The Maritime Amateur

Ham Radio for Maritimers by Maritimers

News & Information

APRS Messaging Emergency Communication

I was wondering if there is any interest in considering an APRS messaging net to promote the use of this technology in an Emergency Communication scenario?

I am talking about sending actual messages here, not position packets or others.

I realized that most Digipeaters and all igates are connected to the internet, so the test would not be 100% realistic, however, it may help folks from this region understand that this is another option for communicating. Ideally, we would be strictly using Digipeaters, which we have a lot of however, I don't think we can control that.

Many amateurs have radios that are capable of this, mine is a Yaesu FT2D, and it works great for this purpose. I also in the past used the Mobilinkd with a cell phone and Baofeng or Wouxun radio and I know a lot of people have Kenwoord mobile radios that can be use for this purpose.

Basically, what I was thinking is to have one net controller. Everyone would try to send one short message to the Net Controller to check-in. He/she would then respond verbally or using APRS text to each message received. This could be done during Exercise Handshake or during an IRG Emcom net. If it works, we can even make it a regular thing, not weekly of course, but maybe monthly or quarterly.

Let me know what you think.

Charles VE9CEL

[email protected]

RAC Basic Winter 2021 Course!

Registration is now underway for RAC Basic Winter 2021 Course!

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.

Schedule and Cost:

Date: The course will start on Thursday, January 14 and will finish in late March.

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.

Course material pertaining to all topics covered in the course syllabus will be provided to all registered students. It is also provided in PDF format below.

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.


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

RAC Study Guide Webpage

Maritime Fusion Net - 2020 Recap

It was another record breaking night for the Maritime Fusion Net Wednesday night as NCO Mike Caissie VE9MTV recorded 52 check-ins including 28 from Nova Scotia, 20 from New Brunswick and 4 from Prince Edward Island. This was the 52nd and final net of 2020.

The net started in January of 2020 after meetings with the WestCumb ARC and the Moncton & Area ARC in December of 2019. Knowing there were many amateurs with Fusion radios around the Maritimes but not being used that it was time to start up a net for everyone to fire up those new radios and join in.

The first net was on January 8th, 2020 with NCO Yvon Hachey VE1VON recording 34 check-ins with 13 repeaters connected. The net continued to grow over the year and finished with 1755 contacts and 19 repeaters connected via Wires-X over the year.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the net over the year including the NCO's: Yvon Hachey VE1VON, Mike Caissie VE9MTV, Robert Mannette VE1RMJ, Jim Langille VE1JBL, and back up NCO's Mike Embree VE1MY and Mike Masters VE1ZB. There is also a new NCO for 2021 with Robert Titus VE1CSE.

A big Thank You to all the owners and techs of the repeaters for linking into the CQ Maritimes room each week to expand the net to cover more area throughout the Maritimes.
Of course a huge Thank You to all the operators who joined in on the net each week. Without all of you this net would not have been possible.

For more information about the Maritime Fusion Net net go to the Moncton & Area ARC website and click on Nets.

Everyone stay safe but have a Happy New Year. Hope to hear you "On the Air" in 2021.

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

Brent Taylor, VY2HF, Appointed to the CARHOF Board of Trustees

The RAC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Brent Taylor, VY2HF, has been appointed as a Trustee for the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame (CARHOF).Brent lives in Stratford, Prince Edward Island with his wife Janice. He will be representing the province of Prince Edward Island for a three-year term from September 2020 until September 2023. Brent replaces Ella McCormick, VE1PEI, who served on the Board from 2015 to July 2020. The RAC Board and the CARHOF Board of Trustees extends sincere appreciation to Ella for her dedication and contributions to the CARFOF Board evaluation process over the years. We wish her all the best of success in her future endeavours.

Brent Taylor, VY2HF, was first licensed in 1984 as VE1APG and received his partial HF privileges six months later after demonstrating successful CW operation. One year later he passed his Advanced examination. He obtained the call VE1JH, and was known by that call for over 20 years. He then moved from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island in 2007 and acquired the call VY2HF. Brent believes strongly in supporting Amateur Radio organizations. He is a Past-President of the Fredericton Amateur Radio Club and the New Brunswick Amateur Radio Association. He was also involved with the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation (CARF) and the Canadian Radio Relay League (CRRL) before the merger into Radio Amateurs of Canada. He is a member of RAC, the Charlottetown Amateur Radio Club, the International Repeater Group (NB), the American Radio Relay League, the Radio Society of Great Britain, AMSAT, the National Radio Club, and the Canadian International DX Club.

Brent works for the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs as the Acting Manager of the Department’s Business Systems unit with responsibility over the database that holds the Department’s Veteran/client information. Prior to that he was a member of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board for 10 years, and previously worked as an educator, radio broadcaster, newspaper columnist, and served one term (1991-1995) as a member of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly.

“I am very pleased to be invited to join the CARHOF Board of Trustees as the representative from PEI. I believe I have a good sense of the kinds of achievements that would be worthy of CARHOF recognition. I have had some very capable and generous Elmer’s over the years, and have interacted with a wide range of Amateurs from all walks of life.

For more information about the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame please visit:

Frank Davis, VO1HP Chair, Board of Trustees Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame