[RAC-Bulletin] Special event VC2STAYHOM is now active: April 6 to May 6

Some countries around the world are now allowing Radio Amateurs to use special “STAYHOME” call sign suffixes.

Michael Shamash, VE2MXU, is using VC2STAYHOM to raise awareness for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and global public health emergency. He is a member of Radio Amateurs of Canada and is based in Montreal.

“In Canada we are unfortunately limited to a 7-character prefix, hence the VC2STAYHOM without the last ‘E’. I would like to thank those at Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) for expediting the process and allowing me to get this call sign up and running within a couple of days, without the traditional 60-day wait period.

I’m hoping that by using this call, I can help promote social distancing across the globe (or as far as my 100-watt rig will get me!) and remind people that we each have a role to play in helping contain the spread of this virus.

I will begin using the call on Monday, April 6, once the issued authority to use it begins, until the time it expires on Wednesday, May 6.

As a full-time undergraduate student in microbiology transitioning to Graduate studies in the fall, my schedule is quite busy over the next few weeks but I will try my best to get on the air and make contacts with those who would like this unique VC2 prefix and suffix in their logs!

I am usually most active on 20m and 40m, split between SSB and FT8.

Before the COVID-19 crisis arrived to Canada, we were already discussing its possible implications in classes. That’s when I came up with the idea to get a call sign set up, and with the recent ‘stay home’ and ‘shelter in place’ orders issued by many governments worldwide, the time felt right to do so, and it would give those who are stuck at home one more fun aspect of the hobby to work on!”

Michael will operate on HF Bands and QSL via Logbook of the World (LoTW). 

In addition to Canada, Australia has permitted the Radio Amateur Society of Australia (RASA) to use the special call sign AX2020STAYHOME. At 14 characters, that may set a record for world’s longest call sign.

Here are some other special event call signs:

  • 8A1STAYHOME: Indonesia
  • 9K9STAYHOME: Kuwait Amateur Radio Society
  • A60STAYHOME: United Arab Emirates
  • HZ1STAYHOME: Saudi Amateur Radio Society

In addition, Turkey has permitted the use TC1STAYHOME as a special event call sign for the awareness of COVID-19 pandemic.

“For a couple of weeks; stay home, stay safe please. We’ll be on air between March 27 and May 25. Hope this threat leaves our World before the date ends.”Alan Griffin
MarCom Director
Radio Amateurs of Canada

The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) HF and VHF Contest committees will no longer accept multioperator contest entries MARCH 2020

The requirement for physical distancing has now hit amateur radio contests. See the information from the ARL Letter

The ban, in accordance with UK social distancing policies, is in effect until the end of June and applies to all RSGB-sponsored contests. Single-operator entries from shared stations also will not be accepted, unless the station is being shared by family members at the same address. The HF Contest Committee has canceled the RSGB HF NFD (Field Day) for 2020, but is okaying portable operation by single operators, “because of the potential mental health benefits associated with engaging in hobbies, as well as the lack of person-to-person contact in normal single-operator contesting.” RSGB is encouraging all to follow UK government guidelines regarding social distancing and unnecessary travel and will decide in early June if the VHF NFD, the IOTA Contest, and SSB NFD events can go ahead as planned.

[RAC-Bulletin] Radio Amateurs of Canada offers new Online Amateur Radio Courses

In response to the current Covid-19 crisis, Radio Amateurs of Canada is pleased to announce that it is introducing two new online Amateur Radio courses so that individuals can upgrade their qualifications while continuing to practise social/physical distancing.

RAC Online Basic Amateur Radio Qualification Course: The course offers an introduction into the wonderful world of Amateur Radio and prepares students for their Basic Qualification Examination. It will be conducted with the assistance of the Annapolis Valley Amateur Radio Club (AVARC) of Nova Scotia. 

RAC Maple Leaf Operator Online Advanced Qualification Course: The course is an excellent opportunity to upgrade your qualifications so that you will be able to run higher power and to operate your own repeater sites. The course is being offered at no charge to RAC Maple Leaf Operator Members – both current and future – who already have their Basic Amateur Radio Qualification.

Additional information:

RAC Online Basic Amateur Radio Qualification Course

This course prepares students for the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) Basic Qualification Level Operator Certificate exam to operate on allocated Amateur Radio frequencies.

The course will use the GoToMeeting web-based service and will start on Thursday, April 16 and will finish in mid-June. Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6 pm to 8:30 (1800 – 2030) Eastern Time (1900 – 2130 Atlantic Time) and Sunday afternoons 1 pm to 3:30 pm (1300 – 1530) Eastern Time (1400 – 1630 Atlantic Time).

The course instructor is Al Penney, VO1NO. Al was first licensed in 1977 and has been active in many areas of Amateur Radio including contesting, DXing, VHF/UHF weak signal, satellites, emergency communications and DXpeditioning. He has served as the President of six different Amateur Radio clubs in both Canada and the United States and currently chairs the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 Band Planning Committee. Al has taught the Basic Qualification Amateur Radio Course since 1994. 

Cost: The registration fee for the course is $50 plus GST/HST. The cost of the Basic Study Guide is extra and an order link will be provided upon completion of payment.

For more information please visit: https://www.rac.ca/basic-radio-course/

RAC Maple Leaf Operator Online Advanced Qualification Course

The new RAC Online Advanced Qualification Course is an excellent opportunity to upgrade your qualifications so that you will be able to run higher power and to operate your own repeater sites.

The course will be offered at no charge to RAC Maple Leaf Operator Members – both current and future – who already have their Basic Amateur Radio Qualification including:

  • Current RAC Maple Leaf Operator Members who have Basic certification
  • Current RAC members who upgrade their memberships to become Maple Leaf Operator Members
  • Amateurs who are not RAC members but who join RAC at the Maple Leaf Operator Member level

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 ET
  • Monday evenings from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm ET

The course will be 10 sessions in length and each session will be two hours long and it will run from the week of April 5 to the week of June 14.

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 1975, Dave has been teaching Basic and Advanced certification courses with the Fredericton (NB) Amateur Radio Club. He is also RAC’s Atlantic Director.

For more information please visit:

Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA
RAC President and Chair

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director

SEA-PAC 2020 Cancellation Notice

For some time the SEA-PAC Executive Committee has monitored the COVID-19 pandemic working closely with our local health, public and government partners in assessing this unprecedented situation. 

With approximately 60 days until the event, the Executive Committee has made the decision to cancel the SEA-PAC convention for 2020. Convention fees paid will be refunded. 

This conclusion is based on the deadly seriousness of the virus, the rate of expansion, and the recovery time after the crisis apex is achieved. But more importantly, it is based on the genuine concern for the health and safety of the attendees, vendors and presenters. 

Details regarding this cancellation will be posted at www.seapac.org

Thank you for your understanding and we are looking forward to the next SEA-PAC on 4, 5, and 6 June 2021. 

Gary J Takis K7GJT

SEA-PAC 2020 Chairman 

Central Vancouver Island Nets -COVID 19

In response to the COVID 19 issue the Nanaimo Amateur Radio Association has published a list of nets for Central / Northern Vancouver Island. Some of these nets have become more frequent.

Nanaimo Area Nets

Daily VHF Nets Time Repeater Callsign Frequency (MHz) Shift Tone

10:30 AM * VA7DXH (Ladysmith) 145.410 MHz (FM) Minus (600 KHz) 88.5 Hz 3:30 PM * VE7ISC (Nanaimo) 146.640 MHz (FM) Minus (600 KHz) 141.3 Hz *Stay Connected Nets operate until BC is cleared of the virus restrictions

Other VHF Nets

Daily 8:15 AM Cowichan Valley ARS Morning Net Island Trunk system (FM) See ITS below

Daily 9 AM Rainbow Country Net 146.940 MHz No Tone (FM) 146.940 MHz

Monday 8 PM Island Trunk system Monday Net Island Trunk system (FM) See ITS Below

Tuesday 7 PM Coast Emergency Comms Association (Message passing Net) CECA VIU Repeater System (FM) Use a 141.3 Hz Tone 443.000 MHz – S. Nanaimo 442.525 MHz – N. Nanaimo 442.450 MHz – Ladysmith 147.080 MHz – Parksville

Tuesday 7:45 PM Vancouver SSB Net 144.22 MHz (USB) Vertical Polarization

Wednesday 7:15 PM Emergency Management BC Island Trunk System Hosted by VE7PEP (FM) See ITS below Thursday *

7 PM NARA Thursday Net Island Trunk System (see below)

Wednesday 6 PM CQ Canada Net (Canada Wide Net) This is a Digital Net using the Fusion C4FM 146.980 MHz (VE7ANI) 443.900 MHz (VE7DJA)

Saturday 11 AM Vancouver Island 50 MHz net* Single sideband (USB) (Hosted by NARA) 50.150 MHz (Simplex)

*Stay Connected Nets operate until BC is cleared of the virus restrictions

HF Nets

** 9 AM The Wrong Button Club 3.744 MHz

Daily 6:30 PM BC Public Service Net 3.729 MHz

Daily 7:30 PM BC Yukon Traffic Net 3.716 MHz

Sunday 4:30 PM NARA Weekly HF Net 3.744 MHz

** Normally Monday to Friday but presently 7 days a week during the virus restrictions

Island Trunk System – a system of linked repeater stations servicing the East coast of Vancouver Island from Victoria to Port McNeill and through Port Alberni over to Tofino. See http://www.islandtrunksystem.org/cms/content/link-codes for more information