Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The RAC Blog is moving

September 18, 2010

The decision has been made, for a number of reasons to move the RAC Blog. The new URL is This move makes it easier to resolve some problems which have arisen as a result in the change of ownership necessitated by the resignation of Peter West. It will also make the blog more easily managed and easier, I hope, for folks to find.

I know that there may be some inconvenience to many of you as you get used to going to a new location however I believe that the benefits both to RAC and also to its members and the Amateur Radio Community in general will make this change worthwhile in the long run.

While comments have now been turned off on the “old” blog all of the posts and your comments have been moved to where I look forward to seeing the various discussions continue.

73 de Jim.
James R. Hay, VE2VE
Vice President, Technical and Administrative Services
Radio Amateurs of Canada


The Future of RAC and Amateur Radio

August 27, 2010

During tonight’s national RAC teleconference board/executive meeting President Geoff, VE4BAW, asked the document he presented to the DX Forum in Halifax on Aug. 7th be posted here and on the RAC website.

After some challenges between MAC’s and PC’s here it is in PDF format: The Future of Amateur Radio and the Future.

I’m really pleased to report that the board and the executive (with only two maybes) reported that they are going to attend a special visioning transformational meeting in Ottawa and the end of October. BTW every member is paying their own way! As far as I know so far, John Bartlett, VE1OZ/HK3OZ will be facilitating the discussions.

I’ve been pretty outspoken in my comments about the board and executive and it’s time to say I’m very impressed with tonight’s meeting. I don’t agree with everything and everybody but everything will be on the table in Ottawa so keep those comments coming in.

QRP Campout

August 26, 2010

Wish I’d have heard about Maplecon 2010. According to VA3STL’s Weblog about 30 QRPers setup camp at Emily Provincial Park (which was around the corner from my family cottage near Peterborough, Ontario) last weekend.

Best DX was a two-way QRP QSO on 20 meters with Mirek, SP9ONC.

Here’s a link to a bunch of photos from the event.

RAC Assistant Director Comments

August 26, 2010

This post comes from K. Scott Wood, VE1QD, RAC Assistant Director, Halifax Region who is the chair of the Maritime DX Forum:

On August 6 and 7, the Halifax Amateur Radio Club was very pleased to host this year’s RAC AGM and Forum.  It was part of our annual Maritime DX Forum and attracted a large part of our audience of almost 70 people.

All of us who have many years in amateur radio, and have followed the ups and downs of our national organization, were delighted with the presentation of President Geoff Bawden and several other members of the Executive.  There was an openness and candour about the precarious status of RAC and a willingness to recognize past errors and shortcomings.  However, what most grabbed my attention was a clear commitment to not wallow in the past, but rather shift our gaze to the future.

Beginning with an acknowledgement of the vital importance of our national organization to securing and advancing our interests, RAC revealed that a process of transformation was indeed underway.  John Bartlett, VE1OZ/HK3OZ and former RAC VP, has been asked to facilitate the process.  If you haven’t yet seen them, John has written 12 short pieces that provide a framework for thinking about and approaching the task. You should look at his excellent material.  You can find them on either the RAC website  (see RAC Blog) or HARC’s website The objective is to obtain the changes necessary for RAC to become a truly respected and effective force for advancing amateur radio in Canada.

The core of John’s approach is simple.  One, acknowledge failures of the past and the factual status of the organization, BUT do not dwell on the past.  We won’t be able to get to the future by just fixing this and that!  Two, engage the membership as broadly as possible, since a “top down approach” is definitely not what is needed.  In fact, many would argue, this is a part of the past needing reform. Moreover, RAC belongs to every amateur so change needs to be defined by us. Three, we need to dream creatively about what we want RAC to be. Four, given some commonly agreed upon dream or future, what steps will we need to take in order to get there?  Five, since everything needed to create a new future cannot be done all at once, the steps will need to be sorted out or given priorities, and including figuring out what steps will depend upon something happening first. Finally, an Action Plan can emerge that will focus RAC’s efforts in a strategic way, i.e. that will maximize the chances of us realizing the desired future.

I commend Geoff Bawden and his team for opening up RAC, shaking things up and launching a process of change.   I also applaud John Bartlett’s courage in laying out a path that we can follow.  However, without the commitment of current RAC members and the recruitment of many more, the process of transformation will not happen.  Moreover, for those who think that RAC needs to die before being reborn, I would caution against a faith that a new organization would emerge from the rubble.  Moreover, let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water!  RAC has many positive elements on which we can build a better future.

I am one of a very large number of Assistant RAC Directors and represent the Halifax region.  I think that our role is to be the eyes and ears on the ground for the Regional Directors.  RAC Section Managers are another key group.   In any case, collectively we are two layers of the RAC organization that are closest to the grassroots. How can we help move this vital process along?

I will make a presentation and lead a discussion at HARC’s September 15th meeting.   My expectation is not that this will do it, but rather that this will start a dialogue in Halifax.  In fact, I think that I will recommend that the large number of hams in the Halifax Regional Municipality who head off to Timmy’s most mornings for coffee do some of the dreaming at this other national institution!  I expect it will be necessary to have a few meetings before this corner of our vast country might have something to share.  I hope that others will do the same and that we can collectively make change happen.  One day I would like to look back and be able to say:  “I’ll be damned.  We did it!”


K. Scott Wood, VE1QD -RAC Assistant Director, Halifax Region

and Chair, Maritime DX Forum

Halifax Amateur Radio Club

Bob replies…

August 26, 2010

Replying to President Geoff’s comments (posted below), Bob VA3QV asks an interesting question (which I comment on at my blog VE3HG).

Hi Geoff…

Thanks for the reply and for reading my blog…

My issues or concerns lie with the fact that the “Magnificent 7″ have not made a statement to the general membership even acknowledging that there is a problem…

We have 7 directors who have control of the corporation… I can blog till the cows come home and so can just about everyone else but until the Directors announce that they have decided to revamp the system its still the same old… same old…

The first step is to admit that we have a problem… The 2nd step is to do something about the problem…

Thanks for the information that the Directors and the Board will be meeting in Ottawa at the end of October… I would love to be a fly on the wall at that meeting…


I think I know the answer but I had to ask…

Failing that how about a Q & A session after the meeting…??? With you and/or the Board if they choose to attend…

We can work out the details closer to the event…

We all have the same agenda on this one… We all want the same things…

Thanks for your efforts…


Post to Bob

August 26, 2010

Following Bob, VA3QV’s blog comments about RAC and its board of directors, RAC President Geoff Bawden sent this reply to Bob which was posted on his blog.

Hello Bob

There are a number of blogs from me on our blog site. As Peter posts them a quick read will look like they are all from Peter West .. [although being our VPPR he does generate the most “ink’ [possibly John Bartlett excepted]. Any spelling errors are mine by the way… some of the Hailfax blogs were early in the morning!

You quote my blog on finances and note for that reason alone we should look at changes .. quite right but not the only reason and change must not just address financial issues, finances are only one of many issues…  I believe that you did link your readers to my blogs from Halifax [there were three]… thanks for that.

In late 2009 I collected all the strategic and planning documents for RAC over the last ten years and two documents stood out .. a 2006 Omega report and the 2008 Bartlett presentation. I had been looking for a strategic planning methodology for the board and executive and when John more recently emailed me from Colombia offering to help I invited John to the next board teleconference and we [the board and executive] determined to proceed with that specific exercise.

The board and executive will meet in Ottawa at the end of October to forge a strategic vision/proposal and plan for RAC. By the way everyone of the board and executive will be paying their own way .. digging into their own pockets. John will be coming up from Colombia at his own expense. The blog is intended to generate member and ham comments before the planning session and frankly to stir comment and debate.

This is a controversial approach .. not every ham supports this approach, however we have revieved more recommendations and comments in the last week as compared to any previous period. I doubt whether this public communication/publication is perfect [not everyone reads blogs] but I know that there are a number of clubs which have added the topic to their September agenda [the more clubs the merrier]. Club as well as individual ham input will prove very valuable.

I recommend that members email their Directors with their comments. I know that Directors are responding to many queries and not all queries or responses end up on the blog.

Take care .. thanks for your comments and putting this on your blog

Geoff Bawden  VE4BAW – President and Chair of the Board

What is RAC’s Real Value?

August 25, 2010

Think about it for a moment:

What is the real value of Radio Amateurs of Canada?

Is not the potential to create a better experience for all licensed Amateur Radio operators in Canada?

Isn’t that it?

If you agree, then what do you think we need to do to realize this goal?

Solar Cycle 24 underway but slowly

August 25, 2010

The Huntsville Alabama Hamfest last weekend heard from NASA’s Marshall Space Center solar scientist Dr. David Hathaway who presented a talk entitled “The Solar Dynamo Saga: Chapter 11“. (This link is to a PowerPoint presentation from NASA.

Dr. Hathaway’s conclusions: The good news is Solar Cycle 24 is definitely underway and should peak in July-August 2013. The bad news is Cycle 24 he predicts will be the weakest in the last 100 years.

Pakistani Hams Relief Work for Flood Victims

August 23, 2010

This from the ARRL: According to the Pakistan Amateur Radio Society (PARS) radio amateurs in Pakistan are working with the Islamabad Jeep Club and Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians to provide relief activities in those areas of Pakistan devastated by floods.

For more information including operating frequencies being used by PARS operators visit the ARRL link here.