March 6, 2019

We were prompted to get outside on the air this morning with the challenge of chasing a Canadian National Parks on the Air activation.

The site to be chased was Battle of the Windmill National Historic Site of Canada - American invasion mission foiled, 1838, otherwise known as ON12 in the CNPOTA system.

On the other end of the radio was Denis Rule VE3BF and friends working the VE3AIR club callsign. Some might know Denis from his net control duties on various HF nets, but we (Brad VE7WBM, David VA7SZ and myself) know him best as the main net controller for the Cross Canada C4FM Weekly Net every Wednesday night via WIRES-X.

Aside: to catch the net, if in Vernon, tune your C4FM capable radio to 442.500+ in DN mode Wednesday nights at 6 PM local time.

Denis had indicated that he was planning to do the activation, and on 20m he'd be calling somewhere around 14.250 MHz in order to work us Canadians and the US Generals, Advanced and Extras. Within seconds of setting up our antenna, we found him on 14.254 MHz... easily copyable at our portable location up at Silver Star Provincial Park with a lovely S0-S1 noise floor on our end.

Getting him to copy us was the real challenge. We started off with Mike VE7KPZ's FT-891 running 100 watts into Mike's Wolf River Coils TIA vertical antenna. The VSWR was low, but not enough power was being sent Denis' way. Denis could not properly copy our club callsign VE7NOR.

We then switched over to David's FT-891 running 100 watts into David's new delta loop antenna. It's just a triangle of wire suspended by a fishing pole with a 4:1 balun in the bottom right corner, but it sure radiates well. With this setup, Denis was able to copy David and we achieved our objective. VE7NOR had successfully chased ON12 for CNPOTA.

So, what made it tough to get Denis? S7 to S9 noise level on 20m at the historic site.

You can see pics of our setup in this other article... but to see the ON12 side, here are some pics Denis sent us (with his permission to post):

That is the St-Lawrence river in the background and Ogdensburg NY on the far shore.