For the seventh year running the Frontenac EmComm Group (FECG) provided the communications for the southern part of the route, between Perth Road Village and Kingston. Ottawa ARES looks after Carleton University to Black's Corner's, and Lanark-North Leeds ARES looks after the middle section. This year, all three groups, had over 40 operators working over the weekend.
|Don-VE3MNE running the net |
from his "command post"
Establishing comms was pretty easy this year using the VE3FRG repeater, none of the stations required a lot of power to reach it. VE3FRG has a huge footprint and we used an awful lot of it.
However, trying to hit the Christie Lake or Lavant repeaters was another matter. It seems my Ringo Ranger has an issue, and as a result has an SWR of 4.1:1 and was pretty much unusable. So, using typical ham ingenuity, we put up a 5/8 mag-mount, but we had to mount it on a cast iron frying pan for a ground plane as it was the only item we had that the magnet would stick to. We then put the frying pan on top of the village sign to get enough height to reach the Christie Lake repeater.......and I've no idea why Don carries a frying pan in his truck!!
|Riders at Perth Road Store|
We ended up having some pretty heavy rain from about 1500L till 1630L. The last rider blew through our location about 1730L and then we started the drive down to Queen's to play "tail-end Charlie" and pick up radio equipment there.
Sunday was a very early start for our portion of the event. Out of bed at 0500L and on the road to Perth Road at 0525. I past the first rider heading north at 0540L just past Hwy 401. The fog on the Perth Road was very thick and visability was less than 50m at times.....kind of scary early in the morning with the deer out on the roads.
Lots of hams involved besides those manning the radio check points. We had five or six mobile in various vehicles, doing pick-ups for riders who opted out, or the repair trucks. It was nice to see the amateur community come together and doing some worthwhile community service.
For a look at how things played out from the Ottawa end, have a look at my old friend Bob's page - HERE.
'Twas a great weekend all-in-all, looking forward to next year, especially with the proposed changes.