Here is an article from the National Post which has some information on this topic…
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Todays news from the Minsitry of Transportation is questionable… The first thing that come to mind is…
What the heck were they thinking????
Hands free Amateur Radios??? even funnier… Hands Free CB Radios???? and I’m sure some of the companies like Motorola will be lining up to build a new line of private-commercal radios just for use in Ontario… (YA RIGHT…)
On the brighter side of things we do have 3 years to continue operating our existing equipment which means that events like the Canadian Ski Marathon and other large scale public service events that need communications have 3 years to figure out how they are going to do things without mobile communications.
It seems almost ironic that we get this news on September 30th and on October 3rd amateurs in Ontario will be assisting Emergency Management Ontario with the Province Wide Simulated Emergency Test. I am sure that some ARES Groups will have to need to operate mobile for parts of this exercise and with todays news I am wondering how many more people will invest their hard earned dollars on mobile equipment that they will be severly restricted on using.
The complete article is also posted below…
Bob is not impressed…
September 30, 2009 10:39 AM
Hands-free devices will still be permitted.
This new law also prohibits viewing a display screen unrelated to the driving task such as laptops or DVD players while driving.
The new law applies only to hand-held wireless communications and hand-held electronic entertainment devices. This means drivers must only use wireless devices that can be used in a “hands-free” manner:
Some wireless devices require that users push a button to activate and/or deactivate the device’s “hands-free” function. This activity is permitted under the law.
Drivers will not be permitted to use hand-held communication and entertainment devices when driving, with the following exceptions:
Other devices not included in the ban:
Emergency Response Personnel
Police, fire department and emergency medical services personnel will be permitted to use hand-held wireless communications devices and view display screens in the normal performance of their duties.
The use of hand-held radios by amateur radio operators (who provide assistance, especially in emergency situations such as severe storms and blackouts) will be phased out within three years, to allow hands-free technologies to be developed.
A small percentage of drivers in transport-related industries (e.g., school buses, taxis, couriers) and public service workers (e.g., transit and highway maintenance workers) rely on the use of certain types of wireless devices and display screen technologies in the performance of day-to-day operations.
To help these businesses stay competitive, Ontario is granting a three-year phase-out period for the commercial use of two-way radios, including mobile and CB radios, to allow for hands-free technologies to be developed.
The new law will not affect mobile data terminals, logistical tracking devices and dispatching devices. They will be exempt for commercial and public service vehicle drivers who are engaged in the performance of their duties.
Hand-mikes (push-to-talk systems) and portable radios (walkie-talkies) may be used in a hands-free mode. This would mean the driver can use a lapel button or other hands-free application as long as the hand-mike or walkie-talkies is not held while driving.
LI got this from the Ottawa Sun (Sun Media) and thought I was worth sharing with you as we have been looking at this topic since the debate started…
By SUN MEDIA
Last Updated: 30th September 2009, 2:48am
TORONTO — Don’t hang up that phone just yet.
Legislation banning the use of handheld electronics while driving is expected to come into effect this fall, but the province has not yet set a date.
Toronto Police Sgt. Tim Burrows said the force has been told the law could kick in between late October and late November.
When the new restrictions are in place, drivers who text, type, e-mail, dial or chat using a handheld device will face a fine of $60 to a maximum of $500 upon conviction. Hands-free devices will still be okay.
Thanks again to the Ottawa Sun for this story
I’m not spending as much time in the shack as I would like to but I am finding the time to test out the ANC 4 under different conditions and so far I am not dissapointed with its performance.
Today (Sept 29) right now (1620hrs Eastern) with the unit turned off my noise level is unusually low at a S7. That in itself is less than 50% of what my noise on 80m usually is so its a great day to start with. Yesterday I moved the location of the signal receiving antenna and today was the first day of real testing. I was able to drop the incoming signal noise down to just below an S3 and for the first time in a long time was able to pick up stations in the “Golden Horseshoe” (the Toronto-Hamilton Area) sector of Ontario during the daytime.
Daytime stations were heard close in (Kingston, Montreal) and futher out (Hamilton, Toronto) with no problems. Others were heard with some QSB which would be normal for the conditions of today.
The unit does lower noise as well as incoming signals so it is a bit of a compromise but it lowers the noise more than it lowers the signals so we can hear more with it than without.
However I will mention that when my noise was S9 +20 a few days ago having the noise lowered down to S7 still was pretty bad but having the noise at a S7 and lowered to a S3 is FANTASTIC.
Am I pleased with it???—>YES
Would I recommend it???—> SO FAR
Would I buy one???—> Leaning towards saying YES
So far its a keeper but the testing will continue…
If you refer back to yesterdays post you know that I am now “playing” I mean testing out a very lightly used Timewave ANC 4 Noise Cancelling Device.
And so far I am pleased but puzzled with the results found… Last night I tested it out using my FT847 and LDG Z100 Autotuner. I was using a 50 foot dipole (25 feet per side) as a non resonant recieving antenna to pick up the noise that the device is supposed to phase shift to lower my actual noise level.
It brought my noise on 80m which is the only band I really have troubles on from a S9 + down to around S5 which was excellent. I should mention that I also find it lowers signals as well as noise but it lowers the noise more and its much easier to listen to a S5 signal with a low noise level than a S9 signal with a high noise level so I have to say it works.
Today (Sunday) as I am experimenting decided to see it the ANC 4 would work with my FT 897D which I use sometimes in the field and also as my backup HF rig here in the shack…
Now all I did was swap out the 847 and Deep Cycle RV Battery out for the FT897 and 30ah battery pack. The tuner remained the same, the antenna and grounding system remained the same… All I did was switch out the radio and change batteries…
The results were not promising…. What was a S9 +20 noise level before was now a S9 +30 noise level and the ANC 4 would not bring the noise level down below a S9 +20….
Now I am at a loss as to what the HECK is going on but I guess more testing is needed. I do remember seeing something in the EHAM Reviews about having to put up a 2nd resonant dipole up to use to supple the signal to shift out of phase in extreme cases so I guess later this week I will put up my multi band vertical and try using that as the receiveing antenna…. If this above statement has really cofused you just head over to the Timewave website (the link is just below the picture of the device) and read the PDF Manual file as they explain it much better than I could…
So I still stand by my earlier comments that “IT WORKS” but now I will add the disclaimer that it work(ed) with my FT 847. I will also say that much more testing is needed before I can say it works with all my HF rigs…
Just in case you have used one of these devices in the past and could share a secret on how to get it to function better please feel free to leave me a comment on this post… I wont have much time till later in the week due to a couple of other commitments along with a forcast of rain to try changing much so it look like this will get the time it deserves late this week… The ARES Ontario SET exercise is this Saturday so it better be done by then….
More as I find the time to do the changes….
Today I was lucky enough to borrow the following neat toy:
Initial reports are that “it works”….
It has lowered my noise level down from the S9 + level that I have been b!tching about for so long down to a S5 on 80m. That is a good thing…. I was able to check into the ONTARS Net on 3.755 and actually hear the Net Control Station who was in the Niagara Falls/St Catherine area just above the noise level. Normally this would not happen as with the ANC4 turned off my noise level returned to just above S9.
Instead of the two supplied antennas I am using a 50 foot non resonant dipole in my back yard at 5 feet above ground to supply the signal to put out of phase. This is one of those things that if you follow the link above you will find the manual and once you read the manual you will then understand what I am talking about in this paragraph.
Needless to say IT DOES WORK…. How good it works will be decided after I have had more time to test things out but….IT DOES WORK…
More on this topic as I learn what I am doing with it and how to properly operate it. Translation …. Once I RTFM…
I just got home after a 5km (3 mile) walk in my neighborhood. Nothing special about that… My doctor wishes I would do it every day and although I try to …. I think you know the rest…
Today however my handheld got a work out as well… I tend to take it with me every day and I always announce my presence on the local repeater but today there were others around.
The walk went much quicker with 3 long QSOs as I walked. The rubber ducky got my signal into the repeater with little problems (just a bit of white noise at times) and everyone could hear my voice over the huffing and puffing as I walked…
Once I got home and put the handheld back on charge I realized that in that walk I probally did more talking (on that walk) than I usually do in a couple of days. I suddenly realize that outside of the 30-45 min a day I spend on 80m with the Ontario Phone Net (3.742 @ 1900 eastern) most of my other time is spent in the shack listening with the radio in the background while I do “Computer Stuff”…
The last time I spent anytime yelling “CQ” was when I was operating from the grounds of the local lighthouse (museum lighthouse) for the Lighthouse/Lightships events back in August. I have tried with average results to work a few DXPeditons that were out there but no real long periods of “Mike Time”…. Losts of listening and very little talking…. It seems that my hobby is keeping me from my hobby and that is not a good thing… Less computer (my 3 blogs excepted) and more “Mike Time”…
Now that we are getting into October lets see if I can change that for the next couple of months…
Although you can find more information on the ARES (Ontario) 2009 SET EXERCISE here or the ONTARIO PHONE NETs PARTICIPATION in the SET here I thought I would take a minute and brag that I was able to fill all the Net Control Stations for the HF Portion of the SET.
This meant that many dedicated Radio Operators had to give up their Saturday for this to happen. As this years SET in Ontario is in DIRECT SUPPORT (Province wide HF Net) of Emergency Management Ontario this will go along way to proving that Amateur Radio can step in when (dare I say it…) all else fails…
Sorry about the delay in getting stuff posted here but its been a busy few days here at the VA3QV QTH…
I have been busy planning the participation of the Ontario Phone Net in the 2009 SET Exercise along with looking after two family birthdays this week.
Happy Birthday to my Daughters Erika (Sept 23) and Jennifer (Sept 24) and don’t worry… I won’t mention what years…
Twittering for a bit… I am amazed on how quickly this “TWEETING” stuff is taking off in Amateur Radio. I signed up to TWITTER just to receive updates from the Project Blue Horizon Balloon Team and although it started slow I seem to be getting about 10 new followers a week and I barely TWEET… I blog instead…. I guess the next step will be to send out a TWEET every time I update the blog…
Well Summer is officially over now… Seems strange that the best weather (at least is Ottawa) since the start of the summer was in the last 3 weeks. It was a summer to forget but there were some good times…
But enought about the trip down memory lane… This would be the time of the year to start to think about ANY antenna work you need to do before the snow and freezing rain along with all the other good stuff old man winter brings with him before spring arrives…
To my readers in the southern climates you can stop laffing now please…
Here at the VA3QV QTH I will be making the following changes in preparation for the harsher winter climate…
My Inverted L antenna will be staying up but I will be adding several more ground radials to try and improve its performance especially on 160m.
I will be adding a homebrewed vertical for 10 to 20m which will be tied into the same ground radial system that the inverted L uses.
I will be putting my dual band J Pole back up on a stronger mast that will survive the stronger winds along with the weight of the ice and snow that we normally get.
I also plan to hang a 1/4 2m groundplane off the above mentioned masting for AX25 Packet/APRS work.
All the parts are in stock for these plans so all thats needed to to re install the coax connectors (as that whats usually fails when the freezing rain hits) and once I can find the time it will be one afternoons work to get everything done… But its easier to do it while its still warm than once the cold weather hits us for the season…
How are your winter plans coming?