Sunday, 29 May 2016

What a great day !!

The SSB Station looking over the water towards Kingston
The day started off not so I backed out of the garage heading to the clubs Sunday breakfast it was raining quite heavily.  Thankfully that only lasted about 15 minutes and then it started to brighten up a bit.

By the time we left the restaurant it was cloudy but really humid, and it was to stay that way for most of the day.  The ferry ride over to Wolfe Island, ON-009, was uneventful.....smooth sailing all the way for the 30 minute trip.

The propagation numbers for the day left a lot to be desired:  SFI=87, SN=31, A Index=14, and the K Index=2 at 1420 UTC.

For this activation we chose to set up at the winter ferry dock, about five km from town.  This dock is only used during the winter or other periods of low water, and is a quiet spot that nobody goes near when it's not in use.  The rest of the year the ferry arrives at the main dock near the centre of the small village of Marysville.

We had two stations on the air, both using the clubs VE3FRG callsign.  One was on SSB and the other was a digital station.  We had three other operators besides myself out for this activation, Dave VE3DZE, Brian VA3BAH, and Rick VE3ORY.

The digital station was not very successful, but the SSB station made a total of 74 contacts, of which only three were Canadian, the rest were all from the USA.  Most of the contacts were made on 20m, the other bands we expected to use were useless due to the poor propagation.

The winter ferry dock has definite possibilities for future use as it's very RF quiet there.  All in all it as a good day, a little humid perhaps, but any day outside playing radio is a good one!

VE3DZE and VA3BAH hanging around at the Digital station

Friday, 27 May 2016

Wolfe Island

Coming up next Sunday, May 29th.......... The Frontenac Radio Group will be activating Wolfe Island, ON-009.

Hopefully the weather will be a bit better than the last activation we did on Simcoe Island.  So far the forecast is for hot sticky weather with a high of 33C.

Wolfe Island will activate as VE3FRG.

Another group from the club will be activating Howe Island, ON-023, at the same time.  Howe Island will activate as VE3UDO.

Timings for both activations will be from 1400 UTC to 1800 UTC.

Frequencies will be:

14.250 - 14.260

Hope to work you guys on the air.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

A cold and windy day......

The VE3CLQ mobile showing the great weather!
Today was the activation of Simcoe Island, ON-022 and despite the weather is was a roaring success.

It was very cold and windy, temperature was 4C with a west wind of 40 kph gusting to 50 kph. The low temperature coupled with the heavy driving rain made for a very cold and uncomfortable day

We managed to put 41 contacts in the log between 40m and 20m.  Radios were a FT-897D and a FT-857D.  Antennas were a 20m Buddipole set up as a vertical, and a 33' Chillicon Special.  Both did very well given the poor band conditions we had.

The numbers were:  SFI=102, SN=88, A Index=10, and K Index=2 as of 1500 UTC.  We had very deep QSB on 20m that did make life a bit difficult at times.

Contacts were mainly Canadian and American, but the 20m station did make contact with NP2/NE6V in the US Virgin Islands and with EI9JU in Ireland.  Unfortunately the Irish contact wasn't completed because of the QSB.

I am happy to report that my portable station worked as advertised after spending the past 6 months in the shack closet, but my 82ah deep cycle battery needs a few good workouts as it faded in about three hours.

All in all a great day, even if it was supposed to be spring.........

Dave VE3DZE operating 40m in his van.

A rainy & windy ferry trip.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Simcoe Island

The Wolfe Island ferry passing the Royal Military College.
Coming up next Sunday, May 15th.......... The Frontenac Radio Group will be activating Simcoe Island, ON-022.  This is our groups first activation of the year.

The Group has invited the students from the local ham course to come along and operate on HF under their supervision.

Timings will be from 1400 UTC to 1800 UTC.

Frequencies will be:

14.250 - 14.260

The operators will be operating from the Nine Mile Point Lighthouse, CAN-578, so you can get two for one with this activation.

Monday, 2 May 2016

More WSPRing...

While the propagation doesn't seem to be getting any better, and given the place we are in this solar cycle, I doubt it will, the bands were not too bad yesterday.

I had a few good PSK31 contacts into Europe yesterday afternoon which did surprise me, but their signals were pretty solid on the waterfall.   Once I had worked everyone I could I switched over and tried WSPR for a while.

Here's the results....

This was 20m at 1430 UTC.  500Mw using my 148' inverted L longwire antenna.

This was 17m at 1638 UTC - using the same antenna and power setting as above.

Given our position in this dying solar cycle, I think it's going to be very interesting to watch on WSPR - and see just what we can do with low power communications when we get to the solar minimum.   I believe this will be the first one that WSPR will be available for.