2022-09-15 mk’s Word – A Plethora of Topics

Lots going on this month.

Let there be light …

We did the lighthouse thing. The antenna was good. The propagation was great but we didn’t hear many lighthouses on the air. Managed to work a bunch of other stations with great difficulty, since they were in a contest we didn’t know about. Getting an exchange across was a challenge, since neither side knew what the other wanted. And by the way, we did manage to work ONE other lighthouse station. On the plus side, we had a great lunch in Arnprior.

The 160 antenna

All I did on the 160 antenna was to move the coupling loop to the roof, and I found a bit more lumber. I should be working on it now, since the rain has started again.

The winter 160m CW contests

Speaking of 160, regular readers will know I join with a bunch of others to do the winter 160m CW contests as the multi-op VE2OJ crew. The ARRL contest is 2200Z Dec 2-1600Z Dec 4 and the CQ contest is 2200Z Jan 27-2159Z Jan 29 2023. With one of the gang taking a sabbatical, we are looking for another operator.

More specifically, we are looking for ops that love CW to join the existing team, spending a weekend at a Québec cottage in December and January. VE2OJ has a 40+ year colourful history of competing in these contests. We balance seriously contesting with a lot of weekend fun.


  • Excellent CW skills (we’ll settle for “good” since they will improve)
  • Gets along with others (we’ll settle for non violent)
  • Can supply at least one meal without poisoning anyone.(the fridge and microwave work)
  • Has their own cot/air mattress/sleeping bag (floor space is limited)

Nice to have:

  • Knowledge of 160m propagation and contest strategy
  • Able to use N1MM without training wheels after some practice
  • Desire to experience top band without an urban noise floor

Let me know if this describes you. A lot of information about the contesting team and its history can be found here: https://www.qrz.com/db/VE2OJ

Interested persons should reach out to Craig, VE3OP at ve3op@rac.ca.

More dits and dahs …

Still on CW, the POT LID NET is back. This time on 6m, 50.090 at 19:30 local on Sundays. If you are into brushing up on your skills but don’t want to show off to the world, it’s the place for you. A 6m dipole or ground plane will fit in a window, and you don’t need a ton of power to get around town.

OARC Hamfest 2022

I expect there will be lots more said about the hamfest elsewhere but here’s what I saw.

On Friday we had more volunteers than I remember, and they weren’t all the same volunteers as in past years. I managed to retrieve a two wheeled dolly that I forgot there the last time we had a hamfest, in 2019. On Saturday, as usual, I didn’t get out to the “trading floor” much because I had a total of NINE exams to conduct. Two got their morse qualification, One got a Basic, Two others got Basic with Honours and one previous basic holder got an upgrade to Basic with Honours. Unfortunately three didn’t make it. That often happens with candidates who “Just want to try it” We will see some of them again, with a better result, I’m sure. I was a little surprised there were no Advanced candidates but it turns out that one of them was too busy at the flea market tables to get around to writing, so will be doing that at the Radio in the Park on the 17th at Walter Baker Park.

RITP, ARDF, and other FLAs …

This year, instead of bringing out one of my HF rigs to Radio in the Park on the 17th, I will give the DF challenge a try. Time to see what’s new in ARDF.

And finally …

Just days after the hamfest, there was another request for a Basic test. The candidate managed a rare 100% using https://www.ylab.ca/radioclass/ and flash cards to study. Impressive.

Other than that, the two metre nets that went quiet over the summer are back, and the short sleeve days are mostly behind us. It won’t be long before we start looking at trees without all those pesky leaves on them, to see where the next antenna should go.


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