If you can read this… Thank A Teacher…
If you read this in English… Thank a Veteran!
“Lest we forget…”
Good Friday Morning,
I was at the OVMRC October General Meeting last night and it was a great time… The scheduled guest speaker was excellent, the unscheduled guest speaker (RAC President VE4BAW) proved very interesting.
In addition to the above, the operating budget for 2010-2011 was approved and in that budget was some funds for my Special Event-Field Day department so there is now a very good chance that you will be hearing VE3RAM or VE3JW in a few of the major contests this year.
VA3PCJ and VA3QV at Winter Field Day 2010
Its too soon for the CQ WW SSB this weekend, but an excellent chance of hearing us for the RAC Canada Winter Contest, the SPAR Winter Field Day Event, The Ontario QSO Party. Field Day 2011 is a given along with the Lighthouse/Lightship weekend in August.
Our Local Lighthouse
Club Trailer Field Day 2010
Getting back to the meeting…
Our guest speaker was Micheal Nemat, a student from Carleton University who designed and built a tracking program along with its own display platform using Google maps. This does sound a lot like APRS being displayed on Aprs.fi but he designed and built the whole thing…
He designed a circuit board and had it built. Interfaced it with a cellular phone and a very powerful GPS RCVR and set it to send DATA from his cellular phone over the internet to a server data base. The server then accessed the data and plotted everything and then displayed it on Google Maps looking exactly like what we see on APRS.fi.
His GPS System was able to access 11 sats with the unit in the open which gave his an excellent level of accuracy and when the unit was concealed UNDER THE VEHICLE he still was able to access 6 sats for a fairly good level of accuracy.
His power for the whole unit was able to run the unit for two days non stop and when secured to the underneath of the vehicle was virtually undetected… Remember that story of the FBI tracking device found on a vehicle a couple of weeks ago?
The unit our student built was just a bit smaller than the one in the video and did not the large battery pack.
The prototype unit was roughly just a little larger than my VX8GR which also does tracking with a built in GPS but his runs for two days , can be concealed and all it needs is a cell site. My VX8GR runs for 5 hours, has to be in the open and needs a digipeater… My unit cost more and both of us use google maps…
This young gentleman is going places… Watch for him in the future… I hope we can convince him to get his Amateur Ticket… There is no doubt he could walk in an pass it today… He and his fellow students could be the future of Amateur Radio if we can get them interested in interacting with a bunch of us “old pharts”…
The second guest speaker of the night was Geoff Bawden VE4BAW who is the President of Radio Amateurs of Canada. Geoff is in Ottawa for the weekend for a Special Meeting with the rest of the RAC Board and Executive on the future of our national organisation.
Geoff started by introducing himself and made a few general comments and when he was concluding he said the words “any questions?” and that opened the floodgates…
Questions flew from the floor on the recent IC letting the bike tour use amateur frequencies, the lack of communication (or better yet) the poor communication from RAC. The RAC Liability insurance, discounts for students and how to attract members were also mentioned.
The biggest questions/debate were from some tech savy younger amateurs who are members but feel RAC is not communicating with us. The RAC email bulletin service, the RAC Blog and the TCA are not enough. They would like Twitter and Facebook… They feel we have to bring RAC’s methods of communicating with their members into the 21st century. Which is something that should be looked into if we are going after the younger types…
It turned out quite a bit longer than we expected, but giving Geoff credit he handled every question. I get the feeling he has handled a scrum before as he seemed confident in front of the group with no notes or script. To be honest I was impressed!
Actually RAC was fairly well represented at the meeting with President Geoff, Director for Alberta and the North Director “Mitch” Mitchell VE6OH. Vice-President Industreal Relations Norm VE3LC as in attendance as was VA3SM Chris who is the RAC Office Manager here in Ottawa. Mike VE3IPC who is the DEC for Ottawa and area was in attendance as well.
The meeting which started at 1930 ran a bit longer than usual and finished up at 2200 hrs. I found it to be very informative with two excellent guest speakers and I walked away from the meeting with a bit more confidence on the future of our hobby.
Not “warm and fuzzy” yet… but I’m not looking for the lifeboats any more!
They say “a picture is worth a thousand words … “ so just imagine how long this post would of been without all the graphics…
Enjoy your weekend