Its over…. (RAC Canada Winter Contest)

Thats it …..  done till the RAC Canada Day Contest in the summer….

After looking at my logs it seems that its the best results I have seen in the 18 months that I have been living in Kingston….  I operated for about 14 hours of the 24 hours the contest operated for and in this “Solar Minimum” I managed to make a whopping 75 contacts.

Heres the “Coles Notes” version:

75 contacts/ 10 provinces/NO NORTHERN TERRITORIES HEARD/ 15 RAC Stations worked/ 51 Canadian Stations worked/ 9 non Canadian Stations worked/ Estimaed score of just over 18,800 points.

Contacts were made on all the contest bands with  2m, 6m, !0m and 15m were all groundwave contacts 

21- 20m contacts were made

17 -40m contacts were made

28- 80m contacts were made

4- 160m contacts were made


Now considering that my station consisted of my Yaesu FT 450 feeding my SGC 237 auto tuner and the tuner was connected to 45 feet of wire wound around a tree in my back yard with a couple of radials around the perimeter of my back yard fence ….  I think the score is respectable for what I had to work with.


Some highlights were:

Making a 40m contact with VA3RAC (Ottawa Amateur Radio Club operating) and after giving my call getting the reply “Hi Bob … how are things in Kingston??? ur 5/9 ON.    To which I replied …  “Hi Dave …. things are good… ur 5/9 in Kingston ON…. .   Later in the contest I made a 2nd contact with VA3RAC…  This on on 80m and got almost the same QSO but this time with Glenn VE3XRA at the mic….

Its really nice to make a QSO with a station that is manned by a group you have worked with many time in the past

Another high point was getting a couple of VY2 stations in the log.  Normally I have to hunt to find them as there is a small but active ham population on the Island.  This time I found my first one early and then next one was later but I got them in the log…. 

I can remember back in 2017 when I operated the RAC Canada Day contest as VA3QC/VY2 when we spent the month of July on the Island and am still amazed by the pile ups my QRP signal created back then.  Not to mention the best location I ever operated from.

The down side for me was that as I run a very poor antenna and the conditons were not the best I was unable to work coast to coast to coast.  I was unable to even hear any of the VE8/VY1/VY0 crew.  I worked from Atlantic to Pacific but was unable to work the Arctic.

Over the years I have come up with some defining points to decide if it was a good contest or not.

1- Have fun

2- Work all of Canada or at least the lower 10 provinces

3- When the results are posted find my score easier from the top down rather than from the bottom up.

So it was fun…. I did work the lower 10…. and when the results are published later….  I think my results should be around the middle of the list.

All in all I had a great time and am pleased with my time spent.  Hope to see you on the air for the RAC Canada Day Contest in 2020 and get you in my log






The $500.00 hat

Well I went to the Hamfest as you know. Had a fantastic time and brought home a new radio as well…. Here’s the history on it….

When leaving home I was instructed to have fun…. say “HI” to the guys back in Ottawa and not to buy any new radios …

Well you would not believe the deal I got at the Radioworld display… I bought a Designer Yaesu Hat for $500.00 and they threw in a free FTM100-D

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it….

(She never told me not to buy a hat)


Back home after the OARC (Carp) Hamfest

This is just to update you on the happenings….  I arrived in Ottawa (Stittsville) on Friday evening and parked my trailer at a business that I used to work at…..  The owners and I parted way on excellent terms and so they had no problems giving me a place to park for the night….

I drove north bound on Hwy 15 to Hwy 7 (Through Smiths Falls to Carleton Place and ended up in Stittsville.  The new truck handled the trip and the trailer with no issues…  On the RF side of things it seemed like everyone was sleeping early in anticipation of Saturdays event and no one made it in the VA3QV Mobile Log from Kingston to the parking lot in Stittsville

Saturday morning I headed over to the Carp arena to pass on some treasures and to buy one new toy from Radioworld…  By noon both goals had been accomplished with all my treasures sold and the new toy (Yaesu FTM-100/DR) in my possession.


Saturday afternoon I headed to the east end of Ottawa and parked at the Trainyards Walmart where my oldest friend pick me up and we headed out for a few cold ones and some story swapping…


Operating from the trailer with my FT70 handheld along with a magmount attached to the range hood in the camper I made many contacts on the VE3ORF C4FM Repeater system on the Saturday evening and Sunday Morning….

Sunday morning I left Ottawa and headed south on Hwy 416.  I remained in communications on the Ottawa ORF repeater till close to Kempville…  I then switched to the Kempville ORF repeater then finally switching to the Prescott ORF repeater.  I stopped for a few minutes at Angelo’s Truck stop on hwy 16 just north of the 401 to meet up with Mike VA3MPM.  Mike is the driving force with the VE3ORF linked repeater system.

After our chat we continued on our respective travels and were able to keep contact up on the linked repeater system till I finally ran out of repeater as I passed thru the City of Brockville on Hwy 401.

Arrived home and put the camper back in storage….  tired but happy and as I type this also trying to figure out how to operate the new toy without having to read the book of words….  not going as good as I thought…


Some upcoming #RV and #Hamradio Stuff

The first official trip of the New VA3QV Mobile along with the trailer is due to happen the weekend after Labour Day.


I will be leaving Kingston on Friday late afternoon/early evening  and heading out to the Western outskirts of Ottawa to spend the night before I arrive on Saturday morning at the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club Hamfest in Carp Ontario.  Saturday afternoon will be spent having lunch with some friends in Ottawa and will most likely spending a night or two at a Walmart before heading back to Kingston on Sunday afternoon or Monday Morning depending on how I feel.

The above pics were taken at Chillycon a few years ago….  A restfull weekend of QRP Radio… Camping…. BBQs and lying about all the great contacts we made….  The small Class C Motorhome was the first VA3QV/m and that was actually its first trip…

Later in the week I will be again leaving town with the trailer in tow and spending Thursday night at the Kemptville Walmart before arriving at Rideau River Provincal Park on Friday Morning to partake in two of the three days of the Amateur Radio Event sponsored by the Ottawa Valley QRP Society that we call Chillycon.  I have to be back in Kingston on Sunday by noon so not sure if I am going to head out real early on Sunday morning or late Saturday night.

There will be more on both events in a future blog post….

After that its time to work on whatever issues I had on the first two trip because Liz and I will be heading out  early in October for a couple of weeks (destination not finalized yet… )  before we winterize the trailer and then hand the keys over to Erika.  We are giving her the trailer and we will be pickup up a new(er) slightly larger (24-28 footer) in the spring.

This is all part of the retirement master plan but remember plans were made to be changed… And Liz has been known to change my mind in the past….

Erika is planning to renovate the interior and camp with it next year….  Only problem is that her Sonic is a little small for the trailer but she does not like driving the Silverado so,,,,,Lets see how this turns out…

Thats about all for now….  more later next week ….  mostly about the trip from Kingston to Carp and how much I sold and how much I bought at the hamfest

Till then “Safe Travels” and ….