On December 2, 2014, President Clayton Smith (VE3IRR), delivered this Annual Report:

The West Carleton Amateur Radio Club had another busy and productive year in 2014. The Club participated in the ARRL June VHF Contest from a new grid square, launched a Broadband-Hamnet mesh network, and rebuilt some of its propagation beacons.

In June, the Club once again competed in the ARRL June VHF Contest, but this time from a new location: the Corkery Community Centre located in grid square FN15xg. The closer location was chosen to allow more members the opportunity to participate. In previous years, Al (VO1NO) had supplied much of the equipment. After his relocation to Nova Scotia, it seemed likely that the Club station would have to be scaled back, but thanks to generous donations from George VE3BNO, Ray VE3FN and an anonymous donor, the VE3WCC contest station was very well equipped.

The contest operators were Bert (VE2ZAZ), Ray (VE3FN), Clayton (VE3IRR), Rich (VE3KI), David (VE3KL), Andy (VE3NVK), Doug (VE3XK), Glenn (VE3XRA) and Ken (VA3KA). Many others visited the station and helped with planning and logistics. Despite challenging band conditions, the station made a respectable 192 contacts for a total of 27,636 points, scoring 5th place in Canada and 19th place among unlimited multi-op stations. Contacts were made on all amateur bands from 50 MHz to 24 GHz, with 3.4 GHz being a new addition in 2014. The Club thanks Doug (VE3XK) for his tireless efforts as the event’s primary organizer.

The Club’s 6m, 2m, 1.25m and 70cm beacons, located in Almonte, had to be taken off the air early in the year due to a malfunction. Thanks to the efforts of Doug (VE3XK), Wayne (VE3CZO) and Phil (VE3CIQ), the source of the problem was located, and several parts were replaced. The beacons went back on the air in December. The Club’s 33cm and 23cm beacons, located in downtown Ottawa, continue to function well.

Club members Bert (VE2ZAZ), Rick (VE3CVG), Ying (VA3YH) and Clayton (VE3IRR) set up 2.4 GHz Broadband-Hamnet mesh nodes at three sites: Aylmer, downtown Ottawa and Kanata. An 11-km Aylmer-Kanata link and a 21-km Kanata-Ottawa link now operate permanently. Several other members are experimenting with Broadband-Hamnet equipment and hope to join the mesh network in the coming year. Further information about the Club’s efforts can be found at http://ve2zaz.net/BBHN-Ottawa_www/.

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

  • Bert Zauhar (VE2ZAZ) - Voice over IP Telephony on the Raspberry Pi
  • Bob MacKenzie (VA3RKM) - Building Antennas
  • David Frank (VE3DMU) - Tracking, Decoding & Understanding 403 MHz Radiosonde Signals
  • Dave Goodwin (VE3AAQ) - Contest Operating
  • Doug Leach (VE3XK) - Nowcasting with DX Toolbox
  • Bert Zauhar (VE2ZAZ) - Broadband-Hamnet
  • Wayne Getchell (VE3CZO) - A Panadapter for 70 MHz IF Transceivers
  • David Conn (VE3KL) - Antenna Tuners Exposed

Attendance at this year’s meetings was up slightly, compared to 2012 and 2013, averaging around 14:

  • January 15
  • February 10
  • March 12
  • April 12
  • May 14
  • June 20
  • July 14
  • August 9
  • September 14
  • October 18
  • November 16
  • December 12

Membership was identical to the previous year, with 22 regular members and three life members.

The Ottawa Valley Upper Frequencies SSB Net continued to operate weekly throughout the year, with participation typically between five and ten stations. Stations from the Montreal area often participated when conditions permitted, and on one occasion a distant U.S. station joined the net during the 6m roll call. Glenn (VE3XRA) hosted the net most weeks, with Clayton (VE3IRR) filling in when Glenn was not available.

The club’s website, maintained by Rick Bandla (VE3CVG) continues to operate well.

Please join me in thanking all the people who made 2014 a successful year for the club: the executive, presenters, webmaster, net controllers, contest operators, members and visitors.

Clayton Smith (VE3IRR)
President, WCARC