Archive for the 'RAC Bulletin' Category

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RAC Bulletin 2013-017E – Radio Amateur of the Year for 2012

RAC Bulletin 2013-017E – Radio Amateur of the Year for 2012

2013-05-04

The RAC Board of Directors takes great pleasure in announcing the selection of Scott Wood, VE1QD of Halifax, Nova Scotia, as the Canadian Radio Amateur of the Year for 2012.

Scott celebrated sixty years in Amateur Radio in 2012. Over these years he has contributed enormously, and in many and varied ways both to our hobby and to radio in general. In his youth as a net controller in the Oregon State Fire Service, later as a radio operator in the US Naval Reserve, as a member of the Board of Directors for Radio for Peace International, in contesting and DXing, and in Elmering aspiring new hams, both young and old. However, it is the leadership in Amateur Radio that Scott has demonstrated locally, regionally, and internationally that is being recognized with this award. Scott has demonstrated vision, enthusiasm, dogged determination, and commitment to excellence in the area of Amateur Radio DXing through the establishment and management of the Maritime DX Forum for eight consecutive years. Scott envisioned the forum to be a venue where DXers in the region could come together annually to hear world-class, as well as local DX experts speak about important and current DX topics, and to provide a forum in which to share ideas with some of the best operators and leaders within the Amateur Radio community.

A presentation will be made to Scott by the RAC President at the RAC booth at the Dayton Ham Fest this month. A more detailed article will appear in an upcoming TCA/RAC Report

Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW

President and Chair RAC

**—-**

Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

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

RAC Bulletin 2013-016E – RAC completes Review of Amateur Radio Exam Questions

p>RAC Bulletin 2013-016E – RAC completes Review of Amateur Radio Exam Questions

2013-04-xx

On April 17th 2013, RAC submitted the final documents called for in the contract it won to review the question banks used for exams for the Basic and Advanced certification of Canadian radio amateurs.

Industry Canada had issued a request for proposals to undertake the review in December 2012. RAC engaged RAQI to collaborate on the French language component of the work and submitted a response to the proposal. The $20,000 contract was awarded to RAC late in January.

The first phase of the contract, completed on March 13, consisted of a complete review of all the questions and answers used for amateur radio certification in Canada. At the end of this phase RAC delivered a comprehensive set of recommendations to improve and modernize the question banks. In most cases this involved detailed editing of existing questions but proposals were also made to delete or replace obsolete or inaccurate questions and add questions on aspects of amateur radio that had grown in importance since the last review.

The review concentrated on the accuracy and clarity of the questions and answers and recommended changes where required to eliminate possible confusion over the correct answer to each question. Some errors were easy to identify such as typing mistakes showing an obviously incorrect answer as correct. Others, particularly related to ensuring that all incorrect answers were truly incorrect, required more careful study. The review team took special care in comparing questions in both languages so that the English and French versions conveyed the same information.

Clear, accurate and understandable exam questions are an important element in making amateur radio accessible to all Canadians. RAC sees an up to date and well functioning exam system as an important element in bringing more people into amateur radio to ensure its continuation and growth, a priority objective of the national organization.

On April 4th, Industry Canada officials kicked off phase 2 of the project by providing a preliminary reaction to the RAC recommendations made in phase 1. Over the next 13 days the RAC-RAQI team reviewed the Industry Canada comments and where appropriate provided additional comments and recommendations.

The first phase had identified most areas of needed change and as a result the Phase Two report contained a significantly smaller set of recommendations. Industry Canada will make the final decision on changes to the questions after considering the RAC Phase 2 report. However the exchange of comments so far suggests that the RAC review will lead to a significant improvement and updating of the question banks.

RAC understands the importance of amateur radio courses and educational material developed and delivered by dedicated volunteers across the country. Changes in the question banks can lead to increased work by these volunteers and the Review Team worked to propose changes in ways that will minimize the updating. Many questions will remain as they were before the review. When proposing deleting obsolete questions the Team recommended replacement questions so that question numbering of the unchanged questions would not have to be changed.

RAC is already planning for the transition. Once Industry Canada makes public the updated questions banks, we 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 will assess the knowledge of these same topics but should be clearer, more accurate, more understandable and relevant to modern amateur radio.

RAQI has been an excellent partner in this project and all francophones should immediately see the vast improvement in the French language questions when the new questions banks are approved and made public.

A great deal of effort has gone into the review and we are happy that it is being received well. RAC will continue to work with Industry Canada through existing consultative arrangements to provide Canadian radio amateurs with the best possible circumstances to pursue their hobby. As well, based on the success of this project, RAC looks forward to competing for contracts on significant projects related to amateur radio if the opportunity presents itself in the future.

For more information contact Glenn MacDonell, Project Manager, Question Bank Update Project and Deputy Director Ontario North East, (ve3xra@rac.ca).

Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW

President and Chair RAC

**—-**

Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

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

RAC Bulletin 2013-015E – Ontario South ARES leaders to meet

RAC Bulletin 2013-015E – Ontario South ARES leaders to meet

2013-04-11

On April 20, 2013, ARES leaders representing groups throughout Ontario South will meet at the Emergency Operations Center in London, Ontario.

The meeting will be chaired by Ontario South Section Manager Ian Snow, VA3QT.

For further information contact Ian at VA3QT4@gmail.com.

73,

Doug Mercer VO1DTM/VO1DM CEC

Chief Field Services Officer – Radio Amateurs of Canada

**—-**

Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

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

RAC Bulletin 2013-014E – Field Organization on Twitter

RAC Bulletin 2013-014E – Field Organization on Twitter

2013-03-28

To help to improve communications to our ARES members, the RAC Field Organization is taking advantage of Twitter. Watch us at:

RACARES@ares_rac

for appointment updates and other ARES news.

73

Doug Mercer VO1DTM/VO1DM CEC

Chief Field Services Officier -
Radio Amateurs of/du Canada

**—-**

Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

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

RAC Bulletin 2013-013E – Office hours – Easter 2013

RAC Bulletin 2013-013E – Office hours – Easter 2013

2013-03-25

We will be closed on Good Friday, March 29th, but open Monday April 1th.

Frank Greene

Office Manager – Radio Amateurs of Canada

**—-**

Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

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

RAC Bulletin 2013-012E – RAC Section Managers reaffirm support of NTS

RAC Bulletin 2013-012E – RAC Section Managers reaffirm support of NTS

2013-03-20

Section Managers representing all RAC Sections coast to coast concluded discussions recently regarding NTS (National Traffic System), and they confirmed ongoing support of NTS encouraging operators to continue to support NTS by passing traffic on a regular basis. NTS digital and Win link 2000 is the preferred system for ARES Units to remain interoperable and functional in a digital world and operators who have digital capability are encouraged to keep the system busy.

Doug Mercer VO1DTM/VO1DM CEC

Radio Amateurs of Canada – Chief Field Services Officier

**—-**

Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

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

RAC Bulletin 2013-011E – RAC Completes First Phase of Review of Amateur Radio Exam Questions

RAC Bulletin 2013-011E – RAC Completes First Phase of Review of Amateur Radio Exam Questions

2013-03-18

In December of 2012 Industry Canada put out a Request For Proposals (RFP) to update the amateur radio question bank. RAC responded 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.

This is an update on our project milestones with respect to this project which is of keen interest to all amateurs. Radio Amateurs of Canada, on March 13, 2013, delivered to Industry Canada a comprehensive and detailed set of recommendations to improve and modernize the question banks used for examinations to qualify radio amateurs in Canada.

The curriculum will not be changed by the review. Prospective hams still need knowledge of the same topics. However, changes were proposed to make all questions correct, clear, understandable and relevant to amateur radio in Canada today.

This required great attention to detail. 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 more clear and addressing current amateur radio practices and regulations. The team accomplished most changes through editing of existing questions but also recommended that some obsolete questions be deleted and proposed new questions. Comments from radio amateurs in response to the RAC bulletins on the question bank review aided the team in identifying where changes were needed.

The review also assessed the complexity of questions and recommended where questions in one exam might be more appropriate to the other. It recognized current trends in learning and assessment. Rote memorization is no longer important in a society where detailed information is at everyone's fingertips. Understanding principles and concepts and where to find information are more important today. Several questions were modified to recognize this approach. The overall objective is to remove unintended barriers to participation in amateur radio and provide the basis for fair examinations of required knowledge.

Industry Canada will review the proposed changes and respond to RAC in early April. The review team will consider this and develop further recommendations as required in the final phase of the review that will be completed in mid April. Industry Canada will decide on the final changes as a result of this process. Until that decision is made the existing examination material will remain in use.

Glenn MacDonell, Project Manager, Question Bank Update Project and Deputy Director Ontario North East, (ve3xra@rac.ca).

Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW

President, Radio Amateurs of Canada

**—-**

Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

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

RAC Bulletin 2013-010E – TCA late this month

RAC Bulletin 2013-010E – TCA late this month

2013-03-`13

I just spoke to the printer and TCA was sent to Canada Post late last week and should have been getting delivered as of Monday. RAC's copies of the magazine are still at the printer and they will be delivered there soon.

The online version of TCA has been prepared by me and is now in Paul Burggraaf's capable hands for posting. I also need to update the TCA webpages but Paul and I were trying to synchronize it with the mail delivery. I’m going to update the pages later this afternoon but I don’t know when Paul plans to go live with the eTCA.

The delivery is a bit late this time because RAC wanted to wait until after the February planning meeting before going to press.

The online version of the The March-April 2013 eTCA will be available soon to members on the RAC website.

Alan Griffin

TCA Editor

**—-**

Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

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

RAC Bulletin 2013-009E – RAC Field Organization, Industry Canada meet in Ottawa

RAC Bulletin 2013-009E – RAC Field Organization, Industry Canada meet in Ottawa

2013-03-06

Recently, a meeting was held at Industry Canada's Ottawa headquarters, a follow up to last year's Canadian Amateur Radio Advisory Board (CARAB) where an offer to meet on operational issues was made.

During the meeting RAC shared documents relating to the Field Organization Review Project that explained the operational structure and purpose of the project and spoke about our Training working group's work. Industry Canada presented an outline of their District Emergency Telecommunications (DET) emergency telecom organization and their roles and responsibilities. They also explained their initiatives relating to use of their HF radio system, voice and digital for exercises, regular drills and emergencies, expressing an interest in building on their interactions in this area with RAC members.

Both parties agreed at the end of the meeting that regular informal exchanges could be of value.

Doug Mercer VO1DTM/VO1DM CEC

Chief Field Services Officer – Radio Amateurs of Canada

**—-**

Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

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

RAC Bulletin 2013-008E – Review of Amateur Radio Exam Questions

RAC Bulletin 2013-008E – Review of Amateur Radio Exam Questions

2013-02-27

As a result of its response to a Request for Proposals from Industry Canada, Radio Amateurs of Canada has been awarded a $20,000 contract by Industry Canada to review the questions used for examinations to qualify radio amateurs in Canada. The work began on 28 January 2013 and the final product will be delivered to Industry Canada on 17 April 2013. Radio Amateurs du Quebec Inc. (RAQI) is working with RAC on the French language component.

More than 3000 questions are being reviewed: 965 questions in English and in French for the Basic qualification and 545 in English and in French for the Advanced qualification. Some current questions were revised in 2007 but many questions date from much earlier. The present work will be the first comprehensive review in more than a decade.

The objective of the review is to identify questions and answers no longer relevant as well as those requiring modifications to correct grammatical errors or improve clarity. The review should also lead to new questions on aspects of amateur radio that have changed in recent years. The curriculum for the qualifications (Basic and Advanced) is not changing so while individual questions may be changed the main areas of knowledge required for certification will not change.

Both RAC and Industry Canada have recognized for some time that a thorough review of the questions was required. Last summer a RAC bulletin invited radio amateurs to provide comments and suggestions on the current questions by the end of August. Responses highlighted some incorrect questions and pointed out several others that were vague or confusing. These comments provided a good starting point for the current review.

RAC is pleased to have RAQI working on this project. The team conducting the review has experience not only in conducting amateur radio exams but also in designing and delivering amateur radio courses in both official languages. It is well qualified to deal with technical issues and assess clarity and grammar of the questions in both official languages.

Industry Canada is responsible for the amateur radio certification and will make the final decision changes to the questions. The project led by Radio Amateurs of Canada with the assistance of RAQI will ensure that the experience of active radio amateurs will guide recommendations to improve the questions that will be used for amateur radio certification in the future.

For more information contact Glenn MacDonell, Project Manager, Question Bank Update Project and Deputy Director Ontario North East, (ve3xra@rac.ca).

Geoff Bawden VE4BAW

President and Chair RAC

**—-**

Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

Pointe-Claire, Québec

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