Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Chillycon.......the tale

VE3ORY & VE3MNE
Chillycon is over for another year and much fun and merriment was had by one and all.  The weather wasn't too bad, Friday and most of Saturday were fine with lots of blue sky and sunshine.  But....and there's always a "but".....about 2100 local on Saturday night it started to rain, but it did stop about 0100 Sunday morning......but man did it rain, Indian Monsoon type rain.   Luckily no tent was flooded out and everyone remained dry and survived.

We had eight campsites in use with 17 members of three clubs in attendance this year...The Ottawa Valley QRP Society, The West Island ARC from Montreal, and Frontenac Radio Group from Kingston.

The annual Chillycon DX Championship took place with many attendees vying for ownership of the "Upper Canada Cup for Chillycon DX Excellence".  I'm please to announce that this years winner was Don VE3MNE, with a contact into Moscow on a 20m Hamstick mounted on his truck.

Saturday night supper was the usual Pizza dinner around the campfire with the single malt scotch flowing.   Sunday morning saw many of us troop over to the local restaurant we always go to and had a great brunch, and lots more conversation before we returned to the camp to take down all the dripping tarps and tents.

Lots of time was spent working and building portable antennas over the weekend.  I spent some time building a W3EDP Jr, the idea came from the Blog of VA3PCJ 

The W3EDP Jr.
The antenna worked exactly as advertised on the Blog with many stations being worked in Europe and the USA.  The propagation really wasn't that good so the DX results I did get, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, and Anguilla, impressed me.  The antenna was up in a tree about 25 feet and certainly didn't go up in a straight line.

Overall it was a great time and time was spent with many friends and many new friends were made.

Already looking forward to next year....hopefully it will not rain !!





Rick VE3ORY fixing his "secret weapon" antenna

Breakfast for the Chipmunks !!!



Saturday, 10 September 2016

Coming Up Soon - Chillycon 2016

Coming up next weekend is the Ottawa Valley QRP Society's annual Chillycon Event at the Rideau River Provincial Park, near Kemptville, Ontario.

So far the long-range weather forecast is predicting sunny times for the weekend......a welcome change after two years of rain at this event.  Hopefully we will see a few more people out this year if the good weather shows up.

I'm looking forward to the weekend, it's always a highlight on my annual calendar......even if VA3QV is not going to put in an appearance this year and I won't have a chance to bug the hell out of him in person.

The gear is cleaned and ready to pack next Friday morning.  I'm planning on taking my FT-857D and two heavy duty 12v batteries.  The antenna for the weekend will be my 20m Buddipole vertical, with several added elevated radials, as well as a home-brewed W3EDP Jr antenna.  Jose, VA3PCJ, built this antenna.  Details of it are HERE on his Blog.  I'm very interested in comparing these two antennas and seeing which one performs best.  The winner will be my go-to portable antennas for future portable activities........well, until something better arrives!!

Place your bets on who will win this years DX Challenge......I'm sure a few of the previous winners are secretly plotting to win the prize this year.


Friday, 2 September 2016

Get Ready For.........

As the trustee for this callsign I want to let people know that coming up next year, XM3CARF will be on the air from 03 June 2017 to 03 July 2017 to help us celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of The Canadian Amateur Radio Federation.   

CARF was Canada's first successful national amateur radio society and existed between 1967 and 1993, when it was amalgamated with the Canadian Radio Relay League to form the Radio Amateurs of Canada.

CARF was founded here in Kingston, Ontario, by Art Blick VE3AHU, Doug Burrill VE3CDC, and Ken Rollison VE3CRL.  These three fine gentlemen are all now Silent Keys.  

XM3CARF is sponsored by the Frontenac Radio Group and plan on having the call on the air everyday we have it, including Field Day and the Canada Day Contest.


Thursday, 1 September 2016

A Change in the Shack......

Some of you may have noticed that "The Adventures of VE3CLQ" title above has been changed to "The Adventures of VE3FI".  This is because I recently managed to get this two letter callsign......thanks to Russ, the original VE3FI - who is now VE9FI.

Many thanks need to go to the Amateur Radio Service Centre in Sault St. Marie, who's help and patience were fantastic......they couldn't have helped more if I had asked them to.

Russ had some great luck using this call, so let's hope it rubs off here in this shack as this years Contest Season prepares to kick off.


Sunday, 28 August 2016

A Great Saturday on the Bands

On the way to activate Wolfe Island, ON-009, we had beautiful clear blue skies, warm temperatures, and humidity through the roof!   It was definitely cooler than last weekends Lighthouse activation though.

We had a number of stations on the local Thousand Islands, all manned by guys from the Frontenac Radio Group.

Propagation wise the bands had been in rough shape for most of the week, but Saturday rolled around and the numbers weren't too bad:  SFI=82, SN=44, A Index=6, and K Index=1, and the "go-to" bands were 20m and 40m.  I also made a couple of contacts on 6m.

I operated from the Winter Ferry Dock on Wolfe Island, a nice quiet spot RF wise with lots of good shade.  In fact I only spent the last half hour of the day in full sun, so it's a great spot.

Antenna for the day was a Buddipole Vertical, which performed fantastically, if I could hear them - I could work them.  However, I am going to cut some extra elevated radials, as the one supplied with the Buddipole kit needs more.  It works fine with just one, but I would think it will do even better with several.

By noon the bands were full of stations operating in the Ohio and Kansas State QSO Parties, several Venezuelan stations contesting as well as many Polish stations all calling in their contest.   In fact it became quite difficult to find stations in the Island QSO Party due to the high number of stations all calling CQ.  

All in all it was a great day, 45 contacts in the log including 7 islands.