Tuesday, 12 November 2019

First Snow...

Well, it arrived early this year, in fact it's a lot earlier than normal.....winter is still 5 weeks away!!! We're all hoping it doesn't stick around, otherwise it will start to get too cold and wet outside for our portable operating sessions.

The Winter Field Day website states: "Don't let the winter doldrums keep you locked up in the house, get out and play some radio!"  I can tell you that I have now reached the age were I long for a 8 week winter DXpedition to Fiji or perhaps Tahiti......but that's not going to happen.  Instead we'll suck up the winter crap and radio on.

This year Winter Field Day is being held on January 25th & 26th, 2020.  Mark it on your calendars, it's always a good time....even if it is cold.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

In Remembrance

In Loving Memory

of the 

Officers, NCO's, and Men


2816 Squadron, RAF Regiment

December 1941 - June 1946

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Wednesday, 30 October 2019


Just a quick note to inform my readers that I have had to limit comments to users with Google Accounts.  I did not want to have to do this, BUT.....there's always a BUT....it's the only way I can stop the constant spamming of the comments section.

On the average day I was receiving up to 200 comments from European porn sites and it was a real pain stopping them before they went live on the Blog.

So, for a little bit of an inconvenience, I now do not have to check the Blog every 30 minutes to make sure some pervert hasn't spammed me and filled the inbox with some form of porn.

Thanks for your understanding!!

Monday, 28 October 2019

The Weekend...

This years edition of the CW WW SSB Contest is now over, and from what I have seen of some already submitted scores, you either had propagation or you didn't.

Due to some medical stuff going on we called off the mini-DXpedition to the QTH of VE9FI, where we have operated from for the past two years, and stayed close to home.

The propagation numbers were not very promising, the SFI=67, SN=0, A Index=18 and the K Index=3.  These numbers, unfortunately, stayed pretty stable for the whole weekend.

I managed to make contacts on all bands except 10m.  I even managed to make three contacts on 160m with my 80m OCF Dipole, which has very obviously stretched!!  But, this was the weekend I wanted to try out my new 35.5' vertical on 15m, and it certainly didn't disappoint me.

Amongst many others, I put HH2AA (Haiti), FY5KE (French Guiana), TM6M (France), PJ4K (Bonaire), and 5K0K (San Andres & Providencia) in the log, all worked on 15m, so I have nothing to complain about its performance.  I still plan on putting more radials down before the snow flies, and then it should just be about perfect for my use.

For the most part the bands were extremely noisy with very deep QSB.  Signals were S9+ and a second later were gone completely only to reappear a few seconds later as S4.  Lots of stations had big signals, obviously running a bit of power, but they were not hearing the stations calling them, they were completely deaf, and this led to more than a bit of frustration for the S&P guys.

The other thing that was going on was stations were rushing their callsigns so fast you couldn't understand them at all.  Then to top that off, they didn't leave enough room in-between their calls for you to sneak in your callsign.  It was rush, rush, rush, and in the end nobody won. Slow down so people can understand you and answer your CQ - then everyone will be happy.

The prize for the loudest and cleanest signal this year must go to ZF1A (Cayman Islands).  What a signal they had!  I think I worked them on three bands, and everyone was a joy to work, and very professional operators as well.

So that's it for another year.  Hopefully next year we will be back down with VE9FI operating with much better propagation.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Trans-Atlantic SOTA Event

Just a reminder for those SOTA fanatics out there reading the Blog - the next Trans-Atlantic S2S (Summit to Summit) event is on Saturday 2nd November 2019, generally between the hours of 13:00 and 17:00 UTC. 

For those with more battery capacity, summit shelters and generally more stamina than others, those timings may go out + 1 hour at either end of the above period.

You do not have to be on a SOTA summit to chase these guys, just get on the air, chase them, and support them.....they'll appreciate it.

For a list of available VE3 Summits have a look HERE.

Get outside, operate, and have some SOTA fun !!

Monday, 21 October 2019


CQ WW DX SSB is coming up next weekend: October 26-27.  The contest starts at 00:00:00 UTC Saturday and ends at 23:59:59 UTC Sunday.
The CQ WW SSB is the largest Amateur Radio competition in the world. Over 35,000 participants take to the airwaves this last weekend of October with the goal of making as many contacts with as many different DXCC entities and as many CQ Zones as possible.
The 2019 Rules can be found HERE.
This is by far my favourite contest, and one of the very few I do on a serious basis.  For the first time in three years I will not be operating from the VE9FI station in New Brunswick due to a couple of issues with the station, a number of items are out for repair and will not be back in time.  Propagation wise we're at the bottom of Cycle 24 and I don't really expect a lot this year, I think we'll have to fight for every DX contact we make.
I'm sure the FT-950 and the two antennas will get a good workout this weekend, and I look forward to writing another post telling you all how well I did.
Good luck everyone.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

New Antenna

I decided to put up a second HF antenna the other day as the 80m OCF I have up in the air will not tune on 15m at all.  Now, I know there's not much action on 15m these days....but one can always hope.

It's up in a tree that hangs over my back deck, and the radials are partly on the deck and partly on the lawn.  I built it with used 18 gauge speaker wire that was originally used for my 148' longwire that I took down last year.

After googling a number of different antennas I settled on the following:

So far it has worked great and I have had excellent signal reports from all the stations I have talked to.  It tunes up quickly on every band from 80m up to 6m with the FT-950's built in ATU.  That ATU is no good for mis-matches greater than 3.1 to 1.   

Next weekend is the NY State QSO Party, that will be it's first big test.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

New York QSO Party

Coming up next weekend is the New York QSO Party.  I'm hoping the propagation improves before then as I would like to better my QRP score from last year........but things aren't looking too good right now.

Rules can be found HERE.

Being so close to New York State I will be mainly on 40m and 80m with the occasional visit to 160m late at night.  I'll also give 10m and 6m a listen as well, you just never know when they will open up.

Hope to work you on the bands for this event.

Monday, 30 September 2019


I've made a few contacts on the KX3 now and I'm very impressed with the rig.  People are correct though, the menu system takes quite a bit of getting used to and figure out.....but I'm sure I'll get used to it in the end.

I took it out to the park on Sunday to operate, but unfortunately the SFI was so bad it was just a waste of time.  It seems we had a minor solar storm.

Although operating the radio was a waste of time, I did take time with the help of Rick, VE3ORY, to cut to the correct length the new Packtenna I bought several months ago now.   It will be interesting to see how this antenna performs with the KX3.

Normally when I head to the park I take a pile of equipment with me, weighing several tonnes it seems.  That has changed, I can't get over how light and small my portable kit is now.  My sore back thanks me.

Hopefully, although the weather is starting to turn and get cooler, I will still be able to get out and put the radio through its paces before the snow flies this winter.  It will also make a change for Winter Field Day as it's small enough to operate from the front seat of my van for that event....I might even be able to stay warm.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

New Radio....

A new radio arrived at the QTH today, a brand new KX3....with all the bells and whistles.  I've wanted one of these radios for a good number of years, in fact ever since I saw Steve, WG0AT, try one out.  Actually, at the time Steve was trying out KX3 Serial Number 001.

I've heard it's the Rolls Royce of QRP radios, well, we will see this coming weekend when it gets taken out on it's first trip to the park.  I will post a report on how that goes.

It's back to reading the manual now....I don't want to break it on the first time to the park.

Monday, 23 September 2019

La Grosse Ile - QC-010

Coming up on September 29th, Pierre, VE2GT will be activating Grosse Ile – QC010, and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site CNPOTA QC24.  The Island is also POTA VE-4910 and VEFF-1507.

He will be using 80m to 10m and will be on the air from 1445 UTC to 1815 UTC 
+/- delay of the boat.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

It's Come & Gone...

The Campsite.
Well, another Chillycon is over, and what a weekend it was!  Weather wise it was fine, except for Friday night when the winds got up and torrential rain fell for most of the night.  Luckily we all stayed dry and survived.

Attendance was down a bit this year, there seemed to be only a few from Ottawa.  The guys from Kingston and Montreal made up for it though.

Dave, VA3ORP, once again brought the portable bar, and the single malt flowed as usual, and the Pizza supper on Saturday evening was as good as ever.

The propagation for the weekend was: SFI=68, SN=0, A Index=5, K Index=1.  Those numbers did not change all weekend.

Over the weekend a European DX Contest was on, and Saturday afternoon saw us working into Europe at QRP levels with no problem.   I managed to work DL0HN, a club station near Stuttgart, and OM2VL near Bratislava with my FT-817D with 5w on SSB.  The antenna was a 66' wire into a 9:1 unun, and four 16' ground radials.   I also managed to put another 20 North Amercans in the log, including Rick, W6KH from Vista, California, another nice QRP contact.

Don, VE3MNE, won the DX Contest this year with a QRP SSB contact into Saudi Arabia.  He used an FT-857D, dialed back to 5w, with a 20m hamstick mounted on his truck.

Those who didn't make it missed a great weekend, and I'm sure Eric and Stuart will tell the guys in Ottawa just what they missed.  Of course Eric was not pleased that he, once again, did not win the DX Trophy, and is plotting to change some of the rules for next year in his favour.  We did, however, insist that he present the trophy to Don so he could say that at least he got to hold it this year.

Some more pictures of the weekend.......

The VE3FI FT-817ND

If you're going to drink Scotch, drink the good stuff!

VA3AMX presenting the DX Trophy to VE3MNE, this years winner.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019


Coming up on the weekend of September 14th & 15th, is this years edition of Chillycon.  This is the annual gathering of QRP'ers in Eastern Ontario, sponsored and hosted by the Ottawa QRP Club.

It's held each year at Rideau River Provincial Park, just across the river from the town of Kemptville. It's a small and clean park, and who cater for we amateur radio operators.

As usual a good group will be attending from Kingston again this year......if only to see what single malt scotch Dave, VA3ORP, brings with him.

VA3QV enroute!!
 The weather this year looks very different from last year, when we were
  hit with a heat wave.  This year it looks like we will be back down to the
  usual temperatures and with a bit of rain in the forecast.  We'll go fully
  prepared for whatever Mother Nature can throw at us and see what

 Bob, VA3QV, will be making an appearance for a few days, and he will
 be available to sign autographs on Friday night.

 Don't forget if you're going to enter the Chillycon QRP DX
 Contest.....somebody has to beat Eric.

 If you can't make it for the weekend, try and get out and join us for the Saturday, and our traditional Pizza Supper.  Bring your radio, there's lots of operating locations if you join us for the day.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Using 2m...

I was sitting here in the shack today thinking about the international kerfuffle we have just gone through for the past month over 2m, and the possibility of losing it for amateur use.

In several places I have read that if we don’t use 2m we will lose it, in fact that can be said about any of our amateur bands these days, given the level of corporate greed out there.  But, thinking about 2m, when was the last time you heard any traffic on a simplex frequency?  It was probably 3 years ago for me.

Over the past few months I’ve been following a few ham blogs run by UK amateurs, and I’m amazed at the amount of traffic they seem to generate on 2m simplex.    

They have hams that collect Trig Points using 2m to follow the activators.  You never hear of that activity here in Canada.

Some hams collect Grid Squares, we have that in North America as well, but it seems only during contests, and primarily on 6m it seems.

Then there is SOTA. We have SOTA in North America also, but not much is done on 2m simplex, especially here in Ontario.  It’s nowhere near as popular here as it is in Europe.

The UK, and several other countries, also have HEMA, an organization that is similar to SOTA, but for smaller summits.  It’s very popular, but it doesn’t appear to be operating in North America.

Then we have Island and Lighthouse activations, popular all over Europe and the USA, but they don’t seem to attract much attention in Canada.  

It looks like there are plenty of activities to do on 2m, it would seem, however, the real issue is getting people out of their shacks, and getting involved in some of these activities to make sure we don’t lose our frequencies.

Remember, the Europeans only have 144 to 146 and do all of the above activites.  Here in North America we have twice that amount of frequency, 144 to 148, and apart from a pile of dead repeaters that get used once a week for a poorly attended net, not much else goes on.  

Time for a change in the way we do things here I think.  

Friday, 30 August 2019

Good News....

Looks like the issue over Ham Radio losing 2m may now be over.

Have a look HERE.

We will wait for the official announcement in a few days, but it looks good!!

I guess Thales will now  have to find another pile of frequencies to use and leave ours alone.  BUT......we need to remember, if we don't use it, we will lose it.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

A Pretty Good Day...

The day didn't start that well.  We missed the first ferry to Wolfe Island, ON-009, by about 10 minutes, so we had an hour to kill before the next one.

Our operating spot for the day was at Canal Dock Park on Wolfe Island.  It's a very peaceful and quiet spot, there's also a good number of high trees to throw your antenna up into.

Propagation numbers for the day were: SFI=66, SN=0, A Index=4, and the K Index=2.   There didn't seem to be too many islands on the air given it was the Island QSO Party weekend, but the Ohio and Kansas QSO Parties sure made up for it and we had lots of contacts with stations taking part in those contests.

Contacts were made in Kansas, Ohio, Minnesota, New York, Maine, and Ontario.   Radio in use was my FT-897D with the LDG Tuner, maximum output was 50 watts.  The antenna of the day was this ONE.  We're still working on this antenna to get all the kinks out of it, but for the most part it did the job.  I had it up in the air almost as a 'Inverted V', and my suspicion is that it would work a lot better as a vertical.  Time, and more experimentation, will tell.

Overall is was a very relaxing and enjoyable day, even the bugs took the day off.

The view from the operating position.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Portable Antenna...

Over the past two months Don, VE3MNE, and myself have been looking for, and working on, a portable antenna for our island and lighthouse activations.

When we started we had a few "must haves", such as it must be small, light in weight, and portable, it had to cover 80m, 40m, 20m, 15m, and 10m as a minimum, and it had to be easy to deploy.  After today's outing it looks like we have successfully met all those targets.  In fact it even tuned up on 17m and 30m.

Here's a diagram of the antenna:

Click to Expand Diagram

The propagation numbers for today at 1400 UTC were:  SFI=66, SN=0, A Index=4 and the K Index=1. We also had some very deep QSB, especially on 40m.

Even with those numbers we were getting a true solid 59 into the southern states and New Brunswick.

Next weekend we will have it on the air again for the W / VE Island QSO Party.  Hopefully the propagation numbers will be better than today, and we will have a better idea of what this antenna can really do.

Monday, 12 August 2019


A few years ago I put up a 148 foot long wire antenna.  It was a great antenna, it worked very well and was my "go-to" antenna for Europe on 20m.   Recently I started to have some issues with it and then it stopped working altogether.   I finally decided yesterday to investigate what was wrong.

I was using RG8X coax for the antenna and had it running under my back deck, so I disconnected the coax and pulled it out into the open. You can see why I was having issues by looking at the pictures below ☺  

We're going squirrel hunting tomorrow.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

W / VE Island QSO Party

Coming up on August 24 & 25 is this year's W/VE Island QSO Party.  This event is designed to showcase the U.S. (USI) and Canadian (CIA) islands programs.

The Canadian website is HERE, and the US website with the rules is HERE.

This is NOT the IOTA program run by the RSGB, these are separate national island programs that include both fresh and saltwater islands.

Contacts are allowed on 160m to 6m, excluding the WARC bands and 60m.  No repeater, Internet-sourced, MCW, VHF/UHF simplex or cross mode contacts allowed.

I'm planning on activating Wolfe Island, ON-009 under the Island Expedition Class, for as long as my batteries last.  

Start planning for it, we need more Canadian stations active for this event.  

Thursday, 25 July 2019

ILLW 2019

Coming up next month.....

The International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW) is an annual event held on the third full weekend of August each year. The event was the brainchild of John Forsyth and Mike Dalrymple who were both members of the Ayr Amateur Radio Group in Scotland. 
The event, which started in 1998, has now developed into an international gathering of amateur radio operators from an estimated 95 countries.
The event runs from 00.01 UTC 17th August to 2400 UTC 18th August 2019 (48 hours)
The ILLW website can be found HERE.
As of today's date, July 25th, we only have 11 Canadian Lighthouses scheduled to be on the air.  There is not a single west coast lighthouse on the list, not one VE7.  Surely we can do better than 11 lighthouses on the air that weekend......we have three coastlines that have many lighthouses that can be put on the air, as well as the great lakes.  Come on BC, start planning a few activations.
I will be on the air this year as VE3UCC, operating from Nine Mile Point Lighthouse on Simcoe Island at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. The light is 40' high and was built between 1830 and 1860 and is still an active light.

IOTA 2019

The 'Islands On The Air' award, started by Geoff Watts and now run by the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), is a popular award for Amateur Radio operators, where the objective is to contact Ham Radio operators transmitting from offshore islands throughout the world. 

Coming up this weekend, July 27 - 28, is this year's event.  It starts at 1200 UTC on the 27th and ends at 1200 UTC on the 28th.   

The IOTA Rules can be found HERE.

There are still a few days left to pick an island and get out and operate.

Get out there and join the fun.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

An Interesting Day...

We have been hit with a pretty good heatwave here in Eastern Ontario for the past week, and when we decided to do the Big Island Activation we had no idea it would be this hot.  So, having sent out notices to half the world's ham population about it, it was a go.

It was an early breakfast and VE3FI, VE3ORY, and VE3MNE were on the road by 0830.  Big Island is about 75 minutes west of Kingston, and we had scheds to make by 1100.  The drive there was very uneventful, traffic was really lite, and the banter on 2m simplex helped the drive go quickly.  We did hear K9NQ break into our QSO, but it was very difficult to work him.  We manage a brief exchange of callsigns and that was about it.

We were heading for the boat launch site on the west end of the island.  It has a large field and a couple of large trees to hang antennas from.

You can imagine our surprise when we arrived there and found the site 74 cms underwater.  This was a problem as there is nowhere else on the island where you can operate from, there are no public areas other than this one.

After talking it over we decided to set up along the side of the road, next to the boat launch, and do the best we could.  We manage 14 QSO's on CW, SSB, and JS8 Call.  Not as many as we would have liked, but given the circumstance it wasn't too bad.  All contacts were on 20m, 30m, and 40m.  While we could hear traffic on 2m and 6m SSB, we were unable to make any contacts on those bands.

Propagation today was:  SFI=66, SN=0, A Index=3, and K Index=1.  The outside temperature was 33C...luckliy with a gentle breeze blowing in off the lake.

Here are the photos.......

The operating location

The sign that ruined our day.......

It was a good swim to use the toilet!!!

The entrance to the site.

VE3MNE adjusting his whip.

The VE3FI operating position

What's left of the picnic field

I'm not sure what VE3ORY was doing here !!

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Big Island, ON-090.

Coming up next Sunday - 21 July, Big Island, ON090, in the beautiful Bay of Quinte will be on the air.  

Don VE3MNE and I will be on the air from 1500 UTC to 1900 UTC.  We will start on 14.270 +/- QRM and then QSY later in the afternoon to 7.270 +/- QRM.  You may hear either VE3FI or VE3MNE calling CQ.

Big Island has not been activated in over 20 years from the records we can find, so it's a rare one.

My radio will be the FT-897D and the antenna will be a long wire with a 9:1 Unun.  We will also listen on 144.200 SSB  and 50.125 as it is the CQ WW VHF Contest that weekend.  

UPDATE:  We have added a CW Station to the activation. You will find VE3ORY on 14.040 and 7.040 +/- QRM.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

2m Video. Watch !!

Came across this today.  Great video......needs to be watched and shared !!!

Monday, 1 July 2019

Update on "2m Under Attack"

I received the following note from a UK ham this morning:

Can I suggest an amendment to your blog post? 
If you look at the actual meeting report (search for “CEPT Project Team A Prague” and start digging), you will see that there is NO suggestion of re-allocating 2M to aeronautical mobile. The item asks for a study into assigning primary access to AM for no-safety data communications whilst ensuring no interference to other band users (i.e. us).

Now, I did just that, searched and found nothing to support this gentlemans theory.  What I did find supports the fact that we should be concerned at what's going on concerning 2m.

I'm sure that the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has got it right.  The International Amateur Radio Union is an international confederation of national amateur radio organisations that allows a forum for common matters of concern and collectively represents matters to the International Telecommunication Union, and it's their job to look into and investigate this matter.

As you will read below, the representative of the IARU stated that, "the IARU views with grave concern the element of the WRC-23 agenda item proposal 1.6 in the AI10 ECP, on studies towards a possible new allocation to the aeronautical mobile service in the band 144-146 MHz".  
I have to go with what the IARU says in its statement, and that is 2m is under attack, and we need to fight back.

Who is CEPT?  CEPT is the acronym for Conférence européenne des administrations des postes et des télécommunications, translated as the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations......in other words a department of the European Union.

144 and 1240 MHz bands - CEPT meeting minutes:

CEPT Project Team A, responsible for some aspects of the CEPT position for WRC-19, met in Prague from June 17-21. The meeting minutes are available for download

Regarding 1240-1300 MHz band the minutes say:

The representative of the European Commission (EC) stated that, RNSS systems are global by nature, and that the radio amateur service is allocated in all regions. Once RNSS receivers (including Galileo E6 receivers) are deployed ubiquitously, the number of interference cases coming from radio amateur emissions will increase significantly and represent an important burden to Administrations, unless clear guidelines are available in order to drive the amateur community towards an appropriate usage of their allocation.

For these reasons, the EC believes that the French proposal of a WRC-23 agenda item is essential in order to complement the work being started within CEPT, and to find a sustainable solution for all parties. Also, the EC considers that WRC-23 is the right time for a decision enabling the better regulation of the RNSS-amateur coexistence at international level, as Galileo will start providing freely available high accuracy services in the 1260-1300 MHz band on a global basis from 2020.

The EC noted that some of the 7 Administrations which objected to the French contribution are open to consider a revised version of the proposal, and therefore believes that relevant support may be achievable at CPG level, following further discussions until end August.

Regarding the 144 MHz band the minutes say: 
The representative of the IARU stated that, the IARU views with grave concern the element of the WRC-23 agenda item proposal 1.6 in the AI10 ECP, on studies towards a possible new allocation to the aeronautical mobile service in the band 144-146 MHz. This band is an important and the only globally harmonised primary allocation to the amateur and amateur satellite services in the VHF range. Examination of the RR below and above the 144-146 MHz range suggests that alternative proposals could be developed that could provide further spectrum for the aeronautical applications without impacting on this amateur service spectrum. The proposal provides no justification for addressing this band and the IARU believes that sharing with airborne systems is likely to be difficult and will lead to constraints on the development of the amateur and amateur satellite services in this band.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Lighthouses and Island Activations

If you're looking for a few lighthouses and islands to activate in the next thirty days, have a look at this PAGE.  Looks like Chris, VE3CBK, will be a busy boy for a while and I'm looking forward to working him on Grand Manan Island.

I am planning on activating Big Island, ON-090, on Monday, July 29th. Big Island is in the Bay of Quinte and has not been activated for many years, so I'm looking forward to that activation, it should be a busy one.  I'm hoping to have two HF stations up and running for this event if I can talk another local ham to come along.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

More 2m Under Attack News....

Really?  Only Germany objected to this proposal??

Here's the latest......

A World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23) agenda item proposing to study a range of frequencies, including potentially reassigning 144 – 146 MHz as a primary Aeronautical Mobile Service allocation, drew little opposition at a meeting of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) Project Team A. The team is responsible for some aspects of CEPT WRC positions, and the meeting was held June 17 – 21 in Prague, Czech Republic. Introduced by France, the proposal targeting 144 – 146 MHz would be part of a broader consideration of spectrum allocated to the Aeronautical Mobile Service. Another issue addressed during the meeting concerned the sharing of the Amateur Radio 1240 – 1300 MHz band with Europe’s Galileo GPS system.
We hear only one administration (Germany) opposed the 144 MHz proposal — no one else,” the UK Microwave Group tweeted following the meeting. Otherwise, it has been carried forward to the higher-level CEPT Conference Preparatory Group (CPG) meeting in August.
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), which was represented at the Prague meeting, expressed “grave concern” to any proposal that would include 144 – 146 MHz in the proposed Aeronautical Mobile Services agenda item. That comprises the entire available 2-meter band in ITU Region 1. IARU has pledged to make every effort to fully protect Amateur Radio interests and seek the support of regulators for their view.
IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, said prior to the meeting that the IARU would “energetically” promote its opposition in Regional Telecommunications Organizations (RTOs) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) “to obtain assurances that the spectrum will remain a primary allocation for the amateur services.”
The 144 – 146 MHz band is allocated globally to the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services on a primary basis and is the only globally harmonized Amateur Radio VHF band. A widely used segment of the Amateur Radio spectrum, 2 meters supports a broad base of terrestrial users, repeater systems, and satellite stations, including the International Space Station.
According to the meeting minutes, the proposal provides no justification for targeting 144 – 146 MHz, and the IARU believes that sharing with airborne systems likely would be difficult and lead to constraints on the development of the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services there. IARU suggested that alternative proposals might be developed that could provide further spectrum for the aeronautical applications without impacting this Amateur Service spectrum.
IARU is expected to brief member-societies, requesting that they discuss the French proposal with their governments in advance of the August CEPT-CPG meeting. France could seek to introduce the same proposal to study 144 – 146 MHz for aeronautical use into other RTOs.
Meanwhile, further discussion on the 23-centimeter band study proposal is anticipated prior to the Conference Preparatory Group meeting in August. The proposal was raised in the wake of reports of interference to the Galileo navigation system, but IARU has said it’s aware of only “a handful of cases” of reported interference to the Galileo E6 signal on 1278.750 MHz. Work on this issue will continue in other specialized CEPT forums in the interim.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Island Activation

Just heard that Chris VE3CBK, will be activating Morris Island, ON-124, on Wednesday morning, June 19th.  He's planning to be on the air from 1400 UTC to 1600 UTC.  He will be operating QRP.

His plans are to start on 14.270 +/- QRM and then QSY to 7.270 +/- QRM, spending about 20 minutes on each band.  After that, he will choose whatever band is working for him.

Big bonus for us lighthouse guys....... he is also able to activate Morris Island Lighthouse, ARLHS CAN-1077, and Arnprior Island Light ARLHS CAN-1044.

Morris Island

Thursday, 13 June 2019

2m Under Attack....

For a long time a good friend of mine has said that if we don't use it, we'll lose it.  Well, have a read of this news out of France today.

France proposes 144-146 MHz for Aeronautical Mobile Service

The next meeting of the CEPT WRC-19 Conference Preparatory Group takes place June 17-21 in Prague 

France has submitted a paper with the subject Agenda Item 10 revised proposal for an agenda item for new non-safety aeronautical mobile applications. 

The paper says: 

"The list of bands that are proposed for study of possible new allocations to the aeronautical mobile service on a primary basis is revised by adding the band 144-146 MHz, the bands 5000-5010 MHz and 15.4-15.7 GHz being maintained."

"The decisions of previous conferences have introduced some restrictions to the use and have imposed constraints on the development of aeronautical mobile applications within some existing mobile allocations traditionally used by the aeronautical mobile applications. 

At the same time, the number of manned and unmanned aircraft equipped with sensors has grown significantly in the past 20 years together with the need of bidirectional low to high data rate communications.

Aeronautical applications like fire surveillance, border surveillance, air quality and environment monitoring, traffic monitoring, disaster monitoring, terrain modelling, imagery (visible, infrared, radar, meteo), video monitoring require non-safety communications between various types of aeronautical platforms. 

Consequently the need of non-safety data communications between various types of aeronautical platforms increases and so the need for new frequency bands."

Download PTA(19)090 France_Proposal on non-safety aeronautical mobile applications at CPG PTA # 7 - 17-21 June - Prague under Meeting Docs 

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Good Weekend...

This past weekend was the 48th year of the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour, and the 13th year the Frontenac Radio Group has provided the communications through our county.

The event has cyclists ride from Ottawa to Kingston on Saturday, and ride back to Ottawa on Sunday.

We had 1800 riders on the road over four different routes, and three ham clubs manning over 30 communication points.  It's a pretty big operation and takes a while to set up.

Thankfully, the weather was fantastic both days and that really helped with the smooth running this year.  Not one single major issue popped up in our sector this year.

The new VE3FRG C4FM repeater worked exactly as advertised, and we had zero issues with that as well.  Usually, we have an issue with the Lavant 2m repeater which we use for an inter-sector liaison station.  This year we had no issue getting into the Lavant repeater due to the 40' mast that VE3ORY brought along, so that was great.

As we are an Emcomm Club, this cycle tour is an excellent way of practicing deployed operating and operating under a directed net for up to eight hours a day for the whole weekend.

Hopefully, next year will go as smoothly as this year.

Here are some photos of the event, thanks to Rick, VE3ORY.

Last year we only had one of these cycles........they seem to be getting popular.

Don VE3MNE running the Net.

The 40' mast and J-Pole.

Susanne, our Cycle Tour Event Coordinator.