The VE3HLS Grand Finale Rove! Satellite grids to be activated

Ken, VE3HLS, reports, ‘Get out your highlighter and circle June 15th, 16th and 17th on your calendars!
You don’t want to miss ‘The VE3HLS Grand Finale Rove!
This will be my final significant rove before I retire from satellite ops and get down to planning the next chapter of my life as I prepare to retire in Thailand.

I will follow the St. Lawrence Seaway down from Lake Ontario to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, activating FN14, FN15, FN24/25, FN35/36, FN46/47, FN57/58 and FN59/69 along the way down and back.

As always, the inspiration for the rove is a result of a few of you posting your grids QSLed maps to Twitter. I read them and base future roves on the gaps I see in your maps.
I’ll work out a basic schedule over the next week or two and post it on the AMSAT-BB and on Twitter.”


SFO Marconi Shrine and the PackTenna Mini Antenna


I just had to make some QSO with my FT-817 and pocket friendly PackTenna Mini Antenna configured for 20m EFHW.

I spent an hour trying to find the shrine and its at the bottom of the hill not at the top. BTW the top has wonderful views of Alcatraz and a cool automated bathroom.

I was able to toss my water bottle into the trees to get some elevation and garner 2 5×5 contacts into Colorado and San Diego. I was only running 2.5 watts with the internal battery pack but as they said “your kind of light but the audio is clear and hear you” and “you are qrp at the Marconi shrine? are you in San Francisco?’

I gotta tell ya’ll that antenna needs no tuner and is ideal as a carry along for the FT-817 and Elecraft KX radios. I just need to find a hard sided…

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SOTA Activation #2 VE3/SO-099


I had planned this activation for some time as #2 based on the fact its 1 hour north of Toronto. I had a death in the family, a rained out date, work commitments and then we had a scheduled ARES Exercise and thought that there would be an ability to possibly also get some 2m contacts in the logbook.

It seems that many hams do not monitor any 2m simplex channels so being able to make contacts and test out 2m coverage would be a bonus. I was trying to make contacts on the designated 2m Simplex channel for the ARES exercise and no luck was had.

The forecast showed the possibility of thunderstorm activity so with the chance of lightning on a high point exposed with high towers in the air could prove to be risky so I made plans to operate for about an hour.

The VE3 database…

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FT8 Activity Bumping Up at Some Expense to Other Modes

05/17/2018 from the ARRL

Despite largely dismal HF conditions, there is no doubt that the recent FT8 digital protocol has made hams more enthusiastic about getting on the air. The mode has caught on so quickly that co-developer Joe Taylor expressed surprise last fall at the rapid uptake of FT8 for making contacts on HF bands. Judging by Logbook of The World (LoTW) data, more than 2.3 million FT8 contacts were uploaded in 1 month — a net gain of 1.2 million contacts on all modes over the same month last year, ARRL Radiosport Manager Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, said. Over the same period, activity in some of the other modes has declined. Continue reading