Ontario Science Centre Amateur Radio Club

Hello all,
After a great deal of deliberation, the club has decided to change our focus and rebrand as the Central Toronto ARC, CenTor.
This website will remain for a while as we migrate our content to the new site, over at http://va3cta.net.
Thanks for hanging out with us and be sure to tune into the new goings-on. We’re the same bunch of people, we just have a new home base!

Jeff Stewart VA3WXM

Picture: VA3PAW

The highlight of our July 5 OSCARC meeting was a visit by Jeff Stewart VA3WXM (pictured), newly elected Director of the RAC (Radio Amateurs of Canada) Southern Ontario Region.

Jeff spoke to about a dozen club members about the various activities of RAC, including:

  • attempts to get an exemption for amateur radio operators from Ontario’s distracted driving legislation (amateurs in Manitoba and Alberta have already succeeded in this)
  • working with myriad national and international agencies to defend amateur radio spectrum allocations
  • assisting amateurs in working through local bylaws that attempt to restrict antenna towers
  • providing insurance to RAC-affiliated incorporated clubs and individual RAC members who belong to RAC-affiliated clubs.

Jeff was elected to his current position in May 2011, to complete the remainder of a two-year term (ending Dec 31 2011).

Thank you Jeff, for making us one of the first stops on your busy schedule!


To IARU Region 2 Member Societies:
The coming weekend, July 9th and 10th, the 2011 version of the IARU HF World Championship will take place.
The objective of this SSB and CW contest is to contact as many other amateurs as possible, especially IARU member society HQ stations, using the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meter bands. It is open to all radio amateurs around the world.
We invite IARU member societies to actively participate with their HQ stations.
The rules for this year’s contest can found here.
Ramon Santoyo V. XE1KK
Secretary – IARU Region 2

Radio Amateurs of CanadaI know we just wrapped up Field Day a couple days ago, but in two days it’s time for another big event, the RAC Canada Day Contest.

  • The contest runs from 0000 UTC to 2359 UTC July 1, 2011 (8pm June 30 – 7.59pm July 1 EDT).
  • Bands included are 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6 and 2 metres.
  • Modes are CW and Phone only.
  • Suggested frequencies are in the Contest Rules [PDF]

So, will you be participating?

As with Field Day, my shack will be open to any Club Members who wish to get in some casual operating practice. Bands will be 40, 15 and 10m SSB. Just give me a call if you want to get on the air.


It was a bit of a strange Field Day for the OSC Amateur Radio Club, what with not being able to set up a club operation.

But that doesn’t mean we were off the air! Here’s what some of our members did over the weekend.

VE3WGK horizontal vee antenna

VE3WGK installed a 40m dipole as a horizontal vee (marked with orange safety tape) on the lawn beside his apartment. The feed point is at the right-hand edge of the photo, about 5' high in a tree.

Ward has one of the most challenging locations for ham radio, a first-floor apartment. But he made an impressive 41 contacts on 75m, 40m and 20m SSB using a 40m dipole fed with 300-ohm twin lead and an automatic tuner. Most astounding, the feed point of his antenna was only about 5′ above ground and the ends about 1′ above ground, secured with tent pegs! Ward’s station was battery-powered too.

David VE3SB
Bill Preston K8SJ and I set up an understaffed 1A station in St. Joseph MI. Our site was located on the bluffs of Lake Michigan a few hundred meters from the old Heathkit factory. We had a beautiful new Honda 2000 generator, a K3 transceiver and a G5RV antenna up about 20 meters. We did well with 760 contacts with all 50 states and 8 provinces running 100W. We used the call of a former St. Joseph radioman for the US Navy, George Jones W8SIO, who went down with his ship during the Pearl Harbor attack. The call was next assigned to the local high school radio club station. K8SJ now has W8SIO as the call for the St. Joseph High School Amateur Radio Club Alumni Association. Hopefully more alumni will participate next year.

John VA3JE
Well the family was very busy over the weekend. I was able to sneak a little time for FD but my vertical wire on 40 is far too noisy to use LSB…tried several very strong stations but was not heard with about 35 W output. CW is another matter and was able to get on 40 CW for about 60 minutes on Saturday and 45 minutes on Sunday. A total of 32 Qs and 12 sections. My only CT contact was with W1AW near the end of the test. Not bad for a lousy antenna and 35 W.

I operated class 1D from home with my usual boat-anchor lineup: Collins KMW-2 transceiver, D-104 mike, Johnson MatchBox tuner and a 34′ piece of wire on the apartment balcony 60′ above ground (facing south). It was SSB for me, as the rig was not designed for CW. I usually work 40m only, since I can’t load the antenna on 20m and I seldom hear much on 15m and 10m. But this time, there were lots of signals on 15 and 10, and I found that the wire loaded up beautifully on both bands. Made 81 contacts, including W1AW (which had gorgeous audio), a KP4, and a lot of GOTA stations with enthusiastic young voices. Had a great time!

I was busy during the weekend and was able to monitor 15m & 20m from my QTH on Saturday night during 22:00-23:00 UTC only. I used my HF portable receiver and an outdoor wire antenna. Unfortunately, I had an extremely high level of static (some sort of impulse noise across the band and strong AM modulation on certain frequencies; plasma TVs?). As a result I had to discard the external antenna and use the telescopic one at the receiver. CW reception was quite good but SSB was poor. I did not try digital modes. Due to the strong noise and attenuation, I could only receive the strongest signals:
20m: VE3ZM, A2MW, KB2BSA – there was a big pile up but I could not hear most of the other parties well
15m: K9SH – big pile up
The contacts were very short (well, it was a contest after all, right?) and a bit boring because I could not hear other parties well. The signal was fading very often thus making reception even more difficult.
After I moved on to VHF/UHF bands, I came across an active VHF echolink repeater (441.950MHz @ VA3XFT) re-transmitting a field day net from beautiful California which I then monitored for some time. The net was operated by Suzi WA6DKS and had many operators connecting from many different states using either VHF/UHF echolink repeaters or just plain echolink.

If we don’t have your report here, please email it to me (ve3ngs@qsl.net). Thanks.

Unfortunately, OSCARC will not be setting up stations for this weekend’s annual Amateur Radio Field Day.

We had originally hoped to operate, as in the past, from the Ontario Science Centre. That fell through when the Centre informed us they did not feel Field Day should be a public display, and that they would require the Club to purchase liability insurance, something which had not been required previously.

Our back-up plan, to operate from the home of VE3PRX with emergency power, has just fallen through as Jeff needs to be able to show the home to prospective buyers this weekend.

So, thank you to everyone who volunteered to help with station setup and operations. As FD chairman John VA3JE says, next year should be really good.

I’d like to encourage all Club members to participate in Field Day from their own stations (see the rules linked above) and give our portable operating colleagues around North America as many contacts as possible.

If anyone doesn’t have a station and wants to get on the air, you’re welcome all weekend at my shack near Yonge and St Clair, although I only have 40m SSB capability at the moment. Just give me a phone call if you want to come over. I’ll keep the tubes warm. ;-)

Special Event Station VY1T will be on the air from June 29, 2011 to July 1, 2011 for the grand opening of the Aeradio Exhibit at the Teslin Historical and Museum Society in Teslin, Yukon Territory.

On June 30th, the Teslin Historical and Museum Society, owner and operator of the George Johnston Museum, Mile 804 Alaska Highway, Teslin, will celebrate the grand opening of its Aeradio Navigation Range building.

The exhibits tell the story of Teslin from 1940-55, when its quiet and simple northern village life was overturned with the coming of RCAF Teslin base, the Aeradio Navigation Range, and the Alcan Highway. The story is told with transmitters, other artifacts, text and photographs in a rare 1941 radio range air navigation building.

  • Eric VY1EI will use VY1T on June 29th from Whitehorse.
  • Club Station VY1T will be on the air from Teslin Yukon, at the George Johnson Museum June 30th from early morning to late afternoon. Please find us on 20 meters around 14.180 or so, also may try 14.140.
  • VY1T will be on the air from Whitehorse on Canada Day as a club station.

QSL via Hugh Henderson VY1EEN, PO Box 33062, Whitehorse, YT Y1A 5Y5

The regular monthly meeting of the Ontario Science Center Amateur Radio Club will be on Tuesday June 7, 2011 at 1930 EDT.

This will be our first meeting at the new location.

Following the regular business meeting, we will have a presentation by David VE3SB on software-defined radios.

If you are unable to attend please send regrets to the Chairman, John VA3JE.

Keep an ear on VE3TWR 145.410/r on the drive in, and please sign in with Security on arrival.

Visitors are welcome! Click here for directions and if you need further information please contact Neil at 416 363 9538 or any other club member.

Great news. Our growing club now has a much larger meeting space, at the Revera Leaside Retirement Residence, 10 William Morgan Drive, Toronto.

(You can explore the neighbourhood using the interactive Google Street View window below.)

View Larger Map

Many thanks to Amanda Gordon, Lifestyle Consultant at the residence, for enthusiastically offering us the use of one of their lovely meeting rooms.

Our next meeting, on June 7 2010, will be the first at our new location. I hope to see as many members as possible there, and of course, we look forward to meeting our new neighbours at Leaside Retirement Residence.

For a map, please visit our Meetings page. There is ample free parking to the west of the building. If you’re traveling by TTC, the #25 Don Mills bus stops at Overlea and Wm Morgan Dr, and connects to Pape Station.

Please contact me if you need further information.

Peter Dale VE3EYI

I am relaying the following message from Bill Unger VE3XT, RAC Director Ontario North/East, who is coordinating the drive to exempt Amateurs in Ontario from provisions of the Distracted Driving legislation (Bill 118).

Please do what you can to provide Bill with letters of support.

Radio Amateurs of Canada

…I really need letters of support from 3rd party groups and organizations. If you help with communications for any group or are part of an emergency response procedure for your community we need a letter from them.
I am not looking for a letter asking or telling any one that we need to continue to be able to operate mobile but rather a strong statement that Amateurs are important to the operation of their event or emergency preparedness plan. We need to show the bureaucrats and technocrats that Amateurs are a vital group and provide many community services that so far has gone unnoticed. Stated simply, we need to ‘get on their radar’. The letters can be addressed to either Kathleen Wynn or your individual group.
Once the legislators understand that Ontario Amateurs provide a service that fills the needs of many diverse groups and organizations across the province I believe we can change their minds. This logic has worked in other provinces and it will work here as well.
Thanks and please try to get those letters to me soon.
Bill Unger VE3XT
North/East Ontario Regional Director
Radio Amateurs of Canada

» Bill 118 text