Archive for July, 2009

Help Wanted- HF Radio Operators

July 29, 2009

At this time the Ontario Phone Net is looking for the following:

Back up Net Control Stations– Occasionally one of the regular NCS needs a few days off…This position needs a person who has a basic knowledge of the NTS in the Ontario Section, a good knowledge of of the duties of a Net Control Station.  Having access to a HF station capable of operating on the 80m band is a necessity.  If you are interested please contact the Net Manager.  If you need more basic information on how the net runs please feel free to drop in for a visit any night of the week at 1900 Eastern (Standard or Daylight) time on or about a frequency of 3.742

Net Liason Stations- The OPN is in need of stations from Northern Ontario, North Western Ontario North Eastern Ontario and Eastern Ontario to check into the net on a regular basis to see if there is any formal traffic for their respective locations.  If you are interested please contact the Net Manager.  If you need more basic information on how the net runs please feel free to drop in for a visit any night of the week at 1900 Eastern (Standard or Daylight) time on or about a frequency of 3.742


Bob Sharp VA3QV Net Manager Ontario Phone Net


RAC Ontario Section News- July 25/09

July 25, 2009

RAC Ontario Section Bulletin for July 25, 2009

This is the Ontario Phone Net Blog, Official Bulletin Station for Radio Amateurs of Canada, with this week’s bulletin


1. New Release of ExHAMiner

An Advanced question bank has been added to the complement of files
available for use with ExHAMiner, RAC’s free amateur radio exam
simulation software. As with the Basic qualification, explanations
have been added to the bank and partial exams on specific chapters
are possible.

Concurrently, a new version of the program has been released. Major
changes include control over the default font, a resizable window and
an optional simplified layout for blind users relying on screen
reading software. See the ReadMe file which ships with the program
for details. A full description of the program appeared in the
March/April 2007 issue of The Canadian Amateur (p. 63).

The download address has changed to Also on that
page, you’ll find a selection of diagrams that got lost when RIC-3
replaced the previous RIC-24.

— Bob Cooke, VE3BDB, President, Radio Amateurs of Canada



2. Not In My Backyard

What should you do when a neighbour writes a letter to the editor, or
to council, complaining about your plans to put up an antenna
structure? Peter West, VE3HG, offers some useful advice on the RAC
blog. Visit and scroll down to July 17th, or go
directly to (Mike Quebec Foxtrot Six Uniform Two)

— RAC Blog

3. Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD, Silent Key

Legendary CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD, passed away Friday,
July 17 after a long illness. He was 92. Cronkite anchored the CBS
Evening News for 19 years until 1981 when he retired.

Cronkite, an ARRL member, narrated the 6 minute video “Amateur Radio
Today,” available at . In 2007, ARRL Hudson
Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, presented Cronkite with the
ARRL President’s Award for “long-term dedication to the goals and
objectives of ARRL and Amateur Radio.”

— ARRL Bulletin Service

4. Passport to World Band Radio “in limbo”

Lawrence Magne, publisher of the “Passport to World Band Radio,” has
announced that the 26th edition of this shortwave listening book is
“being held in limbo.”  For now, they are continuing to maintain the
WorldScan database and proprietary material, should conditions allow
publication to be resumed.

— ARRL Web

Bulletin sent from Official Bulletin Manager Brad Rodriguez, VE3RHJ.


July 23, 2009

If you are looking over your home turf on the APRS.FI site you might notice an APRS OBJECT over or close to your location that is indicating a NTS Icon along with your areas name and a reminder that the Ontario Phone Net meets at 1900 EASTERN on 3.742.

Concider this your personal invitiation to join us any night of the week…

If the icon is not in your neighborhood please feel free to join us anyway…


Bob Sharp VA3QV Net Manager Ontario Phone Net

Traffic 101- the basics

July 22, 2009

If you were to listen to the Ontario Phone Net any night of the week you would most likely hear a message being passed that most likely makes no sense to you and although there are plenty of excellent web site concerning NTS Traffic lets give you a “Coles Notes” style lession in Traffic Handling 101.

Here is a sample message:

1R HXG VA3RCS 15  OTTAWA   JULY 23 2009




Now if you look at the message as it is written is is made up of  several parts.  Now the way I describe it is not the exact terminolgy but its simple enough for you to understand what you are hearing .  And after understanding what you are hearing its not as difficult as it seems….

1R HXG VA3RCS 15  OTTAWA   JULY 23 2009

The above line is some basic information… 1R (message number 1 and its routine traffic) HXG( thats a routing information instruction) VA3RCS (Thats the station who is orignating the message) 15 (Thats the word cound of the actual message)  OTTAWA (thats the city of Origin) JULY 23 2009 (The date would be self explanitory)


(the above is the name address and phone number of who its going to)


(This is the text of the message.  If you count the words there  will be 15 words. YES the “X” counts as a word as its a period )  Now if you remember the preamble from the beginning of the message we said that the word count of the message was 15 so that tells us that the right number of words were passed.

(The signature of the person sending the message)


So this gives you a very simple picture of what are all those funny words you hear are about when you hear the message or “traffic” being passed.

We will have much more detailed information on your NTS in the future but for today just check our the RAC Website and the ARRL Website and browse around their NTS Areas and start to get a feel of things.

Feel free to check into the OPN or at least listen along…


Bob Sharp VA3QV Net Manager Ontario Phone Net


Ontario Section News

July 18, 2009

Official Bulletin, RAC Ontario Section

RAC Ontario Section Bulletin for July 18, 2009


1. Simulated Emergency Test 2009

The Simulated Emergency Test is a North America-wide exercise in
emergency communications, administered by the ARRL and the RAC
Emergency Coordinators and Net Managers.  Both the Amateur Radio
Emergency Services (ARES) and the National Traffic System (NTS) are
involved.  The SET weekend gives communicators the opportunity to
focus on the emergency-communications capability within your
community, while interacting with NTS nets.

The 2009 dates are October 3 and 4.  ARES units and other groups are
free to conduct their SETs anytime between September 1 and November
30 if an alternative date is preferred.  The activity period should
not exceed 48 hours.  The deadline for receipt of all reports is
January 31, 2010.  For details visit

— RAC Web Page


2. Ontario Phone Net on the Web

The Ontario Phone Net (OPN) has a new presence on the World Wide Web,
thanks to the new Net Manager Bob Sharp, VA3QV. Point your browser to and scroll down through the text for
up-to-the-minute information on the net and its operations. The site
is set up in blog style to facilitate addition of information quickly
and easily. There are also hotlinks in place to access other aspects
of the site.

— Glenn Killam, VE3GNA / VA3OPN, Section Traffic Manager


3. How to work Satellites with your Handheld

Clint Bradford, K6LCS, has published a four-page tutorial on how to
work amateur satellites with your Handi-Talkie.  You can find it at (Kilo Mike Sierra Delta Charlie Alpha)

— AMSAT News

4. New digital modes for W1AW

On August 17, W1AW will replace its AMTOR and ASCII transmissions
with PSK31 and MFSK16, respectively. RTTY (Baudot) will continue to
be the first digital mode used in the transmission schedule. The
frequencies used by W1AW for all its digital transmissions will
remain the same.

All regular 6 PM and 9 PM eastern time digital transmissions will
begin with RTTY.  PSK31 and MFSK16 will be sent as time allows.
The Tuesday and Friday Keplerian data bulletins will be sent using
RTTY and PSK31.

The W1AW schedule can be found online at

— ARRL Bulletin Service

Bulletin sent from Official Bulletin Manager Brad Rodriguez, VE3RHJ


July 12, 2009

Its been no secret that since I took over the position of Net Manager of the Ontario Phone Net (and long before to be honest) I have been plagued with a very high noise level on 80m here at the home QTH in Ottawa.

You might hear me talking about the remote receivers either in Niagara Falls Ontario or Erie PA which allows me to hear the Net.

EchoLinkIconI am checking in via ECHOLINK in a duplex style of setting.  You are hearing me transmit via RF from my home QTH in Ottawa but I do listen via RF in Ottawa but also use the ECHOLINK to augment my receive depending on how bad my noise level is at the time.

I would like to thank Ken VE3MAZ in Niagara Falls and N8AD Len in Erie PA for allowing me to use their systems for recieve purposes so I can participate in the Ontario Phone Net.  Without their contributions to the National Traffic Service I would be very limited in my participation,

The above video might give you an indication of how the system works but I only use it for recieve as my transmitter works fine but the noise level here is on a good night about a S9+.

Thanks again to these system operators for allowing me to participate in the NTS.

Bob Sharp VA3QV

Net Manager Ontario Phone Net

Ontario Section News

July 11, 2009

RAC Ontario Section Bulletin for July 11, 2009


1. Request for RTTY/Digital Operators’ Comments

The DX Advisory Committee has been asked by the ARRL Programs

and Services Committee to comment on how the DXCC program

might be updated to accommodate digital modes other than RTTY.

For example: Should there be a separate DXCC award for digital modes other than RTTY? Should this be a general award for Digital Modes or should there be multiple awards be available?  Should such awards be endorsable by band? Or should the status quo be retained, with all digital modes feeding into the RTTY DXCC?

Any Canadian Amateur who wishes to comment on the above is asked to send an email to John Scott, VE1JS, RAC’s representative to the DXAC, ve1js (at) ns (dot) sympatico (dot) ca. Please send any comments before August 31, 2009.

— RAC Bulletin Service

2. Garry Jacobs elected Alberta SM

Alberta Section has a new Section Manager in the person of Garry

Jacobs, VE6CIA. Garry ran unopposed and therefore no balloted

election was necessary. He began a two-year term on July 1,

succeeding past Section Manager Tom Martens, VE6TRM. RAC extends

congratulations to Garry and sincere thanks to Tom for the sense of

responsibility and dedication displayed by both.

— Doug Mercer, VO1DTM, RAC Vice President Field Services



3. International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend

Internaional Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend (ILLW) will be held on

August 15 and 16, starting at 0001 UTC on Saturday and finishing at

2359 UTC on Sunday. The purpose is to promote public awareness of

lighthouses and lightships and their need for preservation and

restoration.  It’s not a contest — lighthouses and lightships are

encouraged to make contact with any amateur radio stations worldwide.

For more information visit

— via RSGB News

4. Submitting Bulletin Items

Amateur Radio groups in Ontario that wish to announce upcoming

events, or report on their activities, are invited to send brief

items to the Official Bulletin Manager email address,

obm (at)

— Brad Rodriguez, VE3RHJ, OBM

Bulletin sent from Official Bulletin Manager Brad Rodriguez, VE3RHJ.

SET 2009- OPN Net Activation (Warning only)

July 8, 2009

For those of you who have not read (or do not receive) the July issue of the Canadian Amateur Magazine.

Page 68 (top right) advises that the 2009 Simulated Emergency Test will be held October 3rd and 4th.

At this time I have not been asked/informed about what will be expected of the Ontario Phone Net.

I will keep you advised of what will be expected of us but please try and keep those dates free in anticipation of  either an extended session, an early session, or an afternoon session of the Ontario Phone Net.


Bob Sharp VA3QV

Net Manager- Ontario Phone Net

Welcome to the Ontario Phone Net Blog

July 6, 2009

Welcome to the Ontario Phone Net Blog


This Blog is designed to update the Radio Amateurs of Canada- Ontario Section- Traffic Handlers on events that have impact on the services we provide to the Ontario Section, the Amateur Community and the citizens of the Province of Ontario.


The Ontario Phone Net meets nightly at 1900 hrs EASTERN (standard or DLST) on or about a Frequency of 3.742 to pass formal NTS Traffic in and out of the Ontario Section as part of the National Traffic System.

The Ontario Section Traffic Manager (STM) is Glenn VE3GNA and the Ontario Phone Net Manager (NM) is Bob VA3QV.

The Net starts at 1900 EASTERN (EDST or EST) and a warm up to hold the frequency normally starts  to 1845 as close to our operating frequency that we can.

Our Net Control Stations are as follows:

Monday – Brad VE3RHJ- Markdale Ontario

Tuesday – Joe VE3SCY – Ingersoll  Ontario

Wednesday – Ian VE3HMS -South River Ontario

Thursday – George VE3WKJ  -Brampton Ontario

Friday – Paul VA3PB  -Brampton Ontario

Saturday – VE3GNA -Roblin Ontario

Sunday – Shawn VE3PSV- Cambridge Ontario

New Net Control Station

July 5, 2009

I am pleased to announce that Ian VE3HMS of South River Ontario has joined our team of Net Controlers.

Ian will be taking over the Wednesday Net from Shawn VE3PSV who was helping us out on a temporary basis.  Shawn will be keeping his Sunday nite spot.

Our new schedule now looks like this:

Monday – Brad VE3RHJ- Markdale Ontario

Tuesday – Joe VE3SCY – Ingersoll  Ontario

Wednesday – Ian VE3HMS -South River Ontario

Thursday – George VE3WKJ  -Brampton Ontario

Friday – Paul VA3PB  -Brampton Ontario

Saturday – VE3GNA -Roblin Ontario

Sunday – Shawn VE3PSV- Cambridge Ontario

Welcome to the team Ian…


Bob Sharp VA3QV– Net Manager OPN