June 2024, Invermere and Merritt, BC

NORAC members Mike VE7KPZ and Jane VE7WWJ provided volunteer radio support service for both the Rocky Mountain Rally and the Pacific Forest Rally this year.

At RMR, based out of Invermere BC, the team took on the role of spectator radio on the Saturday and a radio blocker position on the Sunday.

At PFR, based out of Merritt BC, the team took on the role of radio support newbie coach on the Friday and a radio blocker position on the Saturday.

For each event, to get there, support the event and then get home, it is approximately 4 days of service per person... so in total that's about 16 days of volunteer service rendered.

Of course, there was "payment" in the form of having a first-hand view of the rally action... but really it is the local community that benefits immensely from the massive influx of tourist dollars related to each event.

If you might be interested in taking on a challenging volunteer radio position at a future event, email Mike at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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A few weeks ago the ARRL suffered a major, targeted cyber attack which disabled many of their systems from the phone system to LOTW (Logbook of the World).   As of a few days ago LOTW was still out of service, a major issue for anyone working towards any of the numerous awards which use LOTW as the record.

 

Log submission for contests appears to be working on a case by case basis.

 

If you are interested in learning more about this unfortunate and severe attack on the ARRL read their latest new update at https://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-systems-service-disruption

 

73 Ritchie va7rlx

Community Service Report – Falkland Rodeo Parade

 

19 May 2024: NORAC volunteers again provided radio support and marshalling assistance for the Sunday parade at the Falkland Rodeo. The event was well organized by the rodeo organizers and the parade went off without a hitch. The number of parade entries was less than usual, possibly due to weather. Nevertheless, the many parade spectators lined the street as usual. NORAC volunteers got everything from rain to brilliant sunshine during the event.

NORAC participants were:

Bud Kuzenko VE7KBK

Paul Elmont VE7PDE (& his dad, David)

Lorne Klassen VE7LWK (& YL Janet)

Jake Wendland VE7WEA (& YL Caitlin)

Colin Parkes VA7EEH

Felix Volta VA7VOL

Richard Reeves VE7NT

Ritchie Leslie VA7RLX (& YL Rose)

Mike Dennison VA7XDM

 

NORAC volunteers were “on duty” from 1030am until noon for a total of 17.5 community service hours from NORAC members and 10 hrs from guests of members. Thanks to Sabrina Ujma for rodeo tickets for our members, to all from NORAC who volunteered and to Mike VA7XDM for chairing the NORAC parade committee and liaising with the rodeo organizers.

 

Ritchie VA7RLX

It was a day, not unlike any other day, however, this particular day was a Thursday when two trucks quietly departed the Canadain Tire parking lot in Vernon, B.C. Having freshly stocked up on food stuff from the local grocer, VA7MXY and VE7PDE pointed their rigs east and head into the wild wonders of the B.C. backcountry. They went up hill and down hill and wound their way around corners. Cautiously avoiding pot holes and odd patches of snow they arrived at the destination, Grizzly Lake. Their arrival was preceded by forward recon scout VE7LWK. Having successfully secured the site and scared off any local critters, he was lazily awaiting their arrival.

Now that camp was established it was only a matter of time before the next participants in the weekends' activities arrived. A short time later, VA7EEH appeared out of the fading light and added his portion to base camp. The balance of the day was uneventful and peaceful relaxation around the campfire.

Friday saw our intrepid adventurers greeted with glorious weather that persisted for the balance of the weekend. Friday saw VE7LWK, VA7MXY, and Aiden try their hands at fishing. They confirmed that there are fish in the lake, however they decided, out of the goodness of their hearts, to leave the fish for the next fishers to cast their line. VA7EEH strung out a 100+ft long random wire and Aiden explored and stepped into the role of ensuring our adventurers never ran out of chopped wood for the fire. Meanwhile, VE7PDE relished in the opportunity to work with and try out different antennas.

Late in the afternoon, having broken free from his shackles of responsibility, VA7PWF arrived on site completing the list of those contributing to the resulting antenna farm. The farm currently having been planted with VA7EEH's long wire and vertical, VA7MXY's overly large rabbit ears, VE7LWK's OCF 80m Dipole and vertical. At this point in our story, I believe VE7PDE and create and was tweaking a 20m dipole. 

Thanks to an error in coordinates (VA7MXY was thoroughly beaten), VE7KPZ and VE7WWJ stopped, set up and awaited others at an adjacent camp spot. Later visited by VE7WEA and XYL making their way out to check up on our intrepid adventurers who then migrated over to main base camp. None the less, good times and good laughs were had around the fire.

Late Friday evening, after all the weary heads of our adventurers had hit their pillows and visitors returned home, VA7MXY decided to take a quick night shot. He was rewarded with the Northern Lights illuminating the sky.

Keeping with the glorious weather, our adventurers awoke to another beautiful day on Saturday. Sadly the previous nights visual display completely killed the bands. Leaving our rugged Hams struggling to make a contact. None the less, VE7KPZ and VE7WWJ moved their setup over to base camp and best efforts were put to making any QSO.

Some minor success was had. VE7LWK and VE7KPZ landed on an American station calling CQ POTA. The stellar band conditions saw the dedicated POTA peeps call CQ for 2 hours with only a couple contacts prior to being found by our adventurers. 7 additional contacts were given in under 5 minutes, giving a successful activation for the POTA Station. They again ganged up on W9IMS special event station calling CQ.

VA7PWF managed to make a QSO where he had the pleasure of being a first contact for an American operator. Meanwhile, VE7PDE strung out 300+ft of wire with 17ft of ground using a 9:1 balun and showed them all, much to their amazement, that a really long random wire is an amazing thing. 1.5:1 SWR or lower across the bands. Then proceeded to amaze all with an inverted J-Pole.

Meanwhile, VA7PWF entertained all with his dietary choices. Yes, that is a brownie headed for a dip in some cheesewiz.

Topping of the day with a bit of irony, our joyous Hams enjoyed some fresh farm raised pork supplied by VA7MXY. VE7PDE providing baked beans, VA7EEH providing said brownies for desert, VA7PWF adding his famous taco pasta salad, with VA7MXY and VE7LWK topping things off with chips and dip.

Belly's full, spirits high, our intrepid adventures laxed the evening away around the campfire. Sharing good times, good stories, and good music until each sought their respective beds.

Sunday morning again kept with the previous day and another beautiful morning greeted our travellers. Activity was slow around camp as each tore down their antennas and packed up their gear. Weekly net was joined, farewells were said, and talk of next time was put forth as our adventurers each departed on their own time and begin the return journey's home.

In all, it was a great weekend, though the bands didn't play along. I'd like to that VA7PWF (Howard), VA7EEH (Colin), VE7LWK (Lorne), VE7PDE (Paul), VE7KPZ (Mike), and VE7WWJ (Jane) for participating and making it a great weekend.

Special Mention to VE7WEA (Jake) and Kaitlyn (my apologies if Ive spelt that wrong) for making the trip up on Friday night and adding to the experience.

Lastly, and more definitely not last nor the least, I'd like to give a huge shout out to Tao for being there and adding some K9 class to the chaos.

Thanks again everyone. Look forward to QSO Backcountry Camping Party #2. Be good to one another.

73, VA7MXY (Cary)

The first annual NORAC Spring Radio Camp was a resounding success! A huge thanks to CJ (VA7MXY) for organizing!

Meeting at the Fintry Provincial Park group camp #2, 7 hams stayed the weekend with RV trailers, tents, families, kids, and too many dogs to count.   Another 3 hams came to visit throughout the weekend. We even celebrated CJ son's 10th birthday.

With multiple anteannas, radios, and moderate band conditions, many contacts were made. The winner of the farthest contact was Colin (VA7EEH) with Easter Island!

A big thank you to John (VE7JWS) for the wonderful commemorative coasters he made for each ham.

We talked, laughed, spent much time tuning antennas, with quiet guitar music in the background performed by Alex (VE7AHX).  Thanks to Howard (VA7PWF) for being the unofficial bon fire keeper!

If you were not here, you missed a truly great time. Please consider this an invitation for next year!

 

73 de VE7MHX

Michal