Monthly Archive for March, 2009

Working with your local fire department

There’s a great article in FireFighting in Canada magazine that mentions amateur radio as another tool to be used during emergencies.

Here’s the quote: What would cause your radio system to fail? Do you have alternate methods of communications and if so, how often do you test them? Cellular phones should never be relied on as a replacement communications system. If you have satellite phones, do you understand their limitations and have you trained your staff? Amateur radio has proven to be the one communications link that survives in a disaster, from Banda Aceh to Hurricane Katrina. How well connected is your department to amateur radio and have you ever run a real-time exercise using amateur radio?

If your club or ARES group has been thinking about contacting municipal authorities to talk about integrating amateur radio into the community’s disaster plans, this article might provide some leverage.

Many municipalities don’t realize how vulnerable their communication’s systems are until they fail from lack of Hydro power (Think of the Ice Storm of 1998) or are overloaded by the volume of traffic on the system (cell phones are very prone to fail during localized emergencies).

Right now Canadian trained amateur radio communicators working within ARES groups are serving their communities as floodwaters rise in Manitoba. This level of cooperation didn’t just happen.

ARES activated in Manitoba flood emergency

Radio Amateurs of Canada has issued a bulletin concerning the floods anticipated in southern Manitoba.

All Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) units in Manitoba have been asked to activate to a state of operational readiness for flood-related operations.

A request for ARES assistance was initiated by the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization and the City of Winnipeg Emergency Program staff. According to the RAC bulletin both organizations are in the process of activating their Emergency Operations Centres and have requested ARES trained radio operators to begin staffing the radio rooms at the facilities beginning Monday March 30, 2009.

This is an important moment for ARES members in Manitoba and ham radio operators across Canada as officials in Winnipeg will get a first-hand opportunity to watch as volunteers implement and staff a professional-quality communications network capable of providing essential and even emergency links for affected communities and emergency responders.

Sue Cooke, VE3SUH, RAC’s new vice-president of field services, suggests that Canadian amateur radio operators who are not already a member of an ARES-Alert group, might wish to check out the link below for additional information. Membership in this group will provide you with additional messages of this nature.


This comes via email from Dave, VE3DVE – ARES EC St Catharines

The Ontario ARES HF net meets every Sunday at one of two frequencies.

80 m,   3.742 at 1300 local time

40 m,    7.153 at 1315 local time.  The 40 m net is intended for those out of range of the 80m band.

Dave says: “Come and join us and tell us what your local ARES group is doing. ”

Chief fox hunter

RAC Bulletin 2009-009E Amateur Radio Direction Finding Coordinator Needed

 Radio Amateurs of Canada is seeking a volunteer as the amateur radio direction finding (ARDF) coordinator for Canada. ARDF is the sport of finding radio transmitters while on foot, using a radio receiver, map and compass in diverse, wooden terrain.

The RAC ARDF Coordinator’s job is to promote the development of this sport and work with ARDF Coordinators in other International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) countries to organize competitions and activities. As the current ARDF Coordinator’s term has come to an end, a replacement is required.  Interested Radio Amateurs should contact the RAC Corporate Secretary via email

For more information about ARDF, please visit the RAC web page

Brit Fader Scholarship

Established in 1993 by the Halifax Amateur Radio Club, the Brit Fader Scholarship, and maintained by the generosity of club members and radio amateurs throughout the Maritime Provinces of Canada, this scholarship is intended exclusively for post-secondary educational use, to provide assistance with the cost of tuition, room, board, books and/or other fees essential to the advanced education of the recipient. The amount of the 2009 award is $1000.00.

Applicant must be a citizen of Canada, but without regard to gender, race, national origin, handicap status or any other factor and must be performing at a high academic level.

Applicant must, hold an active Basic Class or higher grade of Canadian Amateur Radio license.


This Scholarship will be provided for attendance at an accredited Canadian post-secondary technical school, college or university, with preference given to applicants who have been accepted into a program in the field of electronics or electrical engineering.

Application submissions must be postmarked no later than July 15th  2009.

For more information check out the  HARC website at and follow the link to the Brit Fader Scholarship from the Home Page.

WorldRadio Online

The pulbishers of CQ Magazine have a new online magazine available for download. Well it’s not really new but now World Radio is only available as an online publication. The good news is it’s free. checkout the newest edition here:

How about Reno, Nevada in May?

Pacificon ‘09, the ARRL Pacific Division Convention is part of EMCOMMWEST this year with the activities taking place from May 1-3 at Circus Circus Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada. The banquet speaker at EMCOMMWEST?PACIFICON ‘09 will be Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH. Riley was in charge of amateur radio enforcement at the FCC when he retired. I (VE3HG) heard him speak at Dayton last year and he’s got some really good things to say about ham radio and our ability to self-enforce our use of the radio spectrum.

Lots of workshops from ARES and how to build an exercise  to buildling an 18-tube ham band receiver (Didn’t we used to call that a Hammarlund HQ-170?) . There’s also a swap meet and lots of workshops. So while you are learning more about emergency communicaitons and ham radio, any none hams in the family can take in the casino. 

Here’s a link to the EMCOMMWEST/PACIDICON ‘09 page. 

RAC new Vice President for Field Services

This news via a RAC Bulletin:

Sue Cooke, VE3SUH, is RAC’s new Vice President for Field Services.  Former VPFS Bob Cooke, VE3BDB, resigned from that post to accept appointment as the RAC President.  

Sue has been a licenced radio amateur for nearly 10 years and her operating qualifications include Morse Code.  Sue’s previous service with RAC includes three years as an assistant director in Ontario South Region, two years as an official bulletin station and a two-year term as RAC’s corporate secretary.

She is a RAC Certified Emergency Co-ordinator, having successfully completed the CEC exam.

Congratulations Sue.

RAC Bulletins

Are you getting RAC bulletins? If not check this out:

RAC membership comes with lots of great opportunities and there’s more to come.

Visit the site at right now :)

Welcome to new RAC blog

Hi everyone and welcome to the new blog for Radio Amateurs of Canada.

This site is going to be under construction for the next few days but stay tuned in.