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.