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Rideau 175 special event station VC3R

July 01, 2007 @ 08:34 By: gordon Category: Amateur radio, Current affairs

Yesterday, the Rideau Canal celebrated its 175th anniversary and its recent inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site List. To help celebrate, I proposed to the Rideau Canal people that the Manotick Amateur Radio Group operate a special event station, VC3R, at the Ottawa Locks. Their response was incredibly positive and they provided us with all sorts of on-site support. We had a tent, tables, chairs, as much electricity as we could use and lunch. About half a dozen club members showed up Saturday morning around 8am and unloaded our equipment. We set up three HF antennas in the trees around the site: a G5RVjr used by one radio; and a long spring antenna and a long wire antenna that we used by another radio. We also had a VHF/UHF station running and someone showed up with a Dstar HT, which is a new type of digital radio.

Darin (VE3OIJ) brought his digital mode stuff, so we basically had every operating mode, except CW and SSTV, covered. (Ironically, Darin apparently put his CW key by the door but forgot to grab it on the way out.) He was pleased to report log the first QSO of the day.

I had one QSO with a station on Moose Island, a small island off the coast of Maine near the Canada-US border, who boomed in at S9+10, but in general the conditions were poor. Naturally, just before we started packing up at the end of the day the conditions were improving.

Still, we had a good day and for a first-time event station we did quite well. The plan for VC3R is to operate at other lock stations along the Rideau Canal between now and the end of the summer.

A special thanks goes out to the Rideau Canal staff, the people who stopped by the tent and to my fellow hams who helped operate the station.

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