Parks on the Air 2022 Update now on Line

Well its official. POTA year end review….


And pause it when you get to the 3:42 marker on the video because thats where they acknowledge the 24 operators who successfully completed the “Bailey-Sprott Challenge.

Proud to say that I was on of the 24 who finished what we started.

And a big thanks… To the activators who were out there for me to contact which made this all happen


Playing “catch up”

Well that’s a good start…. 5 days into the New Year and I’m already falling behind so…


2022 was a great year for me at least ham radio wise. Thanks to the Parks on the Air (POTA) program I was able to make over 5000 confirmed QSO’s this year.

I also managed to contact and get confirmed with a Park every Day to successfully complete the “Bailey- Sprott Challenge”.

This was a lot harder than expected and I would like to thank my family for being understanding….

At the end of November there was 24 of us still in the running and although my logs show I have completed the challenge we all are still awaiting official results from the POTA Team.

Not sure at this time what 2023 will bring…. I do know it will be fun…. As Liz and I get older the thoughts of moving to an apartment (top floor with a balcony please)

are gaining favour with us. The stairs are become more and more of a chore…. With the band conditions getting better I could make do with a portable antenna (thinking a Magnetic Loop) on the balcony so I would not have to give up the hobby or be banished to the local repeaters on VHF/UHF. I guess a lot of its depends on how high the top floor is…

If I was to say that this year I want to operate more portable I would be telling the truth… But if I said that this year I will be operating more portable I might be misleading you.

No matter how light they make the equipment the weight of a QRP station combined with a lawnchair and a small camping table make it it a bit much to entice me to operate outdoors….

For now its going to be from the relative comfort of the shack (wherever that might be) till we get life figured out

Hoping you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you all a Happy New Year with logs of Rare DX.


QRP… A reminder

Yesterday (December 27 2022) on a HF Net I heard an operator stating that he was operating QRP when he checked in with the NCS (and no it was not me)

The NCS asked what power level he was using and he proudly replied “10w”. The NCS commented that he thought QRP was 5W and a short gruff debate followed with the NCS saying it was not worth arguing over and he then continued the net.

You might remember that I covered this before in a blog post:

and I don’t believe things have changed since then.

If you feel like it check my previous post (above) and draw your own conclusions

Happy New Year to all



Over the years I have owned 3 QRP Rigs

FT817 (5w) Flex 1500 (5w) and XEIGU X5105 (5w)

Antenna (jury rigged) Repair

If you reading this from Ontario, Quebec, most of the Maritimes or most of the North Eastern States then you know we had one hellluva storm pass through the area.

I have heard reports of some amateurs having major antenna damage and a lot more having minor damage to dipoles and other wire antennas… My “Stealthy” inverted “L” damage was more of the minor kind

Overnight on Christmas Eve the winds (80 knts off Lake Ontario) managed to un attach the end of my antenna from the post it was attached to… As I am using very small gauge wire I could not find where it had ended up. All I knew that the antenna (the parts I could still see) was very slack as if it had a broken wire in the 40-60 foot area of the antenna. It was still in the tree but was not as high as it used to be …

What happened (best guess) is that the end of the antenna detached itself from the post it was attached to due to the fierce wind. This allowed the wire to be blown about with the wind and eventually the wire was no longer taught…

After shovelling my way across my backyard I was able to see where the end of the antenna was snagged in a tree. Using a 20 foot telescopic I was able to untangle the snag and then rehook the wire to the post again. Although the antenna seems not to be as high as it used to be (might of slipped off a branch when the antenna was slack) its good enough for now. When its a bit warmer I’ll spend more time figuring out what to do but for now…. Its too cold to try anything new

On the bright side I managed to stay “Stealthy” and on the air


ps……… more on this later

Merry Christmas 2022

Well its December 24th and we are having one whopper of a storm. The trees that support the longwire are still up….. The wire is slacker than usual so I’m not sure if I lost a tree branch or the wire itself snapped somewhere near the end….

But its still loading up so all is well

Stay safe , stay well and please have a Merry Christmas


RAC Canada Winter Contest

Just a bit of a update on how (good/bad) I did

I was operating very casually starting on Friday nite at 0000 utc and finishing at o3oo utc

Taking a 13 hour break for sleep and other such life issues I then continued casually (very casually ) until end of the contest at 2359:59

At the end of the contest I had managed 60 contacts with contacts from VO1, VO2, VE1, VE2,VE3,VE4,VE5,VE6 and VE7

Contacts were also made with 9 different US States and 1 DX station.

Missing were VE8,VE9,VY0,VY1 and VY2. To be honest did not really expect to get VE8, VY0 and VY1 but I was suprised that I missed VY2 and VE9. I did hear them both but was unable to get heard and I did not even hear any Northern Stations.

Contacts were made on 10m, 15m, 20m, 40m and 80m. I did listen but did not hear any contest stations on 160m.

Hope you had as much fun as I did and I will be resting up for the RAC Canada Day Contest in about 7 months from now


A “Bit” of a POTA Update

Well here we are in December and in the POTA “Park a day Challenge” there are still 24 of us in the running. 20 American stations , 3 Canadian stations (and I’m one of them) and 1 DX station

The streak continues on and as of December 8th I have managed at least one Park (confirmed) every day. 23 days (by my math) to go…. Almost there…

However in the last couple of weeks the Propagation GHODS have not always been smiling…. My daily totals are down and a couple of days I have considered myself luck to make that one or two contacts and then to get them confirmed.

Thanks have to go out to the Activators who are hanging in there giving us the chance to get them in our logs…

Keep enjoying the hobby


Its the CQ WW CW Contest

This one of my favorite contests…. All The hardcore contesters along with those who think they could do it are filling the CW Portions of the different banks with CQ Contest at speeds that are faster than they can usually send at and also at speeds they could never copy on their best day….

How do I know???? Because back in 2015 I joined them….

A Flex 1500 along with a 43 foot vertical….A Elecraft T1 QRP auto tuner along with some software acheived this:

The software needed was the Software to run the Flex which included a really good contest style keyer….

The receiving software (decoding) was the FREE program CW GET

I started out by just coping the contest and then figured out what was needed in the Macros for the keyer to try and give some points out to those who were taking much more seriously than I was

F1 was my callsign (VA3QV)

F2 was the necessary contest exhange (5nn o4)

F3 was thanks and good bye (73TU)

This bit of magic resulted in 85 contacts made in 49 countries and 28 CQ Zones

Isn’t technology wonderful?


ps…. And before you ask it was a one time special. I will use a decoding app and the contest keyer in my FT991a if the need arises to make the contact (DX or POTA) but CW contesting is just too fast for me to participate in. To those who can…. You are my heroes …..