Friday, 21 December 2012

Important ECOA Announcement - January 1st, 2013

I am pleased to announce the following changes in ECOA, effective Jan 1st, 2013.

Bob Gammon, VA3RX, is moving on to become ECOA Provincial Coordinator.

Bob has been the President of ECOA for the last two years.

Bob was an Ontario certified Paramedic for 38 years covering Muskoka and Windsor.

He was instrumental in getting the Province of Ontario Minister James Snow to let amateurs have their call sign on the vehicle plates. The first call went to Bob, VE3ACL in June 1976.

His emcomm experience is as follows, EC for South West Ontario, 2 years, DEC for South west for 2 years. ARES Emergency Coordinator for Ontario 7 years, and founding President of ECOA for 2 years.

I know Bobs Experience will help him in his new job as the ECOA Provincial Coordinator.

Bill Nangle, VE3CLQ, becomes the new President of ECOA.

Bill has worked for the Canadian Forces since 1974. He was first licensed in 2000.

He was a member of West Coast Amateur Radio ECT in Victoria, BC, for several years, and a member of the CFB Esquimalt Base Amateur Radio Club.

He was appointed EC for Frontenac County ARES in September 2006, and appointed AEC Admin for Frontenac County Emcomm in September 2009. Bill was re-appointed EC for Frontenac County Emcomm in September 2011, and is currently the Vice President of ECOA.  Bill lives in Kingston Ontario.

We wish them all the best for 2013 and I am sure they will be busy in their new positions.

Russ Hemphill- VE3FI                                                          
Vice President ECOA


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Merry Christmas

The Executive, Directors, and Members of ECOA would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas,
and a Happy New Year.

May 2013 bring much joy and happiness to you and your family.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

ECOA HF Digital Net

ECOA is pleased to announce that starting Monday, December 3rd, 2012, we will be starting an HF Digital Net.

The Digital Net will be on Olivia 8/500 USB, and use 3.615 +/- 5Kc. 

The net will start at 1930 EDT.

ECOA is committed to bringing excellence to Emcomm work, and this is the first of several new Emcomm nets ECOA is planning to bring on line. 

Please support Emcomm in Ontario.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012


ECOA will be starting back on Sunday nights doing a Emcom Net from 2000 local to 2030 local on the ECOA IRLP reflector 9035.
We also will be starting an HF net, likely in the new year once we work on a frequency that will go on year round.

60 Meter news.  After Industry Canada called for input to the new 60 meter band, we are still waiting for them to make a decision on when it will go back to normal call signs, what power and how many new channels will we have.  It looks like they will let this lapse on March 31st, and if they dont have it worked out by then the will ask for more money for another year to operate with the special  VX9 calls.
The band is working well now that the summer is behind us, and I have been making calls into the UK as well as South America.  Its a very interesting band that is similar to 40 and 80 meters.

Russ Hemphill VE3FI

Monday, 19 November 2012

Hurricane Sandy Report

October 29th saw the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on the US Eastern seaboard, and a pile of bad weather heading for Ontario.  The Environment Canada weather forecast was calling for sustained winds of 70 kph, gusting 90 to 100 kph and heavy rain.

During Frontenac Emcomm Team Sunday evening net, Phil KB5AMQ, the EC for Jefferson County NY ARES Group, based in Watertown, checked in to pass along the details of their plans so we would be aware of them, and able to liaise with them if needed. 
Plans were quickly put into place after the Frontenac Emcomm net for the following day and a general email was sent out to all members with the details.  It was decided that a listening watch would commence at 0800 Local on Monday, and we would monitor the VE3FRG, VE3KBR and Watertown repeaters as well as the National Hurricane Center HF frequencies.
The storm watch net started on time and within an hour we were monitoring the repeaters and had set up a up a digital network with several local stations in case it was required.  We also monitored the weather radar service which kept us all very well informed throughout the day and evening. 

At 1037L an email was received from our County CEMC asking what contingency plans the team had in place for the storm.  Our EC responded to the email and laid out what we had done so far, and what the plans were for the rest of the storm period.
Starting at 1100L a full time watch was put on the National Hurricane Centre net on 7.268, and continued to do so until about 2100L.  The HF net on 7.268 was almost non-stop with stations checking in passing details of their current weather and personal situations.  Some of it was very hard to listen to, and it was equally hard to imagine what our fellow hams were going through down there.

The wind in Frontenac County did not pick up till mid-afternoon and it continued throughout most of the night.  Here in Kingston the biggest wind gust we saw was 86 kph.  Throughout the day and night we saw very little rain at all.

Eventually when we realized that it was not going to be as bad as first advertised by Environment Canada, we shut down the net at about 2359L.

Many thanks to VE3VJF, VE3SIW, VE3FCT, VE3GO, VE3DZE, VA3TBZ, VE3KFS, VE3GWS, VE3HGO, VE3ULC, VE3BLR, VE3MNE, VA3TIC, VE3HRW, VA3DAC, VE3MUD and VA3ORP, for taking the time to standby on frequency and being ready to help out if needed.

New Blog

For those of you looking to see who's on the bands, have a look at this new Blog site:  This blog is there to help those hams who like to activate islands, and lighthouses, get the word out on their mini-DXpeditions.

It's a lot of work to get to some of these places. Give a listen and work them when you can, it'll take your mind off of winter.

Friday, 6 July 2012

The EMCOMM TIMES July-August Edition

Welcome to our first attempt to produce an ECOA Newsletter. We hope that the presence of the newsletter will start to help us build a better organization and bind us all together.
Of course it can only be as good as the input we get from you, the members, so please send us a note, no matter how big or small, on what you or your group have been up to. We would love to know.

For the rest of the letter which is great reading go to ECOA.CA  and look for Emcomm Times,  you will be glad you did.,

Great work Bill

Russ VE3FI

60 Meter Update

Industry Canada has responded to my questions about what we can and cant do on this new Developemental license.
As promised and further to our discussion, here is the Department's further response regarding this issue.


Russ Hemphill, VE3FI
Halliburton, ON

Mr. Hemphill,
Thank you for your query regarding the current regulations governing the operation of radio stations licensed in the Developmental Service and utilizing frequencies within the 60 Metre radio band.
Authority for the use of this band in Canada is currently granted by means of a Radio Station Licence in the Developmental Service and is valid for operations within Canada only. Although this authority requires the possession of a valid Canadian Amateur Radio Operator's Certificate (with at least a BASIC with Honours qualification) and permits communications with other Amateur Radio stations that have been authorized by their respective countries' administrations, radio stations in the Developmental Service are not considered to be operating within the Canadian Amateur Radio Service.
Canadian radio stations that have been authorized to operate within the 60 Metre band by means of a Radio Station Licence in the Developmental Service, may not operate within the USA under the Canada/USA reciprocal agreement as the agreement applies only to the use of frequencies that have been authorized under both the Canadian and the USA Amateur Radio Service.
As the 60 Metre radio band is currently not authorized for use within the Canadian Amateur Radio Service, Canadian Amateur Radio stations may not operate within this band under the authority of their Amateur Radio Operator's Certificate. Communications with these stations should be refused and the operators advised that they are in violation of their Amateur Radio Operator's Certificate.
Further, as the 60 Metre radio band is currently unavailable for use by Canadian Amateur Radio operators, it is also unavailable for the use of operators visiting Canada, from the USA, or other foreign administrations.
The comment period for the proposed inclusion of the 60 Metre radio band within the Canadian Amateur Radio Service has now closed and the Department is presently evaluating the proposal.
This response reflects the current regulations governing the use of this band.
I trust that this has provided the answer to your query.

Alan McLean
Spectrum Management Officer | Agent, Gestion du spectre
Spectrum Management Operations Branch | Direction générale des opérations de la gestion du spectre
Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications Sector | Secteur du Spectre, des technologies de l'information et des télécommunications

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Field Day 2012

From the ARRL website.......

ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada.  Each year over 35,000 amateurs gather with their clubs, friends or simply by themselves to operate.

ARRL Field Day is not a fully adjudicated contest, which explains much of its popularity.  It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, most groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities.  It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to local elected community leaders, key individuals with the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public. For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar.

So, what's your group doing next weekend????

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Newest Ham

ECOA would like to send their congratulations to Aaron Wiik, VE3UDA, who has passed his Basic Amateur Radio Exam this week at the ripe old age of 10 years old!! 

It is very ironic that young Aaron should pass the exam at the young age of 10.  Currently there is a ham, in Ontario, who is trying to convince RAC to re-open the Foundation License talks of several years ago.

For those of you not aware of what a Foundation License is, they are currently available in the UK and Australia, and to get one you need to pass an extremely dumbed down version of our current Basic Exam, but you still get HF privileges....which is more than you get on our Basic License.....does that sound fair?

Anyway, it's a moot point.  The whole argument from the gentleman in Barrie is based upon the fact that he thinks the current exams are too difficult, and that ham radio should be available to all......we guess he doesn't understand that's what CB is for.

The ECOA point of view is that if a 10 year old can knuckle under and study and pass the Basic Exam, then surely a 30 year old can do the same....without dumbing it down any more than it currently is!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

60 Meter Update

Our National Group has asked various operators to comment on the 60 Meter Consultation Bulletin in the previous blog.  However they have put it to us that they want us to go with, what they would like to have.
 As far as I am concerned we can all make up our own minds,  review the data, and comment as we see it.  I have researched what other countries are doing, in terms of bandwidth, power settings, amount of channels, operating modes, ect.
 I have listened on this new band, talked to 100s of amateurs from all over Canada, Usa, Europe, and some southern islands.  Industry Canada normally gives this a longer time period before they put out a consultation.  This means that they are in a hurry to get this development license turned back to a regular one for all the amateurs.  When this closes on June 12, they will post all the reviews they recieved from the amateurs ect, then they will work on it and give us a decision some time later this fall.
 I have sent in a submission which is more agressive than others,.  As Canadian Amateurs we should look in the future, and not follow old ideas, as others want us to,  as this hobby and technology is changing rapidly. 
 So lets put in agressive ideas, as we will only get one shot at this.  Take a look at what other countries are doing,  put it all together, and you will come up with solutions that will benefit Canadian Amateurs,   Yes we can think for ourselves.


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Industry Canada Announcement on 60meter band

Notice from Industry Canada re 60meter Assignment

Notice No. SMSE-010-12

The purpose of this notice is to announce the release of the above-mentioned document, which initiates a consultation on the addition of a footnote to the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations to allow the amateur radio service to operate on six frequencies in the 5 MHz range on a no-protection, no-interference basis. Industry Canada is also consulting on possible amendments to Regulation by Reference RBR-4, Standards for the Operation of Radio Stations in the Amateur Radio Service. These amendments specify emission designators, transmit power and occupied bandwidth for amateur radio service transmissions on these frequencies.
— Consultation on Changes to the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations and to RBR-4 to Allow for Amateur Radio Service Use in the 5 MHz Band.

In 2010, the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) approached Industry Canada and requested the use of five centre frequencies in the 5 MHz band, namely 5332 kHz, 5348 kHz, 5358.5 kHz, 5373 kHz and 5405 kHz. The RAC stated that the use of these frequencies would allow for more reliable communications during emergency operations. The RAC indicated that the propagation characteristics in the 5 MHz frequency range allow for both local and interprovincial communications.

The RAC highlighted that the U.S. amateur radio community has access to these frequencies and that harmonizing frequency use would allow Canadian radio amateurs to conduct regional emergency communications on a coordinated basis with U.S. radio amateurs. The RAC noted that many administrations around the world have authorized radio amateurs to use the frequency 5405 kHz.

The RAC also requested the use of two additional frequencies, 5319 kHz and 5329 kHz, for Canadian domestic use. After conducting a review of domestic and international use of the frequency 5319 kHz, Industry Canada determined that this frequency is unavailable for use by the amateur radio service in Canada.

This consultation provides an opportunity to comment on the use of six frequencies in the 5 MHz band by the amateur radio service and the associated technical rules for these frequencies.
Submitting comments

Respondents are requested to submit their comments in electronic format (WordPerfect, Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF) to the following email address:, along with a note specifying the software, version number and operating system used.

Written submissions should be addressed to the Manager, Mobile Systems, Industry Canada, 300 Slater Street, 19th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C8.

All submissions should cite the Canada Gazette, Part , the publication date, the title and the notice reference number (SMSE-010-12). To ensure consideration, parties should submit their comments no later than 30 days after the date of publication (June 12, 2012). Soon after the close of the comment period, all comments received will be posted on Industry Canada’s Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Web site at
Obtaining copies

Copies of this notice and of documents referred to herein are available electronically on Industry Canada’s Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Web site at

Official versions of Canada Gazette notices can be viewed at Printed copies of the Canada Gazette can be ordered by telephoning the sales counter of Publishing and Depository Services at 613-941-5995 or 1-800-635-7943.

May 4, 2012
Director General
Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch

Friday, 11 May 2012

Canwarn Update No. 3

Canwarn training has now been completed in a number of locations in Southwestern and Southcentral Ontario.

The attendance has been up at almost every venue from numbers we have seen in recent years. Great to see many familiar faces and also to meet new volunteers. This training release now includes the dates/times/venues for the Northwestern Ontario training as well as a correction to the Belleville training (starts at 10 AM not 9 AM) and the addition of a training session in Renfrew on June 6th. Also the start times for the Timmins session (6:30 PM) and the Temiskaming Shores session (6 PM) have been added to the list below after being accidentally omitted on Release 2.

I will be sending out another email in a couple of weeks with a reporting tip sheet and list of useful storm spotting websites once our summer students have had a chance to input the large number of new volunteers into the database.

Please find following the remaining CANWARN training sessions for the spring of 2012.

May 16 – Dufferin County – 7 PM Dufferin County Museum, Highway 89 and Airport Road in Mulmur

May 26 – Belleville – 10 AM – Belleville Library Conference Room, 254 Pinnacle St

May 26 – Sudbury – 9 AM – Lionel E. Lalonde Centre, 239 Montee Principale in Azilda

May 27 – Espanola – 1 PM – Pinewood Inn – 378 Centre St.

May 27 – Elliot Lake – 7 PM – Renaissance Centre, 20 Veterans Way

May 28 – Sault Ste Marie – 7 PM – Delta Sault Ste Marie, 208 St. Mary’s Drive

May 29 – Timmins – 6:30 PM – Timmins Inn and Suites, 1800 Riverside Drive

May 30 – Temiskaming Shores – 6 PM – College Boreal, 280 Armstrong St.

May 31 – North Bay – 6:30 PM - North Bay Public Library, 271 Worthington

June 4 – Thunder Bay – 7 PM - Room 196 Shuniah Building, Confederation College, William and Edward St.

June 5 – Atikokan – 7 PM - Atikokan Fire Hall, 101 Goodwin St.

June 6 – Fort Frances/Emo – 7 PM - Lavallee Community Centre in Emo, 78 Colonization Road

June 6 – Renfrew – 6:30 PM – Best Western, 760 Gibbons Road

June 7 – Kenora – 7 PM – Fire and Emergency Services Facility and Regional Training Centre, 100 14th Street North

June 11 – Dryden – 7 PM – Dryden Fire Services Training Room – 189 Colonization Avenue

Geoff Coulson
Warning Preparedness Meteorologist |
Météorologue de sensibilisation aux conditions menaçantes
Ontario Region Client Services |
Service à la clientèle, Région de l'Ontario
Environment Canada | Environnement Canada
Goverment of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada
4905 Dufferin St | 4905 rue Dufferin
Toronto, ON M3H 5T4

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

60 Meter News by Russ Hemphill VX9GHD

Its been over a month now that the new developmental 60 meter band has been opened up the Canadian Amateurs. The first couple of nights that I was on, I had a pileup from the USA, wanting to get another country for this Band.  They were very polite and eager to talk to Canadians and are hopeful more will come on in the future.  At the moment we only have about ten amateurs on in Ontario and Quebec.  Not all the licensed amateurs have been able to get on the air yet.  I know more are coming on soon, once they recieve their license and get an antenna for the 5 channels we are on. 
 The band is works well when is not noisy, which is has been for the last couple of days.  I have managed to talk into England, Ireland, Spain, and the Bahamas. 
 Hopefully we will here more amateurs across Canada in the next few weeks.   I will keep updating the blog with more information as it comes in.  
 So if you here me on  give me a call.
73s   Russ VX9GHD

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Update - Bill 118

On April 16, 2012, the MTO posted a regulatory notice proposing a change to Ontario Regulation # 366/09 (Display Screens and Hand-Held Devices) that would extend the current exemption for licenced amateur radio operators for an additional five years.

As you know, the exemption was due to expire at the end of this calendar year, and radio amateurs in Ontario have been lobbying their provincial members of parliament for a permanent exemption ever since this regulation was introduced back in 2009. Radio amateurs across Ontario will continue to provide comments to the Road User Safety Branch of MTO on this issue and will continue to press until we get a permanent exemption.

However, a 5-year extension is certainly welcome at this point in time, but is not the ultimate resolution that we have been seeking.

The only other group to obtain an extension are commercial, public transit, and public function drivers.

You can view the notice in the provincial registry at:

ECOA welcomes this news and requests that amateurs in Ontario continue to use common sense while driving and using their mobile radios, and that they keep constant pressure on the MTO for a permanent exemption.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

New ECOA Website

ECOA is pleased to announce that as we continue to grow and develop, we have moved our website to it's very own domain name.

Our website can now be found at  Pay us a visit!!

Friday, 6 April 2012

ECOA - "To Serve and Communicate"

ECOA is building EmComm leadership for Public Safety and Service in Ontario.  This is your opportunity to consider joining our new Provincial Association with all the following benefits of membership available at one low cost annual fee.

1. Blanket liability Insurance coverage with no conditions.

2. Effective online Amateur Radio and EmComm training material and resources.

3. Government funding and grants to upgrade communications networks.

4. The latest EmComm news events available on two online websites and also a
linked Blog for comments and postings related to Emergency Communications.

5. Free website hosting for EmComm Chapters and Groups throughout Ontario.

6. Free e-mail alias server, your callsign @

Chart your volunteer EmComm future with ECOA and enjoy community and
public service planning with coordination that will keep Ontario on the leading edge of Emergency Communications technology today and tomorrow.

R. Gammon. VA3RX.
ECOA President and Provincial Emergency Coordinator

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Congratulations to Russ - VX9GHD !!!

History was made yesterday as Industry Canada issued its first license on the new 60 meter developmental band, VX9GHD to VE3FI Russ Hemphill of Haliburton, Ontario.

Canadians have been waiting for 3 years for this new opportunity to join the USA, and Britain.  Russ-VE3FI, the Vice President for Administraion of ECOA, tells us that 60m is badly needed for Emergency Communications, especially when conditions on 40 and 80 are not suitable for transmitting or receiving traffic.

This experimental license is valid for one year.  After the one year period 60m will then be open for regular use by all Canadian amateurs using their own call sign.

Any Canadian amateur can apply for this new experimental license by sending in an application to Industry Canada with $52.80 upon approval.  Details available on the IC website.

Well done to Russ and ECOA for making this HUGE first step for Canadian hams!!!

Dayton Hamvention® 2012

It's coming up on May 18-20 2012.
The Dayton Hamvention is closing vast, so get you tickets online now and save $$$ at the gate. 
If you want to know more here is the site   hope to see you there as I know some of the Directors of ECOA and members will be there, looking for bargains .