Posts Tagged ‘Pot Hole Net’

The return to Brewer Park

April 8, 2012

Just north of the Rideau River and just East of Bronson Avenue in Ottawa is a chunk of Greenspace called Brewer Park…


Back in the 1960’s it was a Public Swimming Area and unfortunately was closed when one level of goverment deemed the “Swimming Hole” to be an “Outdoor Swimming Pool” and therefore had to meet stronger regulations.  Its recreation value has not decreased over the years hosting an Hockey Arena, an Indoor Swimming Pool along with a few softball diamonds..

If you enlarge the picture you can actually see the “Swimming Hole” as I knew it…  They call it Brewer Park Pond…

This morning (Easter Sunday) VA3PCJ Jose and myself loaded up his jeep and arrived at the park and set up in the parking lot just north of the Pond and the beach house.  The radio of the day was his ICOM 706 and his SGC Smartuner.  The antenna was his S9 43 foot vertical antenna which attaches to his Jeep by means of his trailer hitch…

The primary purpose was to check into a local 80m ragchew net.  The net is sponsored by the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club and is called the “Pothole Net”.  Anyone who has driven in Ottawa in the springtime knows all too well where the net name comes from.  The Pothole Net is called every Sunday morning at 1000hrs EST/EDST on a frequency of 3.760lsb ( + or – depending on QRM)

This mornings net was hosted by VE3EJJ Ernie and the participants included Ed VE3GX, Frank VE3YY, Glenn VE3XRA, Norm VE3LC, Bob VA3QV (thats me) and Jose VA3PCJ.  With the exception of Frank VE3YY who was camping at his trailer in Calabogie Ontario the rest of us were located within the confines of the City of Ottawa.  The Net ran from 10am to almost 11am and it was nice chatting with some old friends and also getting great signal reports from our Portable station in the park…

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After the net concluded we span the dial and started on 40m .  Jose checked in to the Trans Provincal Net on 7.055 and had a QSO with Nick VE3NJG in London Ontario.  After they were finished I picked up the mic and chatted with Nick for a few minutes.  As you might remember I got a great deal from Nick on my Yaesu FT450 last summer and as you know its still working great for me.  Nick was also our host on the Ontario Swap Shop which was held weekly on 7.055 on Sunday at noon and again on 3,755 at 8pm on Sunday Nites for so many years.  The Swapshop switched over to an internet only setup this year due to declining users caused mostly by poor band conditions..  Nick and his predecessor Nick (different Nick) provided a greatly needed service to Canadian Amateur Radio Operators for many, many years…

After that Jose spun the dial again and we heard great DX on 17m…   At this time let me refer you back to blog post of March 20th when I said…

I’ve been hearing Thailand booming in to North America for over a hour now…  Biggest Pile Up I think I have ever heard… The great thing is that I can say I’ve heard Thailand now…  The downside to this is that I can’t seem to break the pileups with 100w and the vertical.  I think the problem might be (its my excuse at least) is that he is aiming his beam north and coming in over the top….  I never thought of this when spreading out my radials and so I have very little aimed North and what I do is folded back in more than on occasion… ya I know its a lame excuse but its the best I can do for now…

Anyway its safe to say that HS0ZJU Marc is making many operators very happy today…  With any luck I might be one of them….  I’m gonna keep on trying…

Well today he was again making lots of people happy as he was working stations with his fantastic setup…  Back on March 20th I could not do it with 100w and my S9 Vertical from home and today Jose and myself could not make contact with his 100w and his S9 Vertical.  Although Marc had a fantastic signal we just could not break the excessive pile up…  But it was fun trying…  Jose did manage to make a few European contacts on 17 and 20m so the day was a success…  We tore down around noon and headed to our respective homes to enjoy Easter Sunday with family.  It was a great way to spend a morning however…

Later in the day I managed a 2m repeater contact with VA3SIE Martin while he was out on a bike ride and we decided to try and re schedule our Foymount trip that was cancelled in March for later this month.  We are hoping for April 21st which will coincide with the Saturday session of the Ontario QSO Party.  If we can coordinate everything in two weeks enough to satisify the 7 amateurs who have shown an interest in heading up then we should be putting on great multi op QRP Station from Renfrew County (FN15IK) for the Contest.  If not… a few of us might have fun anyways…

Hope you are having a great long weekend…

73bob

Playing in Weston Park (Day 2)

March 18, 2012

It was a bit of late start this am….  The fog finally burned up at 0830 and I left the house at 0845 (EDST) and walked over to Weston Park.  Same radio gear as yesterday but the Par end Fed was left at home and my homebrewed W3EDP antenna came out for some fresh air…

Although there seem to be many diffierent variations of the W3EDP the main part is a 84 foot radiator and a 17 foot counterpoise joined by a 4:1 balun.  This configuration will work on 10m to 160m if you use a good tuner with it.  I have had exceptional luck with the LDG Brand of Auto tuners and I think they could load up wet string if they had to…  I have had very good luck with the following design of W3EDP.  I run the 17 foot counterpoise beside the 84 foot radiator as if it was ladder line.  This in effect gives you an 84 foot end fed long wire and this makes it very easy to set up and very veresatile to deploy in the field…

Ignore the timewave ANC4, LDG and FT847 and think of a FT817 with the LDG QRP Autotuner instead 

I have made this antenna with  84 feet of 300 ohm twin lead with a notch cut on one side after 17 feet,  I have used 17 feet of 450 ohm ladder line then added 67 feet of insulated automotive wire on one side and I have also just run the 17 foot counterpoise paraell to the radiator and kept them seperated with spreaders which gave it the effect of home brewed ladder feed line…  All three have worked well for me and I find using the 300 ohm twin lead model the easiest to build and deploy but thats just my choice…

I got the antenna set up in a sloper configuration  running from the south east at about 30 feet to the park bench I was sitting on at about 3 feet above ground.  The LDG 4:1 balun was being fed by a 5 foot long RG8X cable.

As I mentioned earlier it is versatile.  It has the same features of a dipole if you run it at hight.  If you keep it lower it acts like a NVIS antenna and if you run it as a sloper then it is slightly directional…  3 antenna all in one package…  Plus the ease to deploy as its an end fed…

At 0915 I got on the air and made my first contact (of a few) on 80m.  I started out on 3.768 and checked with Paul VA3PC who is the Net Control Station of the North Bay Net.  I got there just before the net closed but I did get some expected signal reports fro the net participants…  Signal a bit lower than usual (not at home with 100e) but the audio was good.  As any QRP operator will tell you if they can hear you …  That s the important thing…

At 0930 I slipped down to 3.755 and joined the ONTARS Net.  The NCS was VE3HA Gord who lives in Oro Ontario.  Without looking at Googlemaps let me remind you thats in the Barrie Ontario.  I had a couple of minute chat with Gord and then also with Cliff VA3CAF from Trenton Ontario who was one of the net participatnts…

There is a local net here in Ottawa on 80m on 3.760 and I wanted to check into that and say hi to the locals…  The net started at 10am and VE3EJJ Ernie was the NCS Station…  He was a solid S9 to my location and he gave me a good report as well.  Other Ottawa participants were VE3GX Ed, Glenn VE3XRA, VE3NPO and Norm VE3LC.  Good reports were exchanged with these stations with Ed and Glenn living within 3kms of the park I was operating from.  Other participant were Mike VA3TJP from Braeside Ontario and K2JAF Jim from Utica NY.  Jim was a little light with me and he never did give me a report so…Did he even hear me???

Anyway around 1045 things closed up and it was time to pack up and head home…  The park was starting to get other people in it and part of my sloper was in an area that could impede traffic as people were walking around…  It was not a problems at 930 but at 1030 it could start to be one…  Before I left I spun the dial and checked the other bands…  10m to 20m seemed fairly poor to me and I did hear some activity on 40m but there were not calling CQ or calling for check ins so I let them continue with their conversations and just packed up…

You might call todays event more of a COMMS exercise as I managed contacts all around North Eastern Ontario and it was all on 80m…  It was also fun…  If the WX guess for tomorrow is accurate then I’ll be back in the park with the PAR trying for some DX in the early afternoon

73bob

Reminder- OVMRC VHF and HF Nets

September 16, 2011

Well now that September is under way and Labour Day is behind us I should remind any of you within radio range of Ottawa that the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club sponsors two weekly nets.

The first net is the Wise Owl Net and the net is called  Friday evenings at 2000 (8pm) local Ottawa time on Repeater VE3TWO which is 147.300 (+) which also uses an optional CTCSS Tone of 100.0 hz.  This is a very friendly net and could best be described as a controlled  roundtable net.  Its a good spot to find out local amateur information.

The other net is called the Pot Hole Net (if you have ever driven in Ottawa you know where this name came from) and the net is called on Sunday mornings at 1000 hrs (10am) local Ottawa Time on 3.760 lsb.  This is also a conrolled round table net.  Participants are usually from the Ottawa area but every now and again we get people who used to live in the area who find us again to see how everyone is doing and just to say hi.

After the Pothole Net on Sunday morning (if you are a CW lover)   if you were to check on 3.620 at 11am local Ottawa time you might hear the Pot Lid Net being called.  This net is a slow speed cw net and meets every Sunday Morning.  This net is sponsored by Ed VE3GX and is an excellent source of cw practice for all participants especially those of us (like me) who need the practice.  You hear some excellent fists on this net…

73bob

Local to Ottawa HF Nets

February 15, 2010

Now with the changes in band conditions they are not restricted to the Ottawa Area so anyone can jump in but…

Every weekend the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club (OVMRC) sponsors two HF Nets.

The first Net is on 7.095 mhz at 10am EASTERN Saturdays and runs depending on the amount of checkins for about 45 minutes or so.  The net is named in honour of  the Ottawa Road System and therefore is called the “Pot Hole Net”.  At this time its a fairly informal rag chew round table net with no real NCS station but on the few times that participation is up then it turns into a more structured event.

The second Net is on 3.760mhz at 10am EASTERN on Sundays and is also named in honour of the Roads and therefore is called the “80M Pot Hole Net” .  This net is a bit more structured and has a Net Control Station at the helm for the duration of the net which again normally lasts about 45 minutes on a good day.

Anyone who can hear the net and be heard by the net is welcome to check in and membership in any club or group is not a requirement.

And if you are looking for a quick QSO that would the place to normally find me on a Saturday or Sunday Morning…

Give it a try some time and see…  I find it a pleasant change from the formality of the traffic nets…

Now the big net in the Ottawa area and Eastern Canada for that matter would be the 3730 group which meets somewhere close to 3.730 mhz every night sometime close to 2100 eastern.  With the band conditions things were starting around 1930 hours but seem to be moving later now the bands seem to be stronger.  This is a very friendly and semi structured rag chew net which is always fun to join…

Drop in and say HI to the boys and have some fun playing radio…

Sundays activites so far…

February 22, 2009

Well so far Sunday has been relaxing to say the least…  “Toby” woke me up at 7am and I put him out in a “Snowy Back Yard”.  The light covering of snow we got overnight made everything look clean and bright…  “Toby” changed that soon after but it looked nice for a fewe minutes….

Picking up from the last post I did have a great ragchew with Don VA3GFD on 2m ssb (144.250)   Even though 144.250 is the local Ottawa calling Frequency for 2m SSB we had no one jumping in to say hello…  I had dialed back the power to 5w and we still had no trouble communicating….

Back to Sunday morning found me in the shack after bringing “Toby” back in the house.  The band conditions were far from good. 

My first contact was made on 3.768 with Paul VA3PC who was the NCS of the North Bay Net. 

I made a quick video of the contact and you can find it on my You Tube Site.  Look for FEB_22_2009_NORTHBAYNET_80M

After the North Bay Net came breakfast and then I dropped down to 3.760 for the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club 80m Pothole Net.  VA3CMD Patrick was the NCS and he was operating VE3JW from the Science Museum in Ottawa…  Participants were the regular crew consisting of VE3GX, VA3QV, VE3UUH, VE3EJJ, VE3WEH, VE3NPO and VE3XRA.  With the poor band conditions these days this has been delegated to a Groundwave Net as we never seem to get any visitors checking in from out of town…

After the Pothole net I had asked Larry to meet me on 50.150 USB so I could test out a simple 6m dipole I put up last week for the Tuesday night VHF Net.  After breakfas this morning I had re installed the antenna and I just wanted to see if it was working…  My goodness….  Activity on 6m when the band was closed…suddenly Larry and myself were joined by Don VA3GFD and Glen VE3XRA and we now were in a rountable rag chew.  A brief discussion on the comparison of beams vs loops for vhf followed and then we all went our seperate ways but it was an enjoyable time while it lasted…

So far today (same as yesterday) I have been able to spend lots of time in the shack…  This afternoon I do have some other chores but I think I will be able to keep the radio on in the background.  As I make this entry I am listening to 7.055 on the 40m band and its the Sunday Morning Roundtable Net which serves as the warm up for the Ontario Swap Shop.  From what I am not hearing this morning I have a feeling that the band will no cooperate and I will have some time on my hands to get some of the things on the honey do list done before the Trans Canada Net on 14.140 in the 20 m band this afternoon… 

This will be the last big test of the FT 847 as far as my normal schedule goes.  I have tested it on 2, 6, 20, 40 and 80m and so far have had no problems working DX or Locals.  The final test is just a formality as I like checking in and talking to my fellow Canadians every Sunday Afternoon..

In the meantime I guess I will get to the list as the bands right now are quiet…

73bob

The weekend so far…

December 21, 2008

This weekend (as of 1200 EASTERN Sunday) has not been to bad for amateur radio…  I was able to find a bit of time to play in the shack on Saturday morning with the 40m Pothole Net which is sponsored by the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club.  The band conditions were not the best so it was more of a Groundwave Net but it was nice to check in and talk to the locals and exchange best wishes for the Christmas Holidays…  The afternoon on Saturday was spent taking Liz out to finish some Christmas Shopping that she had to do…  It was bad news for the retailers as the mall was deserted… For those of us rushing around to finish the shopping it made it a bit easier…  I guess there could be a good side to the OC Transpo Strike as most of the shoppers who would be bussing it could not make it there…  Saturday evening was spent with an impromptu Christmas Party held at a local watering hole…  The wings were good, the beverages cold and the pool tables in good condition…. 

In my younger days I might not have been making this entry so early on a Sunday but now….  I was still up early enough to get “Toby” outside before the carpets suffered and also in time for the 80m version of the OVMRC Pothole net at 1000 Eastern

I did awake however to a blinding snow storm…  Just to show you what it was like at 0900 Eastern on the Sunday morning here is a pic I grabbed off the webcam thats aimed at Parliament Hill in Ottawa…  The cam is across the street on Wellington St and the picture speaks for itself.

newhillcam

The webcam url is here…

The Pothole net started at 1000 EASTERN with Larry VE3WEH as the NCS and it ran till 1100 hrs.  As usual the net was busy and we all once again exchanged holiday greetings… 

At 1200 I switched over to the 40m band and so far am able to copy Nick VE3NJG as he hosts the Ontario Swap Shop  on 7.055.  I am able to hear Nick but not to many of the others…  If I lose the band I do have the chance to try again later on the 80m at 1900 on 3.755 …

Outside of some shovelling this afternoon and one scheduled Dads Taxi Run I plan to spend most of the day in the shack where its warm

73bob


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