On December 18, 2023, Charles MacDonald (VA3CPY) delivered this Annual Report:

The West Carleton Club had an interesting and productive year, with the successful completion of some long-standing projects.

Perhaps the biggest accomplishment was the finish line to the relocation of the Club’s beacon transmitters to the centre of West Carleton. Although we also managed to increase the visibility of the club at various ham shows in the area, and also had a good result in the June VHF contest, in spite of again working from our second-choice location. The centre in Corkery was again unavailable, and it does have a location close to the boundary of several grid squares.

Back in January, we noted that the 903 and 1296 MHz beacons, which at the time were on the roof of the downtown YMCA, were not working. That would take up a good deal of interest from the Club, and members of other clubs. It would also become a major project for Bert (VE2ZAZ).

By March we had confirmed that the Beacons were NOT working and Bert started to make arrangements for access to the site. In April we learned that Phil Lytle VE3HOA had offered to assist, as he was working on a repeater at the same site. He moved our 1296 units to his location and made some repairs. The power supply was not working on the 903 beacon when Phil visited. By August, Bert was accompanied by Phil Lytle (VE3HOA) and Phil St-Germain (VE3CIQ) to complete the removal and recovery of our beacons from the YMCA.

After rewriting the software on the controllers for the beacons, Bert (VE2ZAZ), Phil Lytle (VE3HOA), and Nick Shepherd (VE3OWV) installed our 903.360 MHz and 1296.060 MHz CW beacons at the Diefenbunker site. The software is stored on the Club’s GitHub site should we require any further changes.

In January, we noted that the Club was in need of a 432 Mhz Yagi antenna. Bert reached out to Ken (VA3KA). Ken graciously donated the antenna, and Remi (VA3DRI) arranged to transport it to the contest site. After the contest, Bert took charge of the unit, and was planning to make some improvement in the VSWR for next summer.

The Club also started to look into the creation of Member badges to be used at ham Shows and while doing activities like POTA activations. Ordering was opened for the badges in March, at an initial cost of 10 dollars each. The first batch was received by May, and it was suggested that this may be an annual event.

By April, the planning of the VHF contest was well under way, with a revised web page courtesy of Clayton (VE3IRR), who was also hard at work contacting some of the hams who had worked in the rover mode on previous contests. By this time Bert had already started to confirm our antennas, which were at Ray Burrell (VE3BVV)’s location. By the end of the contest we had 400 QSOs and 173 multipliers. The submitted score is 111,066. The Contest did give the Club an article in the local community paper “West Carleton Online.”

The Club retrieved the tower sections that it owns from VA3KA, and the usable ones have once again been stored at VE3BVV’s location. The Club provided a financial contribution to help offset the cost of transporting and storing the equipment to Ray.

In July we had an inquiry about providing advice on emergency communications to a local emergency preparedness committee, although the event did not take place.

The Club with the enthusiastic help of Mike (VA3TEC) put on a demonstration of digital ham television at the Carp hamfest. It is hoped that we may be in a position to plan for other demonstrations at the upcoming ham shows.

One of the amazing things about the WCARC is the diversity of the various presentations over the year.

  • Digital Amateur Television (DATV)
  • Modernizing the HyGain TailTwister rotator controller
  • Amateur VHF/UHF/Microwave Weak Signal Communications
  • A summary of the Microwave Update 2023 and 46th Eastern VHF/UHF conference
  • ARTEN Project - New England Mesh Networking
  • Introduction to Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA)
  • INTRFIL - Round rod inter-digital filtering construction software
  • 47 GHz 3D-printed parabolic dish feeds
  • Carleton University Aerospace/Aerophysics Radio Club cubesat project

It was decided that Peter (VA3PJ) should be awarded a Lifetime membership in the Club.

Also the Club lost a lifetime member this year, Kieran Shepherd (VA3KS) activated the POTA VE-1581 Pinhey Forest Conservation Reserve (CA-ON) on November 23, 2023. The next day he became a silent key. Which again reminds us that you should never put off until later what you want to do today.