Sunday, 13 April 2014

RMS and Packet Radio

Over the past 14 months the Frontenac Radio Group has been busy building up an RMS Packet system for use by the Frontenac County Emcomm Team.  This system now comprises of four Nodes and two Gateways.   This will now allow us to move digital traffic all over the county.

As well as our digital system, the hams in Westport and Perth who belong to Leeds - North Grenville ARES have also built up a smaller system that ties into the Frontenac system.  They have one Node and two gateways up right now and another couple in the works.

In the past 3 months the hams from the Prince Edward County ARES have also jumped aboard and now have one Node and one Gateway built and operational.  This allows us to move Peer-to-Peer traffic from Belleville to East of Perth.

Red Dots are for the Frontenac system.  Orange for Leeds-North Grenville, and Blue for Prince Edward County.

To get started with RMS Express, a good website is HERE.   These systems are accessable via 145.070.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

What's Up....??

Saturday started out just beautiful here in Kingston, blue skies and a temperature of about +12C......almost heaven after the weather of the past 5 months!

In fact it was so nice, I decided that after coffee I would take a detour on the way home and look for some new operating locations for use later in the spring and summer.  I managed to find one new location.  It's very quiet, no RF interference, and it's kind of off the beaten track.  This place has been right under my nose for some time, I just have never been there to explore what was available.

It's located on the east side of Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, at the end of a small gravel track, right alongside of the old Kingston Pen wall.  Twelve months ago the guards would have told us to move on.....but the place has now been closed down and the guards are the ones who have been moved on.  The spot is within the red circle on the above photo.

If the weather holds I'm planning on operating from their tomorrow, Sunday, 13th April, with the Buddipole and the IC-703. 

Sunday, 30 March 2014


Another great weekend on the bands, even if I did have to shut down a few hours early. 10m was very active both days, but Sunday morning was just outstanding on that band, with most of Europe calling CQ there it seemed.

Friday evening was a feast of the South Pacific, on 10m  I managed to work JA3BOA, JR3NZC, JA1ZGP, and JI2ZEY in about 4 minutes.  After I cleared with the last Japanese station I was called by an Hawaiian station, and managed to work three of them in a row, and then I snagged ZL4PLM in Christchurch, New Zealand.  I don't think I've worked a ZL in the last two years.

I didn't work steady at it on Saturday, just a few hours here and there.  I'll be very honest and tell you all that I just wasn't into it for some reason.  No idea why, my mind was just elsewhere.

Sunday morning I was back at it with renewed vigour, obviously a good nights sleep helps a lot.  Two new countries dropped into the log before noon, UA2F in Kaliningrad, and 4V1JR in Haiti.  Both stations were caught on 10m.

I managed to work stations on 80m through 10m, but I mainly stayed on 10m.  I'm also going to have to rebuild my 15m vertical dipole, it's not working as well as I thought it would, and it also seems very "hit and miss" with its contacts.  I think I'll switch it to a regular dipole and see how that works out.

The FT-950 was the rig in action this weekend, along with the 80m OCF dipole and the 15m vertical dipole.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

QRP to the Field

I stumbled on this while looking for information on this years event.........

QRP to the Field will be held two weeks later this year so it can be held in conjunction with International SOTA Day and the 10-10 Contest.  This will give us more available contacts and a chance at some good DX.

The new date for your calendar is: Saturday, May 3rd, 2014.  Timings are 1200 UTC to 2359 UTC.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

2m Challenge

Had a great day today on Fort Henry Hill....believe it or not.  The new information centre is closed and because of that the 30 or so plasma screens are shut off and the local noise level is back down to zero.

Today was the Frontenac Club's 2m Challenge.  A simple contest 1 point per contact using both SSB and FM.

We could have done with a few more stations on the air, but those who did take part had a good time.

I decided at the very last minute to head up to Fort Henry and I didn't take that much gear with me.  It was a shake the winter cobwebs off type of day.  It was still cold, -12C under a brilliant blue sky and about a 25 kph wind.  Lots of kite flyers up on the hill today.  My feet froze in my winter boots for some reason, but any excuse to turn on the engine and pump some heat into the truck cab.

Anyway, rig of the day was the FT-857D, and the antenna, which is shown below, was a very simple 2m dipole made from Buddipole parts on a 18' painter pole........and it worked very well.  This was the first time the 857 has been out of the box since last October's County Emergency Exercise if I remember correctly.  It doesn't get used very much, and as a result everytime I do use it, it becomes a learning experience all over again, and of course it hardly ever gets used for VHF use. 

Got to work several 2m QRP stations today, which is always nice to see, and had the winter cobwebs blown off.  Hopefully spring is just around the corner and more portable ops will be on the table.

A very dirty VE3CLQ mobile station