Friday, 31 May 2013

Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour 2013

The 2013 Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour is nearly upon us again.  This year it falls on June 8th and 9th. 

Once again over 2000 riders will scream down the roads from Ottawa to Kingston, spend Saturday night, and then slowly peddle their way back home to Ottawa on Sunday.

My local club will be providing operators to look after six radio check points on both Saturday and Sunday.  The Frontenac Club looks after the Perth Road Village to Queen's University sector. 

This is the 30th straight year that amateur radio has looked after the communications for this event, something of a record I think. 

So far the long range weather forecast isn't looking too good, but we have a week to go yet, and you all know how bad the weather guys are at forecasting.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Washburn Island

VA3ORP arriving
It was a very successful island activation today, and the weather cooperated....somewhat! 

Tim, VA3TIC and I arrived at the Island about 0930L under cloudy sky, but no wind and it was fairly warm.  The bugs weren't too bad either.

Dave, VA3ORP was kayaking down the canal from his QTH in Inverary, and he arrived about 1000L, operating /MM/QRP all the way down the canal.  Dave used a Rockmite for CW and a FT-817D for SSB contacts.  His antenna(s) were a choice of various ham sticks.

Tim and I setup in the parking lot across from the lock station.  Antenna of choice today was a 66' long wire with two 31' radials into a 9:1 balun.  Radio was the FT-857D running off of a 12v 120 amp gel cell.

Thanks must go out to N4DSP for posting the activation of the DX Cluster, and to W4IOW for correcting the call on the cluster.  N4DSP listed us a VE1, not the VE3 we operated as.

Around 1100L it started to rain quite heavily, so with 35 confirmed contacts in the log, 4 Canadian, 2 Spanish, and 29 from the USA, we quickly packed up and high tailed it home. 

The numbers today at 0900L were SFI 133;  SN 146; A Index 21; and K Index 2.  The bands were noisy but workable.

Washburn Island has now been issued its official number - ON-288.

Here are some more photos from today..........
VA3ORP arriving at the lock with his Rockmite
between his legs and the key on his thigh!


Picture of Dave's antenna setup

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Island Activation

Frontenac Radio Group will be doing a first time activation of Washburn Island, North of Kingston, Ontario, on Sunday, May 19th.

They will be at Lock 45, which is Lower Brewers Lock.  Timing will be 1400 UTC till 1800 UTC.

Frequencies will be 7.250 and 14.250.  Both frequencies will be +/- QRM.  They will have an 80m capability as well if required.  We are hoping the SFI improves a bit as the numbers are not looking good at 2100L on the evening of the 18th May.

Radio will be a FT-857D and the antenna will be a homebrewed 31' vertical.   We will also have a long wire and a 9:1 balun with us to try.  Keep an ear out for us!