Category Archives: Uncategorized

US Designates two 60m channels for wildfire and hurricane sally

ZCZC AG22QST de W1AWARRL Bulletin 22 ARLB022From ARRL HeadquartersNewington CT September 16, 2020

To all radio amateurs SB QST ARL

ARLB022ARLB022 5-MHz Interoperability Channels Designated for Wildfires andHurricane Sally Response The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced thattwo 60-meter channels have been made available, as necessary, for interoperability between US Government stations and US amateur radio stations involved in emergency communications related to the wildland firefighting response in California, Oregon, and Washington, and to Hurricane Sally. These interoperability channels will remain active until the need for these channels no longerexists: 

* Channel 1 – primary voice traffic 5332 kHz channel center, 5330.5kHz USB voice. 

* Channel 2 – digital traffic 5348 kHz channel center, 5346.5 kHzUSB with 1.5-kHz offset to center of digital waveform. Frequencies may be modified or added to by FEMA Region 10 for their area or operations due to existing 5-MHz/60-meter interoperability plans for their region. Amateur radio is secondary on the 5-MHz band and should yield to operational traffic related to wildland firefighting and hurricane response. Although the intended use for these channels is interoperability between federal government stations and licensed USamateur radio stations, federal government stations are primary users and amateurs are secondary users. 

The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS –https://eur05.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fnetcom.army.mil%2Fmars%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C1f01690dc41b4074654808d85a510cf4%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637358651434179038&sdata=rfvYaGGQEGKJuU9aTyyg6eohPuXZnhQrzHVqdiCY9S4%3D&reserved=0 )

is following FEMA’s lead on theinteroperability channel designations for the wildfire and hurricaneresponse. Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, says hehas alerted all MARS members of the FEMA channel designations andMARS members are prepared to support response efforts as needed.
Any Questions contact the ARRL and reference this bulletin or Contact the Mars Program.

New solar cycle underway

Solar Cycle 25 is officially underway.
NASA and NOAA made the announcement during a media teleconference earlier today.

According to an international panel of experts, sunspot counts hit rock bottom in Dec. 2019, and have been slowly increasing since.

What can you expect in the months ahead?

Visit Spaceweather.com for answers

[RAC-Bulletin] RAC Online Beginner’s CW Course: Thank you for a great response!

At the beginning of September, RAC was pleased to announce that in addition to the Basic and Advanced Amateur Radio Qualification courses, we were now offering a Beginner’s CW Course, which was being provided by Tony Pattinson, VE2KM, to teach Morse Code to Amateurs and help them get on the air with CW.  

The response to the CW course was tremendous!

  • 70 people expressed an interest in taking this course
  •  Two Beginner level courses have been set up: one for the eastern provinces with eight participants and one for the western provinces with six participants
  • An intermediate course has also been arranged with five participants

Applicants who met the prerequisite requirements, but who did not get on one of the present courses have been placed on a standby list. They will be offered a self-study program with the objective of getting them adequately prepared for more courses which will be provided in January.

Registration for upcoming courses:

If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for future CW courses please send an email directly to Tony VE2KM@YnotSailing.com with “RAC CW Course” as the subject line.

If you need any assistance from Radio Amateurs of Canada please contact the RAC Office at racgm@rac.ca.

As described in the previous bulletin, CW has always been a passion for Tony and he is a CW Academy Advisor and a lifetime member of the CW Operator’s Club. He is giving freely of his time and experience as a Morse Instructor with CW Academy and his professional experience in training. Thank you Tony!

Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA
RAC President and Chair

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director

Reminder…WINMOR is Deprecated

10 July 2020 — The Board of Directors of the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation voted in a recent virtual meeting to deprecate the WINMOR HF mode in the Winlink system. The protocol was introduced by its author Rick Muething, KN6KB, at the 2008 ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference in Chicago. It was the first popular ‘sound card’ radio mode to offer an alternative to HF hardware modems for bulk digital transport. Rick moved on by developing the Amateur Radio Digital Open Protocol (ARDOP), which was introduced in 2015 as a replacement to WINMOR with superior speed, robustness, and multiple bandwidth options. Nevertheless, until recently, WINMOR remained popular for learning and experimentation while other more robust and better-performing new modes became the workhorses of Winlink message transport.
All need to continue to migrate away from Winmor, gateways and users.

RAC Canada 2020 Conference Annual General Meeting:Sunday, September 20

Radio Amateurs of Canada is pleased to welcome all Amateurs to the RAC Canada 2020 Conference which will be held on Sunday, September 20 before the RAC Annual General Meeting.

There is no registration fee for this event and registration is now underway.

Canada 2020 Conference Overview:

The RAC Canada 2020 Conference is an interactive mini-conference that will feature interesting presentations on a wide range of topics as shown below. Whether you are a new Amateur or have been enjoying Amateur Radio for many years there will be something of interest for you to discover.

Given the great response we have received, we have now decided to extend the schedule to include a keynote presentation followed by three sessions.

Each session will have multiple presentations so that participants can choose those presentations that are of most interest to them. In addition, all sessions will be recorded for viewing later so you won’t miss out if two of your favourites take place at the same time.

  • Keynote presentation: 12 noon to 12:50 pm ET
  • First session (4 presentations): 1 pm to 1:50 ET
  • Second session (4 presentations): 2 pm to 2:50 ET
  • Third session (3 presentations): 3 pm to 3:50 ET

The Annual General Meeting will then begin after the Conference at 4 pm ET.

Conference Presentations and Schedule:

The following is a list of presentations and the schedule of events. 

Keynote Presentation: 12 noon to 12:50 pm ET

“A Fireside Chat”: “Amateur Radio during the Global Pandemic and other topics”

An informal discussion featuring the following distinguished guests:

  • Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA: President, Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC – Moderator)
  • Tim Ellam, VE6SH: President, International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)
  • Rick Roderick, K5UR: President, American Radio Relay League (ARRL)
  • Steve Thomas, M1ACB: General Manager, Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB)

In these unprecedented times, this is an excellent – and possibly historic opportunity – to engage in a discussion on the challenges we face today and the future of Amateur Radio.

First session: 1 pm to 1:50 pm ET

  • Getting Started with Amateur Radio Satellites – Tom Schuessler, N5HYP 
  • Amateur Radio and Youth – Brian Jackson, VE6JBJ
  • Amateur Radio Challenges in Canada’s North – Ron Thompson, VE8RT and Angela Gerbrandt, VY0YL
  • CY9C St. Paul Island DXpedition – Phil McBride, VA3QR

Second session: 2 pm to 12:50 pm ET

  • 6m FT8 DXing – Ron Scwhartz, VE3VN
  • Contesting: Remote Operating – Cary Rubenfeld, VE4EA and Tom Haavisto, VE3CX
  • VO2AC: Contest DXpedition to Labrador (CQ Zone 2) – Chris Allingham, VE3FU/VO2AC
  • Amateur Radio Hotspots: A Quick Overview – Allan Boyd, VE3AJB

Third session: 3 pm to 3:50 pm ET

  • La proposition d’une classe d’entrée pour les radioamateurs (en français) – Guy Richard, VE2QG/VE2XTD
  • Amateur Radio: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow – Allen Wootton, VY1KX
  • High Altitude Balloons: The Elevation Education – Kelly Shulman, VE3KLX

Instructions for Presentations:

Our volunteers are now hard at work preparing the instructions for all of the presenters and we will be sending them to you in the coming days. We thank you for your patience.

Please stay tuned to the RAC Canada 2020 Conference webpage for more information. We hope to see you at the event!

Jason Tremblay, VE3JXT
Conference Organizer
RAC Community Services Officer
community@rac.ca

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director
TCA Editor
marcom@rac.ca

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director

[RAC-Bulletin] Registration now available for RAC Advanced Course: Fall 2020

In response to the global pandemic, Radio Amateurs of Canada is once again offering an online Advanced Qualification Amateur Radio Course so that individuals can upgrade their qualifications while continuing to practise social/physical distancing.
With your Advanced Certificate, you can run higher power, operate a remotely-controlled station, obtain operating privileges when travelling overseas, set up repeaters, be the trustee for club stations and even become an Accredited Examiner.
Course information:
The course will be 10 sessions in length and each session will be two hours long.
In order to offer maximum flexibility, we will be running two Advanced courses so students will be able to choose one of the following two options:
* Sunday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm EDT (12 pm PDT) starting on Sunday, October 4, 2020 ending on Sunday, January 3, 2021
Or
* Monday evenings from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm EDT (5:30 PDT) starting on Monday, October 5, 2020 and ending on Monday, January 4, 2021.
Note: There will be no sessions on Thanksgiving weekend, the weekend after Christmas or during the weekends of the CQ WW DX SSB and CW contests as follows: October 11 and 12; October 25 and 26; November 29 and 30; and December 27 and 28.

The course instructor is Dave Goodwin, VE9CB. Dave has been an Amateur since 1975, is an active HF Contester and DXer and has many other interests in Amateur Radio. Since 2015, Dave has been teaching Basic and Advanced certification courses with the Fredericton (NB) Amateur Radio Club. He is also RAC’s Atlantic Director.

Course Requirements:
The RAC Advanced Qualification Amateur Radio course is being offered at no charge to RAC Maple Leaf Operator Members – both current and future as described below.
Participants in the course will need to meet all of the following requirements:
1. Participants must already have the Canadian Basic Certificate of Proficiency in Amateur Radio and a Canadian call sign.
2. Participants must already be a RAC Maple Leaf Operator Member (https://www.rac.ca/maple-leaf-operator/)  or become one by joining RAC at the Maple Leaf Operator level or upgrading to that level.
3. Participants must have a copy of the Canadian Amateur Radio Advanced Qualification Study Guide provided by Coax Publications. For more information please visit the RAC Study Guides (https://www.rac.ca/study-guides-2/)  webpage.
4. Participants must have a computer and Internet connection capable of using the GoToMeeting (https://www.gotomeeting.com/en-ca)  (GTM) conference platform. You do not need your own account on GTM to take part in this course, but you will have to download an applet from the GTM site to participate.
5. Participants must have a working email address to receive course materials and links to the sessions.

For more information about the course please visit the Advanced Course webpage at:
https://www.rac.ca/rac-online-advanced-amateur-radio-course-fall-2020/
Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRARAC President and Chair

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director

2020 RAC CONFERENCE AND AGM

RAC Canada 2020 Conference and Annual General Meeting:
Sunday, September 20


https://www.rac.ca/rac-canada-2020-conference/


For immediate release:

Radio Amateurs of Canada is pleased to present the “Canada 2020 Conference” to give Amateurs an opportunity to get together and see what’s happening in Amateur Radio – now and in the future.

The RAC Canada 2020 Conference is an interactive mini-conference that will feature interesting presentations on a wide range of topics as shown below.

There will be parallel sessions in two blocks so that participants can choose those presentations that are of most interest to them. In addition, all sessions will be recorded for viewing later so you won’t miss out if two of your favourites take place at the same time.

The Conference and the AGM will both be held on Sunday, September 20.

RAC members are invited to attend this virtual conference before the RAC Annual General Meeting which will be held the same day. Non-members will also be able to view the event online and we will provide more information as soon as preparations have been finalized.

The event is tentatively scheduled to begin at 12 noon EST. Stay tuned for further information.



Presentations:

The following is a list of tentative presentations. Please stay tuned for additional information.
 

“A Fireside Chat”: “Amateur Radio in the Global Pandemic and other topics”

RAC President Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA, will act as Moderator of a “fireside chat” with the following distinguished guests:

  • Tim Ellam, VE6SH: President, International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)
  • Rick Roderick, K5UR: President, American Radio Relay League (ARRL)
  • Steve Thomas, M1ACB: General Manager, Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB)

Amateur Radio: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  • Allen Wootton, VY1KX

VO2AC: Contest DXpedition to Labrador (CQ Zone 2)
  • Chris Allingham, VE3FU/VO2AC

Amateur Radio Hotspots: A Quick Overview
  • Allan Boyd, VE3AJB

La proposition d’une classe d’entrée pour les radioamateurs (en français)
  • Guy Richard, VE2QG/VE2XTD

CY9C St. Paul Island DXpedition
  • Phil A. McBride, VA3QR

Amateur Radio and Youth
  • Brian Jackson, VE6JBJ

High Altitude Balloons: The Elevation Education
  • Kelly Shulman, VE3KLX

6m FT8 DXing
  • Ron Scwhartz, VE3VN

Amateur Radio Challenges in Canada’s North
  • Ron Thompson, VE8RT and Angela Gerbrandt, VY0YL

Getting Started with Amateur Radio Satellites
  • Tom Schuessler, N5HYP

Contesting: Remote Operating
  • Cary Rubenfeld, VE4EA and Tom Haavisto, VE3CX

Our volunteers are hard at work finalizing the details of the presentation including the schedule and registration information. We hope to have the information available here in the next few days.

Please stay tuned to the RAC Canada 2020 Conference webpage for more information.
 

Jason Tremblay, VE3JXT
Conference Organizer
RAC Community Services Officer
community@rac.ca

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director
TCA Editor
marcom@rac.ca

[RAC-Bulletin] New Manager of the VO Incoming QSL Bureau

New Manager of the VO Incoming QSL Bureau

Rick Burke, VO1SA/VO2CW, has retired from his position as the VO Incoming QSL Bureau Manager and Bill Kirby, VO1BB, has taken over as the new Manager effective immediately.

The VO QSL Bureau began in 1936 with Eric Holden, VO1H, as its first Manager. Rick Burke, VO1SA/VO2CW, took over the operation of the Bureau in late 1996 from Roly Peddle, VE6RL/VO1BD (SK) and is the longest serving Manager in its 84 year history.

In recognition of his 24 years of service, Radio Amateurs of Canada presented Rick with a Certificate of Appreciation “For Extraordinary Service to Amateur Radio in Newfoundland and Labrador as VO Incoming QSL Bureau Manager”.

Frank Davis, VO1HP, Deputy Director for the Atlantic Region, and Bill Kirby, VO1BB, new VO QSL Bureau Manager, made the presentation to Rick on Friday, August 21 at his QSL Bureau office in his home.

The certificate read:

“Rick was a natural for the job of QSL Manager due to his avid DXing and personal interest in collecting QSL cards. His call sign is widely known in worldwide DX circles.

The news would go out locally from Rick that a new batch of cards had been sorted and a steady stream of local Amateurs would make their way to Rick’s driveway to collect their bundles of cards. One always anticipated the exotic treasures that the bundles might contain!

Radio Amateurs of Canada extends its sincere thanks and appreciation to Rick Burke, VO1SA/VO2CW, for 24 years of dedicated service to the Radio Amateurs in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Welcome Aboard Bill!

The new Manager of the VO Incoming QSL Bureau is Bill Kirby, VO1BB. Bill was first licensed in 1997 as VO1BKR. In 1998, he received his Advanced Certification and the following year he completed his Morse Code test. In 2002, he received the two-letter call sign VO1BB. In 2007, he obtained his Certified Emergency Coordinator (CEC) designation from Radio Amateurs of Canada.

Bill started DXing using SSB because “he was too nervous to use CW, but after listening to a few CW QSOs and contests he started to use CW more and more. He is hooked on CW and it has become is favourite mode.” His first station was a Heathkit 101 with very low output and he operated QRP for about 10 years with mostly dipoles and verticals.

Bill’s current station consists of a Yaesu FTDX1200 with an Ameritron AL-811H. He still likes to run low power but has the amp for backup. His antennas now consist of a 3-element tribander for 10, 15 and 20 metres with dipoles and long wires for the rest of the bands. He will be putting up a second tower and beam for the 30, 17 and 12 metre bands later this year.

Radio Amateurs of Canada takes great pleasure in welcoming Bill Kirby, VO1BB, as the 13th manager of the VO Incoming QSL Bureau and wishes him success in the role for many years to come.

The VO Incoming QSL Bureau has a new Manager and a new address:

Bill Kirby, VO1BB, Manager
VO Incoming QSL Bureau
60 McNiven Place
St. John’s NL A1A 4X1
Email: vo1bb@yahoo.ca

All credits, cards and information concerning the Bureau have been transferred to Bill.

All Radio Amateurs with VO call signs should ensure that they have credits and up-to-date address information so that Bill can forward QSL cards to you.

Welcome aboard Bill and thank you Rick!

RAC Online Beginner’s CW Course: October 2020RAC Online Beginner’s CW Course: October 2020

In response to the global pandemic, Radio Amateurs of Canada is continuing to offer Amateur Radio online courses so that individuals can obtain their Amateur Radio certification or can upgrade their qualifications while practising social/physical distancing.

We are pleased to offer a Beginner’s CW Course which will be provided by Tony Pattinson, VE2KM, to teach Morse Code to Amateurs and help them get on the air with CW.

As described in the bio provided below, CW has always been a passion for Tony and he is a CW Academy Advisor and a lifetime member of the CW Operator’s Club. He  is giving freely of his time and experience as a Morse Instructor with CW Academy and his professional experience in training. Thank you Tony!

Course Information:

The primary language of instruction will be in Englishmais je peux répondre à vos questions en français.

Objective: To enable any Canadian Radio Amateur of any level to send and receive CW at a speed of at least 5 wpm and to be able to pass the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s 5 wpm Morse Code test.

Start Date: The target date for the start of the course is October 2020. A survey will be sent to applicants to determine the best schedule.

Duration: The course will consist of two, 1-hour, group sessions via Zoom per week for eight weeks.

Class Size: Each class will be limited to a maximum of five students. Multiple classes may also be organized if necessary to accommodate different time zones.

Cost: The course will be offered free of charge to RAC members. Non-members may participate by donating $150 to the RAC Youth Education Program which “provides youth and their leaders with an innovative way of learning by introducing them to the wonderful world of Amateur Radio”.

Course Instruction:

As indicated earlier the course instructor is Tony Pattinson, VE2KM and he provided the following bio. You can find additional information on his QRZ page at: https://www.qrz.com/db/VE2KM

“I was originally licensed as G3YAQ in 1968. On arrival in Canada in 1980, I immediately qualified at the Advanced level and was issued call sign VE2FUP. After a short wait I was pleased to be issued VE2KM. I was inactive for over 30 years but have recently (2018) decided to start up again. I have three other call signs –VA2XDX, VA2KCC and VE0XDX. The latter was obtained so I could operate from a 60-foot schooner that I was helping deliver to the Bahamas in December 2019.

CW has always been a passion with me and I was able to regain my previous operating speed helped in great part by the CW Academy advisors John, AJ1DM, Ted, WA3AER, and Joe, KK5NA. I graduated from Level 2 in May 2019 and from Level 3 in November 2019. I was accepted as a life member of CWOps in January 2020 with #2424.

I am delighted to be teaching CW again (2020) as an Advisor for the CW Academy and also on behalf of RAC and the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC). I am a member of FIST and SKCC. I obtained SKCC Centurion and Tribune status in February 2020 and am gradually (but slowly) building towards Senator status. Since being accepted as a CWA Advisor I have taught, and am currently teaching, classes to Amateurs in both the United Kingdom and North America.”

Course Requirements: 

Participants in the RAC Beginner’s CW Course will need to meet all of the following requirements.

Note: If you cannot meet the following requirements please do not apply. You will be wasting your time and potentially denying a place to someone who can.

  • Commitment to 1-hour (4 x 15 or 5 x 12 minute sessions) of practice every day, for the full duration of the course.
  • Commitment to record at least one Character Recognition exercise each week and send it to VE2KM for analysis.
  • A computer with a hard-wired internet connection (no Wi-Fi) and with Zoom installed (the free version is fine).
  • A webcam and microphone.
  • A method of generating CW; either from a rig sidetone or a code practice oscillator using a straight key or paddles with sufficient volume to be picked up by the webcam microphone. Preference will be given to straight key operators.
  • The capability to record CW using the computer and then export the file in MP3 format. There is free software such as Audacity that is available to do this.

If you are sufficiently motivated, willing and able to meet the above requirements, Tony, VE2KM, will be happy to work with you to achieve your goals.

Course Registration:

Unlike previous Amateur Radio courses provided by Radio Amateurs of Canada, the registration for the Beginner’s CW Course will be handled by the instructor Tony Pattinson, VE2KM.

To apply for the course please send an email directly to Tony at VE2KM@YnotSailing.com with “RAC CW Course” as the subject line.

If you need any assistance from Radio Amateurs of Canada please contact the RAC Office at racgm@rac.ca.   

Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA
RAC President and Chair