#HamRadio #Lighthouse August 17th

The following has been cut and pasted from the ILLW website


International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend – ILLW

3rd Full Weekend in August since 1998

00.01 UTC 17th August to 2400 UTC 18th August 2019 (48 hours)

00.01 UTC 15th August to 2400 UTC 16th August 2020 (48 hours)

For some reason or other August seems to have become the international weekend for lighthouses. Countries all over the world have become involved in one for or another of lighthouse activity. Some years ago the United States Congress declared August 7th as their National Lighthouse Day and during that first week in August amateur radio operators in America set up portable stations at lighthouses and endeavour to make contact with each other. This event is known as the US National Lighthouse Week.

In Britain the Association of Lighthouse Keepers, ALK, conducts International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend on the 3rd full weekend in August. Their objective is to encourage Lighthouse managers, keepers and owners to open their lighthouse or lightstation and related visitors centres to the public with a view to raising the profile of lighthouses, lightvessels and other navigational aids, and preserving our maritime heritage.

akmanrags latvia

Akmenrags Lighthouse, Latvia.

However, the major event which takes place in August is the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, ILLW, which came into being in 1998 as the Scottish Northern Lights Award run by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group. The history of this event can be found elsewhere on this site. The ILLW takes place on the 3rd full weekend in August each year and attracts over 500 lighthouse entries located in over 40 countries. It is one of the most popular international amateur radio events in existence probably because there are very few rules and it is not the usual contest type event. It is also free and there are no prizes for contacting large numbers of other stations. There is little doubt that the month of August has become “Lighthouse Month” due largely to the popularity and growth of the ILLW.

Now according to my personal records the last time I operated this event was in 2015 when I operated from the National Museum of Science and Techology in Ottawa Ontario operating CA0016

 Cape North (Old), ON  (Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa) VE NA Museum CA0016


My old camper (the orignal VA3QV/M) August 2015 operating from the Museum Lighthouse


Some local Kingston Hams will be operating from 9 mile Point Lighthouse on Simcoe Island.  Check out :


for more info

Now I find myself with some time on my hands on the Saturday in question in an area that has lots of lighthouses as Kingston Ontario is on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the St Lawrence River.

The big question is will I be giving out contacts from a Lighthouse or will I be hunting lighthouses from home?

Only time will tell


Finding #hamradio stuff

Liz has been commenting that a few boxes are sitting in the garage (since we moved in last June) that have the words “Radio” on them that just seem to be gathering dust. To be honest I don’t know whats in them but as I have not opened them it seems that I had no need for the contents.

It has been suggested that I open them and sell the contents….  Seeing that I have already been selling some unused gear this year….  It seems like a good idea….  So an email was sent out to the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club asking that they reserve me a table at their Hamfest on September 7th in Carp Ontario. 

If they have the space available I should be there.

On the table will be: 

Buddistick Portable Vertical Antenna with some additional accessories

Hamstick Dipole Mounts

Homebrewed W3EDP HF antenna

Winkeyer USB

2m, 6m, and dual band (2m/70cm) mobile antennas

Baluns 1:1, 4:1, 4:1 unun  

Numerous runs of coax,  Some RG8, RG8X, RG58 all with PL259 connectors also some Patch Cords 

A couple of Power Supplies (low amperage)

…..  and thats all that I’ve found so far after going thru the first box……  

Seeing that “Stuff Out” = “New Stuff In”  I have already ordered a new Yaesu FTDM 100 (Fusion C4FM) radio and it will be brought to the hamfest by the Vendor which saves me the shipping and if it gives Liz some room in the garage at the same time it should be a “win-win” situation. 

Once I empty all the boxes I will post some pics of the neater stuff that I find…

Who knows????  I might even find some other stuff that I havn’t missed yet….




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.


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.


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:

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





Field Day 2019 – Emergency Communications Test

As I type this our hobby’s biggest annual test is underway.  Amateur Radio Clubs and Individual Amateur Radio Operators are working hard to prove that we can communicate when (if) we are called upon.

For more info on Field Day please follow these links and then don’t forget to come back and finish reading this post

ARRL Field Day 


RAC Field Day


So welcome back…

This year due to staffing issues at work I was unable to join any of the local clubs in their serious participations.  Instead I decided to test out the equipment (in between sleeping and work)  I will be installing in our new trailer that we are finally going to purchase in the off season and should be on the road starting in late April or early May of 2020.

There will be more about that in a future post … but for now back to radio

The gear I used for Field Day (this year) was my Yaesu FT 450 along with my SGC 237 auto tuner and it worked flawlessly for the time I had to operate


Just finished working K2AA with the above radio.  Will fit on the small desk I will have in the trailer and along with the S9 43 foot vertical antenna will get the most out of the 100w output of the FT 450


Heres a pic of the S9 on my old Class C camper. To my long term readers…. that the one that burnt on our first attempt of the PEI Trip and below is what it looks like on my current pickup truck in its un extended position.


On the new trailer the S9 will be mounted on the rear bumper beside the spare tire carrier.

Anyway back to Field Day….  For me it was a success.  Contacts were made on 2m FM, and 10m, 20m, 40m and 80m Single sideband.  I heard a couple of guys ragchewing on 15m ssb but they were not interested in the event.  They were just a couple of friends chatting on a Sunday morning.

I know the gear works and thats all I can ask for…

Thanks for reading and there will a post coming soon with more info on the new trailer and the new tow vehicle for it .



Its a small world after all

Interesting evening….

Got a phone call from the local repeater operators telling me that they were testing the Wires X Fusion Node on a simplex frequency before switching it over to their repeater….

I switch over there and the first person I hear is VE1AS (Terry) ex VE3KLT who I have known for ever…. and when we both lived in Ottawa lived about 3 km away….

UPDATED:  Should of given a bit more info.  Terry now lives in Pugwash NS and according to QRZ.com thats a bit over 625 miles from Kingston.  Now Wires X/Fusion does use a form of internet linking so its not really DX  but I still think its neat that my first Fusion contact from home in Kingston would be with an old friend who I knew in Ottawa who now lived in Nova Scotia

I knew he moved but this is the first time we have talked since I moved into Kingston Ontario a year ago…

No rare DX but it was nice to talk to an old friend and neighbor

The hobby never ceases to amaze me


A great “Stationary Use” antenna for your #hamradio mobile use

As mentioned from a previous post…

If you’ve ever worked a large public service event (Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour or the Canadian Ski Marathon as examples) that are in areas that are not always “Radio Friendly” where you have to reach the repeater then here is a suggestion for you.  


And here’s how I put it together… with next to no tools and with parts that mostly would be found in your radio equipment junk box

Parts list:

Hurricane style 3 or 4 magnet mount

Length of threaded rod-  I used a 3 foot long 3/8 inch threaded rod that I picked up at Princess Auto here in Kingston along with 3 nuts and washers

Home made copper J Pole antenna from my junk box that I built about 25 years ago as part of a club build project

Couple of small hose clamps

10 foot (or so ) run of coax

Step 1– Remove whatever antenna mounting hardware is currently on the Mag mount


Step 2– Using Nuts and washers attach treaded rod where the antenna mount used to be


Step 3–  Attach J Pole to the threaded rod  using hose clamps if needed at a length that you feel comfortable with or come up with a suitable way to secure the antenna to the rod (your choice)  In my case I just inserted the threaded rod inside the end of JPole


Step 4 –  Attach coax

In my case this gave me a  copper J pole 2 feet above the 6 foot high roof of the truck then you add in the length of the J Pole itself and I have a the top of a 1/2 wave antenna approx 14 feet above ground (6(truck)+2(rod)+6(length of Jpole) firmly attached by 3 large magnets to the rood of the truck.  According to Ontario Law its too tall to have on the roof while driving but if you are stationary (at a checkpoint) it will do you fine…



Whenever you are doing any sort of antenna work watch for and avoid all overhead wires.

You follow the above directions and use the information at your own risk.  The fact that it worked for me does not mean it will work for you.


If you have any doubts about the safe use of the information do not attempt this..  

Check your SWR before transmitting.  Finals can be expensive


I hope you have fun with this setup but please be careful…. Don’t be “THAT” Ham…

Hopefully this setup should (could, might) give your the extra oomph to your signal to get into the repeaters when needed.