Monthly Archive for April, 2009

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Want a good time :)

That’s what you’ll have if you’re going to Dayton for the world’s largest hamfest and convention May 13 to May 17 in Dayton, Ohio.

And for a super good time, especially if you’re a contester, how about a visit to the 2009 Contest Super Suite in the Crowne Plaza, 2nd floor, Miami Ballroom?

Here’s the activity schedule:

Wednesday, May 13th

  • Contest University registration from 8 PM to 10 PM.
  • 10:30 PM Pizza Party Sponsored by Contest University 2009.

Thursday, May 14th

  • 50th Anniversary Celebration of CQ WorldWide Multi Multi Category.
  • 10:30 PM Special Celebration Party in Miami and Beckel Ball Rooms.
  • All are welcome to join the fun !!

Friday, May 15th

  • 11 PM Pizza Party Sponsored by the Potomac Valley Radio Club.

Saturday, May 16th

  • 11 PM Pizza Party Sponsored by the Yankee Clipper Contest Club.

World Radio Day – Saturday, April 18, 2009

The theme for this year’s World Radio Day is Your Resource in Disaster and Emergency Communications. The theme was picked by the International Amateur Radio Union’s administrative council and highlights almost 100 years of amateur radio service to local communities around the world.

For more information have a look at the IARU web site page on emergency communications:

Welcome to D-Star in southern Ontario

The Toronto FM Communications Society has done it again. Pioneers in the building and maintaining of an extensive network of FM repeaters in southern Ontario, the Society recently announced the introduction of D-Star technology on the Toronto UHF repeater on 443.225+.

Here’s a link to more information at the Toronto FM Society’s website:

To learn more about the powers of D-Star check out the Icom website at or go to the wiki at

Membership in the Toronto FM Society is a mere $25 per individual or $35 per family and they now accept payment on line via PayPal …and yes I sent in my membership for both myself (VE3HG) and my wife Marion (VE3HEN).

The Toronto FM Communications Society has repeaters on every band from 10 meters through to 1.2 GHz and with the exception of the D-Star system (which they are working on) members can link them all together providing unheard of communications range and flexibility.

(This information gratefully received via Mike VA3MW.)

Whys is your club event not here?

The RAC blog is a new initiative of your RAC executive team but…there’s always a but…it comes down to one guy (me – VE3HG) to moderate and edit the site.

It’s my intention to develop a wide readership both within the ham radio community in Canada and around the world. To accomplish this objective I need your help.

If there’s anything you’d like to see posted on the RAC blog site, please send it to me directly at

I won’t promise that we’ll publish everything that comes in but I do promise that if you send anything to me I’ll let you know that I received it and I tell you what I intend to do with it.

So the bottom line is this: If you send it, I’ll most likely post it. The more you send, the more I’ll post. If this gets out of hand I’ll recommend to the RAC exec that we turn the blog into a wiki but we’re a long way from that happening.

Lakehead ARC 75th Anniversary Station

This from RAC Bulletin 2009-012E

The Lakehead Amateur Radio Club is celebrating its 75th Anniversary on April 17, 2009. Special event station VC3FW will be operating on or near 3.875, 7.275, 14.275 and 21.375 MHz.

Look for digital modes lower in the band and on CQ100 on 14.275 kHz. QSL to LARC, 1100 Memorial Ave., Suite 184, Thunder Bay, ON Canada, P7B 4A3. For more info, please see

For more information about how to receive RAC Bulletins  please visit:

Durham Region Fleamarket

For hams in southern Ontario, the Durham Region Fleamarket is on this Saturday, April 18th at a new location Iroquois Park Recreation Centre in Whitby.

And by the way RAC’s own Ontario South regional director Geoff Smith, VA3GS, will be staffing a RAC table so if you haven’t got your RAC baseball cap or ordered a t-shirt for spring this is your opportunity.

A mere $6 gets you in the door at 9:00 am. Talk-in is via VE3SPA at 147.375+.

If you need a ride to the hamfest there is a Hamfest Car Pool feature on the Ontario Swap Shops site here:

For more information on the hamfest including directions follow this link:

Cell Phone Bill 118

So what is happening in Ontario with Bill 118? (This is the proposed Bill to ban the use of cell phones or other distracting devices while driving a moving vehicle.)

Radio Amateurs of Canada has been communicating with the Standing Committee which is creating the Bill. We have also participated in a hands-on demonstration of amateur radio equipment which was attended by Ministry of Transportation staff. These are the folks who are actually writing the Bill. A brief was sent to the committee requesting an exemption for amateur radio operation from a moving vehicle. 

Work on Bill 118 continues and RAC has sent the committee another helpful document that outlines three recent situations where amateur radio operators served their communities in times of need.

Several interested Ontario amateurs have asked what they could or should do at this moment. We are suggesting that we await the decision of the Standing Committee in regards to the exemption. If none is proposed then we may wish to move to directly communicating with local members of the legislature.

In all lobbying situations, it’s critical for interested individuals or small groups to be seen by government as representing the overall community. Radio Amateurs of Canada has created a good working relationship with the Standing Committee and Ministry of Transport staff. This is working in our favour.

What any lobbying group would wish to avoid is overzealous or unsupported petitions or lobbying by well-meaning individuals. Speaking with a single voice sends a strong message to government officials including elected officials. 

As the author of this post and as the moderator for the RAC Blog, I’d welcome any comments or offers of support :) . They can be sent to me (Peter West – VE3HG) directly at

Why Ham Radio is so vital

We read about how hams in Italy are serving their communities affected by the recent earthquake that has so far killed around 200 and made 10,000 homeless. 

But it doesn’t take an earthquake or someother major disaster to create an opportunity for hams to serve their communities. Case in point (and this thanks to the RAC ARES email reflector), was a power failure in Silicon Valley in California. Seems that vandals cut the fibre-optic cables that carried the areas vital tele-communications. While police officers were dispatched to alert sleeping civic officials, ham radio operators with their ability to field scores of radio equipped vehicles were dispatched to watch over their affected neighbourhoods.

Read the story here, which appeared in the Mercury News:

Italian hams supplying critical communications in earthquake region

This from the ARRL: Hams in the affected L’Aquila region of Italy are supporting the Dipartimento Protezione Civile with emergency communications via local VHF and UHF repeaters. The death toll in the earthquake has reached 260 with severe aftershocks continuing to hamper rescue and recovery operations.

Italian government officials estimate that 28,000 people lost their homes and 17,000 are living in tents, staying in emergency shelters or living with family.

Emergency frequencies in Italy

From the ARRL:

An earthquake that registered between 5.8 and 6.3 magnitude struck L’Aquila, the capital of Italy’s Abruzzo region, about 65 miles northeast of Rome, early Monday morning. News reports say the quake has killed more than 90 people, with at least 50,000 left homeless.

According to cluster spots, 7045 and 3640 kHz are being used as emergency frequencies, so please keep these frequencies clear.