It’s been a while but our (Liz and myself) “Tow Vehicle” is finally in our possession and on the road.  Got to do some small things to it to make it comfy but I hope to be hauling our trailer out of storage in a couple of weeks…

2007 Dodge Ram 1500 with the 4.7 V8

More than enough truck to make our dreams a reality….

For the Hams out there…. Will be operating VHF/UHF FM from the truck along with APRS (VA3QV -9) and will have HF in the trailer only.

Until the Canadian dollar gets a bit stronger and we find some affordable health insurance most trips will occurring in Canada but we might head south for a weekend visiting a border state…

Next post should show the truck towing the trailer…

CU later


March and still stuck in the snow

We have had some warm days but there are many more needed before the camper is out and free to tow.  The ice and snow have melted off the roof and a quick visual inspection looks good…  The roof survived the winter…  I am still hoping to have it out  of the storage yard by the 1st week in April…

The quest for a suitable tow vehicle is ongoing.  I was looking at a 2008 Ford F-150 2wd but it has a few (too many) gremlins in the ignition system and my search continues…

If you remember my last couple of postings about camping in Ottawa for the Canada Day  week festivities…  They are now accepting reservations ….  If you snooze…. you lose…

On the radio side…. it’s still very slow.  so much on the go that I have problems even getting into the shack let alone finding time for radio.  I have seen a “warning” that our local ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service ) Group will be participating in an Exercise with the City of Ottawa OEM (Office of Emergency Management) early in May.

Guess it’s time to double check the batteries in the VHF/UHF gear and make sure that all the required freqs are programmed in.

thats all I have for now…


A bit of an update

A couple of posts back I mentioned a “Brutal Winter”….  I was in error…..  Its been a really lousy “Goshdarn Brutal Winter…” so far…

At this time I am wondering if my original timetable of getting the rig out of the storage and on the road by the 1st of April is actually realistic.  So far we have had 245 cms of snow fall (which is nothing if you are from the Maritimes VE1, VE9 VY2 or VO1) but its been a few years since I have seen that much snow and I have a feeling its not over yet…

On the RV Side of things… The hunt for a suitable Tow Vehicle for the trailer and a suitable radio platform continues…  I think I found one and hopefully I can get it out a different snow bank and take it for a test ride shortly…  It just seems every time the current owner and I have common free time…  It snows again…  I want dry pavement for the test drive so… we wait…

On the radio side of things…  I managed to make my first DX also my first HF Contact of 2017 this morning.  CT9/DF6QV (Franz from Germany vacationing on Maderia Island) managed to hear my 5w QRP SSB signal on 17m.

I was using my FT 817 in the shack and the 55 foot long wire in the back yard.  I plan to get the Flex 1500 back up and running soon….  One of these days really….

Back to RVs again for a quick one…  You might remember me shilling the idea of urban camping for those who can’t find (or don’t want to find) a motel room when they come to visit Ottawa for the Canada Day week festivities…

To refresh your memories…

For more info on the Urban Camping …

Please visit the City of Ottawa Website ( camping-2017 ) 

I was talking to my local City Councilor who is also on the committee that is running the urban camping issue and asked him if they had thought about dumping the Black and the Grey tanks of the campers…

After a quick explanation of how they worked…. They are now looking into it…  Good to know… that if you have to go…. we should have a way to get rid of it…

One final Radio comment….  After checking the ARRL Website for their contest results it seems that I managed a respectable score in the 2016 IARU contest.  

Operating in the QRP Mixed Catagory my score was good enough to get 1st place in Canada and 3rd place in North America.  

As I have mentioned in the past…  If you don’t enter you can’t compete…  Submitting my score with no expectations suddenly gave me the highest placing I have achieved ever in a contest..

Thats about all I have for now… More once I get a tow vehicle and then we can talk about how to set it up to tow the trailer and hold all the radio gear…


PS… sorry about the look of this post…  still having trouble importing stock photos into the blog…




Wide Coverage VHF (2m) Ottawa Area repeaters

If you read my previous post then you might remember that the City of Ottawa is offering limited urban camping at selected arenas and community centres for the week long Canada Day celebrations.

If you are driving in to Ottawa with your RV,  these frequencies (For the ham radio types) might be helpful.  The greater Ottawa area has many repeaters but here are some of the more stable wide coverage ones.

The repeater guides show many more repeaters for Ottawa…  but as of the time of posting this…. the  short list gives you a choice of several FM repeaters that you usually find someone monitoring.

(Above pic is my dual band handheld)

146.850  – offset   CTCSS.  136.5.   VE3ORF  owned/operated by the 3730 Group

146.880  – offset.  CTCSS   136.5    VE3OCE owned by the City of Ottawa OEM and operated by the Ottawa ARES/EMRG

146.940  – offset   CTCSS.  100.0   VE2CRA owned/operated by the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club

147.150   + offset   CTCSS   100.0   VE3MPC owned / operated by the Canadian Police College ARC

147.300  + offset   CTCSS   100.0   VE3TWO owned / operated by the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club

If you are planning to visit Ottawa during the Canada Day 150 don’t forget to program your 2m rigs…

PS… this post was created in my IPad using the WordPress app.  It’s easier on the computer but it can be done.

Mid Month update

Its been a cold and busy time here…  Lots of non hobby (RV and Radio) related stuff going on which is taking up lots of my time…  Also its kind of hard to blog about the RV Lifestyle when our trailer is snow covered in a storage yard…  

The hunt for a suitable Tow Vehicle continues and I plan to have something on the road to tow the trailer as soon as the storage yard thaws out enough so I can tow it out of their yard.  

championgeneratorI have acquired a Champion 1.5 kw gas generator that is in need of some TLC.  Very low hours on it and the price was right.

It will receive an oil change,  tune up and a fuel system cleaning along with a carb kit in time for the beginning of the 2017 camping season.


In the meantime….

Are you planning to visit Ottawa for the Canada Day week event this year???

Canada Day in 2017 will be a blast as its also the 150th birthday for Canada.  


With the supply of Hotel/Motel rooms starting to dwindle for Canada Day,  the City of Ottawa will be offering RV and Tent Camping (for a price) at some City Arenas and other locations across the City.  

These would be unserviced sites but the Arenas and Community Centers do have washrooms and showers which should (might) be available.  Depending on location available you could be within cycling distance or walking distance of Parliament Hill and Ottawa does have a very good Transit (bus) system.  

Don’t even think of trying to park in downtown Ottawa for Canada Day….  The parking tickets are large and the impound fees even larger…


For more info on the Urban Camping …Please visit the City of Ottawa Website ( camping-2017 ) 


For more on the Canada 150 Celebrations please visit the Canadian Gov Website ( )


On the Radio Side of things….  I have not been on HF in the new year yet.  I do my best to try and check into a couple of 2m nets if time permits but…  Nothing new coming up in my logs so far.    I am looking into some 100w HF rigs to pick from for the Camper.  At this time until they get this distracted driving issue settled I just plan to run my Yaesu FT 7800 in the cab of the tow vehicle just to monitor the local repeaters  while in transit.  Some sort of APRS rig will also be used as well…  When we get set up at a campground my FT 817 will do for HF until I find the 100w HF rig I am looking for…

More on this by the spring time…


ps…  remember the thought of using the IPAD for the Blog?  Found one little glitch…  using the APP will only let me upload pics to the blog that I take with the IPAD camera.  This forces me to make these entries with my shack computer as I am using stock pictures…but once we get on the road and start using the IPAD then our fresh pictures will let you enjoy our adventures as if you were travelling with us…





A New Year and a new direction

Happy 2017 and to some of you welcome back.  The “blog” as you know it will be changing greatly (for the better I think) and I hope you will agree.

As “our” name implies “Amateur Radio on the Road”…

I will be talking less about DXCC, Contesting and WAS…. but will be talking more about portable operation, antenna selections  as they pertain to our new style of travelling.  Yes this year Liz and myself plan to be doing lots of travelling  and there will be lots of operating from different locations.

The first change I find extremely frustrating…  All the blog posts starting with the next one will be created with “our” new I Pads…  

So this falls into the teaching an old dog a new trick category.  After 8 Years of blogging with a nice large monitor along with a full size keyboard…  I now have to learn how to use a 9 inch I Pad…  The WordPress app is fairly easy to use but… my  fat fingers often seem to hit the wrong areas of my touch pad which causes spelling mistakes and other aw shucks moments…  Its not as easy as I thought it was going to be.


The above Pic is not ours but close enough to show you the outside view.  This one is a 2001 and ours is a 1999.  Closed up its a 23 foot camper that sleeps 4.  Open it up like in the above pic and its a 30 footer that sleeps 8.  

Once again the below pic is not ours… You won’t really see ours till the spring (once the snow melts) as thats the next time we should see it but it does serve as a good example of the trailer in its closed up position.


The idea behind this was that when we are on the road even though the new (to us) trailer is larger than the old Dodge Class C camper (pic below) that we lost last year…


Space will always be at a premium so we decided to forgo a computer in the Trailer but go with individual I Pads to do all of our work with.

Yes “our”…. That’s the second change….  Liz will be contributing the non-ham perspective to our upcoming plans and travels…  This would be the part where we travel to Sept Illes QC in late October so she can do some “Whale Watching” and it was just lucky it was the weekend of the CQ WW SSB so I could operate from Zone 2.  (What a coincidence eh!!!)  It might happen… you never know…

Bear with us as we’re learning as we go…  As we are having a “Brutal” winter here in Ottawa so far things will not be taking off as fast as we had planned.  Its hard to talk about Portable Ops and Camping when its colder than usual with (way) more snow than usual…  I am planning to dig out the trailer for the end of March and then the adventures will really start.  Its a blank slate as we have to equip the trailer with all we need to travel with as well as add some extra storage batteries and a solar charging system before we head out on our first real trip.

There will be a couple of “shakedown cruises” just to see what we have forgotten to pack but the first long trip should be taking place late June when Liz and I try again to make it to Prince Edward Island.  


Last year the fire changed our travel plans and we are really looking forward making it there and back this summer.

CU down the road


Canadian Call Sign info for 2017

Tnx to VA7MPG for posting this info on his blog….  I feel it’s worth sharing…


Special Call Signs for Canada’s 150th Birthday In 2017Posted on December 17, 2016 by va7mpg



Radio Amateurs of Canada has secured permission for all Canadian Radio Amateurs to use special call sign prefixes to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation.

National, regional and local events will take place throughout 2017 to celebrate the anniversary and Canadian Amateurs will let their counterparts around the world know of our celebration by using the following special prefixes:

· Amateurs and clubs whose regular call signs start with VA will be able to use the CF prefix instead of VA (for example, VA3RAC will be authorized to use the CF3RAC call sign).

· Amateurs and clubs whose regular call signs start with VE will be able to use the CG prefix instead of VE (e.g., VE4RAC will be authorized to use CG4RAC).

· Amateurs and clubs whose regular call signs start with VO will be able to use the CH prefix instead of VO (e.g., VO1RAC will be authorized to use CH1RAC).

· Amateurs and clubs whose regular call signs start with VY will be able to use the CI prefix instead of VY (e.g., VY2RAC will be authorized to use CI2RAC).

These special prefixes are optional and Amateurs can choose if and when to use the special prefix vs their normal prefix at any time during the year. 

Stay tuned to the RAC website ( for additional information
For more information on Canada150 visit

Hope to hear you on the air…