Monday, 18 February 2013

RaDAR-America Contest

Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio, often referred to by its acronym RaDAR, is a concept for operating an amateur radio station anywhere, anytime and even in adverse environmental conditions. This concept supports the amateur radio service’s emergency communications mandate and ECOA is very pleased to support this excellent concept.
Marcus KD0JKM is organising a RaDAR-America Contest - an event aimed at promoting the use of Rapidly Deployable Amateur Radio stations throughout North and South America. This contest is for all licensed radio amateurs.

A choice is made prior to the contest to participate in one of the defined categories. The points system is so structured as to encourage portable operation, especially moveable stations.

This contest will take place at the same time in South Africa (the Nation from which the idea originated), as it will here in the Americas - the first Saturday of April (the 6th) and first Saturday of November (the 2nd) starting at 14:00 UTC and ending at 18:00 UTC (4 hours operating time)

For more information on the RaDAR-America Contest, visit the website HERE.
This is an outstanding opportunity to shake off the winter dust and test out your Go-Kits and portable antennas.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Greater Toronto Area ARES Nets

Amateur Radio stations anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area are invited to check into the evening nets of the Toronto ARES Group.  The nets begin with a call out to roll call stations but the Net Control Station (VE3NCS) will also issue a call for any station anywhere to check in.

All weeknight nets start at 8.00 PM.

The Net on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights is a SIMPLEX net on 147.405 MHz. You must transmit a PL tone of 103.5 hz.

The Monday night net is held on the VE3TNC repeater (147.270+) in downtown Toronto. No tone required.

The Wednesday night net is held on the VA3GTU repeater 4B (444.850+) in downtown Toronto. 103.5 tone required.

The Friday night net is held on the VA3GTU repeater 4C (443.750+) in Scarborough. 103.5 tone required.

On Saturday nights additional nets are held at 8.30 PM on repeater VE3RPT (147.060+) and at 9.00 PM on 6 Meter repeater VA3ECT (53.390-).

On Sunday evening three nets are held at 8 PM a net is held on the VE3BEG repeater (224.860-). At 8.30 PM a simplex net is held on 446.025 MHz. At 9.00 PM a 6 Meter simplex net is held on 52.525 MHz. None of these 3 nets require a tone.

At 5.30 PM on Sundays, the GTA Regional Net is held on the CN Tower repeater VE3TWR 145.410-(103.5) and 444.400+.

By participating in any of these nets you are putting your radio on the air and ensuring that it is working properly.  You are also informing all the other Amateur Radio Operators in Toronto that you are on the map. That you exist.

Being an Amateur Radio Operator means you talk on a radio with other Amateur Radio Operators.  Checking into the ARES Nets is your best easy way to do that on VHF and UHF.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Well Done!

Most emcomm groups take part in the ARRL Field Day, but how many take part in the SPAR Winter Field Day?  Being able to do your job in the cold or the heat is paramount, and the same is true in emcomm. 
Our emcomm groups in Eastern Ontario all took part in Winter Field Day this year, setting up for the weekend and erecting antennas in -16C weather.   Not only did these groups deploy to isolated locations, some with electricity, some with batteries, and operate for the full 24 hours, they had to live, sleep, and cook in those conditions as well.

This is Canada, not all of our emergencies will take place in good weather.  In fact statistics tell us we have a greater chance of being called out in the winter than we do in the summer.  How would your group do?
Well done to the Eastern Ontario groups who practiced their winter operating skills.  They are really living up to ECOA's motto: "Utrinque Paratus" - Ready for Anything.