The Maritime Amateur

Ham Radio for Maritimers by Maritimers

News & Information

Updated Mar.22nd, 2021

Amateur Radio Basic Course

Registration for Spring 2021 RAC Basic Course is now underway

For immediate release:

Radio Amateurs of Canada is once again offering an online Amateur Radio course so that individuals from all across Canada can obtain their Amateur Radio Operator Certificate with Basic Qualification while continuing to practise social/physical distancing.

The course will again be conducted with the assistance of the Annapolis Valley Amateur Radio Club (AVARC) of Nova Scotia.

This course prepares students for the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) Basic Qualification Level Operator Certificate exam to operate on allocated Amateur Radio frequencies.

Course material pertaining to all topics covered in the course syllabus will be provided to all registered students. Students must have a copy of the Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide provided by Coax Publications. For more information please visit the RAC Study Guides webpage.

It is essential that all students have the necessary equipment and bandwidth capable of taking the course – at least a tablet or PC and a DSL broadband connection.

Schedule and Cost:

Date: The course will start on Thursday, April 15 and will finish in late June.

Time: Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6 pm to 8:30 (1800 – 2030) Eastern Time (1900 – 2130 Atlantic Time) and Sunday afternoons 1 pm to 3:30 pm (1300 – 1530) Eastern Time (1400 – 1630 Atlantic Time).

Cost: The registration fee for the course is $50 plus GST/HST. The cost of the Basic Study Guide is extra and an order link will be provided upon completion of payment.


The course will use the GoToMeeting web-based service. Students will receive instructions on how to log on to the online sessions once they have registered for the course. Classes will be recorded, so occasional absences are not a problem.

The course instructor is Al Penney, VO1NO. Al was first licensed in 1977 and has been active in many areas of Amateur Radio including contesting, DXing, VHF/UHF weak signal, satellites, emergency communications and DXpeditioning. He has served as the President of six different Amateur Radio clubs in both Canada and the United States and currently chairs the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 Band Planning Committee. Al has taught the Basic Qualification Amateur Radio Course since 1994.

Complete information about the course and a downloadable copy of the course syllabus are available at:


If you would like to take part in this course please register now by completing the registration form provided on the RAC website at:

Other Amateur Radio Courses:

Amateur Radio Basic and Advanced Qualification courses are also now being provided both online and in person by Canadian Amateur Radio Clubs and organizations. Please visit the Amateur Radio Courses webpage for more information at the link provided below.

Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA

RAC President and Chair

Update on the VE1OM 6 meter Repeater

I received a note from Scott McNutt VE1CHL stating the VE1OM 6 meter repeater has been moved from Gore to Shubenacadie. Scott tells me that he had a hard time getting into it at Gore, but now the repeater is full scale at his home in Bible Hill.

He notes that if someone can get into the Shubie repeater on 2 meters they might be able to get the 6 meter repeater.

rec 51.620  tx 52 .620

RAC Amateur of the Year 2020: Al Penney, VO1NO

The RAC Board of Directors takes great pleasure in selecting Alphonse (Al) Penney, VO1NO, as the recipient of the RAC Amateur of the Year Award for 2020 in recognition of his tireless efforts to promote Amateur Radio throughout Canada and internationally. Through the RAC Amateur of the Year Award, Radio Amateurs of Canada recognizes the outstanding contributions made by Canadian Amateurs. The RAC Board considers nominations for the RAC Amateur of the Year Award and presents it if and when the nomination demonstrates the exceptional contribution made. If there are several nominations the best for that year is approved

DR-2X Repeater purchase program

Yaesu is pleased to announce the continuation of the DR-2X repeater purchase program for our customers. This program allows for the purchase of an analog/digital (Yaesu System Fusion) repeater for a discounted price.

DR-2X Application Form

Local Amateur setting up Streaming video on YouTube

Always looking for ways to entice operators to try new things in the hobby.

One of our local amateurs in the WestCumb ARC is starting up a YouTube channel to dedicate to the hobby.

Robert Mannette VE1RMJ from Oxford NS has set up a channel to operate live feeds for radio nets and other events.

His first mission is to live stream the Maritime Fusion Net held each Wednesday night at 7pm in the CQ Maritimes room 60207.

Everyone who connects to the channel will see the Wires-X program used by some Fusion operators and NCO's to see what repeaters and nodes are connected to the net and also see who is talking and the repeater they are using. If you only want to listen to the net you do not need to be close to your radio, just turn on your computer, phone, or even your television to broadcast the YouTube channel. This will also be great for operators who are not into Fusion yet as they can also follow the net and see how Fusion works.

Hopefully, we can get more hams interested in the mode.

If you are interested in this, please go to his YouTube site click on Subscribe on the right-hand side near the top of the page.

Here is the link

I also have a large email following for Fusion Radio including reminders and recaps of the net. If you would like to be added to this list let me know via [email protected]

WAP-WADA Honor Roll Plate to VE1HQ Sheldon R. Donaldson

VE1HQ, Mr. Sheldon Roy Donaldson from Pubnico, NS, Canada, is a keen DXer and Antarctic chaser. He has just received his WAP-WADA Honor Roll plate and certificate on Jan 8th 2021.

Learn More

New IRG repeater at Mount Carleton Park

Another new IRG repeater went on-air January 5! Mount Carleton Park (VE9MCP) on 147.120 + is the latest addition, bringing the total number of IRG repeaters to twenty-seven (27). The new site is near the park headquarters and will provide additional improved coverage in northern New Brunswick.

The new Mt. Carleton repeater joins Grand Lake (VE9GLA 145.198 -) which was added in December 2019.

At this time, these two new repeaters are stand-alone and cannot yet be linked to other parts of the system. Planning is underway to reconfigure the IRG Zones at a later date which will include these two new repeaters in the link system.

Thanks to the folks at NB Department of Transportation and Infrastructure for their help with this project.

For more information on the International Repeater Group  CLICK HERE

Al Penney, VO1NO, elected as the new RAC Director for the Atlantic Region

Alphonse (Al) Penney, VO1NO, was born and raised in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. A Remco crystal radio kit Christmas gift, and the acquisition of a Halicrafters S-38D shortwave receiver as a boy sparked a lifelong fascination with the “magic of radio”. Al was licensed in early 1977 after taking an evening course sponsored by the local Department of Communications (DOC) Radio Inspector.

Al has served on the Executives of many clubs throughout Canada and the USA, including Vice-President of the West Island ARC in Montreal, and President of the VE2CMR ARC, Halifax ARC, West Carleton ARC in Ottawa, and the Pike’s Peak Radio Amateur Association in Colorado Springs while serving at NORAD Headquarters.

More recently he co-founded the Annapolis Valley Amateur Radio Club in Nova Scotia, a “virtual” club that appeals to those who do not like to take part in more traditional clubs.

Al has been involved with teaching prospective Amateurs since the early 1990s. He is one of the primary instructors for the Halifax ARC for their Basic and Advanced courses, and organized and taught the RAC Online Basic Course in response to the global pandemic. The two online courses completed to date have seen more than 300 students across Canada graduate, with another course starting in the New Year.

Al has been the RAC Band Planning Coordinator since 2013, and spearheaded the effort to update the Canadian HF band plans and have them published in a graphic format. He is currently coordinating the update of the VHF/UHF band plans. He lives in Aylesford, Nova Scotia on 10 acres he would like to turn into an antenna farm.

Al takes over from Dave Goodwin, VE9CB, who also just completed his second consecutive term and he previously served as Director from 2004 to 2006 and as RAC President in 2008. Dave will be continuing to teach RAC’s Advanced Courses and he is also going to be assisting with RAC’s communication efforts.

73 Magazines

I was purging some of my saved websites and came across this one, maybe some of you may be interested in looking at the old magazines. 73 Magazine (also known as 73 Amateur Radio Today) was a United States-based amateur radio magazine that was published from 1960 to 2003. It was known for its strong emphasis on technical articles and for the lengthy editorials in each issue by its founder and publisher, Wayne Green. The magazine title, 73, means "best regards" in amateur radio lingo.

73 and have a Great Christmas - Ken VY2RU