Sunday, 30 December 2018

RAC Winter Contest

Had a great day yesterday taking part in the RAC Winter Contest.  It was a good warm up for Winter Field Day.

I managed to work everywhere except VY1, VE8, and VY0.  Strangely, there was no sign of any station out of the north this year.  There was quite a bit of European traffic on the bands, and I did manage to put France and the Netherlands in the log as well.

The score from last year was beaten by a big margin, many more multipliers jumped into the log this year compared to last year.  Yet the propagation was a lot worse.

Contacts were made on all bands except 160m and 10m.  Lots of traffic on 160m, just didn't hear anyone calling CQ Contest, and nobody responded to my CQ's.  And, as usual nothing at all was heard on 10m.  However 6m was very active and I managed a good number of contacts there.

At 1800 UTC on Saturday, the propagation numbers here were: SFI = 68, SN = 0, A Index = 24, and the K Index = 3.  Not the best set of numbers, but the actual activity on the band was out of all proportion to what we should have had given those figures.  So there you have it, get on the air and call CQ.

As a side note, this is my 500th Blog entry.  I never anticipated reaching this number, but now I'm here.........I think we'll keep going 😎

2019 will see some changes, some new radios are coming, and I'm planning a total rebuild of my antenna system.  The current antennas have been up  for six years and it's time for some major maintenance and changes to them.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Merry Christmas

They say the best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas surrounded by your precious family, and many great blessings for the coming year. 


I hope to work you all during the RAC Winter Contest
December 29th, 0001 - 2400 UTC

See You On The Bands!!

Thursday, 20 December 2018

New Handheld...

The new radio arrived today, just in time for the empty box to go under the tree 😆.  I ordered a new dual band Yaesu FT-2DR, C4FM and analog handheld.

From what I've seen of it in the short time I played with it before the battery had to be put on charge, I'm going to enjoy this radio.

Over the past few years I've only owned Baofengs, so this is a real step up in the radio department and a huge learning curve.

This radio also has a built in GPS unit and does APRS, something I've not really been into again, I'm looking forward to experimenting and messing around with it.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Ontario Island activations coming up....

I received the following information this morning and thought it may be of interest to a few readers of this Blog....

John, VE3ISE,  will be activating Lakecourt Island. ON-303. & Lighthouse CAN 1417 on Dec 15, 2018 at 1500Z on or about 7270 +/- QRM switching to 20m at 1630Z on or about 14270 +/- QRM.  Grid Reference for this is FN03fe38. 


He will be activating Forans Island, ON-293, & Lighthouse CAN 1417 on Saturday  Dec. 22, 2018 at  1500Z  on or about 7270 +/- QRM switching to 20m at 1630Z on or about 14270 +/- QRM....This area has heavy electric static but he will do his best. 
Grid Reference for this is also at FN03fe38. 


He will be activating Haywood Island, ON-292, & Lighthouse's CAN-540 & 541  On Dec. 29, 2018 at 1500Z on or about 7270 +/- QRM switching to 20m at 1630Z on or about 14270 +/- QRM.  Grid reference for this is at FN03ie. 

These activations are in conjunction with the ARLHS Christmas Lights QSO Party, and all of the above is dependent on weather.  

It looks like John has a few busy weekends coming up !!

Wednesday, 5 December 2018


It's been a long time since I was on WSPR, but I thought I would try it tonight to see how the propagation was doing.

Here's 40m at 2105 Local on December 5th:

And, here's the 80m map for 2117 Local on December 5th:

Nothing too spectacular tonight.  This was 5w into my 148' long wire inverted L, up at 50'.

I also made several contacts today with what has to be the world's most boring mode....FT8.  If that's the future of ham radio, I'll be turning off my radios and taking up knitting really soon.  Yeah, it's nothing I want to get into, I'll stick with WSPR and PSK-31.