Posts Tagged ‘NTS’

Saturdays Net

June 28, 2010

Our Field Day session of the OPN was a great success…  Net Control was VE3RAM (Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club) from Ottawa with VA3QV at the mike and the net had 10 stations checking in with 9 pieces of formal traffic passed.

We had Eastern Ontario, Central Ontario,South-Western Ontario and North Eastern Ontario covered.along withh the GTA.  We did not have 80m conditions into North Western Ontario.

I thank those who checked in and as there were some new calls heard I hope they come back again for a visit…


Bob Sharp VA3QV Net Manager


Photo courtesy VE3EMB- Above picture shows the Lighthouse we operated from with the Club Trailer.  Due to damage from the earthquake we did not have access to the interior or the top railing so the 80m antenna was tied to the lower railing about 10 feet agl… NVIS seemed to work well for the net…bob


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

The Ontario Phone Net needs your help

May 23, 2010

At this time due to the poor band condition on 80m the net is in serious need of the following:

Net Liaison Stations -Local

The duties of a Net Liaison Station is to check into the net and represent your area by picking up traffic coming in to your area.  All you need to do is check into the Net (1900hrs daily on or about 3.742) and check in representing your home area.  With the poor band conditions you also might be able to help us with relays.


Net Liaison Station- Regional  Level

The Ontario Phone Net receives and sends its traffic to/from the 2nd Region Net.  This Net meets daily on 3.925 at 1345hrs, 1530hrs, 1830hrs all times in eastern (EST or EDST).  You check into the Net when they call for Net Liaison Stations and advise that you are “going to” or “coming from” Ontario and either you have no traffic or list the traffic you have.


Please give a listen on 3.925 and see if you have a good enough copy on one of the sessions to assist us.

Without your assistance the net is in danger of not being able to properly serve the Ontario Section in Traffic Handling

If you have any questions or would like to be scheduled into the rotation please contact Bob Sharp VA3QV OPN Net Manager either by the email link provided or by checking into the Ontario Phone Net and hoping there is propagation between Ottawa and where you live…


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

With a new start time comes other changes

March 15, 2010

Sundays net went quite well with Shawn VE3PSV as NCS and we were able to take advantage of the better band conditons at 1900 hrs.

Now that we have changed from 1600 EST to 1900 EDST we do have some changes in the NCS Roster.

DAY                  NCS             NAME        LOCATION





WEDNESDAY__VE3HMS__Ian______South River




**** VE3TPZ should be starting his new duties on March 23rd and VE3PSV will be covering March 16th.

The “Warm Up” will start approx at 1830 hours and will normally be conducted by Shawn VE3PSV on or about 3.742 depending on frequency usage  and band conditons to hold the frequency for the Net at 1900 hrs

If you have any question please email the OPN Net Manager

73  Bob Sharp VA3QV Net Manager

OPN Holding Traffic for… Updated List

February 16, 2010

As of February 16 2010


The Section Traffic Manager (STM) for Ontario as part of his duties generates Test Messages or Exercise Traffic and inserts it into the system in an attempt to give Amateurs who do not usually handle traffic a chance to get some practice.


At this time the Net is holding traffic for the following areas of Ontario:

Port Carling
Spring Bay

If you would like to assist please either check into the Ontario Phone Net which runs daily at 1600 EST on 3.742 or contact the Section Traffic Manager VE3GNA

Bob Sharp VA3QV Net Manager Ontario Phone Net

Updated information from Ontario STM

January 14, 2010

The following comes to us from VE3GNA Glenn who is the Section Traffic Manager for Ontario


To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:;>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 11:44:15 -0800


DATE/TIME: JAN 14, 2010 1940Z


3977, 3985, 7265, 7290, 14265, and 14300 kHz.

Avoid transmitting within 3 kHz (on either side) of these frequencies except for EMERGENCY or PRIORITY traffic.

Normal protocol for major disasters is NO INBOUND “Health and Welfare” (W) or Routine (R) traffic for a minimum of 72 hours.  There are only 143 (est.) licensed amateurs in Haiti. Only one or two stations are known to be QRV.   It will probably be much longer before any inbound DWIs (Disaster Welfare Inquiries) can be handled or processed.  Even when W or R  traffic addressed to Haiti can be accepted, it may be many weeks before relief agencies have information or means to contact survivors and reply.

RECOMMEND: EMCOMM traffic stations my accept message traffic…but advise the originating person/party that it will be held until a means to forward/deliver it can be established.  (After Hurricane Katrina there thousand of DWIs that were never delivered.)

SUGGEST: EMCOMM operators advise persons with DWIs to contact U.S. Dept. of State, the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army (they all have websites for this purpose) and follow the instructions provided.

All radio amateurs are requested to keep 7045 kHz and 3720 kHz clear
for possible emergency traffic related to the major earthquake in Haiti.

International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region II Area C Emergency
Coordinator Arnie Coro, CO2KK, reports that as of 0245 UTC on January
13, nothing had been heard from radio amateurs in Haiti, but that the
above frequencies were being kept active in case any Haitian hams
manage to get on the air, and in case of other related events in
surrounding areas, including aftershocks and a possible tsunami.

7045 is CW only.  (RTTY and data is also legal in the U.S.)
3720 is CW and phone (LSB) in U.S. and is limited to advanced and extra class amateurs

Its easier with a good crew…

December 31, 2009

On Monday evening my only HF antenna had a failure.  Looking outside and seeing wire hanging loosely in the wind is never a good thing…  I re-attached the wire to the balun and found out that things were still not working right…

On Tuesday I took the balun down and let it thaw out.  After it had thawed out and lost the coating of ICE that was on it I noticed a crack in the balun which I guess let moisture get into it and with the Flash Freeze we had on Monday evening I guess that did it in…

On Wednesday I tried a repair job with no luck and I tried installing a 1:1 balun in its place with no luck.  Well the instructions for the W3EDP antenna say that it does need a 4:1 balun to work best on the lower bands…

Today I went with a different antenna, one from my portable ops collection but with it came the a much higher noise level as the antenna was designed to operate with my FT 897 with a FC40 auto tuner and unfortunately the FC 40 will not work properly with the FT 847 and of course all my noise filters are set up with the 847…

So today is another day that I won’t be participating in Net operations but I am very glad to say that things seem to be functioning fine in my absence.  The traffic is getting though and the crew is stepping up to make sure things are running fine.

By the time the new balun arrives and get installed we will be looking Wednesday or Thursday but its good to know that things are fully functioning in my forced absence.

Thanks guys for keeping things running


NTS- From a guest Blogger

December 28, 2009

Todays posting comes to us from the Ontario Section Traffic Manager VE3GNA

Who says NTS is obsolete?

In this era of cellphones and instant communications, it is refreshing to hear of instances when the tried and true methods of communications can hold their own. Two instances are chronicled here.

On December 17, 2009, the net manager of the Ontario Phone Net (OPN) , Bob Sharp VA3QV, originated several messages containing Christmas greetings. One of these was addressed to Ian MacFarquhar VE9IM, in Rothesay NB. The traffic was passed on the net to the liaison for the Second Region Net (2RN), Glenn VE3GNA. At 7:45 pm, the Cycle 4 session of 2RN convened on CW. The message was passed to Lyle Bates, VE1VAU at that time. As the local session of the Atlantic Provinces Net (APN) completed somewhat earlier, the message was passed the following day, the 18th to Wade Wall VE1TAY in nearby Taymouth NB.

On December 21st, a message from VE1TAY originated on the 20th at 2300Z confirming delivery of the greeting to Mr MacFarquhar was received by VE3GNA and relayed to VA3QV on OPNon the 22nd.  The message went on to state that Ian returned similar greetings to the stalwarts of OPN.

From Ottawa ON to Rothesay NB and back in under 74 hours ( OPN meets at 2100Z daily, and the return message was created at 2300Z on the 20th) . Even allowing for the delay in getting the traffic into OPN on the 22nd still is just over 96 hours turnaround. Better than Canada Post.

The second instance is even more amazing. Glenn VE3GNA, does weekly updates of his personal database of amateurs in Canada, and creates NTS traffic welcoming new hams to the hobby. One of these was David Bruce Peer VE3RIE of Ottawa. The message was given to VA3QV on the 26th of December and phoned to Mr Peer the same evening.

It turned out that David had only recently written his exam, and had been told on the 22nd that he had passed. He was still awaiting confirmation of his assigned callsign by IC and the message was the first he had heard of it. The greeting confirmed that his first choice of callsign was approved, even before the actual letter arrived from Industry Canada, in the SAME city.

Oh yes, Virginia, NTS does work, and should be wholeheartedly supported by all hams, whether directly or indirectly. Why not utilize the system to extend greetings to Aunt Sarah in Whitehorse, or Uncle Don in St Johns, NL? Granted it is easier to text or phone. But there is still something exciting about receiving a message from a loved one via radio, and it gives the delivering station a thrill to participate. Not to mention the practice in case our services are ever needed in a real emergency. Practice makes perfect.


Glenn Killam, VE3GNA / VA3OPN  Ontario Section Traffic Manager


I would like to thank Glenn for taking the time to give us this article

73 Bob Sharp VA3QV OPN Net Manager

Inbound Traffic for the Net Participants

December 22, 2009

The following message was received for us from the 2nd region net on December 22 2009.

It was in reply to a message I had sent out via NTS to    Ian MacFarquhar VE9IM ACTING RAC PRESIDENT last week wishing him a Merry Christmas from the OPN

His Reply as follows:




MSG    1001     X     IAN     RETURNS


YOU    AND     YOURS     AND    ALL

OF    THE     OPN      73




4 Days from Ottawa to New Brunswick and back…  Not too shabby for an outdated mode…  Might of even been quicker but I missed 2rn last night cause I was out for the afternoon session and the evening session was poor band conditons…

73 Bob Sharp VA3QV Net Manager Ontario Phone Net