Archive for December, 2009

RAC Ontario Section Bulletin for December 12, 2009

December 12, 2009

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


1. Linux Journal launches virtual ham shack

As part of their amateur radio feature edition, Linux Journal has
launched a “virtual ham shack.”  In addition to an online forum,
there are links to ham-radio software and articles.  Visit it at

— RSGB News

2. Straight Key Night on OSCAR

AMSAT is inviting hams worldwide to participate in Straight Key Night
on OSCAR 2010. Taking part fun and easy. Just operate CW through any
OSCAR satellite between 0000 and 2400 UTC on January 1st 2010, using
a straight hand key. There are no other rules, no scoring and no need
to send in a log.

All participants are encouraged to nominate someone they worked for
“Best Fist.”  Please send your nomination to w2rs (at)

— Amateur Radio Newsline

3. Elmer Shack

Elmer Shack is a web site where you can ask and answer questions
about ham radio.  Like some other web sites, it relies on users to
answer questions that are posted.  Got a question?  Or an answer?

— via Ham Radio Daily

4. CC Cluster Software

If you’re being overwhelmed by the spots from your DX Cluster
software, give VE7CC’s CC Cluster a try.  The program has excellent
filtering capabilities and displays extra data with the spots.
Download it at

— ARRL Contest Update

5. Adjusting Your Transmit Audio

Do you have clean transmit audio?  Does your voice keyer sound like
your actual voice?   Eric, K3NA has published “Can You Hear Me Now –
Adjusting the Transmit Audio Chain” on the Contesting Compendium, at (Yankee Kilo November Six Papa Golf Seven). The
article walks you through the process of doing this right, offering
tips on how to make your live and recorded audio sound both good and
the same.

— ARRL Contest Update

Bulletin sent from Official Bulletin Manager Brad Rodriguez, VE3RHJ

RAC Ontario Section Bulletin for December 5, 2009

December 6, 2009

RAC Ontario Section Bulletin for December 5, 2009

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


1. RAC Canada Winter Contest

In December each year, Radio Amateurs of Canada sponsors the Canada
Winter Contest.  Amateurs all over the world are invited to
participate.  This year’s contest runs from  0000 UTC to 2359 UTC on
Saturday, December 19, CW and phone, on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6,
and 2 metres.  Canadian stations send RST and province or territory.
VE0’s and stations outside Canada send RST and a serial number.
Complete rules and information are available in PDF format at (Yankee Kilo Alpha Alpha Seven Xray Zulu)

— RAC web page


2. New Ontario Public Service Reflector

The Province of Ontario now has a new dedicated IRLP Reflector in
operation thanks to the efforts of Russ Hemphill VE3FI and fine
technical support from Klaus Rung VE3KR and other interested persons.

This Ontario Public Service Reflector is Node 9030 with 10 channel
and very wide bandwidth capabilities The system is located in
Haliburton County and at this time is fully operational in the
primary testing stage. When completed with channel assignments the
Reflector will offer and provide a dedicated network in Ontario for
Emergency Communications for ARES and CANWARN and linking Counties
and Districts for Mutual Aid purposes.

For details visit

— Bob Gammon, VA3RX, Ontario SEC


3. Are You Interested in Handling Traffic?

“Radiograms” — written messages sent by amateur radio — are still
an important part of amateur radio public service and emergency
response.  If you’re interested in learning to handle message
traffic, on either SSB or CW, the ARRL has made a guide available in
PDF format, at (Yankee Golf Four Bravo Nine Five

For practice, listen or check in to the Ontario Phone Net, daily on
3.742 MHz, at 16:00 Eastern Time.

— via Peter West, RAC Blog; and Ontario Phone Net Blog

4. Antartica Active on HF and HamSats

Bill, K7MT, is going to work at the McMurdo base (AN-011) between
Nov 15 and Feb 20, 2010. He will sign KC4USV mostly on 20m during
Sundays. Listen for him in SSB on 14243 kHz, in CW on 14043 kHz or
in PSK-31 on 14070 kHz. He plans to bring his Arrow II antenna and a
Kenwood TH-7 which he can use on amateur radio satellites.  QSL via
K1IED. Visit Bill’s web page at

— AMSAT News

5. Rig Reference provides information about amateur radio
equipment and allows and encourages members to share their opinions
about these rigs.  You can find specifications for many old and new
rigs, and reviews and ratings for some popular rigs.

— Brad Rodriguez, VE3RHJ, Official Bulletin Manager

This concludes this week’s bulletin. Does anyone require repeats or

Bulletin sent from Official Bulletin Manager Brad Rodriguez, VE3RHJ.

December 2RN Cycle 3 – 2330z operation on 1928 kHz

December 5, 2009

The following arrived in my email today from the Net Manager for 2rn:

75 Meter band conditions are horrible after 5 pm daily. The following
message was sent out today.  If you are unable to QSY to 160 M in
support of this operation, please assist on 3925 kHz in steering others
to the 1928 kHz point of daily operation.  73, Bill W2MTA 120509







73 =



Both Liason Stations from the Ontario Phone Net are able to  operate on 160m so this should not have any affect  on our abilities to  pass traffic   in and out of Ontario

73 Bob Sharp VA3QV OPN Net Manager

Comments from a guest

December 2, 2009

Recently while surfing the net I found a very interesting editorial on the EMCOMM On Line Magazine.  I was that impressed with that article that I contaced  the author Paul K7IN and asked for permission to copy it to our blog.

His  Reply is here:

Hello Bob –
I would be honored for you to post my article.  One reader asked why I did not mention Winlink in the article.  And I explained that Winlink does not depend on the internet to be viable.  It easily interface with other programs that are internet based.
Thank you for asking.  You may also include my e-mail address if you would like.
73, Paul Cavnar – K7IN

So with the authors permission the article follows:



VoIP, IRLP, Echolink and other internet-dependent modes of communication
While most of us are well aware of these modes, there are serious problems and deficiencies looming just over the horizon that need to be considered.  Recently a bill proposed in congress would grant the President the ability to “shut down” our internet in order to protect government and military systems as well as vital infrastructure from cyber attack and denial-of-service attacks.  While this may seem a good idea on the surface, it will instantly bring nationwide communications and commerce to a standstill if implemented.  It will also render VoIP, IRLP, Echolink and other internet-dependent modes completely useless.  While I am all for embracing new technologies, let’s not toss out what has been proven over and over for many years because, very simply, it works.

Should our President decide he needed to isolate our American internet from the rest of the world, our ability to communicate, do business, or function via the internet could be crippled.   Except for hard-line telephone connections or radio, communications would be rendered useless at that time.  All primary internet hub locations would be isolated from each other and from all outside connections.

Regardless of who has the authority to sever these links, it is still subject to abuse since that decision to shut down will come from those in government who are just advisors to the President and whose honesty and integrity I personally do not trust.   Our nation can easily be brought to a standstill if our internet is “shut down” because virtually every facet of our lives is dependent upon the internet in one form or another.

So, while these internet-dependent modes are a great idea and can certainly move information efficiently under normal conditions, a good emcomm plan should not be depend on them for handling emergency traffic.  There is nothing that is more reliable than a direct radio link between stations operating on independent or emergency power.  That, my friends, is the absolute “bottom line” so, as the saying goes, “when all else fails…”

Let’s not abandon our emcomm fundamentals just because it’s easier to turn on a computer.  We still need to know how to get the message through efficiently and accurately.   And practice makes perfect.  I am not saying to toss your computer out the window.  But also keep the dust off of your J-38.  Don’t get caught up in the fragile new technologies and lose your basic ability to communicate when needed. –

Paul Cavnar, K7IN

Thanks again to Paul for this fantastic article and also to the good people at EMCOMM and  the World Radio Relay League for posting it where I could read it in the first place.

73 Bob Sharp VA3QV Net Manager Ontario Phone Net