On December 19, 2016, President Clayton Smith (VE3IRR), delivered this Annual Report:

The West Carleton Amateur Radio Club had another productive year in 2016. Among other activities, the Club participated in the ARRL June VHF Contest from grid square FN15 for the third year, expanded its Broadband-Hamnet mesh network, and made improvements to its propagation beacons.

In June, the Club once again competed in the ARRL June VHF Contest. Like the past two years, 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 Ray VE3BVV for help with transportation, setup and tear-down, Greg VA3ITB for help with setup and tear-down, and Doug VE3XK for repairing a large number of tellurometers.

The contest operators were Rich VE3KI, Ray VE3FN, Bert VE2ZAZ, Glenn VE3XRA, Doug VE3XK, Clayton VE3IRR, Ray VE3BVV, Malcolm VE2DDZ and Andy VE3NVK. Many others visited the station and helped with planning and logistics. Conditions on the six metre band were very good for much of the contest, allowing for many more contacts than in previous years. We contacted stations in 145 grid squares on that band alone, including several outside North America. In total, we made 506 contacts (up from 280 last year) for a total of 141,372 points, more than double last year’s score of 56,610. That moved the Club up to 1st place in Canada. We placed 10th among unlimited multi-op stations and 36th overall. Contacts were made on all amateur bands from 50 MHz to 24 GHz. Microwave contacts made using SDRs, WiFi equipment, cordless phones and tellurometers continued to provide a big boost to our score. The Club thanks Doug VE3XK for his tireless efforts as the event’s primary organizer, and Jim VE3ERA for the donation of two towers for use in future contests.

The Club’s 6m, 2m, 1.25m and 70cm beacons continue to operate from the home of Paul VE3PLE in Stittsville. Throughout the year, Doug VE3XK made a number of modifications and improvements. The beacons continue to operate well, 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 on the roof of the YMCA in downtown Ottawa, continue to function well.

The Ottawa-Gatineau Broadband-Hamnet, one of the Club’s projects, continues to expand with over 40 nodes now on the mesh network. Since last year, many more Gatineau stations have joined the network. Several Stittsville-area stations have succeeded in forming a small mesh, but have not yet been able to connect with the Ottawa-Gatineau mesh. 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) – An Electronically Disciplined Mechanical Pendulum
  • Glenn MacDonell (VE3XRA) – Amateur Radio in Canada & RAC
  • Bert Zauhar (VE2ZAZ) – Myths about ESD
  • Clayton Smith (VE3IRR) – 2016 June VHF contest review
  • Paul Boltwood (VE3PLE) – Accomplishments in Amateur Astronomy & Electronics
  • Greg Danylchenko (VE3YTZ) – Extension Cords
  • Bryan Rawlings (VE3QN) – Amateur Radio Regulation
  • Dave Conn (VE3KL) – HF Wire Antennas, EMI and Contest Stations

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

  • January 16
  • February 14
  • March 14
  • April 10
  • May 15
  • June 10
  • July 12
  • August 17
  • September 13
  • October 13
  • November 16
  • December 17

Membership was somewhat lower than last year, with 19 regular members and three life members. The Club’s regular meeting date was changed from the first Tuesday of the month to the third Monday to avoid a conflict with the Diefenbunker radio group’s meetings, and this is likely to result in increased attendance and membership in 2017.

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 participated when conditions permitted. Glenn VE3XRA hosted the net most weeks.

After maintaining the Club’s website for more than a decade, Rick VE3CVG handed webmaster duties over to Clayton VE3IRR in September. The site continues to operate well.

Please join me in thanking all the people who made 2016 a successful year for the club: the executive, presenters, webmasters, net controllers, contest operators, members and visitors.

Clayton Smith (VE3IRR)
President, WCARC