On December 1, 2015, President Clayton Smith (VE3IRR), delivered this Annual Report:

The West Carleton Amateur Radio Club had another productive year in 2015. Among other activities, the Club participated in the ARRL June VHF Contest from grid square FN15 for the second year, expanded its Broadband-Hamnet mesh network, and rebuilt some of its propagation beacons.

In June, the Club once again competed in the ARRL June VHF Contest. Like last year, the Corkery Community Centre was the base of operations, located in grid square FN15xg. Donations and loans of station equipment played a big part in the success of the event. Special thanks go to Greg VA3ITB for the donation of rotators and a tower, to Paul VE3PLE for the donation of a tower, to Ray VE3BVV for help with transportation, setup and tear-down, and to Margaret VA3VXN and Tyler VA3DGN for supplying meals.

The contest operators were Bert VE2ZAZ, Ray VE3FN, Clayton VE3IRR, Rich VE3KI, Doug VE3XK, Glenn VE3XRA, and Mike VE3FFK. Many others visited the station and helped with planning and logistics. Despite challenging band conditions during much of the contest, a six meter opening near the end of the contest period provided a large number of additional QSOs and multipliers. The station made 280 contacts (up from 192 last year) for a total of 56,610 points, nearly double last year’s score of 27,636. That moved the Club up to 2nd place in Canada and 10th place among unlimited multi-op stations. Contacts were made on all amateur bands from 50 MHz to 24 GHz. Many more microwave contacts were made than the previous year thanks to the addition of several SDRs, and a successful microwave contact into grid square FN25 should pave the way for more microwave points next year. The Club thanks Doug VE3XK for his tireless efforts as the event’s primary organizer.

For the first half of the year, the Club’s 2m, 1.25m and 70cm beacons operated from Almonte. The 6m beacon was off the air due to a malfunction. Doug VE3XK repaired the 6m beacon and made various improvements to the beacons, which were relocated in July to the home of Paul VE3PLE in Stittsville. They have been operating well since then, and can be heard easily throughout most of the Ottawa area. The Club receives occasional reports of distant reception. 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 expanded the Broadband-Hamnet network, adding a 5.8 GHz link between Kanata and downtown Ottawa, and connecting Dave VE3KMV and Colin VE3CWQ to the mesh. Tyler VA3DGN and Duane VA3ODD were also able to connect to the network, and may join as permanent nodes 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.

  • Tyler Tidman (VA3DGN) – CHIRP
  • Paul Boltwood (VE3PLE) – Flex 1500 & WSPR
  • Dick Bonnycastle (VE3FUA) – Using Rechargeable Batteries for Ham Radio Applications
  • Clayton Smith (VE3IRR) – 2015 June VHF contest review
  • Bert Zauhar (VE2ZAZ) – Broadband Hamnet Configurations
  • Wayne Getchell (VE3CZO) – Club project ideas
  • Rich Ferch (VE3KI) – DXLab Suite
  • Dave Conn (VE3KL) – Challenges of Designing HF Antennas for Field Day and QRP Applications

Attendance at this year’s meetings was down slightly compared to last year, averaging around 13:

  • January 10
  • February 8
  • March 14
  • April 16
  • May 15
  • June 14
  • July 13
  • August 14
  • September 12
  • October 14
  • November 16
  • December 7

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. 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 2015 a successful year for the club: the executive, presenters, webmaster, net controllers, contest operators, members and visitors.

Clayton Smith (VE3IRR)
President, WCARC