And they got me in the log

August 25, 2016


I checked the CY9C Club Log search this afternoon and had a smile on my face after reading:


They had confirmed my two 40m CW contacts.  Once they upload their logs to LoTW this means a new CW DXCC for me.



Log to search: CY9C
35,500 QSOs logged between 2016-07-12 00:28Z and 2016-08-24 14:51Z
Callsign to check:  VA3QV
Band CW Phone Data
40 2

I am hoping to get them in one of the Digital modes as well but after reading VA3QR’s blog I see that they are having some problems with two of the K3S radios so I might not get the chance. 

Check out his posting at for more info.



And got them in the Log

August 23, 2016

Remember on Friday when I posted…

Forgot to mention this to you earlier…  I was too busy trying to get them in the log… anyway don’t forget the CY9C DXPediton to St Paul Island.

…Well Tuesday  at 1223 UTC I managed to get them in the log on 40m CW.


Its not a new one for me as I had great luck a few years back with the CY9M DXPedition in 2012…


… but when confirmed this mornings contact would be a new QRP DXCC for me along with a new CW DXCC for me.

I was lucky enough to get them (this time) with my Flex 1500 along with the LDG QRP Autotuner matching my 55 foot longwire.

Glad they had a good operator who could copy 5 w and a wire over everyone else in the pile up…




Canadian DXPediton underway

August 19, 2016


Forgot to mention this to you earlier…  I was too busy trying to get them in the log… anyway don’t forget the CY9C DXPediton to St Paul Island.


You can visit their website ( for more information

Good Luck




A reminder for the Lighthouse event

August 18, 2016

After checking through my Blogroll (right hand side of your screen) I see that Bill VE3CLQ ( )   is reminding us that this weekend is the:

International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend – ILLW

3rd Full Weekend in August since 1998

00.01UTC 20 August to 2400UTC 21 August 2016 (48 hours)


The above pic shows VA3QV/m at the museum in Aug 2015 for last years event

All the background info and other details can be found on their website which can be found with the following link:


Many times over the years I have operated from the Lighthouse CAN 016  Located on the grounds of the Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa.

The Museum is currently closed as it undergoes a massive rebuilt but the Lighthouse is outside of the construction area so… It could be activated…

In the past members of the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club have operated from the lighthouse… 

The picture on the right is the Lighthouse keeper sitting on the rock

Due to other commitments this year I have to pass… I hope others will be there though


Finally, Returning to the field…

August 17, 2016

My log book (portable) is looking fairly lean for this year…

Last entry for 2015 was my failed Green Island DXPediton and then after that the FT 817 was gathering dust in the shack…

First entry for 2016 was on May 12th when VA3PCJ and myself played radio at the Science Museum in Ottawa…  We also threw RF into the air from the Nepean Sailing Club  on May 20th. 


I operated Portable from the Cedars Park (St Lawrence Park east of Morrisburg) with my daughter Erika on May 27th to the 29th…

burn5I was supposed to operate from VY2 at the end of June but you all know how that turned out…


Today VA3PCJ and myself returned to Rideau Island (CISA ON297) operating from the Brewers Park location and after I remembered how to operate the FT 817 along with my NUE PSK Modem the following stations made it into the log…  My antenna was the Par QRP 40 foot antenna helically wound on my 31 foot MFJ Telescopic pole

KR4UA (Tom in GA) 20m PSK 31  (a distance of 900 miles)

VE3ISX (Barry in Hamilton ON) 40m SSB (a distance of 255 miles)

VE3MBI (Mark in Kapuskasing ON)40m SSB (a distance of 425 miles)

PT7BL/ve3 (Cassiano in Ottawa ) 20m PSK 31 ( a distance of about 3 miles)  Cassiano is visiting Ottawa and when I saw that he was operating from Ottawa I had to jump in and welcome him to my city.  I also mentioned the websites of the Local Clubs so he has something to read.  Hopefully we will be able to chat in person when the clubs start up again in September.

Although there was not a lot of operating… it was fantastic to return to field ops…  I’ve been so busy with other stuff that most of my operating is done in JT65 from my shack while catching up on emails.

ARRL_WAS_mapStill stuck at 42 confirmed Digital WAS.  I think I have now worked all of them between JT65 and PSK31 but not everyone uses LoTW and so… the quest for my Triple Play continues..

The scorching summer we have had here also might have a bit to do with it…  It is cooler in the shack…  Hopefully the weather will be a bit more reasonable so I can get outdoors without risking heat stroke…

On to other stuff…  Unless my claim settles soon… the replacement for VA3QV/m will not been seen at Chillycon this year…   I’m getting too old to tent it…. and the knees (although they are bionic) don’t appreciate getting up from the cold hard ground…  Not sure if I will be able to visit for the day… will try to arrange something…


Don’t forget about the Carp Hamfest  just after labour day…

In the meantime… see you down the log





The weeks update

August 5, 2016

Well so far this week “Murph” as stayed away and my blood pressure thanks him.  However the effects of his last couple of visits are lingering but we are hoping for a return to a more calmer existence in the near future…

The week was very hot but it was cool in the shack as I continue my experiments using JT65 at the 2w power setting.  Same antenna as always…

This week I managed 20 contacts using 20m, 30m, 40m and 80m… I managed two contacts in Hungary and the rest were from North America with a few VE’s thrown in for good measure but the bulk were from the States…


I did manage to get Iowa confirmed in LoTw which means that I now have 42 Digital States confirmed with only 8 to go…

As of todays date I am still look for confirmed digital contacts in HI, MT, NE, ND, OK, OR, RI and VT.

My logs say I have contacted most of them already but they have been confirmed on other services such as, EQSL and…  (It would be so much nicer if all these different groups could play nicely together)  I hope a few more of them get set up on LoTW… every now and again I get a 5 or 7 year old confirmation as someone finally uploads their logs…  and I’m happy to get them…. better late than never and almost always faster than the buro.


Anyway nothing much else exciting happening….  I am thinking of attending the OARC Hamfest in September …

Hopefully I will see you there….



The return of “Murphy”

August 1, 2016

You all remember “Murphy”?  That’s the guy who forgot to pack your mic when you you took the rig to the park…  Also the guy who forgot the coax the time before….  and don’t even get me started on the battery pack…

Murphys Law states that ” If it can go wrong…  It will !!!!”


and recent events that started back on June 22nd are proving that correct… It is causing stress and discomfort and has me wishing I could go back in time and change many things including getting a “better neighbor”…


But enough ranting from a crazy old man….  back to radio…

On the radio side of things I am still 99.9999% operating in the digital modes….  A bit of PSK 31 and still learning about JT65.  However I have found that as a “newbie” (and only operating with 2w and a wire antenna) in JT65 that its easier just to call CQ and see who can hear my signal as compared to trying to call every station I can see calling CQ.

So far I have managed to increase my Digital (mixed mode) count for my WAS up to 40 and my JT65 WAS count is up to 8.  (confirmed on LoTW)


The plan is just to keep on calling CQ in JT65 whenever I’m not hearing much in PSK31 and hopefully the missing states will eventually fall into place.

I have my WAS in SSB and CW so if I can find the final 10 states for my Digital WAS it will also qualify me for the Triple Play…  I kind of wish that I had thought of that when the ARRL Centenial was ongoing…  It was fairly easy to get the W1AW/p stations and they all confirmed via LoTW.  A couple of the missing 10 have been worked but for reasons unknown confirm only on EQSL or via direct/bureau.  Oh Well… we take what we can get I guess… and as we all know “hindsight is always 20/20”

Recently I’ve been spending more time in the shack and as I slowly replace some stuff that is still sitting in the camper I hope to get the 817 back out into the field.  If the temps every drop down to warm from hot at least….

Portable%20PSK%20Station-1(300)The FT 817/NUE modem combo is looking forward to getting back into the field and trying to get a few of those missing 10 states…

Its not fair that the Flex has all the fun at home…

But it seems every time I think of taking the FT817 out for some fresh air “Murphy” (there he is again) reminds me that I still have some small pieces of gear sitting in the camper that have not been shipped to me yet…  Sooner or later it will happen though..

I will give you some advance notice though…. Keep you day planners open for September.  The Greater Ottawa area has two major Amateur Radio Events coming up.


And starting on September 16th and running through to the 18th is the Ottawa Valley QRP Society’s annual “Chilycon”  This is a QRP Camping event held at the Rideau River Provincial Park just south of Ottawa.  Its always a good time…. 


Above pic of VA3QV/m was taken at Chillycon 2014 by VA3YH

VA3QV/m had been there twice… but will not be there this year for obvious reasons…  I will be doing my best to attend for at least one day… but… no camper… no Liz … so this year nothing carved in stone for me yet…

The Ottawa Valley QRP Society (  has a Yahoo group page ( ) and are also on Twitter ( so that might be the best way to get some up to date information.

I will also be posting more on this later in the month.

That’s all for now…


Back on the Digital Bandwagon

July 29, 2016

Still not enough hours in the day and still no replacement for VA3QV/m…  camperatlongsault

But I am finding more time in the shack as you can tell from the graphic from PSK Reporter… 


lotw-logo-cMy signals in PSK31 and JT65 have been spotted across the continent and my WAS Digital account is getting closer now with 39 states confirmed on LoTW.


Along with 2 new states I also managed to get the VC2Q DXPedition to CQ Zone 2 in Quebec logged in on PSK31 with my sturdy 5w and a wire signal.  VE2 is not a new one for me as well as Zone 2 but its nice to give any group that undertakes a DXPediton your support by getting them in the log. 

DXPeditions are costly and they are doing it for the love of the hobby… so why not find them on the cluster and give them a contact so they feel the love

Tomorrow (Friday) will hopefully find more contacts in the log and then of course its the weekend which is my radio free time… 

We found out on Friday afternoon that the camper is in Quebec City and not Montreal and therefore too far away for me to travel to go there to retrieve whatever survived the fire, and the trip to Quebec City. so ignore comments below please,  At least I found out before I drove to Montreal for nothing…  This also is one of a few items delaying the settlement- August 1-bob

Hoping to pick up some stuff from the camper (which has now been moved to Montreal) early next week and hopefully shortly after that will be  the conclusion to the Fire on the Highway saga…

Enjoy your weekend….



JT65 – an explanation

July 20, 2016

In yesterdays blog post (  )I mentioned some shortcoming I felt there were with the amateur mode JT65.  I should of been more specific….  These are not the fault of the mode but rather the fault (or limitations) of the equipment I am using to operate…


The above image shows stations of origin for JT65 signals that I was able to receive yesterday…


The above image shows those stations that heard my JT65 signal from Ottawa yesterday.

Now the only problem is that the robots heard my signal….  I heard lots of signals but…

  No contacts were made at the end of the day… 

They saw me calling…. I saw them calling… but we never were able to make a legal contact (to the non hams who might read this… that would be to exchange callsigns, signal reports and locations) to complete the QSO.

Its most likely nerves on my end as the Flex got fairly warm (real quick) when I made my first couple of JT65 contacts as I was using the full 5w output.  The radio was not designed for a 100% keydown at full power for a 50 second transmissions.  It heats up…  I then tried lowering my power level down to 2w and the overheating issues are no longer there…  However at 2w along with my compromise antenna… no contacts were to made… saw lots on my screen and some robots saw me on their screens but… we never talked…

Again as I mentioned yesterday…. once I can improve on my equipment, or my antenna (or its location changes) I will revisit this mode.


After the weekend

July 19, 2016

Now that we are back in Ottawa and the “holidays” over….  we are also back to our regular family habits… Meaning that you won’t be hearing/seeing much of my signals from Friday evening till the end of the weekend…  Family stuff trumps radio stuff unless I pre book off time for a special event or contest…

Monday to Friday remains my radio time when family business permits…

Yesterday was spent at my Insurance Agents office as I am not very impressed with the service given by the parent company.  Coming up on 4 weeks this week and still no news on what’s happening with my claim….  Not feeling very “neighborly” right now…. 

However I did get the chance to take my Daughter out for lunch as her office is in the same plaza as my insurance agent….  After that I made my way home and Liz and I had a pleasant late afternoon followed by a BBQ supper….  A great end to the day….

This morning I was in the shack around 0600 (1000utc) and was playing around with JT 65 again…  Not much has changed to sway my opinions of it but I will enlighten you on the conclusions I have drawn…

As you know we need propagation,  we need an antenna and we need RF to make a HF contact (on any band or any mode).

Trying to make a JT 65 contact from my home QTH is not an easy thing to do (harder than what I was told it would be ) for the following reasons…

Propagation conditions are  poor… my antenna system is not the best… my RF output is limited to 2w.  The output power is limited to 2w (my choice) due to the 50 second transmit duty cycle of every JT65 transmission I make…

In a nutshell I don’t have enough antenna and I can’t run any more power without risking damage to the finals on the Flex 1500 and the band conditions are far from stellar.  I have much better luck running 5w using psk which has much shorter duty cycle on transmit.

ft450This is nothing against the mode…  If I was still running my 100w Yaesu FT 450 or my FT 897 I could dial the power back to 20w and be making contacts all over the world…

The 20w output could compensate for the less than fantastic antenna or the poor band conditions.

Making a JT65 contact is the same of working a DXPedition or a Contest station.

“Your 5nn, TU… QRZ?”

This is definitely a mode I will spend more time on once my equipment (higher power) or my operating conditions (better antenna) changes in the future.

For now its back to CW, SSB and PSK31 as its proven they work for me quite well from this location with my equipment




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