Radio Amateurs of Canada
Here are the latest Atlantic Region amateurs to join the Radio Amateurs of Canada.
Raymond Baines VE1HH, Alan Beck VY2WU, Ron Blue VE1BBB, Paul Dixon VE1AIN, Chris Dunnett VO1CKD, Reynald Fortier VE9RON, Blake Hodder VE9TUX, Gordon Jenkins VY2WP, Charles Marsh VO1VZ, Alan Posser VE1AWP, David Redfern VE9YA, Michael Smith VE9AA, Leigh Hawkes VE1GA, Ron Maund VE9RIM, Paul Saunders VO2PRS and David Sharpe VE9DGS
For well over a decade the Radio Amateurs of Canada has been seeking out insurance for members and affiliated amateur radio clubs. Many clubs view this service as one of the major benefits that RAC provides. From time to time RAC has gone to the market to find the best cost/benefit for its members. We are pleased to advise that through our broker AON we have new a carrier (Intact Insurance) and that costs will not increase for 2015. Currently insured clubs have received renewal forms and will be invoiced upon receipt of the forms by our office.
This program is primarily run by RAC volunteers and RAC would like to thank Jerry VE3EXT for his expertise and hard work in working with our broker to get the best deal for RAC clubs.
Glenn MacDonnell, VE3XRA
Vice President Radio Amateurs of/du Canada
Affiliated clubs wanting to renew their insurance for 2015 or to join the insurance program should now provide RAC with the required information.
RAC insurance covers liabilities associated with typical club activities (meetings, operating repeaters, field days, public service events, hamfests etc.). Any activities presenting higher than normal risk (search and rescue where the organization served does not extend its liability coverage to volunteers, helicopter operations to service distant repeaters etc.) must be identified and may lead to higher premiums. We expect the insurance rates to be about what they were last year. There have been no rate increases over the past year.
As announced in June the process has been simplified:
· Clubs complete the RAC insurance application form to request insurance, identifying on this form their size and membership composition and the amount of equipment insurance required.
· Clubs complete supporting forms: RAC Affiliation, membership list as of the end of June 2014 and the AON form (for the insurance company) including descriptions of their activities their activities and legal obligations (if any).
· Clubs wishing to insure their equipment (cost $1.00 per $100 of actual cash value) indicate this on the RAC application form and complete the equipment list form.
· RAC calculates the insurance costs and invoices the clubs.
· The clubs make the required payment to RAC.
· The new insurance takes effect 1 January 2015.
The forms required are available on the new RAC website and also attached to this email. If you want to fill out a blank form on your computer (either downloaded from the RAC website or from this email) you must use Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat reader (get Acrobat Reader here).
To use the forms on the new RAC website: You must first login and then go to http//wp.rac.ca/insurance. You can complete the forms on your computer and either print them or use "save as" to save an electronic version of the completed file (please add you club's initials to the filename when saving) depending on whether you want to reply by mail or email.
To use the forms attached to this email: you can print the blank forms and complete them by hand if you want to do so.
You can also fill out the attached forms on a computer. The forms can be filled out using Acrobat Reader and printed if you want to submit them by mail. To be able to submit the completed forms electronically use "save as" in Acrobat Reader after filling out the form (adding your club initials to the file name) and attach these completed forms to an email to the RAC office.
If you would like a French version of the forms please contact the RAC office.
The process clubs will use for submitting applications for insurance will be simplified for 2014-2015. We expect costs for insurance to be about the same next year as last. The insurance application form will be sent out as usual in October.
Next year clubs will not need to do the detailed calculation of insurance costs they did in the past. Instead they will provide information on their membership and RAC will calculate the insurance cost and invoice the clubs. This should not only reduce the work required by each club but also reduce the frequent calculation errors, particularly related to sales taxes, that led to clubs underpaying or overpaying and required RAC staff to check calculations and process requests for additional payments or refunds.
The formula used will be published as soon as we confirm it so all will know the formula the RAC staff will use. We expect it to remain as it was last year unless the insurance company changes its rates. There have been no changes in the rates over the past five years. The company may claim that its operating costs have increased but this should be offset by the fact that there have been no claims in that period.
Clubs will report their membership as it was at the end of June 2014
We will base the membership numbers for the club for the insurance on the situation at the end of June 2014. Clubs can use their membership listing as of their June meetings. The club membership and composition figures are used to fairly distribute the costs of insurance among larger and smaller clubs and to recognize that RAC members are already paying for the administrative costs of setting up and running the club insurance program through their membership. RAC designs the formula to ensure that the amount of money we receive is what we need to pay for the all of the club insurance. We need a fair measure of the size and composition of the clubs and that is more reliably calculated at the end of June than in the fall when most clubs are in the midst of taking membership renewals. As membership in most clubs does not change dramatically from year to year the numbers at the end of one year are a good estimate of the size and composition of the club for the next. However, as the cost per member is much higher for those that are not members of RAC we will allow clubs to update that figure (members of the club who are non members of RAC) in the fall, reducing it by the number of their members that were not RAC members in June but have joined RAC since then.
Information on club activities
We will ask for more detailed information on club activities if they are not typical of what most clubs do. This insurance is based on risks associated with typical amateur radio club activities: meetings, field days, public events, operating repeaters, organizing and participating in contests, community service activities and emergency communications exercises. Other more risky activities should be identified (one club maintained a repeater that was only accessible by helicopter). Such activities might require an increased premium or in some cases mean that the insurer will not grant insurance. However, a club that fails to accurately report club activities could put its insurance at risk and result in the insurance company not covering claims from the club. Note that high-risk activities done in support of another organization that has its own liability insurance (examples include search and rescue and emergency communications in support of a municipality when there is an emergency) should be covered by the liability insurance of the organization being supported. Such activities would not need to be listed but for its protection the club should make sure that the organization asking for support is extending its insurance to the organizations and volunteers providing it. The new insurance form will have a section on club activities with check boxes for common activities and a space to write in activities not listed.
Radio Amateurs of Canada
The Radio Amateurs of Canada meets on a regular basis with Industry Canada on issues of interest to amateur radio operators. Over the years issues such as requirements for operator certification, amateur 60M access, the need for a exam/question bank update, items for inclusion in World Radio Conferences, antenna management issues, spectrum intrusion and other matters have been raised with Industry Canada by RAC.
The Radio Amateurs of Canada is seeking input from amateur radio operators on developing an inventory of issues that should be raised with Industry Canada for resolution. The Radio Amateurs of Canada represents and advocates for all amateurs to our federal regulator but provides services to our members only.
You input can be by email or hardcopy. Items raised by amateurs may be published in RACReport with personal identifiers removed.
RAC is looking for your immediate input. Email and hardcopy to be sent to our office.
720 Belfast Road. Unit 217
Ottawa ON K1G 0Z5
Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW
President and Chair, Radio Amateurs of Canada.
The Radio Amateurs of Canada are today announcing confirmation that the New Brunswick Government has tabled new legislation to provide an exemption to that province’s distracted driving law for amateur radio operators. The announcement was made at the Legislature in Fredericton today with amateur radio operators in attendance at the invitation of Minister of Justice’s Troy Lifford recent invitation. RAC member Alan Thurber VE1AKT was formally recognized in the Legislature with extensive recognition of his involvement in amateur radio, various groups and the community in general. While RAC finds victory in today’s announcement, we hope the New Brunswick government will make this a permanent exemption. RAC took a strong positions going as far back as December 2010 with respect to New Brunswick’s then new legislation banning the use of any mobile radios for amateur operators. "It goes without saying we are extremely satisfied that New Brunswick has finally come to recognize that amateur radio enhances public safety." – Geoff Bawden, RAC President. Exemptions exist in other provincial jurisdictions in Canada - thanks to the efforts of local amateurs and RAC's national strategy to address distracted driving legislation. The Radio Amateurs of Canada is Canada's national voice for Amateur Radio. Our efforts not only promote the Amateur Radio Service but protect it from regulatory interference that may lead to less capability in providing emergency communications. NOTICE: Until the bill passes two more readings, amateurs are not to use their mobile radios unless hands-free.
The Radio Amateurs of Canada are today announcing confirmation that the New Brunswick Government has tabled new legislation to provide an exemption to that province’s distracted driving law for amateur radio operators. The announcement was made at the Legislature in Fredericton today with amateur radio operators in attendance at the invitation of Minister of Justice’s Troy Lifford recent invitation. RAC member Alan Thurber VE1AKT was formally recognized in the Legislature with extensive recognition of his involvement in amateur radio, various groups and the community in general.
While RAC finds victory in today’s announcement, we hope the New Brunswick government will make this a permanent exemption. RAC took a strong positions going as far back as December 2010 with respect to New Brunswick’s then new legislation banning the use of any mobile radios for amateur operators. "It goes without saying we are extremely satisfied that New Brunswick has finally come to recognize that amateur radio enhances public safety." – Geoff Bawden, RAC President.
Exemptions exist in other provincial jurisdictions in Canada - thanks to the efforts of local amateurs and RAC's national strategy to address distracted driving legislation.
The Radio Amateurs of Canada is Canada's national voice for Amateur Radio. Our efforts not only promote the Amateur Radio Service but protect it from regulatory interference that may lead to less capability in providing emergency communications.
NOTICE: Until the bill passes two more readings, amateurs are not to use their mobile radios unless hands-free.
Geoff Bawden VE4BAW, President, Radio Amateurs of Canada
Len Morgan VE9MY, RAC Deputy Director – Atlantic Region
Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) and RFinder are excited to announce a new business partnership agreement effective March 1st. RAC endorses RFinder as the official Worldwide Repeater Directory for all Canadian amateur radio operators.
The RFinder is a steadily growing worldwide repeater directory including IRLP, Echolink, AllStar, DStar, MotoTRBO and even Winlink information. RFinder currently have over 175 countries in the directory.
Access to the World Wide Repeater Directory is provided by any version of the RFinder smartphone apps on Android, iPhone and iPad/iPod Touch. The same user-id enables access from any version of the RFinder app, the browser interface (web.rfinder.net), or through a growing list of third-party memory programming applications such as RT Systems radio programmers and CHIRP open source software. One subscription, access to worldwide repeater data from any computing device on Windows, Linux, OS X, web, Android iPhone and soon on Windows Phone!
Canadian hams purchasing the RFinder application will financially benefit the Radio Amateurs of Canada through the terms of this new agreement.
"Obviously, going forward, we encourage all Canadian Amateurs to consider RFinder as their repeater directory provider. RAC staff and volunteers will proactively work with RFinder on providing repeater directory information updates for Canada as repeater directory information is a constantly changing environment" notes Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA, RAC Vice-President.
"Our partnership with RAC and the Amateur Radio community in Canada is a milestone in the development of RFinder - The World Wide Repeater Directory. We offer the same agreement with Radio Amateur societies world wide. This is a unique opportunity for each geography on Earth to have their own branded Repeater Directory while giving their local Hams access to repeaters all over the world, and financially supporting the local Amateur Radio advocacy group. We will translate to any language" says Bob Greenberg, W2CYK, creator of RFinder.
Canadian RFinder users will see a new graphic feature; the RAC logo appearing on their app as well.
RAC is the voice of amateur radio for all Canadians and is also a member society of the IARU (International Amateur Radio Union).
RAC: Vincent Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH, Director Communications and Fundraising - email@example.com
RFinder: Bob Greenberg, W2CYK, creator - firstname.lastname@example.org
Vincent Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH
Director of Communications and Fundraising – Radio Amateurs of Canada - email@example.com
Vernon Ikeda - VE2MBS/VE2QQ
RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor
Industry Canada approved access by Canadian radio amateurs to the Low Frequency (LF) band 135.7 -137.8 kHz, subject to certain conditions in late 2009. This was a direct result of implementing changes from the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) 2007, which added amateur use of this spectrum on a Secondary basis. This has now been included in the newly updated RBR-4 Standards for the Operation of Stations in the Amateur Radio Service. (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10650.html ) Canadian amateurs are reminded that the maximum emission bandwidth in this band is 100Hz (e.g. cw, BPSK31, BPSK63, etc.) as well as a maximum EIRP of 1 watt. These conditions are found in Footnote 5.67A: "Stations in the amateur service using frequencies in the band 135.7-137.8 kHz shall not exceed a maximum radiated power of 1 W (EIRP) and shall not cause harmful interference to stations of the radionavigation service operating in countries listed in No. 5.67. (WRC-07)".
RAC welcomes reports of activities in this band, especially reports of DX achieved and useful operating tips. We are asking those active on this band to consider writing articles for TCA to help other amateurs get started on LF, given the large differences in LF antennas, and the need for homebrew transmitters, receivers, and/or transverters. Insights into propagation and other LF operating tips are also requested.
Thanks to Richard Ferch, VE3KI and Jim Dean, VE3IQ.
George Gosline, VE3YV
RAC International Affairs
Industry Canada has announced that a number of specific frequencies within the 60 meter high frequency band have been approved for amateur radio use as RAC advocated.
A total of five specific frequencies within the 5 MHZ band have been allocated, 5332 kHz, 5348 kHz, 5358.5 kHz, 5373 kHz and 5405 kHz. Radio amateurs across Canada have new frequencies to explore as a result of a recent decision of Industry Canada.
"Canada has joined a number of countries in making channels available in the 60 metre band, near 5MHz for use by radio amateurs. This will provide increased ability for Canadian radio amateurs to help out in providing emergency communications when existing systems fail as has happened in ice storms and flooding. We applaud this decision of the Canadian government." said Geoff Bawden, President of Radio Amateurs of Canada.
Unlike the commercial communications systems so important to modern society, amateur radio does not require an extensive infrastructure for communications. Radio amateurs take advantage of natural phenomena to send their signals across town and around the world. They delight in being able to set up in a remote location with their own power supplies and simple antennas, often home built, competing to see who can make the most contacts in a limited time. The Amateur Radio Emergency Service in Canada, sponsored by RAC, provides training and organizes exercises for radio amateurs to sharpen their skills to be able to respond to emergencies. As well these organizations and amateur radio clubs often provide communications to community public service activities and events such as ski races and marathons, bicycle races and car rallies. The skills radio amateurs develop through their hobby and these activities mean that in emergencies that shut down power grids, internet and wireless communications, amateur radio can continue to function. In major emergencies such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011 and the Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last year amateur radio operators are often the first source of information from affected areas.
The key resource for amateur radio is access to the radio spectrum. Conditions in the atmosphere and high in the ionosphere determine the distances over which communications are possible. The new allocation at 60m between existing allocations at 80 m and 40m should make regional communications more reliable. Furthermore as Canada and the United States have allocated many of the same channels to their radio amateurs cross border communications are possible. Fortunately major emergencies are relatively rare. Radio amateurs will explore communications on the new frequencies as they do in all available bands, experimenting, learning and making new friends across the world.
The five 60 metre channel allocations are the same as authorized in the USA, with the same power restriction of 100 watts ERP (relative to a dipole antenna). Transmissions, independent of emission mode, must be centered on the each of the following frequencies: 5.332, 5.348, 5.3585, 5.373, and 5.405 MHz with a maximum allowable channel bandwidth of 2.8 kHz. When operating SSB, upper sideband will be the convention to follow on the 60 metre band. Other modes that are permissible will be CW, Data (including PSK 31 and Pactor III), and RTTY. With this latest authorization on operation on the 5 MHz channels to Canadian Amateurs with HF privileges, there will no longer be a requirement to operate under a special “Developmental” license and VX9 call sign. Holders of such licences can now let them lapse. Canadian amateurs should refer to the posting of RBR-4, Issue 2, for all details before proceeding to operate on the new 60 metre channels: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10650.html
Their curiosity and eagerness to develop and share this hobby will enrich the communities where they operate and provide needed resilience in communications when emergencies require it.
Technical details of this decision can be found here: IC document
Vincent Charron - VA3GX/VE2HHH
Director Communications and Fundraising