Sunday, 14 January 2018

The Radio Amateur Society of Australia

Congratulations go out to the newly formed “Radio Amateur Society of Australia” (RASA).   
Their website (Click HERE) states that the organisation is made up of
active radio amateurs who want to see progress in their hobby, and that 
their primary efforts will be focused on improved education and 
awareness in the areas of regulation and administration, as well as
strong evidence based representation with their national
telecommunications regulator.

It’s great to see individuals standing up and making things right after years of abysmal performance by 
the Australian equivalent of RAC, the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA).  From articles available on 
the web it’s clear to see that many clubs feel disenfranchised with the WIA and feel there is a great need 
for change.

Much like here in Canada, many clubs also feel very disenfranchised with RAC.  We have questions too, 
what is RAC actually doing for clubs and club members?  Other than the public liability insurance, what 
value does a club (or its members) receive by being a member of an affiliated club?  Why don’t the 
membership have the pleasure of personally being able to cast a vote the RAC presidents position?

I’m sorry, but I expect a hell of a lot more for my annual membership subscription, especially at its 
current price, than what is on offer.

But, the big issue is the fact that RAC refuses to represent ALL amateurs in Canada.  They insist that if 
you’re not a paid up RAC member they do not represent you at any level.  There needs to be a lot more 
openness, accountability and leadership at the Executive level than what we see these days.

So, perhaps we need to take a leaf out go the RASA play book and form a new national Canadian amateur 
radio society, one that is not an old boys clique, or one filled with cronyism, and one that truly represents 
ALL Canadian amateurs, paid members or not.


Saturday, 13 January 2018

WFD 2018 - Getting Ready

I spent quite a bit of the afternoon sorting through portable radio gear getting things sorted out for this years Winter Field Day (WFD).......I didn't realize I have so much "stuff" !!

I have three antennas packed up and ready to go, a 31' vertical with a 4:1 Balun and two 31' radials, a 65' long wire with a 9:1 Balun, and a 17' collapsible whip, tripod mount and three 33' radials.  Those should cover all of my needs for the weekend.  I've used them all before on various outings and they all work very well, and have lots of great DX to their credit.  No need to change what works at this late date.

Two radios will make the trip with me, my FT-817ND and my FT-897D.  I received a BX-8x7 Dynamic Compressor kit V2.0 for Christmas.  This piece of gear works on the 817, 857, and the 897.  So far on the tests I have done this has lived up to its promise of pumping out an extra S Unit on transmit.  So hopefully the extra punch will help on the WFD weekend.

Two portable masts will be going with me, my MFJ 33' collapsible mast, and a 22' painter pole, along with a bag of rope and another one of bungy cords to make sure they stay up.

My shack, at the moment, has piles of gear scattered all over the floor, all waiting to be either stacked ready to go or to be put away, awaiting another suitable adventure.

There are four of us going to a cottage on Wolfe Lake, near Westport, Ontario, for the event.  Hopefully the road will have been plowed before we attempt the journey.  I believe we will be using the VE3UCC callsign that belongs to the Upper Canada QRP Club, so give a listen for us.

Wolfe Lake, north of Kingston.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Plans for 2018

Here we are in 2018 and wondering what surprises this year will bring.  I'm making my amateur radio plans for this year such as continuing my QRP operating, regardless of our place in the current solar cycle and continuing my portable antenna experimentation.

I'm continuing with the "do my own thing" agenda that I started back in October 2017.  I'm doing what I want to, when I want to do it....on my time and my space.  It's a healthy "no stress" way of living, and I feel a lot better for it.

The Sunday morning QRP group activities will continue as soon as the temperatures come out of the single digits and the snow disappears from the operating location at Lake Ontario Park.  This is an extremely relaxing time, lots of radio talk, lots of building portable antennas and lots of operating.  Just a great way to spend a Sunday....you guys should try it.

I still have a pile of islands that I want to activate and will definitely be taking part in Winter Field Day, the ILLW and the W/VE Island QSO Party.

I'm also leaning towards another long road trip home to the West Coast again this year if I can fit it in amongst everything else that needs to be done.

And as usual this year, I look forward to writing about my adventures....or lack thereof !!