Three months later….

3 months ago Liz and I almost bought the RV Trailer of our dreams but that nasty old COVID came calling and everything was closed and put on hold….

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The following YouTube clip is from a different dealer but it shows the finer points of the trailer without the normal BUY NOW….BUY NOW….BUY NOW that most RV dealers put on their YouTube postings

2 weeks ago I headed back to the dealer and found that it was still available and we started to talk…


Before I go any further I must mention that Quinte RV did not ask me to write this or did they offer me any thing to write this.  What you see here is an personal endorsement  which honestly describes my purchase experience…


The salesman let us visit with our old friend with no pressure.   I took a long visit and it was everything I remembered it as.  Big…. but light enough that my Pickup (VA3QV/m) could easily tow it….

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So now that the trailer remains how I remembered it ….  Just for $h!ts and Giggles lets put in an offer to purchase…..

 

 

The Salesman passed me over to the Financial Wizard and he started to do his magic.

 

And the Wizards magic was strong as he was able to get me the price I wanted, at the terms I wanted and  at a much better interest rate than I expected.

And to make matters even better (yes it does get better….) we were able to grab one of last two permanent campsites at a private campground just a short 45 minute drive from Kingston.  At this time I expect that Liz and I will spend most of our time there from when we move in on June 26th till the Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend in Mid October.

Our summer is now spoken for….  Time to enjoy life a bit when not working…  

 

For those of my followers who are more into RF than RV there will be a C4FM station set up along with my new(er) FT 450 set up there with what I expect to be an Inverted “L” which will cover 10-80m and maybe even 160m when I feed it with my SGC237 auto tuner which will relocate from the home station to the trailer for the season.

 

 

I plan to operate from the campsite as soon as I am able to which means a limited Field Day station but a strong attempt at the RAC Canada Day Contest a few days later.

 

I still have more to share with you especially on how great the new HF antenna system on VA3QV/m is working out but that will be for another post after I get everything moved into the trailer.

73 and safe travels

bob

 

 

 

 

Maybe its NOT the antenna

I was looking at my log for the RAC Canada Winter Contest and decided to look at the contacts a little closer… 

With the 100w of my Yaesu FT 450 and the magic of the SGC 237 auto tuner along with $20.00 of the finest Princess Auto wire here is where my signal from Eastern VE3Land made it to during the contest.

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VO1 (Newfoundland) 20m and 80m contacts

VE1 (Nova Scotia) 40m and 80m contacts

VY2 (Prince Edward Island) 80m contacts

VE9 (New Brunswick) 20m, 40m and 80m contacts

VE2 (Quebec) 40m and 80m contacts

VE3 (Ontario) 20m, 40m, 80m and 160m contacts

VE4 (Manitoba) 20m and 40m contacts

VE5 (Saskatchewan) 20m contacts

VE6 (Alberta) 20m, 40m and 80m contacts

VE7 (British Columbia) 20m contacts

My antenna for HF is an approximately 45 foot long wire that snakes its way around a Fir Tree in my backyard. 

sgc-237

This along with radials on the inside perimeter of my fence is my “Stealthy” HF antenna and using the SGC Tuner will load up on all bands between 6m and 160m.

I was (as always) blaming my normal lack of results on my very poor compromise antenna and the lack of band conditions.  I was not really complaining, but more whining about it.  Its been a while since I was able to spend so much time in the shack at a time when others were around at the same time that I am thinking….  If I lived in a location that was antenna restrictive then I might actually make more contacts but…. as I would rather be on the air with a compromise antenna system than not being on the air….  This seems to be much better than nothing… 

I still long for the day I can operate without antenna restrictions but till then…. what I got ain’t that bad…

Hope that your antennas survived the recent Ice Storm…. 

Here in Kingston my fir tree is bending a bit but still keeping the wire up in the air.  Praying for a melt to save the tree branches and keep what I have for an antenna functioning  and above ground.

73bob

 

 

 

 

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

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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.

sgctuner

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

73bob

 

 

I

 

2019 RAC Canada Winter Contest

Starting at 0000 hrs GMT Dec 28th and running for 24 hours is the RAC Canada Winter Contest.

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The Rules can be found at : https://www.rac.ca/rac-canada-winter-contest-rules-2019/

Its a fairly low key friendly contest and your best choice to try and get the Canadian Province you might need in your log

I will be on the air giving out the  Rare “Ontario” Multi  to all who need it and I will be active on 2m FM, 6m ssb, 10m ssb, 15m ssb, 20m ssb, 40m ssb, 80m ssb and 160m ssb.  Given my poor antenna setup here you better be listening for a weak signal from Kingston.

Hope to hear you on the air

73bob

#hamradio 2m band Would we even notice?

I’ve been seeing some scary stuff flying around social media about the chances of the Amateur Radio Community (in Europe) losing parts of (or all of) the 144.0-146.0 mhz Amateur Radio Band.

Now before you all start yelling that they wouldn’t dare….  Anyone been around long enough to remember what happened to our 1.25 band (220 mhz)?

Sitting here in the shack with my 2m/70cm rig on scan and scanning both Analog and C4FM frequencies in the 2m and 70cm portions of the band I am only hearing the occasional repeater ID’er and static.

For more information on this topic….  Bill VE3FI has a blog and he is keeping on top of this.  I suggest you check out his blog at:

http://ve3clq.blogspot.com/   (just in case the link did not work)

Scrolling down a few of his posts will bring you up to speed… and hopefully wake you up!

As its been said many times in the past…. “Use it or lose it”

73bob

 

2019 RAC Canada Day Contest

Although my time in this contest will be limited I do expect to be on the air just after the start for about 4 hours or so.  I will be giving out contacts on 6m to 160m SSB only.

back-in-the-saddle

Hope to get YOU in my log

The following comes from the RAC Website (www.rac.ca)


Each year on July 1, the anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, Radio Amateurs of Canada sponsors the Canada Day Contest and Amateurs all over the world are invited to Canada’s Birthday Party on the air.

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Contest Period: 0000 UTC to 2359 UTC July 1, 2019.

Bands and Modes: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6 and 2 metres, CW and phone (SSB, FM, AM, etc.)

Suggested frequencies: CW – 25 kHz up from the band edge and for SSB – 1850, 3775, 7075, 7225, 14175, 21250, 28500 kHz. Check for CW activity on the half-hour.

Exchange: Stations in Canada send RS(T) and province or territory. VEØs and stations outside Canada send RS(T) and a serial number.

QSOs: Contacts with stations in Canada or VEØs are worth 10 points. Contacts with stations outside Canada are worth 2 points. Contacts with RAC official stations are worth 20 points. RAC official stations are: VA2RAC, VA3RAC, VE1RAC, VE4RAC, VE5RAC, VE6RAC, VE7RAC, VE8RAC, VE9RAC, VO1RAC, VO2RAC, VY0RAC, VY1RAC and VY2RAC. You may work any station once on each of the two modes, on each of the eight contest bands.

It is prohibited to make CW contacts in the conventional phone sub-bands and phone contacts in the conventional CW sub-bands. Contacts or soliciting QSOs through a repeater during the contest period is not allowed.

Multipliers: Thirteen in total, Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories. Each multiplier may be counted once on each mode on each of the eight contest bands. The multipliers, with their postal abbreviations and prefixes are: Nova Scotia [NS] (VE1, VA1, CY9, CYØ); Quebec [QC] (VE2, VA2); Ontario [ON] (VE3, VA3); Manitoba [MB] (VE4, VA4); Saskatchewan [SK] (VE5, VA5); Alberta [AB] (VE6, VA6); British Columbia [BC] (VE7, VA7); Northwest Territories [NT] (VE8); New Brunswick [NB] (VE9); Newfoundland and Labrador [NL] (VO1, VO2); Nunavut [NU] (VYØ); Yukon [YT] (VY1); and Prince Edward Island [PE] (VY2). Certain special Canadian prefixes in use at the time of the contest may also apply; however there may be no more than 13 multipliers on each band/mode. Please use the multiplier abbreviations, in square brackets, noted above.

Final Score: The total QSO from all bands multiplied by the total number of multipliers from all bands.

Categories: The following nine categories are eligible for plaques or certificates as detailed in the Awards section of the rules.

Single Operator All Bands High Power (>100 watts) – Radioworld

Single Operator All Bands Low Power (max. 100 watts output) – Contest Club Ontario

Single Operator QRP (max. 5 watt output) All Bands & Single Band ** – Radioworld

Single Operator All Bands CW only, any authorized power – Gary Bartlett VE1RGB Memorial by the Maritime Contest Club

Single Operator All Bands PH only, any authorized power – Saskatchewan Contest Club

Single Operator Single Band, any authorized power *** – Radioworld

Multi-Operator Single Transmitter High Power (>100 watts) * – Alfa Radio Ltd

Multi-Operator Single Transmitter Low Power (max. 100 watts output) * – Tony Allsop VE3FTA Memorial by the Mississauga Amateur Radio Club

Multi-Operator Multi-Transmitter, any authorized power – Radioworld

For the Canada Day Contest a special trophy is awarded for the highest Single Operator (no power classification) Foreign Entrant – Larry Kayser VA3LK Memorial by Alan Goodacre, VE3HX.

Special thanks to our sponsors for their support of the RAC contests.

Category notes:

1) The contents of a log that is submitted for a specific category must reflect that category. In the event of a conflict between the actual content of the log and the stated category in the Cabrillo header or contained in other elements of the entry material, the actual contents of the log will be used to determine the category of entry where possible. In the event this cannot be determined or in the event where a log does not identify the entry category, the entry will be classified into the Multi-Operator, Multi-Transmitter, any authorized power category.

Any entrant who wants to enter a specific category (i.e. Single band entry) but who also worked additional contacts outside that category may submit those additional contacts in a separatecheck log file. Do not include them in the main entered category log file.

2) Where the categories have a power class and the submitted log does not clearly identify the power class entered, then the log will be treated as if the highest power class for that category was entered.

3) Single operators who receive assistance from a DX spotting system, including Skimmer and similar technologies or any type of Packet Cluster network during the contest must classify themselves as Multi-Single ops.

4) * In the Multi-Single category only one transmitter and one band are permitted during the same time period (defined as 10 minutes). Exception: One, and only one, other band may be used during any 10-minute period, if and only if the station worked is a new multiplier. In other words the Multi-Single Transmitter class allows a second station to “hunt” and work multipliers only on a single separate band during any 10-minute period.

5) Multi-Multi category stations may operate on several bands simultaneously.

6) For all multi transmitter categories, all transceivers, transmitters and receivers operated by the multi station participants/entrants must be within a single 500-metre diameter circle and the antennas must be physically connected by RF transmission lines to the transceivers, transmitters and/or receivers.

7) Operators in either the Multi-Multi or Multi-Single categories should note that a distributed contest station is permitted in the RAC contests, however such operations are not eligible for awards. A distributed station is defined as a station which does not have all transceivers, transmitters and/or receivers operated by station operators/participants/entrants located within a single 500-metre diameter circle of each other. Distributed Multi-Multi operations must identify such operations as part of their Cabrillo form log submission or summary sheet document.

8) ** Although there is only one QRP category, which qualifies for a plaque or certificate, it is intended that the published results would show All Bands or the Single Band of operation.

To facilitate this break out of the listings, your entry should indicate the band(s) or mode(s) operated.

9) *** Although there is only one Single Operator Single Band category that qualifies for a certificate or award, it is intended that the published results would show High Power or Low Power.

To facilitate this break out of the listings, your entry should indicate the power class you used.

10) Operators who have participated in any multi-operator category entries may not contact the station they have participated in if they were to operate as part of another entry in the same contest. In addition, guest operators at any station regardless of entry category may not claim contacts with the station host owner or host station mobile call for points or multipliers.

Awards: Plaques will be awarded to the top-scoring entrants in each category, as noted above in the category list. Special thanks to our sponsors for their ongoing support! Certificates will be awarded to the top-scoring entrant in the categories described below.

  • Canadian provinces or territories
  • Continental US call districts, W0 through W9 as well as Alaska and Hawaii. US Commonwealths, Territories and Possessions such as Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, etc will be treated as equivalent to a DXCC country
  • DXCC country, excluding Canada and the US.

To facilitate the proper allocation of certificates, all US stations should indicate their actual US call district based on their actual address, as provided in the Cabrillo header, if different than indicated by their call prefix. DX stations should indicate the actual country of operation if different than indicated by their call prefix by indicating the country as part of the portable call sign designator.

RAC stations will compete and be considered the same as any other entrant for eligibility to plaques and certificates.

Results: Will be published in The Canadian Amateur magazine published by the Radio Amateurs of Canada. The results will also be published on the RAC website at:
https://wp.rac.ca/contesting-results/

Entries: All entries (electronic or paper logs) must be postmarked or electronically submitted by July 31, 2019. Electronic entries will be confirmed by return email. Send email entries to: canadaday@rac.ca

Send paper entries to:

Radio Amateurs of Canada
720 Belfast Road, Suite 217
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1G 0Z5

We will be publishing a list of logs received and the categories entered on the RAC website during and/or after the submission period after the cut off date to assist in correcting any entry categorizations.

Paper mail entries must contain a summary sheet showing score calculation, a dupe sheet listing calls worked on each mode on each band, a multiplier check sheet and log sheets. Logsheets must show time, band, mode, call of station worked, exchanges sent and received and claimed for each QSO. New multipliers must be clearly marked in the log.

Contest entry forms are also available on the RAC website at: https://wp.rac.ca/contesting-results/

Any entry with 100 or more contacts should be submitted in digital format. The preferred electronic format is the RAC Cabrillo format. The files must be submitted in plain ASCII/Text format.

While the contest committee prefers Cabrillo formatted submissions, we will continue to accept electronic logs from older versions of contest software, but your file must be in ASCII/Text format and have all the required information. However “.adi” files are not acceptable.

Given there are several free programs that support the RAC contests and generate an acceptable Cabrillo entry, we encourage you to seek out one of these programs.

The RAC Cabrillo format is described and its detailed layout is shown on the RAC website at: https://wp.rac.ca/contesting-results/

Electronic logs that do not have a complete Cabrillo header should provide a summary sheet with the same information as shown for the paper log entries. The standard summary sheet provided by the typical logging program is generally acceptable, but you should confirm that it contains the same information as shown for paper log entries.

A properly filled out Cabrillo header section will be a sufficient substitute for a summary sheet for logs submitted in that format. Please ensure that you review the header for accuracy and that it is completely fill out. Name your file with your Call Sign and the file extension.LOG (e.g., yourcall.LOG). If you email your log, please send the file(s) as attachments.

Do not paste the log file into the text of your message as there may be issues with the formatting making it difficult to properly extract the log. Large files may be zipped if necessary.

If you need help with preparing or emailing your log or have any other questions, please contact Bart Ritchie, VE5CPU, ve5cpu@rac.ca

For the previous year’s contest results, visit the RAC website at https://wp.rac.ca/contesting-results/ in the Contest section.


Good Luck to all participants

73bob