Monthly Archive for December, 2010

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RAC Bulletin 2010-039E – Distracted Driving Legislation Continues to be on Provincial Agendas; New Brunswick introduces Legislation Banning Cell Phone and Two Way Radio Use

RAC Bulletin 2010-039E – Distracted Driving Legislation Continues to be on Provincial Agendas; New Brunswick introduces Legislation Banning Cell Phone and Two Way Radio Use

Provinces have a responsibility to legislate requirements respecting road safety on public roadways and the virtually ubiquitous use of cell phones for voice and texting communication has created new challenges for legislators. RAC agrees with the need for provinces to address cell phone use.

Most provinces [eg. Nova Scotia, Manitoba, BC, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador to name five] have chosen not to restrict the operation of mobile amateur radio equipment during driving. These governments have recognized the value of amateur radio to their citizens. Amateur radio has served the citizens of Canada during such emergencies such as floods, dangerous weather and ice storms, in support of public events such as Marathons and in support of agencies such as the Red Cross and a variety of provincial and municipal agencies across Canada. The support provided by amateur radio is frequent, freely given and in the highest standard of public service.

On November 24th New Brunswick introduced a bill to control cell phone and “hand-operated electronic device” use while driving and this legislation will prevent amateurs from using our mobile radios while driving. RAC agrees with the intent of the legislation but has pointed out in a December 9th letter from the President of RAC to the New Brunswick Minister of Public Safety, Mr. Robert Trevors: [excerpts]

“Radio Amateurs have passed demanding examinations set by the Industry Canada to earn their authority to operate equipment. Federal radio regulations specifically permit Radio Amateurs to establish mobile stations.
By tradition, Radio Amateurs are public-spirited citizens, who regularly volunteer their time, skill, equipment and energy for everything from pubic events to providing communication in time of emergency. Radio Amateurs are often at their most useful in emergency situations when using their equipment installed in their personal vehicles.
Radio Amateurs in New Brunswick regularly and without fail respond to your citizen’s needs whether it is to help municipalities fighting flooding along the St. John River, Marathons or police on Halloween patrol you will find amateur radio operators. Banning mobile Amateur Radios for day to day use will mean that there are no experienced Amateur Radio Operators and no mobile radios available when there is a time of need. Eliminating the use of Federally Certified Radio Amateurs to use mobile radio equipment will not increase public safety but decrease it.”

Third reading on the bill is expected during the week of December 13 to 17. The Bill permits the government to proclaim the legislation at a time of its choosing anytime thereafter.

It is preferable that any exclusion for Amateur Radio operators occurs in the legislation itself and RAC has so requested. There are provisions for a regulated exclusion for Radio Amateurs in Section 265.05 [f] of Bill 4. “The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations exempting, with or without conditions, certain classes or types of devices or motor vehicles, or certain classes of persons, … “. Regulations would follow the passing of the bill and hopefully before the proclamation of the Bill into law. Legislation [Acts] are passed by Legislators while Regulations are approved by Cabinet [both require royal assent through the Lt. Governor].

RAC will:
Continue to work with Amateurs in New Brunswick to lobby the Province for exclusion for Amateur Radio Operators during mobile operations.
Continue to work with amateurs in New Brunswick to encourage communities and served agencies to remind government of the value of amateur radio in all its forms [mobile, fixed, or portable]. Offer to work with the Government of the Province of New Brunswick to help ensure the highest quality legislation and regulation which will enhance public safety.

Amateurs and Clubs should take opportunities in their own provinces to have served agencies [public or private agencies and groups] remind provincial authorities of the continued value and relevancy of Amateur Radio. In today’s world of smart phones and the internet it is sometimes easy for officials to overlook the value of Amateur Radio and our provision of a distinctive and valuable public service.

Geoff Bawden VE4BAW
President and Chair RAC

* * * *

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

Canada’s Driving while Distracted Laws

In preparation for an upcoming series of Blog Posts on how each Province/Territory in Canada views the topic of Amateur Radio in the scope of “Driving while Distracted” I am asking Canadian Amateurs to send me via email ( either the link to the regulations or a pdf file with the regulations so I can do some research.

I have first hand knowledge on VE3 and I have seen the VE7 regulations so I know different areas have different opinions on our value.

So figuring that in your province or territory, you already know exactly where the information is I would ask you to share it with me.  It makes the job of compiling data much more easier than if I have to look through the Highway Traffic Act for your province.

So as of right now I am looking for information from all of the Canadian Call Areas with the exception of VE3 and VE7.

Thanks for reading and thanks for your help…

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

73 from Ottawa… Bob

Bulletin RAC – 2010-038F – Adhésion à “Opérateurs Maple Leaf” de RAC et changements à la cotisation internationale.

Bulletin RAC – 2010-038F – Adhésion à “Opérateurs Maple Leaf” de RAC et changements à la cotisation internationale.

Le conseil d’administration de RAC est actuellement à reviser la structure des tarifs d’adhésion. Parmi les changements à être effectués est l’introduction d’une nouvelle classe d’adhésion et les ajustements à la cotisation internationale. Demeurez à l’affût des futurs bulletins pour d’autres passionnants développements.

Plusieurs membres nous ont fait part qu’ils attachaient une grande valeur aux activités de RAC et qu’ils souhaitaient la création d’une
classe de membres privilégiée. RAC est heureux d’annoncer la création de la nouvelle classe de membres “Opérateurs Maple Leaf” de Radio
Amateurs du Canada. À leur première année les membres recevront un certificat RAC “Opérateur Maple Leaf” paraphé, ils seront inscrits sur
une liste dans TCA, ils seront affichés sur le site Web de RAC, ils recevront une épinglette avec leur indicatif, et plus encore. La cotisation aux “Opérateurs Maple Leaf” de RAC est de 100$ par année et est disponible en renouvellement automatique. Les membres qui le désirent peuvent renouveler leur adhésion existante multi-années à 50$/année. Nos bureaux à RAC seront heureux de venir en aide aux membres qui voudraient relever leur niveau d’adhésion.

Les frais d’expédition par la poste de TCA aux USA sont approximativement les mêmes que les actuels frais d’adhésion annuels.
Le nouveau tarif pour les adhésions aux USA est de 90$ et couvre maintenant les coûts d’expédition postaux associés à l’envoi de TCA aux USA.

Les frais postaux internationaux autres que ceux des USA excèdent considérablement les actuels tarifs d’adhésion annuels. Le nouveau
tarif pour les adhésions internationales est de 130$ et couvre maintenant les frais postaux associés à l’envoi de TCA à l’international [ailleurs qu'aux USA].

Ces deux augmentations de tarif s’appliquent uniquement quand le TCA est posté. Les adhésions sans le TCA ne sont pas affectées [famille, aveugles, etc.].

Demeurez en attente pour plus de développements sur les adhésions!

Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW
Président – Radio Amateurs du Canada

(Traduction par Serge Langlois, VE2AWR)

RAC Bulletin – 2010-038E – RAC Maple Leaf Operators Membership and changes to International Membership fees

RAC Bulletin – 2010-038E – RAC Maple Leaf Operators Membership and changes to International Membership fees

The RAC Board is currently looking at the RAC membership rate structure. Among the changes to be made is the introduction of a new
membership class and the adjustment of international rates; stay tuned in future bulletins for more exciting developments.

Many members have told us that they place a high value on RAC activities and have asked for a premium membership. RAC is pleased to
announce the new Radio Amateurs of Canada Maple Leaf Operators Membership. Members in the first year will receive a signed RAC Maple
Leaf Operators Certificate, be listed in TCA, be recognized on the RAC website, and receive a RAC pin with their call sign and more. The RAC Maple Leaf Operators Membership is $100 per year and is available on automatic renewal. Members who want to can .top up. their
existing multi-year memberships at $50/yr. Our RAC office will be happy to help out members who want to upgrade their membership.

The cost of mailing TCA to the United States is roughly equal to the current annual membership fee. The new rate for US memberships is
$90 which now covers the mailing costs associated with sending TCA to the US.

The cost of international mailing other than to the US considerably exceeds the current annual membership fee. The new rate for International memberships is $130 which now covers the mailing costs associated with sending TCA Internationally [other than to the United States].

These two rate increases apply only where TCA is mailed. Memberships without TCA are not effected [family, blind, etc.].

Stay tuned for more membership developments!

Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW
President – Radio Amateurs of Canada

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

RAC and the “Social Media”

For years now we have been using the RAC Bulletin Service and The Canadian Amateur Magazine to keep you the Amateur Radio community informed.  The RAC Bulletins are currently read on as many VHF and HF Nets that we can find a person to read them on.  They are also available on the RAC Web Page ( as well as via the RAC Bulletin Email Service.

In addition the six yearly issues of The Canadian Amateur Magazine also has very important information for RAC Members.

Unfortunately ” TCA” is available only to the members of RAC.

Recently RAC members have spoken and the general thought is that you want many different ways to get your daily news fix from RAC.  Some of you like Facebook and others like the Bulletin Service in various forms and still others want Facebook and the RAC Blog…

In an attempt to keep the Amateur Radio Community informed as to whats happening in a “timely manner” the RAC Board started using the RAC Facebook Group,  opened up the @RACTWEETS Twitter account, and found a new blogger for the RAC Blog.

I’m that new blogger, my name is Bob Sharp and my Callsign is VA3QV.

I consider myself to be the “new blogger for the RAC BLOG rather than the replacement blogger as in my opinion the “old blogger could never be replaced.  Peter did an excellent job while he was at the helm and I learned a lot by reading his articles.

One big difference is that Peter VE3HG was also the Vice President of Public Relations for RAC.  I am not!  Therefore, that changes some of the ways we do business here on the blog.  I am not on the board of Directors nor am I on the executive…

“I’m just the RAC Social Media Guy…”

What that means to me is that as I am not on the board or the executive, I do not and will not speak for the Board or the Executive.

My tasking is to do the best job I can do keeping you the Amateur Radio Community informed on whats happening…

This will be a new experience for me as on my regular blog (which some of you might know of) I speak my mind and voice my opinions.  Here however by my choice I am staying quiet.  My job so to speak is to keep you informed and I will do that to the best of my abilities…

When RAC Bulletins are posted on the website I will also post them here.  I will also TWEET that they are posted here and I will put a note on the RAC FACEBOOK Group Wall as well  letting all who care to view that the bulletin is posted here and on the RAC Website.

In addition I will also TWEET and FACEBOOK out some small news items with links back either to the RAC Blog or an external source such as ARRL or EMO depending on the circumstances.  I will do my best to keep you informed and maybe even entertained.

If you have a question about whats happening drop me an email ( will find its way to me.  If its a criticism or a comment the same address will work fine.

Do you want to give your special event some publicity then also by all means email me and give me all the details.  Your special event is Amateur Radio News and we all want to hear about it…

Feel free to join our FACEBOOK Group and use the “Wall” to leave me comments either about my attempts to keep you in the loop or whatever you want to talk about…

If you’ve got a real beef let me know and I’ll make sure the right people find out about it real quick.  I may not be able to do much myself but I do have the attention of those who can do something about it…  Your message will be heard…

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

73 from Ottawa… Bob

North East Ontario Regional Directors Report December 2010

North East Ontario Regional Directors Report December 2010

The monthly meeting of the Regional Directors was started on November 25th, recessed until the 28th and wrapped up on December 2nd.  Obviously we covered a lot of ground.

The most important detail we wrapped up was the new insurance plan for RAC.  If your club was insured under the old plan they will be getting information on the details shortly. If you or your club is interested in continuing or joining the plan please contact Jerry, VE3ETX at


RAC winter contest is from 0000 UTC to 2359 UTC December 18, 2010.  As a special initiative this year we want to have all RAC callsigns on the air.  President Bawden will be operating VE4RAC.  We are still looking for a few more to complete the roster.  There may even be a special reward if a station manages to work the RAC stations in all regions.  Get on the air and look for them.  Here is the link to the RAC web page for complete details.

As an attempt to open up two way communications among RAC members we now have an active Facebook site, and tweeter accounts.  All the details can be accessed via Bob, VA3QV’s excellent blog at:

I would like to thank Bob, when we were talking about the need for RAC to get involved in “social media” we both agreed it should happen, but we were looking for the elusive someone to do it. To his credit Bob was the someone who stepped up to bat, Thanks Bob.

Another idea the Board of Directors is thinking about is initiating a “Maple Leaf Membership”.  If a member would be willing to join this exclusive group at a cost of $100 you would be recognised in TCA and other perks.  Watch for it soon and if you are interested contact me.

As you are probably aware Chris VE3ZO resigned as the Director for Ontario South due to family commitments.  I would like to thank him for his efforts on behalf of RAC and he is still a strong supporter.  I hope sometime in the future we will see him again.  If you have any interest in becoming a Director let me know.

I would finally like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year.  Rita and I are going to Alberta to see kids, grandkids and grandpets.   I hope you all have a peaceful and happy season.  And maybe even a new radio under the tree!

If you have any questions or concerns please email me at


Bill VE3XT

North East Ontario Regional Director