Posts Tagged ‘ARES’

Ontario Field Services- ARES and the NTS

June 20, 2010

As most of you aware the  Field Services for RAC  in Ontario is made up of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the National Traffic System (NTS)

The NTS meets every night on the Ontario Phone Net which as you know is held at 1900 hrs eastern (EDST or EST) as close to 3,742 that we can find a clear spot to operate from


In addition our cousins ARES meet several times a week on HF and also on the IRLP networks. 

You can find them on Sunday on 7.080 at 1300 hrs eastern along with at 2000 hrs on IRLP reflector  9035

On Mondays they can be found on 3.650 at 2100 hrs

On Wednesdays they can be found again on the IRLP Reflector 9035 at 2000hrs.

On Thursdays they hold a net on the IRLP Reflector 0040 at 2000 hrs as well.

For more information on the ARES in Ontario please check out their website


Todays story (and yes there was a point to the information above) starts just before 1300 hrs in Hutton Park in Ottawa when VA3QV Bob (OPN Net Manager) decided to take his QRP Radio (Yaesu FT 817) out to the Park to test out a modification to his W3EDP Antenna.

Anyway in my own words…  If you zoom in as much as you can on the map you will see a baseball backstop on the top right of the map and a row of trees below on the left.

I strung my W3EDP from a line thrown over the backstop to the tree on the bottom right of the map.  I then adjusted the lenght of the antenna so it was approx 15 feet above ground at either end and approx 10 feet above ground in the middle as I was hoping for a NVIS style of operating.  Hearing the Ontario Swap Shop on 7.055 before the ARES Net Started did not fill me with confidence but at 1300 I tried 7.080 and was able to be checked in by the Net Control Station Bob VE3YX in Deep River Ontario with a good signal report.  Seeing how long 40m usually is I was suprised as he was on how good the signals were between us.

The above “Google Map”  image will give you an indication of the distance between the stations although Radio Waves don’t take hwy 17 but its close enough for an example…

For the duration of the Net I had good copy on most of the participants although some of them had more than a bit of trouble with my QRP Signal not getting over the static level they had at their locations.  One of the stations checking in was VE3NCQ Austin who is a regular on the OPN as well as the ARES EC for Chatam Kent Ontario.  He came to the net wondering if anyone could handle traffic for Ottawa and although he could not hear me I could hear him so relaying through the NCS the traffic was passed to  Ottawa and then my reciept of the traffic was relayed to Austin via the NCS in Deep River.

Once again the above map is more to show you the area involved as radio waves don’t follow the 416 and the 401…

Now the big thing to remember is that the traffic got passed…  ARES and NTS got together to do it… 

So the moral of the story would be that if you don’t check into the nets who will pass the traffic???

The ARES Nets are filled with skilled communicators who can pass traffic if needed.  Several times a year for exercises the NTS is called out to support various ARES groups.  We work together and we get the job done… 

As net manager for the Ontario Phone nets I ask my NCS stations and liason stations to do their best to check into the Ontario ARES HF Nets and IRLP Nets if they have an outlet to IRLP to better hone their communications skills.  I would hope that my counterparts with the Ontario ARES Nets would be asking their operators to visit the Ontario Phone Net if they have the capabilites for 80m voice for the same reasons.


Bob Sharp VA3QV Net Manager Ontario Phone Net


OPN visits ARES

April 4, 2010

Just as a reminder to all Net Participants that the Ontario ARES operates a HF Net every Sunday on 40m at 1300 hrs Eastern time.  This works out quite well as most of us have been listening to the Ontario Swap Shop on 7.055 from 1200 to 1300 so your rig is warm and your antenna tuned…

As Net Manager of the OPN I would ask all NTS operators to take the time to check in to the ARES 40m net on 7.080 and when checking in mention that you are there representing the NTS and the Ontario Phone Net.

The 40m band is starting to behave and today I was able to check in with the Net Control Station in Sault Ste Marie using my FT817 QRP 5w radio and my Buddistick vertical antenna.

The above is what I was using but the picnic table was at a City Park and not at the ocean resort…

Perhaps once we start visiting their nets they might repay the favour and join us in the evenings…

73 Bob Sharp VA3QV Net Manager Ontario Phone Net

Ontario ARES Sunday 40m Net

February 28, 2010

Today as part of my testing of a new antenna I took my FT 817 out to the park and decided to check into the Ontario ARES HF Net to see how things would work on 40m and show some support for ARES from the NTS.

For this test remember I was operating QRP at the 5w SSB setting and I was testing out a Hamantenna CN32 Horizontal antenna.

Now before you ask…  The above picture is from their advertising and its not me on the mountain top.  I was operating from a Picnic Table in a City of Ottawa Park.

However the picture does show you that the antenna is a “Buddipole Style antenna” so now you have an idea of what I was talking about.

Concidering band conditions and I was QRP I was able to check in with the Net Control Station in Deep River Ontario and hear all of the participants but some of them had trouble hearing me.  This does not come as a shock but its good to know that if needed the contacts could of been made.  Maybe next time bringing my QRO Radio out with the same antenna might be a good thing but at least they know that someone from the Ontario Phone Net took the time to check in to their net as a show of support.  Perhaps when we change back to our winter hours some of them will repay the favour and check in with us.

One drawback is that the Hamantenna is only a 2m to 40m antenna so I was unable to load up on 80m so I did miss the 2nd region net on 3.925 at 1345 hours.

Next time I take the antenna out I will have to remember to bring my hamstick dipole for 80m as well so I can use the Hamantenna for 2-40 then the hamsticks for 80m for a true multiband portable antenna,


SET Report -FYI

October 5, 2009

At this time I thought I would bring you up to speed on how things went on the HF Radio side of things during Saturdays SET Exercise.

The Ontario Phone Net in support of Emergency Management Ontario (EMO ARES) supplied Net Control Stations on 3.742 in the 80m band from 0830 hrs to 1500 hours and then again from 1830hrs to 2100 hrs.

Although at this time I do not have all the reports in from the Net Control Stations I can proudly say that we were able to conduct a Province Wide 80m HF Net under what could be called not the best conditions.

All Parts of the Province were heard from (Eastern Ontario to North Western Ontario and all areas in between) at one time or another on the 80m during this Simulated Emergency Test.

Part two of the test will be conducted on Wednesday October 7th… once again on 3.742 with 7.153 as a back up frequency… starting at 0900 hrs and finishing at 1300 hrs

Once the reports are all in and tallied I will post a more detailed report here that will also be submitted to RAC Ontario Section (STM) and  Emergency Management Ontario (EMO ARES) but for now believe me when I make the following statement:

“We Did Good!!!”


Bob Sharp VA3QV– Net Manager Ontario Phone Net

2009 SET Info

September 14, 2009

Here it is folks…  AS MUCH INFO that I have available at this time:

At this time the OPN plans are to use 3.742 for the daytime and nightime frequency for the SET with 7.153 being run as an alternative frequency for the daytime session. I have asked the COMMSONT Net to assist us on 40m.

I am still awaiting more info from EMO ARES and ARES Ontario (RAC Ontario Section) before our COMMS Plan is fully developed.

At this time the generic plan is to run the net for the duration of the time as required by EMO ARES and swap out controllers every hour or so…

More information will be coming soon please check back here often…

Bob Sharp VA3QV Net Manager Ontario Phone Net

Follows is info from the EMO ARES Website:



Ontario Province-wide Simulated Emergency Test 2009
Saturday October 3 2009
09:00 to 15:00 and 19:00 to 21:00 ET

Ontario Province-wide EOC Test
Wednesday October 7 2009
09:00 to 13:00 ET

The 2009 Province-wide Simulated Emergency Test (SET) will be conducted on Saturday October 3 2009 from 09:00 to 15:00 and 19:00 to 21:00 hours. This exercise is sanctioned by Emergency Management Ontario, any repeater owners with installations on CBC owned tower sites can apply for SET participation confirmation by passing a formal message to EMO (VE3EMO) during the exercise, be sure to use the repeater callsign in the message and follow-up with a request for documentation to: When requesting documentation please include repeater callsign, club name and complete mailing address.

All ARES Groups are requested to participate in the Province-wide SET; if your ARES Group is unable to participate please have a group representative check into the network so your group can be registered as active during the Province-wide SET. When reporting into the networks please supply your callsign, location and ARES Group membership to NCS.

All ARES members are welcome and encouraged to participate, stations with traffic will be given priority.

Operational Frequencies

HF National Traffic System
Ontario Phone Net:
3.742 MHz. or 7.153 MHz. depending on band conditions (Operating under the direction of the Ontario Phone Net (NTS)

The NTS (Ontario Phone Net) will oversee all HF operations and provide Net Control operators for the exercise.

IRLP Linking
Vancouver Reflector Channel 9005 with a backup channel of 9206 (Operating under the direction of VA3EOT, Toronto Emergency Operations Centre)

The Toronto EOC will oversee all IRLP operations and provide Net Control operators for this exercise.

Packet messages may be sent to EMO via email:

Province-wide EOC Test
The Province-wide EOC test has been incorporated into our yearly SET for the past four years, this addition to the regular SET provides an opportunity for ARES groups that support communications for their local Municipal Emergency Operations Centre an opportunity to participate during regular operational hours and demonstrate to officials the ability to connect with the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre VE3EMO.

The EMO station will be activated on Wednesday October 7th from 09:00 to 13:00 ET to test communications with municipal level EOC’s.

HF National Traffic System
Ontario Phone Net:
3.742 MHz. or 7.153 MHz. depending on band conditions (Operating under the direction of the Ontario Phone Net (NTS)

IRLP Linking
Vancouver Reflector Channel 9005 with a backup channel of 9206 (Operating under the direction of VE3EMO, Provincial Emergency Operations Centre)

Packet messages may be sent to EMO via email:

Formal Messages may be sent to VE3EMO (Provincial Emergency Operations Centre), VA3RX (Section Emergency Coordinator), VE3AJB (Section Manager), VA3QV (OPN Manager) and any DEC, EC or EOC throughout the Province.

To move the messages, NTS (Ontario Phone Net) will be deployed and ARES representatives will take messages to and from the various sectors and pass them to EMO through the Toronto EOC (VA3EOT). The Toronto EOC will forward messages to the PEOC via dedicated fax lines. The Toronto EOC will handle all messages to and from the PEOC via the NTS.

Sample Message


Number Precedence HX Station of Origin Check Place of Origin Time Filed Date
01 Routine HCX VA3EOT 40 Toronto 09:30 Sept 27 2008

Provincial Emergency Operations Centre


This is a test X The City of Toronto has a reported 35 cases of avian flu currently being treated X Toronto Public Health currently has the situation under control and has a good stock of anti-viral medication in stock

Signed: John Smith
City of Toronto Health Department

Rec’d From                  Date                  Time Sent To                  Date                          Time

Note: Be sure to include the words “This is a Test” in your message.

An Easy Guide to Radiograms can be found online by visiting: Radiograms are also available for download at:

Hope to hear you during SET
Jim Taylor, VA3KU
Amateur Radio Program Coordinator
Emergency Management Ontario
Provincial Emergency Operations Centre


Thats all I have for now…More later