RAC Ontario Sections Bulletin for January 22, 2022

Official Bulletin Station for Radio Amateurs of Canada, with this week's bulletin


1.   ARES activates as fire destroys 1,000 Colorado homes

ARES volunteers supported communication at evacuation sites and established emergency
communication as commercial power failures and preventive shutdowns by utilities caused
a loss of commercial communication. “Within about 8 hours,” Bishop said, “battery back-up
systems for cell phones and landlines failed, and 911 services went down.”

To facilitate a restoration of these emergency services, BCARES activated the Mountain
Emergency Radio Network (MERN),  Established in 2010, MERN consists of repeaters installed
at fire stations in Gold Hill and Allenspark, at community centers in Nederland and Raymond,
and the privately owned Airlink Repeater. These repeaters provided the emergency
communication links that facilitated the restoration of 911 communications back to the
dispatch center for the duration of the power outages. The Allenspark Neighbors Emergency
Network (ANEN) and Airlink (Alternate Access Radio Network) also participated.

Read the full ARRL story at



2.   Distance Challenge Special Event Set in Arizona

The Northern Arizona DX Association will hold its third Distance Challenge Special Event at
Quartzfest (QF) on January 23 – 29, 2022. The idea behind the event is to see which
QuartzFest attendee can make the longest-distance portable contact from the Sonoran
Desert using whatever radio and antenna they can bring in and set up. If they don’t bring
in a radio and antenna, they can still enter by using the special event W7Q
communications trailer at QF. The trailer, owned by the Northern Arizona DX Association
(NADXA), will have three operating positions that can be used simultaneously — one for
SSB, one for FT8, and one for CW. There will be four entry classes. Details are on the
NADXA website. Winners will each receive the unique trophy hard hat, sponsored
-- Thanks to Distance Challenge Co-chairs Bob Wertz, NF7E, and Ron Gerlak, KG7OH

3.  Homebrew Heroes Award to be Managed by Ham Radio Workbench

The ICQ Amateur/Ham Radio Podcast team has shifted ownership and management of
the Homebrew Heroes Award to the Ham Radio Workbench Podcast.
Speaking on behalf of the Ham Radio Workbench Podcast, Rod Hardman VA3ON, said
he was delighted to have a leadership role in the award program. “It’s a perfect fit
for what we are about,” he said. The Homebrew Hero Award was the brainchild of
Frank Howell K4FMH, during the 2019 Dayton Hamvention®, which was the first time
the ICQ Amateur/Ham Radio Podcast team had gathered in person. A few months later,
the first award went to Hans Summers, G0UPL, of QRP Labs. Howell said he’ll maintain
a connection to the award program as a sponsor.
— Thanks to the ICQ Amateur/Ham Radio Podcast

4.  Work The World On A 555

Over the years the humble 555 timer has been used in so many unexpected places,
but there’s a project from Frank Latos which we think may be a first.
On a piece of stripboard sit a pair of 555s, and instead of the usual passive components
there are a set of LC circuits. This is no timer, instead it’s a CW (Morse) transmitter for
the 80 metre amateur radio band.
One 555 is configured as a feedback oscillator through a toroidal transformer with a
tuned circuit to set the frequency of oscillation. The other takes an inverted input from
the oscillator to produce complimentary push-pull outputs from both 555s, which are fed
to another transformer that in turn feeds a low-pass filter and thus the antenna.
Free-running squarewave oscillators of this type are not unusual for the lower HF bands,
but we think this is the first 555 design we’ve seen. As shown it doesn’t produce much in
the way of RF power, but remembering half-decent motor drivers using a 556 dual timer
we think that selection of one of the more powerful 555 variants might deliver some more
punch. We commend his creativity though, and hope he can get that all-important entry
in the log to prove it works.

This concludes this week's bulletin. Does anyone require repeats or clarifications?
Hearing none, This is V__3____ returning the frequency to net control.

Bulletin sent from Official Bulletin Manager
Posted by: Paul Caccamo <va3pc @ rac.ca>