Radio Amateurs of Canada
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.
OCT 6th 2014
RAC is happy to report that the production of ARES Identification cards is back to normal service after a transitional phase which had previously caused some delays that we apologize for.
As of today there is no longer a backlog of pending ID card requests.
RAC would like to sincerely thank Pat Barrett VE3RNH for taking on this important responsibility. Please do not contact Pat directly for status updates of card requests, please go through the RAC Office.
The process remains unchanged for the requisition process however the fee will be $5 instead of $4 for RAC members ($6 non-members) to cover the materials and higher postage fees. Payment is required before an application can actually be made for the ID card. Please note that as of January 1st 2015, a written confirmation of eligibility by the applicant’s EC (or person acting as coordinator for ARES group) must be sent to the RAC office as part of the initial process. Until January 1st 2015 RAC reserves the right to verify eligibility as it deems necessary using contact information provided by individual applicants.
Please use RAC’s new website for ARES ID card requests:
Yours in amateur radio,
Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW
Earlier this year, RAC announced the availability, once again, of scholarship availability to young Amateurs who are taking post-secondary schooling in Electrical, Electronic and Software Engineering. Students in other fields of study will be considered on a case-by-case basis. You must be a licensed Amateur and we remind everyone that the deadline for applications is July 31, 2014.
In 2013, RAC gave out three Education Scholarships of $500 each to: Paulyn Mulles, VE3PJM, who is attending Carleton University; Jason Deglint, VE7TJD, who is attending University of Victoria; and Liam Bindle, VE5LRB, who is attending the University of Saskatchewan. Each of these young Amateurs received a $500 academic scholarship to assist their further studies in Electrical Engineering. In their application each one stated how being an Amateur is a good match to their schooling and provides hands-on ability to complement their academic studies.
Shaftesbury High School in Winnipeg also received a $500 community grant to assist them in becoming the only permanent Telebridge Station in Canada to communicate with the Amateur Radio Station on the International Space Station (ARISS) under the guidance of Robert Striemer, VE4SHS.
If you know an Amateur who is studying at the post-secondary level they should consider applying for one of these grants.
RAC would also like to thank all the Canadian Amateurs whose generous donations over the years enable RAC to assist the leaders of tomorrow.
Bill Unger, VE3XT
RAC North/East Ontario Regional Director--
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
RFinder: Bob Greenberg, W2CYK, creator - email@example.com
Vincent Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH
Director of Communications and Fundraising – Radio Amateurs of Canada - firstname.lastname@example.org
Vernon Ikeda - VE2MBS/VE2QQ
RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor
Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) has been made aware that an important announcement will be made at the Gallery of the Legislature (706 Queen St, Fredericton, NB) at 1:00PM on Tuesday 18th of March.
RAC was apprised in advance by Troy Lifford, Minister of Justice and MLA for Fredericton-Nashwaaksis that this will be news of high interest for hams and that all amateur radio operators in the area are invited to attend the session.
"We are hopeful New Brunswick will recognize the value of amateur radio operators to our province by eliminating the ban on mobile radio operations. The lifting of the ban will enhance public safety and bring New Brunswick in line with the rest of Canada.” stated Len Morgan VE9MY Deputy Director for the Atlantic Region.
There has been a concerted effort by RAC, local amateur radio clubs and amateur radio operators in New Brunswick, to have the ban on mobile radio operations lifted.
Len Morgan, VE9MY, RAC Deputy Director – Atlantic Region. email@example.com
Earlier today IC released a consultation documenthttp://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10786.htmlproposing changes to CPC-2-0-03, the Antenna Siting Protocol to address the Industry Minister's policy statement of 5 February 2014 removing the 15m exemption for "cell towers".
The RAC Bulletin of 6 February had commented on the Minister's policy statement and urged that the drafting of the regulatory changes should follow closely the Minister's statement. It provided several reasons why the exemption should not be removed for radio amateurs.
The consultation document released today proposes exactly the type of change to the height exemption RAC favoured. The 15m exemption would remain but not apply to "broadcasting undertakings and telecommunications carriers".
The consultation document proposes a number of other small changes to CPC-2-0-03 and RAC will look closely at these before completing its comments on the proposed changes. Industry Canada will receive comments from the public on these changes by 31 March 2014 and finalize the changes shortly thereafter.
Some radio amateurs had expressed concern that there might be a blanket removal of the 15m exemption, forcing those wanting to install any antenna into cumbersome notification and consultation processes. This now seems unlikely but we need to follow through on the consultation process to make sure this is the final result.
RAC will respond on behalf of all Canadian amateur radio operators.
Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA
RAC Vice-President Regulatory Affairs
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
RAC will launch a new electronic newsletter for it's Maple Leaf Operator Membership beginning in December. This newsletter will be issued six times per year in between TCA publications. This is a new benefit of belonging to the MLOM. One of the features included in the newsletter will be MLOM Member's Corner. To this end, I ask that any MLOM wishing to share anything deemed "newsworthy" (ham related personal story, electronic tidbit, DX success story, station photos, SK tribute etc.) do so by sending in your submissions by the 15th of following months: November, January, March, May and July and September. Member submissions will be subject to approval prior to publishing. For this month, submissions can be sent in up to December 15th.
Vincent Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH
Director of Communications and Fundraising – Radio Amateurs of/du Canada - firstname.lastname@example.org
In an effort to properly recognize our valued volunteers, a committee
has been struck to manage the RAC MRP. We recognize that many of you
have given tirelessly of your time on our behalf for many years, and
it's time that we "put you on a pedestal" and say thank you.
Any full member of RAC is eligible to nominate a fellow member for a
MRP award. All you need is to provide a short essay on why you think
that your candidate is deserving. Send it along to one of committee
members listed below.
You may know of an individual or group that has gone above and beyond
the call of duty. These folks will be recognized in a special way.
Jeffrey Stewart VA3WXM email@example.com
Doug Mercer VO1DM firstname.lastname@example.org
Normand Pitre VE2NHK email@example.com
New electronic age for RAC! New Exciting Membership Offerings!
Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW – RAC President (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Radio Amateurs of Canada has been offering eTCA to members since the start of this year. It has been available as an online flipbook and a member downloadable PDF file (suitable for most eReaders!). Many members remarked upon its portability (eReader compatible, downloadable no matter where you happened to be) and the potential for hypertext links to other resources. This offering placed RAC in the 21st Century and was the first electronic offering of a national radio society.
At the 2012 Annual General Meeting, held in Montreal and hosted by the Montreal Amateur Radio Club, RAC was pleased to announce changes to its membership offerings.
These changes will occur on January 1, 2013. For renewable memberships the change will occur upon renewals due after January 1.
While this offering takes advantage of our new electronic age and the mobility of many of our members, it will also have the advantage of reducing the need for RAC to look at membership fee increases in the near future.
We are excited about these changes and anticipate that eTCA will grow in capability and capacity. Many members have written to complain that their articles and volunteer activities have not received the exposure that they would like in the print TCA owing to the necessary finite number of pages.
With eTCA we will be able to grow access to members, access other media and increase content.
Welcome to the 21st Century!