Police Car Antennas

How many antennas can you spot on this San Francisco Police cruiser??




DMR Presentation

Andre VE3WZW has given a presentation on DMR from an experts point of view. Many know Andre as the Father of DMR in the GTA as one of the original experimenters on this mode. He is also the Founder of the DMR TRanscanada net promoted good will and technical discussions across Canada.

Andre has developed countless code plugs for the different radios to assist new hams being able to get on the air quickly.

DMR has been growing at a rapid pace with double digit growth as many hams can get on the air with a hotspot and a entry level radio for under $250. The ability to make contacts around the world from a home, hotel room and even your car using a hotspot is incredible.

Check out his website and a link to the presentation.




International Marconi Day: GB4IMD Saturday, April 21, 2018


Further information is available from various Marconi websites and this one is a good start



Dayton (Xenia) 2018 Hamfest – AirPlanes

Please note that the Dayton national Air Force Museum has a very special event planned for the entire weekend. The place is HUGE.  It will take a couple of days to see it all.  They have B-17s, B-29s, Mustangs, Apollo spacecraft, Wright B Flyers, MiGs and just about everything in between. My favorite has always been the XB-70. The Memphis Belle B17 along with two additional B17s and numerous other aircraft will be flying in that weekend. It’s World War 2 Weekend at the Dayton Air Force Museum along with FourDaysInMay and the Hamvention!


http://www.n8mdp.com/hamvention.php for a ton of photos and I am even in one of them OMG too funny!

Durham Radio RIP!!!!!!!!!

Its a sad day when a popular retailer has to pull the plug due to economics

Thanks Durham Radio for the value, customer service and alternative shopping source for ham and CB radio radio stuff that I need.

73s and God Speed


We regret to inform you that Durham Radio Sales & Service Inc. after nearly a 25 years in the industry – closed its doors forever at 3:00 PM on Saturday, April 14th. We would like to thank our dedicated staff, loyal customers and friends for your continued support and for many great years in this hobby. Unfortunately, times have changed and it has become impossible to remain competitive in this industry without making drastic changes to our business model. We have decided that it would be better to close the business rather than change the products we carry and reduce customer service.

If you need product support please contact the manufacturer.
If you’ve recently ordered something and it did not arrive, please track your shipment to make sure it’s on the way. If tracking is not available please contact your credit card company for a refund.

Hotspots and Now more Hotspots

They great thing about digital modes is that we have Hotspots or Wifi Gateways that allow us to connect to the internet and various DigiMode Bridges in order to connect to reflectors and talk groups.

DMR has grown very quickly because the ability to be in a rural area and still access the DMR network without a local repeater.

The prices of these devices has also come down the past few years making it more affordable.

Toshen KE0FHS has a wonderful article for more information


VE3/SO-101 – 409m, 2 Points SOTA Summit (Height 1342 ft)

We had a fun day out in the freezing cold today activating this Summit. Its a Ski Resort and it was closed but I was able to summit to the peak to activate it. I was on 40m (7.166 MHz SSB) with 11 HF contacts and 1 on 2m simplex before trying to seek shelter and warmth as it was windy and very cold. Minus 2 but colder with the wind chill.

Sunny skies turned into a darker overcast sky (meaning colder) fairly quickly making it a bit unbearable but as you know in ham radio we make the QSOs and worry about a loss of fingertips later.

This may be the first VE3 SOTA activation ever.

I am not sure if this location is open in the summer (i.e. Downhill Mountain BIking, Zip LIne etc.) as its a Ski Resort.

I used the Yaesu FT-891 Mobile HF radio (20 watts), a Bioenno 1209 battery, and a PackTenna Linked Dipole. I used the Yaesu FT-817 for band spotting and to make a 2m simplex contact at 5 watts with a 5/8 whip. I brought a Bioenno 1212 as well as back up in case I wanted to push the power upwards of bands were running short.

I thought that 20m would be useful but running the LD as an inverted V did not provide the low take off angle I would have needed.

I will update the log once I thaw out and recover from the frigid air.

I had a consistent 57 or better signal with most stations coming in  a solid 59. This just shows that a 20 watt signal and a linked dipole can make contacts. I chose the linked dipole because I did not want to carry an antenna tuner as the yaesu does not have a built in antenna tuner.

I was not able to spot myself using one of my apps as the database was not recognizing the VE3.

Lesson learned is to ensure spotting apps works before making the hike up to the summit. I am also looking at a 20m vertical and a Linked dipole set up to take advantage of local 40m daytime contacts and a better scenario for 20m. I am thinking a simple coax switch to do an A/B would do the trick.

I can feed the vertical from the bottom and get away with 10 feet of coax for the V and leave the 25″ for the dipole.

As a bonus the resort I realized later is the host for the VE3RPT repeater site and based on its elevation and views towards Toronto provides excellent coverage.

I look forward to more activation’s from this prime spot in the future once access is figured out as the Summit is pretty much at the top of the Ski Hill.

QSL will be out shortly to confirm this event!

73s es gud SOTA



Sitting on the snow with the backpack radio doing its job


The Linked Dipole was bungeed against  the fence which was a good thing as I had guy ropes but the ground was frozen


A view to the West of the Summit



The TFM Society Repeater Amtenna Stack for VE3RPT and others



SOTA Self-spot Via SMS in Canada

SOTA Self-spot Via SMS in Canada

  • Register with Andy, MM0FMF (mm0fmf_sota@intermoose.com)
    • Your email address
    • Your call sign
    • Your cell phone (SMS source) number
    • Ask him nicely to sign you up for his SMS to SOTA spot gateway
  • SMS to: 530-430-7682
    • callsign-or-! association summit frequency mode comments
      • Example  $ VE3/SO-001 SSB 1800 UTC
        • $ = use my sign-up call sign.  If you want to use a different call sign, enter it instead of “!”
        • VE3 = the part of the summit name before the slash
        • SO-001 = the part of the summit name after the slash
        • SSB = I am using SSB
        • 1800 UTC the time I am spotting and on the Summit