Archive for December, 2010

Some thngs never change…

December 20, 2010

Over the years one of the few things that have remained the same in this hobby is CW.  Yes they have gone from straight Keys to keyers and Paddles but…  The language itself has not changed over the years…  A couple of new prosigns but thats about it…

Today’s video comes to us via fellow Blogger Glenn VE3GNA who sent me the link to this YouTube video.  For those of you who don’t know Glenn he is the Section Traffic Manager for the Ontario Section of RAC and a real CW Buff….  If you have some time I recommend you take a look at his blog.  Recently he has been shaking the tree quite a bit about the Ontario Cell Phone (Driving while Distracted) Laws.  Thanks for speaking up on our behalf Glenn… A big thank you

,

Anyway…. on to our video…

Hope you enjoy it…

73bob

An early Christmas present

December 19, 2010

Sitting in my email inbox is the reminder from the Good People at CQ magazine that the January issue of World Radio on Line is available for downloading.

This free monthly magazine is actually worth paying for but they give it away…

If you click on the World Radio Cover  you will be taken to their website where you have the option to download the latest issue as well as previous issues…

Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas….

73bob

Just finished the RAC Winter Contest

December 19, 2010

.

 

.

Well its over and we had a blast…

If you remember yesterdays post I mentioned that I had 5 goals for the contests…

.

1- Have fun…  It has to be fun cuz if its not fun then why are we doing it???

2- Make lots of contacts and talk to old friends….

3- Work all of the Canadian Callsign Districts (Provinces/Territories)

4- Finish in the top half of our catagory (Multi Op-Multi Transmitters- Low Power)

5- Have fun- I know that this is a repeat but its doubly important that we have fun for the same reason as #1 on the list.

So lets take a look at the goal for the VE3JW Contest team…

1- We did have fun…  Nothing is better than watching the look on the face on a new ham when either they break their first pile up or they are causing their first pile up…  Fantastic…

2- I worked Norm VE3XRC in Thunder Bay… I can’t work him from home with my average antenna…  It was like old home week… Lots of voices from the past…

3- Well this one is a kinda succeeded…. Worked  VO1, VO2, VE1, VY2, VE9, VE2, VE4, VE4, VE5, VE6, VE7….

but missed VY1, VE8 AND VY0…  We did hear all 3 of the Northern Call Prefixes but could not make ourselves heard but we did try hard…

That makes it a goal for next year…

4- I am hoping with a score of just under 100,000 points we were not at the bottom of the list…  No doubt most of the RAC stations would of scored higher than we did as Multi-Multis but think our score was good for our first attempt at serious contesting ever from the Musuem…

One drawback to operating at the museum is that you are part of a Living Breathing Exhibit so there are times the pileup has to wait as you answer a question from a member of the public visiting the msueum…

5- Well we did have fun…  Lots of fun…

I have not taken a close look at the logs but…  its was a great time…

73bob

RAC Canada Winter Contest 2010

December 17, 2010

In about 5 hours from now at 0000 hrs Dec18th the airwaves will be alive with the words

.

CQ CONTEST….

CQ THE RAC CANADA WINTER CONTEST….

<YOUR CALLSIGN GOES HERE> CONTEST…

.

As one of my favorite contests of the year starts up.  As I have said so many times this is one of the most friendly, low key and even lower stress contests you will ever see.  Its not unusual for in the middle of running a pile up for a station just slow down and have a rag chew with an old friend, a new friend or even more important and new amateur who lets it be known that this is his first contest.

The old saying about it does not matter if you win or lose but how you play the game has never been more correct than using it in the description of how this contest plays out…

However I do set some goals for myself just to make it interesting and my goals for the VE3JW Entry for this year look alot like this…

1- Have fun…  It has to be fun cuz if its not fun then why are we doing it???

2- Make lots of contacts and talk to old friends….

3- Work all of the Canadian Callsign Districts (Provinces/Territories)

4- Finish in the top half of our catagory (Multi Op-Multi Transmitters- Low Power)

5- Have fun- I know that this is a repeat but its doubly important that we have fun for the same reason as #1 on the list.

So on behalf of the VE3JW group who will be operating from the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology Museum…  Have a great 24 hours of contesting…  Make sure you have fun and also make LOTS of contacts…

73bob



“Tis the season….”

December 16, 2010

Its the Christmas season so today.. No whining or B!tching about everythng today…

So from Bob VA3QV, Liz (WiFE), Daughters Erika (N0CALL)  and Trisha (N0CALL) and of course Saber (THE1CAT) please accept our wishes for a Merry Christmas season and a Happy New Year.

Saber keeping the pizza warm or daring us to try and get any…

Toby guarding the Christmas Presents from last year 2009

If Toby was still with us today he would be waiting for Santa to come down the chimney or at least daring him to come down...

All the best to all my friends and followers in the Amateur Radio World…  Thank you for your friendship and your support… Merry Christmas and a very Happy New year

73bob

 

 

 

Southern Ontario Storms… Did we help?

December 15, 2010

If your ARES group,  SATERN group or local ham club played any part in the relief efforts of the storm that lambasted Southern and South Western (London, Sarnia) Ontario I would really like to know about it.

As you know the Ontario Goverment has not extended our exemption under Bill C118 and many other Provinces seem to take our services a bit more seriously as we have exemptions for amateur gear in about half the provinces from the various Driving while distracted leglisations.

One think I have noticed that the provinces that seem to like us the most are the ones who have used our services the most recently.  The Manitoba Floods, and the BC Fires are great examples of the service we provide not to our clients and partners but to our neighbors…

It seems other provinces never have emergencies or they have a short term memory…

So if we did something this past week please let me know so we can start to publicize it in our lobby attempts…

My email address is va3qv@rac.ca or just leave a comment on the end of this posting…

73bob

Driving while Distracted across Canada

December 13, 2010

Well, I have been burning up the internet with Google Searches and checking all the websites I could with attempts at finding the right information.  As it looks all provinces/territories have some sort of leglislation that concerns/addresses the driving while distracted issue.

Some of them have given the Amateur Radio community some exemptions and others have not.

Here is the list as I have it and please feel free to inform me if my list is error.  The goverment websites are hard to navigate around and if I clicked on the wrong link there might be a chance that my information is in error.

As usual this is a starting point for you to begin your quest for information and you should take any information you find here at your own risk.

.

Newfoundland-Has a cellphone ban while driving but no direct mention of Radios.

Nova Scotia- Has a cellphone ban while driving and exempts Amateur Gear

New Brunswick- Has a cellphone ban while driving- No GENERAL EXEMPTION FOR AMATEURS however we do get an emergency use exemption if we are active in SAR or Emergency use.

Prince Edward Island- Has a cellphone ban but I could find not mention of radios.

Quebec- Has a cellphone ban but has exempted radio equipment-  This is what I can tell from getting documents translated on line.  If there is a better source of information please advise me

Ontario- Has a cellphone ban and has given a time exemption on all radio equipment so we can get working blue tooth.  Ontario Amateurs have two years left in the exemption.

Manitoba- Has a cellphone ban and has given Amateur Radio Operators an exemption

Saskatchewan- Has a cellphone ban and from what I could find on line there is no real mention of Amateur Radio Equipment

Alberta- Has a cellphone ban-  According to the website they are looking at enacting some sort of exemptions for Amateur Radio Operators.  I could use some up to date information on this one please

British Columbia- Has a cellphone ban and has given Amateur Radio Operators an exemption

Yukon Territories- No leglislation yet.

North West Territories- Could find mention of committe planning but could not find any links to leglislation

Nunuvut- No leglislation yet

Now like I mentoned earlier you must do your own research on this topic.  The information I give you is your starting point in your quest for knowledge.  Also please remember that the exemptions do not stop the officer from issueing a citation for a more serious offence such as the equivilent of Dangerous Driving or however they word it.  The exemption just allows you to have your radio michrophone or handie in your hand while driving.

I do find it interesting however that the Provinces that have shown the greatest respect for the Value of Amateur Radio Operators are those provinces that have used our services recently.  The Manitoba Floods, The Swiss Air Disaster and the constant threat of earthquakes seem to stay in Politicians minds.  Ontario has forgotten about the Ice Storm and the blackout, but it seems Quebec has a longer memory.

Now as we continue along with this topic, as we lobby the provinces who need reminding about our value remember we have to do this nicely…  No one likes the people who text and talk…  We have to educate them on the benefits of our hobby…  The best way to do this is for you as an active amateur to lobby the people we call our clients and served agencies.  You as a ham foaming off at the mouth to your MPP will do nothing….

Your contact explaining how without CANWARN operators reporting in the system does not work and that when close to the Tornado the idea of pulling over to report in rather than driving away as you are reporting in is much better... The public service events that rely on Amateur Communications  that could not be there if we don’t feel like keeping a mobile rig in the car because we can’t use it…

Those are the people who have to step up and make their voices heard…  Your clients and partners…

Also remember your provincial Goverments are not banning the use of Amateur Radio equipment in mobile settings.  They are just saying they don’t want the driver using the equipment while he is operating the equipment.  Although I agree with you that they should leave us alone if you are going to complain then you should have your facts correct for when the person you are debating on this topic suddenly springs that one on you.  They are telling the common motorists to pull over to talk and text….

This topic will be covered by several blogs.  VE3GNA has been looking at this topic in Ontario and with the recent leglisltation in New Brunswick it should get people talking again.

When you talk to your Clients and Partners or when you meet your Local MPP or MLA please remember to be polite and calm.  You will be representing your hobby (and its my hobby too…) to the people who most likely will be making some decisions that will affect our hobby for years to come…

73bob


Freezing Rain in Ottawa

December 12, 2010

Well it started…  Just about the time they said it would…  I woke up this morning to a light new covering of snow and before I finished my first coffee the snow had changed to freezing rain.

Recently the weather guess guy has been fairly accurate with only the amounts of precipitation being slightly off along with the timing being off as well but if he says snow… we get snow… and this time he predicted snow and freezing rain and we are having both…

Now everything he is forcasting is very minor compared to what others have received so far this year or actually getting in this same storm.  Liz and I were looking into relocating into South Western Ontario because of their milder winters.  All I can say is glad we did not move yet because at 100 cm (approx) of snow thats fallen so far…  even if they get no more its way to much for me to want to shovel…

This morning the Metrodome stadium in Minesota became an outdoor stadium when the weight of the snow collaspsed the dome…  Once again I stress whats happening so far in Ottawa is just minor…

With that in mind yesterday when all the predictions of Doom and Gloom were being given out I did listen and went outside before it hit and made sure that the bungee cords that supply the “give” to my W3EDP that I use on my FT847 along with the inverted L I use as a receive antenna for my Timewave ANC4 were functioning ok and would be able to compensate for the effects of the weight of the freezing rain.

So far all is good but even if its not… not much I can do about it now…  I guess if I noticed the antenna wire looking a bit taught at the baluns I could just release it but so far the bungees are doing fine…

If your in Eastern Ontario I would recommend staying inside, staying warm and dry unless you live in my neighborhood as sometime last night between 2am and 7am a watermain broke and I will be heading out shortly with some empty water jugs to fill them up someplace that still has water…  Not a crisis but just damn inconvient…

73bob

Thinking of someplace warm???

December 10, 2010

If you are in Eastern Ontario right now its cold…  not just cold but….

Golly Gee Whiz and shucks is it ever cold out!!!

For the most part we are used to it…  its Canada and normally Ontario is fairly cool, no make that cold lets be honest its really cold in the winter time…

So when I saw this come across my screen I had to share it with you as its something most of the Amateurs (North of the equator) dream of…

Here is the latest video from the J6 Buddipole DXPedition to St Lucia…

=====================================

December 11 2010 at 1835utc

Sorry but the video has been removed by the author.

=====================================

All I can really add is that I wish I was there and …  I really wish I was there…

73bob

Changing Band conditons

December 9, 2010

As those of you who know me will confirm …  I’m not much of a DXer…  When theres a bunch of us out in the park with the QRP Portable rigs I am the guy who is checking into the local or not so local 40m or 80m Net.  The guys on the 2nd region net got a big kick when last year I checked in to a NTS Net while operating in the Winter Field Day event and actually checked in from a Picnic Table in a park when the temps were so cold in Janurary…

So now that the bands are starting to go longer sooner I am hearing station I could not work in the warmer weather.  The 2nd region Net is one that comes to mind.  They meet several times a day on 3.925 as a NTS Regional Net.  When I was the Net Manager of the Ontario Phone Net I was a regular there…  Over the summer time the band conditions just were not good enough for me on 80m with the setup here at home but now….  I’m getting in on the first try and its enjoyable again…

.

I also heard some activity on 3.750 around 2015 hours est which by my net list would be the North West Ontario Net.  Most of the participants of this net are (as the name implies) in NW Ontario.  For those of you with questions to a google maps thing of Thunder Bay and that should get you into the general area or just look below…

Then go North and West from there and you see the area we are talking about.  So even hearing them from Ottawa on 80m is good for me with my setup…

The same can be said for 40m with me listening quite a bit on 7.055 which before anyone starts screaming… 7.055 is in the Canadian Voice Band and the home of the Trans Provincal Net along with several sessions of the Aurora Net.  I just keep the rig on 7.055 when doing other stuff in the shack and its amazing what I can hear that I could not hear before…

I do plan to get a multi band vertical up for 10-12-15-17-20m in the near future cuz I figure that if the bands are good lower they might be good higher and this could be my chance to get the elusive Yukon Territories (VY1) in the log to complete my worked all Provinces and Territories along with the worked all Canadian Prefixes…. Got all the others (including Sable Island ) and just need VY1…

Just my luck that the band will be open to VY1 during the RAC Canada Winter Contest when I’m the operator at VE3JW and I’ll miss them in my log…


Anyhow….  Erika has ordered my new Android based smart phone for me and today I am going out to get a Belt Loop Style case as compared to the belt clip case which we have proven can fall off my belt when my belly gets in the way…  At over $200.00 a shot I can’t really afford to keep on replacing these things…  So for now if your trying to reach me email is still the best way…

73bob


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 914 other followers