Thursday, 25 April 2019

A Visitor....

We had a visitor in Kingston last weekend.......

Nice to see Russ and Pat, and to have coffee with them on their way home to New Brunswick.  See you guys in October !!

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Activating Canadian Islands

It's that time of year when the ice is coming off the rivers and lakes, and when certain hams start to plan their island activations for the summer and fall.

Last year I activated Wolfe and Simcoe islands, ON-009 and ON-022 respectively.  Given the current location we are in the solar cycle I did pretty well on both activations.  The problem was that both of these islands have been activated multiple times over the last few years, and not everyone needs them in the log.

This year I've been hunting through the records for islands that have not been activated in a long time, and have come up with Big Island, ON-090, and Amherst Island, ON-021.  

There is no available record for Big Island anywhere I can find, and nobody around this area can ever remember it being on the air.  

Amherst Island hasn't been activated for 6 years, and we only made ten contacts that day due to really lousy propagation.  Hopefully, we'll do better this summer.

If you're looking for more information on activating Canadian Islands, have a look HERE.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Sunday Portable

Spent three hours last Sunday, April 7th, out at the local park with Jim VE3ULC, and Rick VE3ORY, operating portable QRP.  This was our first "Portable Sunday" of the year.

The weather, while dry and no snow, was pretty cold and damp, which didn't sit too well with Rick as he hasn't been back from wintering in sunny tropical Florida all that long.

I spent some time playing around with APRS, which is all new to me, as is the rig.  Slowly we're figuring out things, and more to the point I actually have the radio sending out beacons now.  By the way, if you get an FT2D - get rid of the stock antenna and get an after-market one.  The stock whip is not good at all.

The other thing I got to do was 2m CW.  I suppose as are most areas, 2m is pretty quiet these days, so I wanted to see what I could do.  In this location, I've never heard of anyone doing either CW or SSB on I had to try.

It took about 10 minutes of calling CQ, but I did get a response from Ron VE3GO, who was a very long 3 km from my location.......However, I'm sure that CW contact was actually long path !! 😆

The bad thing of the day was the fact that I had forgotten my 22-foot painter pole and only had an 8-foot version with me.  I used my short Buddipole whips to make a 2m dipole and made the contact on that. Worked great !!

I was so excited at finally getting back out to the park that I forgot to write down the SFI of the day.........I do know that it wasn't very good.

Looking forward to many more of these events in the local parks and on the local islands.  It's a great way to spend a Sunday.

The operating location - the back of the van.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

2018 CQ WW DX Contest - SSB

Results are in........looks like we did OK 😎