On December 16, 2019, President Clayton Smith (VE3IRR), delivered this Annual Report:

The West Carleton Amateur Radio Club had another productive year in 2019. Among other activities, the Club participated in the ARRL June VHF Contest from grid square FN15 for the sixth year, and upgraded the antennas for four of our beacons.

In June, the Club once again competed in the ARRL June VHF Contest. Since 2014, the Corkery Community Centre has been our base of operations, located in grid square FN15xg. Donations and loans of station equipment played a big part in the success of the event. The club also acquired low-pass filters for the 6m and 2m bands to limit interference between bands. Special thanks go to Ray VE3BVV for his help with storage, transportation, setup and tear-down, to Doug VE3XK for repairing the Club’s tellurometers, to Ken VA3KA for storing the Club’s towers, and to Doug VE3XK and Robert VE3BE for their help preparing the site in advance of the event.

The contest operators were Bert VE2ZAZ, Ray VE3BVV, Ray VE3FN, Clayton VE3IRR, Rich VE3KI, Doug VE3XK, and Glenn VE3XRA. Many others visited the station and helped with planning and logistics. Conditions on the six metre band were good for much of the contest, resulting in 289 QSOs and 134 multipliers on that band. FT8 was once again the most popular mode, especially on the 6m and 2m bands. We added FT8 capability on the 432 and 1296 MHz bands this year, which accounted for 21 contacts. In all, we made 535 contacts (compared to 333 last year) for a total of 170,066 points (compared to 83,053 last year). This is the highest score we’ve achieved from the Corkery location. We also had our best ever showing in the standings: We placed 1st in Canada, 3rd among unlimited multi-op stations and 8th 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 Ottawa-Gatineau Broadband-Hamnet, one of the Club’s projects, continues to operate with 25-30 nodes on the mesh network at any given time. Plans are underway to improve coverage by adding nodes at Camp Fortune. 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.

Attendance at this year’s meetings was down a bit compared to last year, averaging around 15:

  • January: 12
  • February: 20
  • March: 15
  • April: 18
  • May: 13
  • June: 17
  • July: 11
  • August: 14
  • September: 14
  • October: 17
  • November: 16
  • December: 13

Membership was lower than last year but comparable to prior years, with 27 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 participated when conditions permitted. Glenn VE3XRA hosted the net most weeks.

The Club’s 6m, 2m, 1.25m and 70cm beacons continue to operate from the Boltwood home in Stittsville, and can be heard easily throughout most of the Ottawa area. In September, Doug VE3XK replaced all four beacon antennas with more robust models from PAR Electronics. The purchase was funded through a combination of Club funds and donations from many members. 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 and maintained by Rick VE3CVG are also operating well.

Please join me in thanking all the people who made 2019 a successful year for the Club: the executive, presenters, net controller, contest operators, members and visitors.

Clayton Smith (VE3IRR)
President, WCARC