How to get a 2 Letter Canadian Ham Call

Log into the Industry Canada website every night at midnight and do an availability search

If there is an available call sign then complete the application form and submit it to Industry Canada

In a few days they will send you an invoice for the application fee

Congratulations you now have a 2 letter call sign that at one time meant you are an advanced ham with morse code skills

Today, it means nothing!

My two letter callsign is hardly used as its on my repeater and I use my original call sign for on air use.

Be careful as there are others logging in every night to also get that elusive 2 letter call sign before you

QRP Frequency List – Worldwide

I was asked the other day by a local ham where the QRPers hang out as he wanted to slide his Icom 7300 down to 5 watts.

I have crystals for the 3580, 7040 and 14060 frequencies as thousands of QRPers have so expect that as a good starting point.



Bands Freq Mode Region
160m 1.810 CW  
1.815 CW VK
1.843 CW Europe
1.843 SSB Europe
1.910 SSB  
80m/75m 3.530 CW VK
3.540 CW US
3.560 CW  
3.690 SSB Europe
3.710 CW US Novice
3.985 SSB  
40m 7.003 CW Japan
7.028 CW VK
7.030 CW Europe & US
7.035 CW QRP-L
7.040 CW US
7.060 CW Europe
7.090 SSB Europe
7.110 CW US Novice
7.122 SSB  
7.285 SSB  
30m 10.106 CW  
10.116 CW  
20m 14.060 CW  
14.285 SSB  
17m 18.086 CW GQRP
18.096 CW  
18.130 SSB  
15m 21.060 CW  
21.110 CW US Novice
21.285 SSB Europe
21.385 SSB  
12m 24.906 CW  
24.950 SSB  
24.956 SSB
10m 28.060 CW  
28.110 CW US Novice
28.355 AM Japan
28.360 SSB Europe
28.365 SSB Europe
28.385 SSB US
28.995 AM Japan

The Truth about the $200 License Deal claimed by a local GTA ham

As falsely reported on and amd by a well known local radio spectrum operator known as Mr V

My friend Mr V approached me to help his friend Hughy out in Hamilton with a ham exam as there arent any local VEs

I said no its too far for me, have him come to Toronto

Mr V said it could not happen as Hughy does not have a car and he will not pick him up, bring him to Toronto and drive him back home

Several weeks later i get offered some money to do it

I said for the $100 I will drive 1 hour to Hamilton, conduct the exam for 2 hours, go for lunch and pay, drive an hour back home. That’s 5 hours of my time.

I was told several times to not contact Hughy or communicate with him as he has Asperger’s syndrome or some high anxiety issue and I would spook him out preventing him from being calm to write the exam


However, it turns out that Hughy told me that Mr V charged him $250 dollars for the exam. Well, the envelope from Mr V to me was $100. I have no idea where the $150 went or what it was for.

I had an agreement for $100 for 5 hours of my time to go out to hamilton to do this. It covered my gas, time, printing of exam, coffee and the lunch tab.

Normally, my fee is $20 but many were done free for the radio club or through the radio classes. I heard that some charge $50 for the exam but that is too much in my mind.

The last test I did was for $20 and it took two attempts   ….I still charged $20 for 3 hours of my time.

So I can honestly say that I do not charge $200 for exams, I have not licensed 16 hams for $200 and am very disappointed that my friend Mr V would make such accusations. This has nothing to do with the York Region ARC.

I have made several attempts to try to have a one on one conversation to better understand the false accusation but my meeting request was always refused.

Begging for money? Any smart person can see the tweet is a retweet from asking for hams to buy him a beer it is not me sending that.

Mr V continues his attacks against me and I am tired of his harassment and slanderous abuse.

I even got an email from my friend Mr V about his new website which surprised me but then I was not surprised about it. It did not show up on the hacked Twitter account @ve3twr and its brother @444group


Mark Smith <>

2:18 PM (22 hours ago)

to bcc: me
VA3HBO William Marquis stole my my domain name and call sign.
He has made a fake website that’s full of untruths.
He has stolen my intellectual property
I have reported this to Toronto Police and The RCMP
Please do not read the web site.

I went to the fake website to see what was going on. I can only imagine that this will continue until Mr V decides to stop his abuse against me but in the meantime I continue to defend myself against his slanderous and libel remarks and attacks. He now uses the name Mark Smith as an alias among others. I am now confused how he created another website to promote his blogs.

He has a target goal of 4000 hits a day on the ve3twr hate crime websites. which will earn him over $4000 a month in Google adclicks and pay-per-click affiliates revenue. So his hatred is clearly drievn by revenue generation.

He switched his traffic from the blogspot domain after Google shut it down for violation of its rules due to the harmful and harassment nature of the content.

Please Mr V I ask you again to “Cease and Desist” your slanderous, Libel, Cyber Libel and Harassment against me and my family.

I understand this hatred that started with TFMCS staff has propagated to more hams in the community and dragged me into the mix.

I valued our friendship the past few years and can proudly say that I was able to learn from you the good things about our hobby and how to be a better parent to children. You helped me strengthen my faith with God and I will always be thankful for that.

God will forgive you and allow you to repent and heal your soul so you can spend more time with your girlfriend and her children.

God loves you with all his heart and blesses you and is trying hard to take you from the clutches of Satan.

We will continue to pray for you and hope that one day you make a honourable decision.

God Bless you and your family








30 Meter Ham Band – Why Forgotten?

30 Meters, (10.100 – 10.150) MHz

30 Meters is a relatively unknown WARC band. It also is a narrow band with only 50 KHz of bandwidth available. Many hams don’t operate on this band.

It is also an excellent DX band and has propagation in between 20m and 40m. The modes allowed are CW and Digital modes and also a popular QRP band. QRP activity can be found around 10.106 and 10. 116 MHz

Give 30m a try and you may just be surprised as to the DX that can worked on and it’s relatively QRM free.

Also there are some great CW transceiver kits for this band for the builders out there looking for a weekend project.

New Elecraft ax1 Antenna

I received an email from Wayne N6KR Yesterday related to a new antenna system that will be offered by Elecraft later this year. It was announced at Pacificon today

The AX1 is a dual-band (20 and 17 meter) compact antenna system based on an optimized 2-piece whip. It intended for use with lightweight transceivers such as the Elecraft KX2 an KX3 that are equipped with an internal antenna tuner. The AX1 can be configured for HT-style or right-angle use as shown below.

it should be able to be used also with other qrp rigs and an antenna tuner

This makes for an interesting anteena for field ops and SOTA work.

no idea on price but lets assume $60-$80

Its a 4 foot base loaded whip.

This will make an nice addition to the kx3 for portable operations.

see attached

Elecraft AX1 FAQ, rev. F

County Comm GP-5 SSB Travel Radio

The guys at County Comm have an excellent shortwave portable that offer lw/mw/sw/fm coverage in a nice small form factor. It come well equipped and makes a great travel or hand held monitoring radio. It runs off 3 AA batteries and can charge nicads with a 5v jack just like on your cellphone.

I am very pleased with the purchase and do wish it had a keypad but that may be in a newer model but with the ETM tuning it may not be a big deal but is more so for ham listening.

I did some quick tests with the AN-200 loop antenna when i got home and that worked well along with the loop antenna accessory for MW.

As promised i would blog for county comm stickers (hi hi )

No need to read for 7 pages when you just go buy one and enjoy the radio for monitoring signals especially SSB.


case, mw loop, earbuds and longwire antenna complete the go kit.

picks up cw like its designed to do and it does it well

WWV and WWVH on 15. I also heard the 25Mhz signal blasting in as well

SOTA Summit W6/NC-298 Vollmer Peak Summit Report- 581 Meters Elevation

SOTA Summit W6/NC-298 Vollmer Peak Summit Report-  581 Meters Elevation

After activating San Bruno and a trip to the Oakland HRO I made my way through heavy Friday traffic to Tilden Regional Park. I found out later I could have driven up (which would have saved me some time) but due to another hiker giving me false information I ended up hiking from the parking lot. The summit is on the left side of the Seaview trail as you make your way up. You will see the commercial antenna towers as you walk up. The hike was wonderful with views of Mount Diablo to the East across the valley and I could feel the elevation gain.

Again, I used my Yaesu FT-817, Elecraft T1, Chameleon MPAS Antenna and my Icom 92AD. I had the ability to toss a water bottle up into the trees and run a IPS Marconi NVIS configuration.

I made 2m FM simplex contacts using the handheld and the FT817 using the 5/8 whip.

A repeat contact with Dave WB6DTB who patiently was monitoring 52 waiting for me to summit and start the round of CQ calls.



Mount Diablo in the East


The Chameleon Hybrid Micro MPAS

I had the wonderful chance to work another SOTA summiteer Steve WD4CFN for a contact over 400 miles using 5 watts SSB who was at Combs Peak W6/SD-011.

Lesson learned was that the Mountain Topper radio needs to be on a set up like the SotaBeam FlightDeck and that some sort of antenna throw bag is needed in case you drink the water in the water bottle that is used to get the wire in the air. Better yet the Canadian antenna launcher aka Hockey Puck would have been ideal. Also, RF from the nearby commercial radio equipment could be a factor and in my case, it did not seem to be an issue.

Wire antennas are a problem if if there is no support so a vertical could start to make sense. Antenna efficiency is key when running SSB as many hams don’t bother with weak signals as intelligibility is an issue where with morse code its not a problem.

Due to the traffic of a Friday afternoon in the valley and the evacuation of the forest fires in the Santa Rosa area (there were 4 complex fires causing damage and loss of life) I chose to skip the Mount Davidson Summit and instead make the 1-hour trip to Pacifica beach instead and hope that traffic would not be an issue.


A great memorable summit and another chance to play radio out in the wild.

vollmer peak sota log

SOTA Summit W6/CC-072 San Bruno Mountain Summit Report – 401 Meters Elevation

SOTA Summit W6/CC-072 San Bruno Mountain Summit Report – 401 Meters Elevation

It dawned on me that California is blessed with a lot of SOTA Summits all do-able and accessible by car. The plan was to attempt San Bruno, the HRO store, Vollmer Peak, Mount Davidson and Mount Tamalpais then low tide at Pacifica Beach then fly out of SFO.

I had the good fortune to activate this previously activated summit as a shake-out test to try out various set ups. It is also close to San Francisco and is an easy drive up to the summit which can simplify things when on a tight schedule.

I was concerned about the air quality due to the Santa Rosa fires North of the site but it did not seem to be a problem. I could easily see the intense smog/haze due to the smoke and ash particles from the fires. I realized later when I was at HRO that there was indeed ash in the air at street level. However, higher up the air was cleaner as ash would settle towards the lower elevations. After a week in the Bay area I didn’t smell the smoke as I had gotten used to it.

I was not able to connect with a Santa Rosa ham on 52 who was calling out but he did get a relay and had some traffic regarding the forest fires that destroyed that city this week. I chose to make quick contacts and allow long gaps for any break ins with emergency ARES traffic.

I already knew from Rex’s report (KE6MT) and his expert guidance that placing an antenna without trees was going to be an issue and my taped up doweling I got from the local store was too flimsy but you can see a sign post did the trick. The height still sucked but I still managed a contact on HF but ended up focussing on 2m FM. I could hear them on 20m and 40m but the 5 watts was still weak on a band that was acting like a yo yo with lots of QSB. The A index was 9 and the K index was 2. The best approach was to try to check into the west coast nets among the kilowatters. I had success but when they called out the QSB hit and the band started sliding. They were all pounding in on 20m and 40m. I hoped to make more contacts on SSB but that will need better band conditions and a vertical antenna to get some skip distance. The antenna right now was a sad NVIS configuration.

I still enjoyed the summit and had a chance to learn valuable lessons in being better prepared and organized. The somewhat obscured views of the Transamerica building were great but alas I could not see Alcatraz island or the Golden Gate bridge.


I used my Yaesu FT-817, Elecraft T1, Chameleon MPAS Antenna and my Icom 92AD. I did not have time for the Mountain Topper Radio and the Emtech ZM-2 for cw contacts.

I made 2m FM simplex contacts using the handheld and the FT817 using the 5/8 whip.



The longest was to San Jose at about 40 miles line of site using 5 watts

I gave up trying to use the Mountain Topper radio with the newly acquired Emtech ZM-2 (thanks to Steve WG0AT).

I couldn’t spot myself either as I needed an account password. (Lesson Learned)

This summit also offers views of planes landing and taking off at SFO with many Dreamliner’s making the trek between SFO and APAC airports.

Bob W7TE running the net

As a bonus the State Park also qualifies for a Parks on The Air (POTA) KFF-1196 activation.

Ok off to HRO in Oakland for lunch and picking up some items.


John Leonardelli VE3IPS/W6

san bruno sota log


New Japanese DMR Radio – Alinco DJ-MD40

Excellent news for the DMR community with the release of a Japanese ham radio manufacturer supporting DMR with a new radio.

I had a chance to demo the Alinco radio at the Oakland HRO store. It has good solid feel and some great features worthy of purchase. This would be a great way for a Tytera user looking to upgrade their radio to something that is more robust.

As the growth of DMR continues so does the choice of radios which is an excellent story. The other digital modes lock the buyer into single brands with few choices where in DMR one has many choices to choose from. The radio offers a recording function that I did not try out but the display was crisp and the radio had the rugged feel to it. Take note this is built to commercial standards and is available at a ham friendly price.

alinco dmr

alinco dmr2.jpg

Motorola = Vertex

Jan 1, 2018 Motorola Solutions and Vertex Standard will join forces under the Motorola Solutions brand.
Vertex Standard models rebranded as Motorola Solutions: VX-260 Series, VX-450 Series, VX-2100 and VX-2200 mobiles, EVX-261 and EVX-S24

No word on the 6550 being released with a japanese manual