Monday, 10 October 2016

NVIS Operating

Coming up next Sunday, October 16th, is the NVIS Event sponsored by the Peel ARC.  This event has had a lot of interest raised about it in Eastern and Southern Ontario.

Details on the event can be found HERE.

Timing for the event is 1300 to 1600 Local.

Frequencies are:  3.700 to 3.750.  7.060 to 7.070, and 5.357.

Stations taking part should call "CQ NVIS Ontario".

Hope to see you on the bands!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Hurricane Matthew Emergency Nets

Active for the past 2 days in response to the threat posed by Hurricane Matthew, the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) now has ramped up to its Alert Level 5 — “Catastrophic Response Mode.” As the dangerous category 4 storm has begun battering Haiti and threatens eastern Cuba, states along the US Eastern Seaboard now are taking serious notice. 

Emergency operations centers in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia are at full or partial activation, and the governors of Georgia and North Carolina have declared states of emergency. 

Matthew made landfall near Les Anglais in western Haiti at 1100 UTC. 

The following Frequencies are now in full time use and should be kept clear for emergency traffic:

Hurricane Watch Net: 14.325 & 7.268
Salvation Army SATERN Net: 14.265
Cuban Net: 7.110, 7.120, 7.045, 7.080, 3.740, and 3.720
Dominican Republic Net: 7.065

Be advised that Jamaica and Haiti also have nets running full time, but no frequencies have been made public yet.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

New rig in the shack.....

There's a new rig in the VE3FI shack these days, an "almost" new FT-897D.  There's not a scratch on it!

This rig will replace my FT-857D as my main portable rig as it's getting a bit old, in fact it was the very first rig I ever bought when I was very first licensed.

It's really the same radio as the FT-857D, with some very slight differences.   I've made a good number of solid contacts today into both Europe and to the west coast with no issues using a 148' long wire.   So far I'm using a manual tuner with it, but a new LDG tuner is in the works for it.

Looking forward to operating portable with it.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Chillycon.......the tale

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.