Sunday, 15 September 2013 was Chilly!!

The view through the forest
This year the annual Chillycon gathering lived up to its name - it was pretty chilly out, especially on Friday night, in fact it got down to about 4C, way past the threshold of my sleeping bag!

The drive from Kingston was pretty uneventful and the weather looked threatening but it didn't rain on the journey.  Don, VE3MNE, and I arrived just at 2:00 pm, and the staff at Rideau River were very friendly when we checked in. I commented before about this, but they keep the place very clean, in fact it's always clean and you never see garbage laying around, and you never see dirty washrooms either.

We arrived at our site No. 179, and began to get set up.  We basically setup the same way we did last year, as that design seemed to work.  We tarped over the tent and the
kitchen area, and got to work setting up antennas......and true to form it started to rain lightly.

We set up two antennas, Don put up our usual 31' vertical with 6 ground radials with a 4:1 balun, and I put up a 66' long wire with a 9:1 Unun and two 16' ground radials.  The long wire was up a tree at about 40' and sloped down on a 45 degree angle.

Both Don and I did very well chasing DX.  The long wire netted me:

5B4AJC in Paphos, Cyprus.
JW5E on Svalbard Island.
LX7I in Luxemburg City.
EB3CW in Bellaterra, Spain.
OE2S in Salzburg, Austria.
YO3CZW in Bucuresti, Romania.
HZ1DG in Abha, Saudi Arabia.
DL0GL in Gladbeck, Germany.
MM0KLO in Scotland.
EI7M in Carrigtwohills, Ireland.

Eric, VA3AMX working DX
Unfortunately these were not enough to allow me to regain the DX Challenge Championship this year.  The winner was Eric,VA3AMX, who also won last year.  Next year I'll be bringing a secret weapon to ensure victory!  Well done Eric!!

The weather Saturday was great, sunny and warm.  Don and I took an hour off, and drove into Kemptville to buy a couple of fleece blankets to make sure we didn't suffer again that night.  They worked, we had the best sleep ever.  In fact it was very difficult to get out of our sleeping bags on Sunday morning!

Saturday afternoon several Ottawa hams came out to join us for the day, chief amongst them was the old mountain man himself, Bob, VA3QV.  You can read all about Bob's site visit on his blog HERE.  It was good to see him and have an opportunity to have a long chat with him.

You can also read the Chillycon Blog article from Michael, VE3WMB, HERE.

Late on Saturday afternoon Don and I decided to compare the 31' vertical to the 66' long wire antenna.  Using an antenna switch we went around the various bands looking for loud signals and switched back and forth between the antennas checking which antenna had the better signal.  Surprisingly, the long wire won.  It certainly hears very well.

The Bar
Supper was the usual communal Pizza Feast.  Sixteen of us sat down to dinner around a pretty good fire, considering the wood was damp.  Before long the DX tales came forth and the single malt scotch flowed.  Slowly people left to go home and the party finally broke up  at 0030 hrs! 

A great time was had by all, and it's a great guys weekend.  It's a shame some of the more usual suspects don't come out for it.

Sunday morning broke and it looked like it was going to be another cloudy, wet day.  We dropped the tent and tarps, packed the trucks, had a shower, and headed over the "Charlys Place" for a good brunch.  It was touch and go that the restaurant would be open as we had a large area power outage that morning, and the power didn't come on till after the place opened.

It was, as usual, a great time, and next years Chillycon is already marked on the calendar.

More Photos.........

Don, VE3MNE, working DX

Ying, VA3YH, with coax chewed by
the squirrels.

All natural power

Michael, VE3WMB's magnetic loop


  1. Looks like a great time was had by all. The cooler weather is nice for sleeping but adding in the rain it's not a good mix. Very nice shots of the adventure as well.

  2. Just came across your site today with a redirect from Frontenac County EMCOMM. Great site Bill. Love the HAM links as well. Definitely bookmarked. Take care.

    VA3 XRY