremely satisfied that New Brunswick has finally come to recognize that amateur radio enhances public safety." – Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW (RAC President).

Exemptions exist in other provincial jurisdictions in Canada – thanks to the efforts of local amateurs and RAC's national strategy to address distracted driving legislation.

The Radio Amateurs of Canada is Canada's national voice for Amateur Radio. Our efforts not only promote the Amateur Radio Service but protect it from regulatory interference that may lead to less capability in providing emergency communications.

Geoff Bawden VE4BAW, President, Radio Amateurs of Canada

Ve4baw@rac.ca

Len Morgan VE9MY, RAC Deputy Director – Atlantic Region

morgakl@nb.sympatico.ca

Previous relevant bulletins:

http://www.rac.ca/en/news/bulletins/2010/39/

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Vincent Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH

Director of Communications and Fundraising – Radio Amateurs of Canada – hq.communications@rac.ca

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Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor

RAC Bulletin 2014-009E – New Brunswick Minister of Jusitice Invites Amateurs to Legislature

RAC Bulletin 2014-009E – New Brunswick Minister of Jusitice Invites Amateurs to Legislature

2014-03-16

Radio Amateurs invited to attend

Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) has been made aware that an important announcement will be made at the Gallery of the Legislature (706 Queen St, Fredericton, NB) at 1:00PM on Tuesday 18th of March.

RAC was apprised in advance by Troy Lifford, Minister of Justice and MLA for Fredericton-Nashwaaksis that this will be news of high interest for hams and that all amateur radio operators in the area are invited to attend the session.

"We are hopeful New Brunswick will recognize the value of amateur radio operators to our province by eliminating the ban on mobile radio operations. The lifting of the ban will enhance public safety and bring New Brunswick in line with the rest of Canada." stated Len Morgan VE9MY Deputy Director for the Atlantic Region.

There has been a concerted effort by RAC, local amateur radio clubs and amateur radio operators in New Brunswick, to have the ban on mobile radio operations lifted.

Contact:

Len Morgan, VE9MY, RAC Deputy Director – Atlantic Region. morgakl@nb.sympatico.ca

 

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Vincent Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH

Director of Communications and Fundraising – Radio Amateurs of Canada – hq.communications@rac.ca

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Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor

RAC Bulletin 2014-008E – Industry Canada rolls out New Amateur Radio Exam Generator and Updated Question Bank

RAC Bulletin 2014-008E – Industry Canada rolls out New Amateur Radio Exam Generator and Updated Question Bank

2014-03-06

Today, March 6th, Industry Canada released a new set of amateur radio exam questions based on recommendations made by RAC and launched a new exam generator.

"This is good news that we were eagerly anticipating."“ says Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW, President of RAC. "We were pleased to work with IC on this issue of significant importance to amateur radio operators and RAC will continue to work with Industry Canada to provide Canadian radio amateurs with the best possible circumstances to pursue their hobby."

The new exam generator can be accessed at the following URL: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/025.nsf/eng/h_00040.html

Background:

In December of 2012 Industry Canada put out a Request For Proposals (RFP) to update the amateur radio question bank used for examinations to qualify radio amateurs. RAC provided a proposal and subsequently entered into a contract with Industry Canada in January 2013 to update the amateur radio question bank. RAQI was engaged by RAC to collaborate on the French language component of the contract.

The review team examined more than 3000 questions and 12000 answers used for the Basic and Advanced examinations in English and French and aimed for perfection in every one. Technical and linguistic accuracy were equally important in the review. Changes included correcting factual errors, replacing obsolete language and examples, making questions and answers clearer and ensuring that questions addressed current amateur radio practices and regulations. The team accomplished most changes through the editing of existing questions but also recommended that obsolete questions be deleted and new questions added. Comments from radio amateurs in response to the RAC bulletins on the question bank review aided the team in identifying where changes were needed.

On March 13, 2013, Radio Amateurs of Canada complete its work and delivered a comprehensive and detailed set of recommendations to Industry Canada.

Transition:

Now that Industry Canada has implemented the updated question banks, RAC will prepare information identifying where changes have been made to assist instructors in modifying their course materials and examiners in preparing for the change. As has been mentioned in previous bulletins, the curriculum has not been changed. The topics addressed in the exams and consequently in courses and educational material remain the same. The changed questions are clearer, more accurate, more understandable and more relevant to modern amateur radio.

Francophones should immediately see a significant improvement in the French language questions.

"RAC put a great deal of effort and expertise in working with IC to update the question banks and looks forward to competing for contracts on significant projects related to amateur radio if the opportunity presents itself in the future." stated Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA, Vice-President and Regulatory Affairs Officer.

 

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Previous RAC Bulletins relevant to subject matter:

http://www.rac.ca/en/news/bulletins/2013/16

http://www.rac.ca/en/news/bulletins/2013/11

http://www.rac.ca/en/news/bulletins/2013/8

http://www.rac.ca/en/news/bulletins/2012/47

Contact information:

Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW, RAC President: ve4baw@rac.ca

Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA, RAC Vice-President and Regulatory Affairs Officer: ve3xra@rac.ca

RAC Communications (Vincent Charron, VA3GX): hq.communications@rac.ca

Vincent Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH

Director of Communications and Fundraising – Radio Amateurs of Canada – hq.communications@rac.ca

RAC Bulletin 2014-007E – Radio Amateurs of Canada partners up with RFinder- “The worldwide repeater directory”

RAC Bulletin 2014-007E – Radio Amateurs of Canada partners up with RFinder- "The worldwide repeater directory"

2014-03-03

Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) and RFinder are excited to announce a new business partnership agreement effective March 1st. RAC endorses RFinder as the official Worldwide Repeater Directory for all Canadian amateur radio operators.

The RFinder is a steadily growing worldwide repeater directory including IRLP, Echolink, AllStar, DStar, MotoTRBO, and even Winlink information. RFinder currently have over 175 countries in the directory.

Access to the World Wide Repeater Directory is provided by any version of the RFinder smartphone apps on Android, iPhone and iPad/iPod Touch.  The same user-id enables access from any version of the RFinder app, the browser interface (web.rfinder.net), or through a growing list of third-party memory programming applications such as RT Systems radio programmers and CHIRP open source software.  One subscription, access to worldwide repeater data from any computing device on Windows, Linux, OS X, web, Android iPhone and soon on Windows Phone!

Canadian hams purchasing the RFinder application will financially benefit the Radio Amateurs of Canada through the terms of this new agreement.

"Obviously, going forward, we encourage all Canadian Amateurs to consider RFinder as their repeater directory provider. RAC staff and volunteers will proactively work with RFinder on providing repeater directory information updates for Canada as repeater directory information is a constantly changing environment" notes Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA, RAC Vice-President.

"Our partnership with RAC and the Amateur Radio community in Canada is a milestone in the development of RFinder – The World Wide Repeater Directory. We offer the same agreement with Radio Amateur societies world wide. This is a unique opportunity for each geography on Earth to have their own branded Repeater Directory while giving their local Hams access to repeaters all over the world, and financially supporting the local Amateur Radio advocacy group. We will translate to any language" says Bob Greenberg, W2CYK, creator of RFinder.

Canadian RFinder users will see a new graphic feature; the RAC logo appearing on their app as well.

RAC is the voice of amateur radio for all Canadians and is also a member society of the IARU (International Amateur Radio Union).

Contact information:

RAC: Vincent Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH, Director Communications and Fundraising – hq.communications@rac.ca

RFinder: Bob Greenberg, W2CYK, creator – w2cyk@rfinder.net

Vincent Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH

Director of Communications and Fundraising – Radio Amateurs of Canada – hq.communications@rac.ca

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Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor

RAC Bulletin 2014-006E – RAC supporting nomination of Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA for IARU Presidency

RAC Bulletin 2014-006E – RAC supporting nomination of Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA for IARU Presidency

2014-03-02

The Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) notes that the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), of which RAC is a member society, has advised that Timothy S. Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA and Ole Garpstead, LA2RR, have been nominated for president and vice-president, respectively, for 2014-2019. They are currently serving a five year term in those positions.

Their nomination is supported by the board of directors of the Radio Amateurs of Canada and at the February 20th, 2014 board meeting the board directed the president to vote by written ballot supporting the reelection of these individuals. The new term begins May 9, 2014.

An international consultation produced no additional nominations for these positions.

The IARU is the international association representing amateur radio interests.

Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW

President and Chair RAC

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Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor

RAC Bulletin 2014-005E – IC Proposes Changes to Antenna Siting Protocol

RAC Bulletin 2014-005E – IC Proposes Changes to Antenna Siting Protocol

2014-02-28

Earlier today IC released a consultation document  http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10786.html proposing changes to CPC-2-0-03, the Antenna Siting Protocol to address the Industry Minister’s policy statement of 5 February 2014 removing the 15m exemption for "cell towers".

The RAC Bulletin of 6 February had commented on the Minister's policy statement and urged that the drafting of the regulatory changes should follow closely the Minister's statement. It provided several reasons why the exemption should not be removed for radio amateurs.

The consultation document released today proposes exactly the type of change to the height exemption RAC favoured. The 15m exemption would remain but not apply to "broadcasting undertakings and telecommunications carriers".

The consultation document proposes a number of other small changes to CPC-2-0-03 and RAC will look closely at these before completing its comments on the proposed changes. Industry Canada will receive comments from the public on these changes by 31 March 2014 and finalize the changes shortly thereafter.

Some radio amateurs had expressed concern that there might be a blanket removal of the 15m exemption, forcing those wanting to install any antenna into cumbersome notification and consultation processes. This now seems unlikely but we need to follow through on the consultation process to make sure this is the final result.

RAC will respond on behalf of all Canadian amateur radio operators.

Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA

RAC Vice-President Regulatory Affairs

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Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor

RAC Bulletin 2014-004E – RBR-4 Confirms Access to 137 Khz.

RAC Bulletin 2014-004E – RBR-4 Confirms Access to 137 Khz.

2014-03-15

Industry Canada approved access by Canadian radio amateurs to the Low Frequency (LF) band 135.7 -137.8 kHz, subject to certain conditions in late 2009. This was a direct result of implementing changes from the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) 2007, which added amateur use of this spectrum on a Secondary basis. This has now been included in the newly updated RBR-4 Standards for the Operation of Stations in the Amateur Radio Service. (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10650.html ) Canadian amateurs are reminded that the maximum emission bandwidth in this band is 100Hz (e.g. cw, BPSK31, BPSK63, etc.) as well as a maximum EIRP of 1 watt. These conditions are found in Footnote 5.67A: “Stations in the amateur service using frequencies in the band 135.7-137.8 kHz shall not exceed a maximum radiated power of 1 W (EIRP) and shall not cause harmful interference to stations of the radionavigation service operating in countries listed in No. 5.67. (WRC-07)”.

RAC welcomes reports of activities in this band, especially reports of DX achieved and useful operating tips. We are asking those active on this band to consider writing articles for TCA to help other amateurs get started on LF, given the large differences in LF antennas, and the need for homebrew transmitters, receivers, and/or transverters. Insights into propagation and other LF operating tips are also requested.

Thanks to Richard Ferch, VE3KI and Jim Dean, VE3IQ.

George Gosline, VE3YV

RAC International Affairs

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Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor

RAC Bulletin 2014-003E – Deputy Director – Mid-West region

RAC Bulletin 2014-003E – Deputy Director – Mid-West region

2014-02-14

The RAC Mid-West Director would like to thank Bill Boskwick, VE4BOZ for accepting the position of Deputy Director for the Mid-West region of Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC). He subsequently took on a role there as a RAC ARES CEC for the St. Paul/Bonnyville area. Now living in Elm Creek Manitoba and officially retired, Bill was the District Officer for NE Alberta with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency and also has 32 years military service with Canadian Forces as a Communications Electronics Engineering Officer and former deputy commander of the signals regiment in Winnipeg he is a valuable asset to have on our team. Bill was proctored by Assistant Director Bill Till, VE5FN of Lloydminster, SK to get his amateur radio license while he was based in NE Alberta.

Contact information for the Mid-West Region Director, Deputy and assistants are:

Director – Derek Hay, VE4HAY, ve4hay@shaw.ca

Deputy – Bill Boskwick, VE4BOZ, retiredcele@gmail.com

Assistants – Bill Till – VE5FN (Lloydminster, SK)

Doug Pfaff – VE5DCP (Regina, SK)

Richard Holder – VE4QK (Beausejour, MB)

73,

Derek Hay

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Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor



2014-02-14

The RAC Mid-West Director would like to thank Bill Boskwick, VE4BOZ for accepting the position of Deputy Director for the Mid-West region of Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC). He subsequently took on a role there as a RAC ARES CEC for the St. Paul/Bonnyville area. Now living in Elm Creek Manitoba and officially retired, Bill was the District Officer for NE Alberta with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency and also has 32 years military service with Canadian Forces as a Communications Electronics Engineering Officer and former deputy commander of the signals regiment in Winnipeg he is a valuable asset to have on our team. Bill was proctored by Assistant Director Bill Till, VE5FN of Lloydminster, SK to get his amateur radio license while he was based in NE Alberta.

Contact information for the Mid-West Region Director, Deputy and assistants are:

Director – Derek Hay, VE4HAY, ve4hay@shaw.ca

Deputy – Bill Boskwick, VE4BOZ, retiredcele@gmail.com

Assistants – Bill Till – VE5FN (Lloydminster, SK)

Doug Pfaff – VE5DCP (Regina, SK)

Richard Holder – VE4QK (Beausejour, MB)

73,

Derek Hay

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Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor

RAC Bulletin 2014-001E – Radio Amateurs of Canada applauds 60 metre band frequency allocations

RAC Bulletin 2014-001E – Radio Amateurs of Canada applauds 60 metre band frequency allocations

2014-01-22

Industry Canada has announced that a number of specific frequencies within the 60 metre high frequency band have been approved for amateur radio use.

A total of five specific frequencies within the 5 MHZ band have been allocated, 5332 kHz, 5348 kHz, 5358.5 kHz, 5373 kHz and 5405 kHz. Radio amateurs across Canada have new frequencies to explore as a result of a recent decision of Industry Canada.

"Canada has joined a number of countries in making channels available in the 60 metre band, near 5MHz for use by radio amateurs. This will provide increased ability for Canadian radio amateurs to help out in providing emergency communications when existing systems fail as has happened in ice storms and flooding. We applaud this decision of the Canadian government." said Geoff Bawden, President of Radio Amateurs of Canada.

Unlike the commercial communications systems so important to modern society, amateur radio does not require an extensive infrastructure for communications. Radio amateurs take advantage of natural phenomena to send their signals across town and around the world. They delight in being able to set up in a remote location with their own power supplies and simple antennas, often home built, competing to see who can make the most contacts in a limited time. The Amateur Radio Emergency Service in Canada, sponsored by RAC, provides training and organizes exercises for radio amateurs to sharpen their skills to be able to respond to emergencies. As well these organizations and amateur radio clubs often provide communications to community public service activities and events such as ski races and marathons, bicycle races and car rallies. The skills radio amateurs develop through their hobby and these activities mean that in emergencies that shut down power grids, internet and wireless communications, amateur radio can continue to function. In major emergencies such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011 and the Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last year amateur radio operators are often the first source of information from affected areas.

The key resource for amateur radio is access to the radio spectrum. Conditions in the atmosphere and high in the ionosphere determine the distances over which communications are possible. The new allocation at 60m between existing allocations at 80 m and 40m should make regional communications more reliable. Furthermore as Canada and the United States have allocated many of the same channels to their radio amateurs cross border communications are possible. Fortunately major emergencies are relatively rare. Radio amateurs will explore communications on the new frequencies as they do in all available bands, experimenting, learning and making new friends across the world.

Technical details

The five 60 metre channel allocations are the same as authorized in the USA, with the same power restriction of 100 watts ERP (relative to a dipole antenna). Transmissions, independent of emission mode, must be centered on the each of the following frequencies: 5.332, 5.348, 5.3585, 5.373, and 5.405 MHz with a maximum allowable channel bandwidth of 2.8 kHz. When operating SSB, upper sideband will be the convention to follow on the 60 metre band. Other modes that are permissible will be CW, Data (including PSK 31 and Pactor III), and RTTY. With this latest authorization on operation on the 5 MHz channels to Canadian Amateurs with HF privileges, there will no longer be a requirement to operate under a special Developmental license and VX9 call sign. Holders of such licences can now let them lapse. Canadian amateurs should refer to the posting of RBR-4, Issue 2, for all details before proceeding to operate on the new 60 metre channels: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10650.html

Their curiosity and eagerness to develop and share this hobby will enrich the communities where they operate and provide needed resilience in communications when emergencies require it.

Technical details of this decision can be found here:http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10623.html

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Contributions by Norm Rashleigh VE3LC and Glenn MacDonell VE3XRA.

Vincent Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH

Director of Communications and Fundraising – Radio Amateurs of Canada – communications@rac.ca

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Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor

RAC Bulletin 2013-042E – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

RAC Bulletin 2013-042E – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

2013-12-18

To all of our Members and our Amateur Radio Friends across the World:

I bring you seasonal greetings from Canada's national radio association; the Radio Amateurs of Canada. As we enter this holiday season I want to wish each and every one of you a fabulous holiday season as well as a healthy and prosperous 2014. I am sure that you will be taking time to be with your friends and family. Being with those closest to you makes this the finest part of the year.

I hope to hear you on the airwaves 0000 UTC to 2359 UTC on December 28th for the RAC Winter Day Contest. It is part of RAC’s way to celebrate the season.

I look forward to seeing many of you in person when the RAC Annual General Meeting comes to British Columbia in July.

Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

Take care.

Geoff Bawden VE4BAW President and Chair RAC

on behalf of the RAC Board and Executive

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Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor