Archive for the 'Fun stuff' Category

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The Party is over…

Well now that the contest is over and I got a bit of sleep…  How much fun did you have and how good or bad did you do???

Why not drop over to our RAC Facebook Group site and leave us a comment on the Wall there .  Lets make that the soapbox for this event…

Now for this event I was the guest of the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club as one of the Operators of VE3JW.  The VE3JW station is located at the Canada Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa and is sponsored by the OVMRC


One of the really great things about having the chance to operate at a better station than I have at home is the fact that I hear so much more…  An 40m/80m trapped dipole that is not folded over the tree a couple of times and a tower with a 7 element triband beam… I was in heaven for this event…

A Flex 3000, a TS 2000 and a TS850 were all at my disposal…  I felt like a kid in a Candy store…

Now lots of other groups were out there for the contest and first off a big thank you to the RAC stations who agreed to cause a pile up for the event.  I think we got most of them in the log…

But I do know as we did not make any contacts in VY0, VE8 and VY1 there were at least 3 that we missed…  We heard stations in the North but unfortunately we were unable to make ourselves heard.

So if you have the time why not drop over to the FACEBOOK RAC Site and make let us know what you thought and how you did…

A fellow blogger AA1J made mention of us in a post on his blog and I thought I would share the link with you.

On a personal side of things this week will be a busy one in the VA3QV household as we finish our preps for the big day on the 25th.  I might be a little slow posting here and on the FACEBOOK accounts this week, but as my smartphone does do Twitter this is a good reason to remind you to follow  RACTWEETS on twitter.

It goes without saying that if there is any NEWS that you need to hear it will be posted immediately here, on RACTWEETS, on FACEBOOK and of course on the RAC Bulletin and on the RAC Website.

We are giving you the means to stay informed and all you have to do is pick how you want to be informed…

See you before the “Big Day”

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

73 from Ottawa… Bob

We are looking for…

… A french speaking blogger…

During a conference call tonight with the RAC Communications committee it was mentioned that although this blog is doing fairly well one thing it needs to do is give better service to the French speaking Radio Amateur Community…

Sadly my french is worse than my CW…

So do we have anyone out there who would like to try their hand at writing articles for the blog in french?  I am not talking about translating my articles but writing your own…

The pay is lousy but the job is rewarding…

Please contact the Vice President for Technical and Administrative Services Jim Hay VE2VE if you are interested in giving it a try…

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 Canada Winter Contest soon

Just a reminder that your 2010 RAC Canada Winter Contest starts this Saturday December 18th at 0000 UTC.

The rules for the contest are found here:

Like I have mentioned previously in several different locations this is a very low stress friendly contest that is great for the beginners or the vets…

For my part I will be operating for part of the contest from VE3JW from Ottawa at the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology.  We will be active on 10m to 80m with 2m and 6m thrown in for good measure.

Due to my proximity to the Museum (less than 1km) I will not be active from home for this contest as the museum and myself have a tendancy to knock the stuffings out of our receives when we operate on the same bands at the same time…  So my contesting this year will be from VE3JW only…

Hope to hear you on the air though…

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

73 from Ottawa… Bob

VY0RAC looking for an operator

The following email came across my screen today so just in case…


From: Mitch [
Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2010 4:47 PM

Subject: NTS message to Nunavat

Hi all
I am trying to get Nunavut on the air for the RAC winter contest I have
sent many email and so far no success.

“  RAC is looking to have a station operate in  the RAC Winter Contest with the RAC call VY0RAC

If you are able to operate even for a short time please contact Mitch
VE6OH    via email VE6OH@RAC.CA
or via NTS, my location is Edmonton, AB,  phone 780 446 8958

Mitch  VE6OH


Now I have deleted some of the email but the important parts… We are looking for an operator to operate VY0RAC for the Canada Winter Contest and yes the operator must operate from VY0… and who to contact if you can help is all there…

Being able to help your fellow amateurs to contact VY0RAC during the RAC Canada Winter Contest would definately get you into the “Nice” catagory…

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

73 from Ottawa… Bob

Attention Directors and Section Staff

Are you a Section Manger,  Section Emergency Coordinator or a Section Traffic Manager?  Maybe an EC or a DEC…

Has your group had an event that you want to tell the rest of us about?  Was it an exercise or an actual???  Was it a demonstration to the General Public???

Why not write up an article and submit it to me here for posting on the RAC Blog.  Send me an email ( with the details along with a couple of pictures if you have them and we can inform the Amateur Radio Community at Large on your groups exploits.

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

73 from Ottawa… Bob

J6 St Lucia DXPedition Video

Now if you are forced to leave the country and head out for a DXPediton in February then J6 has my vote for a preferred destination.

Some pretty well known portable operators Budd W3FF (of Buddipole fame) Steve WG0AT (without Rooster and Peanut) along with Guy N7UN, Paul KB9AVO, Chris W6HFP (of Buddipole fame), Wey K8EAB, Mike KC4VG and Danny WZ1P all headed down to J6 and had a blast operating in a “Rustic Setting”…

These comments from Budd Drummond W3FF
“In Feb/2010 the “Buddies in the Caribbean” DXpedition (a group of 8-hams specializing in 100 watt or less low power radios and the Buddipole portable antenna system) spent a week operating from the island of St Lucia on beaches, mountains and from their cliff-side villa. This is an annual effort to demonstrate “ultralight” dxpeditioning into magnificent “vista” locations, operate a field portable battery-only radio with backpackable, lightweight antennas and most of all “have fun!”

Well if you look at the following video it does look like they had fun…  Just thinking that last Feburary I had just finished operating for the SPAR Winter Field day event and was getting ready for the FYBO which is another outdoor event.  They got to play outside as well but it was just a bit warmer….


December 11 2010
For reasons unknown the Video has been pulled from the YouTube site by the author.  Sorry….  Hope a few of you got a chance to see it at least…


Hope you enjoyed the video and thanks to the guys for showing us how much fun we missed…

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

73 from Ottawa… Bob

From the RAC 1st Vice President

Hi folks,

I got an email tonight from Ian VE9IM who as you know is the RAC 1st Vice President.

He asked me to share the following with you:

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

73 from Ottawa… Bob

Canadian Press covers flight of LASA-8

Recently you have seen information coming out about how the Lanark Space Agency was successful in setting a new World Record with the flight of LASA-8

LASA Recovery Team from an earlier flight

The efforts were picked up by a Canadian Press Reporter and her excellent story was in turn picked up by the Winnipeg Free Press and published today in on line paper.

A link to the story in the Free Press is here

Thanks to Elizabeth Howell from the Canadian Press for a very informative article and for bringing our hobby out to the Canadian Public.

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

73 from Ottawa… Bob

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