On December 20, 2021, Charles MacDonald (VA3CPY) delivered this Annual Report:
Once again, the Pandemic has severely limited what our club can do as a group. Nevertheless, some of our members have managed to do some field contest work. Some of the major changes that have happened this year are:
- VE3WCC Club call sign is now officially managed by Wayne (VE3CZO).
- VE3DVQ is now officially owned by the Lanark North Leeds ARES.
- OARC VE2CRA DMR repeater is physically at the Camp Fortune site.
- Clayton (VE3IRR) has left the region, BUT will continue his work as the club webmaster.
- Bob Heil (K9EID), Heil Sound – resulted in one of the longest talks of the year…
- Glenn (VE3XRA) suggested that there may be a lot of new hams who are unaware of the Club’s existence, as many got their license via online learning in the last year.
While to many DX means talking across the world, for other hams it might mean 100 km from mountain to mountain at frequencies 4 times as high as a microwave oven. Both just participating in QSO’s and contest activities were enjoyed by many of our members.
One of the Positives about Ham radio in a time of pandemic is that it can be the most socially distanced way to have round table discussions.
- Parks-OTA and Summits-OTA have been very popular
- The solar flux is fluctuating.
- Ray (VE3FN)’s participation in the 10 GHz and Up contest was a success.
- ARRL June VHF contest: Bert invited other Club members to participate in the event. He set a schedule on 144 MHz FM.
- The Club has many VHF beacons located both at the Ottawa YMCA and on the property of one of our SK members. Much of the back-and-forth over the year has been directed to finding a place where the beacons will have a secure future. As we are the “West Carleton” Club, much of that effort has been directed at transferring them to the amataur radio group located at the “Cold War Museum” in Carp. Putting some beacons at a building which was built with so much attention to Radio Silence—it featured remote radio equipment connected by then-experimental fibre Optic cable—would be a fitting commemoration of the end of the Cold War.
- The negotiation have been going slowly, partly because the DARC Radio Group are dependant on the board of the Museum, which has had to be closed and not taking admission fees for much of the pandemic. This has that board being very careful about taking on any commitments.
- Much of the building is shut down when visitors are not present, and so our beacons will need a dedicated to be on all times outlet. An estimate of $1,685 plus tax to install a dedicated outlet was received.
- John (VA3JYK) visited the site, and took several pictures to help assess the site’s suitability.
- We will have to estimate the total power consumption of the beacons with the enclosure heaters turned on.
One of the highlights of many operators is a chance to visit a Hamfest, where old, non-working and unwanted equipment can be sold off and different equipment in unknown condition can be purchased. A Hamfest may be the only place where many of the uncommon parts and supplies can be seen before purchasing. Many of the traditional Hamfests in our area have been postponed, and so the fact that a few have managed to run is a reason to be happy.
- The Lanark Hamfest (August), the Hanover Hamfest (August) and the Barrie Hamfest (September) took place, and turned out to be successful events.
- The Kingston Hamfest (October) ended up being wet. It ended early due to a major thunderstorm.
The RAC website does have a listing of upcoming Hamfest events at https://secure.eton.ca/rac/events/upcoming.php. The RAC site shows that the Carp Hamfest is still planned to be held in September 2022. Another local possibility is the Iroquois Amateur Radio Club on April 2, 2022 if they are allowed to hold it; they have postponed it before because of COVID.
Show and Tell
Many of the members have been reaching into dusty corners, or the latest project areas to show us some of their Ham related treasures. Some highlights are:
- Bert (VE2ZAZ) showed a VHF contest logging software package he is putting together. The software package is available on GitHub or via the ve2zaz.net website: http://ve2zaz.net/VHF_QSO_Logger/VHF_Contest_Logger.htm
- Bert (VE2ZAZ) showed a TinySA $50 spectrum analyzer.
- Charles (VA3CPY) showed a Chinese-made semiconductor and passive component tester. It is available for less than $20, and it offers a surprising measurement accuracy.
- Bert (VE2ZAZ) showed a DC electronic load sold for about $20. He also showed a magnifying head band, which does not suit him.
- Peter (VE3PJ) showed his Signal Hound spectrum analyzer.
- There was an open discussion on working on the 23cm and 1.25m bands.
- Bert (VE2ZAZ) showed a Super-Pixie QRP CW transceiver, a 1-Watt, simple, cheap but effective radio.
- Charles (VA3CPY) showed a 2N3391A transistor from GE Canada (1964).
Like this year, the WCARC Club will face some uncertainty in the year ahead. Hopefully the group can find ways to have more activity while remaining safe.