On December 3, 2013, Acting President Clayton Smith (VE3IRR), delivered this Annual Report:

The West Carleton Amateur Radio Club has had another busy and productive year. The Club had its best ever result in the ARRL June VHF Contest, began a 2304 MHz transverter project, replaced one beacon and added one new beacon, for a total complement of six.

In June the club returned to grid square FN04xa for the sixth consecutive year to compete in the ARRL June VHF Contest. The club had its best ever result, finishing in 14th place overall. The team consisted of Al (VO1NO), Glenn (VE3XRA), Bill (VE3MMQ), Allan (VA3FMN), Michael (VE3ARL), Dave (VE3AAQ), Richard (VE3KI), Steven (VA3EXS), Bert (VE2ZAZ), Ray (VE3BVV), Sam (VE3CMS), Greg (VA3OMP) and Clayton (VE3IRR), as well as Air Cadets Kristin, Darla and Steph. The team’s final score of 194,575 points also gave them the highest score in Canada, highest in the Central Region, and 6th among unlimited multi-op stations. Plans are already under way to participate in the 2014 June VHF Contest, perhaps from a new location.

Bert (VE2ZAZ) built a 2304 MHz transverter from surplus Harris equipment, based on a prototype made by Jimmy Howard (VE2JWH). Bert used his transverter to make a number of 2304 MHz contacts in the June VHF Contest. He has organized a club project to build more transverters, with another 13 members participating. Construction will get under way following the December meeting.

Early in the year, Rick (VE3CVG) built and installed two beacons for the club, operating at 903.360 MHz and 1296.060 MHz from a downtown Ottawa location. These complement the club’s existing 6m, 2m, 1.25m and 70cm beacons, which are located in Almonte and maintained by Doug (VE3XK). In the fall, repairs to the antenna support for the 6m beacon were performed by Phil (VE3CIQ) assisted by Dale Hennigar (VE3XZT) and Doug (VE3XK).

The club had a full schedule of interesting presentations. Materials from many of them are available on the club’s web site.

  • Bert (VE2ZAZ) - Fibre optic communication
  • Dave (VE3AAQ) - Ham Radio Culture Shock
  • Martin (VA3SIE) - Summits on the Air
  • Wayne (VE3CZO) - 1296 MHz amplifier design
  • Andy (VE3NVK) - Raspberry Pi
  • Marcus (VE3MDL) - Amateur radio astronomy and software-defined radio
  • Al (VO1NO) - Grid expedition stories & photos
  • Bert (VE2ZAZ) - Primer on digital modulation schemes
  • Clayton (VE3IRR) - Building software-defined radio with GNU Radio
  • Rick (VE3CVG) - WCARC 33cm and 23cm beacons, Apache Labs ANAN-10
  • Doug (VE3XK) - Adding a panoramic display to my TS2000

Attendance [numbers] at this year’s meetings were up slightly compared to the previous year, but still lower than earlier years:

  • January 8
  • February 10
  • March 13
  • April 13
  • May 11
  • June 16
  • July 14
  • August 15
  • September 16
  • October 14
  • November 12
  • December 15

Membership was down slightly compared to the previous year, with 22 regular members (vs. 23) and three life members.

The Ottawa Valley Upper Frequencies SSB Net continued to operate throughout the year, with participation typically around five to ten stations. Glenn (VE3XRA), Rick (VE3CVG), Bert (VE2ZAZ) and Clayton (VE3IRR) acted as Net Control [rephrased].

The Club’s website, maintained by Rick (VE3CVG), [and hosted on web servers of Jeff Dale (VA3ISP)], continue to be well-used. Access should improve since a couple of technical issues were resolved [with the assistance of Clayton (VE3IRR)]. It is now indexed by Google, which should make the information much easier to find.

After serving as President since 2008, Al (VO1NO) resigned in August due to his relocation to Nova Scotia. Clayton (VE3IRR) took over his duties for the remainder of the year as acting president. The club would like to thank Al for his many contributions to the club, especially his tireless organization of the club’s annual grid expeditions. He will be greatly missed.

Please join me in thanking all the people who made 2013 a successful year for the club: the Executive, Presenters, Webmaster, Net Controllers, contest operators, members and visitors.

Clayton Smith (VE3IRR)
Acting President