To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Radio Amateurs of Canada was pleased to present the RAC Canada 150 Award program in 2017. The 14 special RAC call signs were activated by volunteers (see the tentative list of operations below) throughout the second half of 2017 starting with the RAC Canada Day Contest on July 1 and ending on December 31 immediately following the RAC Canada Winter Contest. Stations making contacts with a number of RAC stations during the last half of 2017 now have the opportunity to download an award corresponding to the number of different stations worked by visiting the RAC Canada 150 Award webpage and completing the online form at: https://wp.rac.ca/rac150/#award
In his President's Message in the January-February 2018 issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine, RAC President Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA, wrote the following:
“2017 has been a memorable year for Canada as we celebrated Canada’s Sesquicentennial. Radio Amateurs of Canada participated in the celebrations in several diverse ways. First, we received approval for Canadian Radio Amateurs to use special call signs throughout 2017 as part of our celebrations and we’ve heard many CF, CG, CH and CI calls being used throughout the year.
Our largest effort was devoted to the RAC Canada 150 Award. This gathered a great deal of interest not only from within Canada but around the world. Volunteers from across the country activated RAC call signs in all of our provinces and territories beginning appropriately with the Canada Day Contest which was held on Canada’s 150th Birthday on July 1.
The RAC website, social media and the pages of TCA promoted the event and our website also provided a way for participants to check how many RAC stations they had worked and download an award certificate. Over the summer and into the fall, as more and more people learned of this activity, the RAC station operators found themselves managing ever larger pileups!
By the end of November, volunteers operating RAC call signs in the second half of 2017 had delivered more than 250 logs recording their activity. These list more than 60,000 QSOs or more than 12,000 per month.
As the RAC stations were operated by volunteers we provided information on our website listing when the call signs would be operated. More than 24,000 different stations have participated in our event in the first five months including more than 2,000 from Canada.
We attracted a great deal of interest outside of Canada with more than 15,000 stations in the Continental USA. In addition, over 7,000 more stations outside of Canada and the USA made up the balance of the different call signs noted in our logs. After the Canada 150 Celebrations officially end on December 31 we’ll provide a final report on the overall results on the RAC website and in a future issue of TCA.
I particularly want to thank the volunteers who made the event possible. Keith Witney, VE7KW and Gabor Horvath, VE7JH, both responded to a request in my President’s Message in the May-June 2017 TCA for volunteers to flesh out a general concept of the event.
Richard Ferch, VE3KI – our Regulatory Affairs Officer who holds the RAC call signs and who is also an avid contester – provided invaluable advice and managed the flow of information and log sheets from our RAC station operators into the awards software.
Keith and Gabor brought their experience with the VIMY100 event held earlier in the year and their contact with Atilla Holop, HA2NA, who had first made his web application available for the VIMY100 event and graciously agreed to do so for the RAC Canada 150 Award as well.
The activity could not have taken place without the support of RAC members who volunteered to operate the RAC stations in every province and territory. I know that they found the experience exciting and rewarding all on its own, but I want to recognize them with a special award based on the RAC Canada 150 Award to thank them for their contributions.” A list of completed operations is provided below.
The following is a tentative list of the many volunteers who activated RAC call signs from July 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017 as part of the RAC Canada 150 Award. Thank you! We are now processing the logs and will update the information once that has been completed.
VA2RAC – Jean Charron, VE2JCW, operated on July 21-26. Gilles Renucci, VE2TZT, operated from August 17-28. André Perron, VE2ZT, operated every weekend from the beginning of September until December 30 on various bands from 80m to 6m. Gilles Renucci, VE2TZT/VA3EW, operated VA2RAC during the RAC Canada Winter Conteston December 30
VA3RAC – John Leonardelli, VE3IPS, operated on July 29-30; Dennis Rule, VE3BF, operated on August 6-11; Rob Noakes, VE3PCP, Carson Morton, VA3OSO and Fred Gibson, VE3KHQ, operated on Saturday, August 12 for International Youth Day; and Steve Edwards, VA3TPS, operated from August 15 to 18 and August 21 to 25. Robert Vanderminnen, VA3RMV, operated from September 8 to September 10 mostly in the evenings. Kevin Clements, VE3RCN/VA3OR, operated from September 11 to September 15 as follows: "80m through 70cm including WARC bands limited to a max of 100w. Modes: CW (by fist), SSB, RTTY, JT65a, FT8 and SSTV. SO-50 satellite QSOs will be conducted during daylight hours, weather (and other duties) permitting from grid FN02. May also try AO-85". Tom Haavisto, VE3CX, activated the VA3RAC call sign for the CQWW RTTY Contest on September 23 and September 24 as a single op, all band, high power effort. Steve McEdwards, VA3TPS, operated from October 11 to 15 and Rob Noakes, VE3PCP, operated from October 20 to October 22 for the Scouts' Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA). Richard Ferch, VE3KI, operated as VA3RAC in the ARRL CW Sweepstakes contest from November 4 to November 6. Denis Rule, VE3BF, operated VA3RAC from November 6 until November 24. Rob Noakes, VE3PCP, operated VA3RAC from Friday, December 1 at 5 pm until Sunday, December 3. Denis Rule, VE3BF, operated from Sunday, December 3 to Thursday, December 7. Rob Noakes, VE3PCP, operated from Friday, December 8 at 5 pm until Sunday, December 10 and from Friday, December 15 at 6 pm until Sunday, December 17. Denis Rule, VE3BF, operated from Monday, December 18 to Thursday, December 21. Jeremy Jones, VA3ZTF, operated from Thursday, December 21 at 5 pm until Tuesday, December 26 at 5 pm. Neil Macklem, VE3SST, activated VA3RAC from 5 pm on Tuesday, December 26 until 6 pm on Friday, December 29. The Ottawa Amateur Radio Club operated as VA3RAC from the “Diefenbunker”, Canada's Cold War Museum for the RAC Canada Winter Contest on Saturday, December 30. The OARC also operated VA3RAC on New Year's Eve, December 31, to close out the year. Operators in the OARC group included Jeremy Jones VA3ZTF, Diane Bruce VA3DB, Mike Kelly VE3FFK/VE3ZY, Paul Coverdale VE3ICV, Dave Conn VE3KL, Jamie Bastien VE3UBJ, Greg Danylchenko VA3GD, Glenn MacDonell VE3XRA, Carl Nielsen VE3CZN, Dave Green VE3TLY, Alan MacPhee VE3ZTU and Lawrence Dobranski VA5LD/VE3LGD.
VE1RAC – Scott Nichols, VE1OP, of North Sydney, Cape Breton, operated from August 7 to 31. Bob Schofield, VE1RSM, operated from September 1 to September 30. Len Morgan, VE9MY, Russ Hemphill, VE9FI, Linda Friars, VE9GLF and Patricia, VE9DZ, operated VE1RAC from October 6 to October 15 from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Bob Schofield, VE1RSM, Fred Archibald, VE1FA, Helen Archibald, VA1YL and Scott Nichols, VE1OP, then activated VE1RAC from October 16 until December 31. Bob Schofield, VE1RSM, Fred Archibald, VE1FA, and Helen Archibald, VA1YL, also activated VE1RAC during the RAC Canada Winter Contest on December 30.
VE4RAC – Cary Rubenfeld, VE4EA, operated VE4RAC in the NAQP CW contest on August 5-6 and after the contest on August 13; Jessy Blanchette, VE4JBB, operated on August 15; John Romanec, VE4VJR, operated on August 16-18; and Don Menzies, VE4DFM, operated on August 18. Cary Rubenfeld, VE4EA and Richard Ferch, VE4AEO/VE3KI, operated from August 23 to September 1, joined by Jessy, VE4JBB, on September 1. Cary, VE4EA, operated as VE4RAC again from September 16-23. Cary VE4EA, Harm Hazeu VE4HAZ, Gerry Hull VE1RM, Ed Richardson VE4VT/VE4EAR, John Romanec VE4VJR and Lee Drory VE4DXR all operated as VE4RAC at various times during the fall. Ed Richardson, VE4EA/VE4VT operated as VE4RAC during the RAC Canada Winter Contest.
VE5RAC – Saskatchewan Section Manager, Summer Hartzfeld, VE5SDH, activated the VE5RAC call sign on Saturday, August 5 for the North American QSO Party contest from Saturday at noon to midnight. It was a CW operation. Summer also operated as VE5RAC during the CQ WW CW contest on November 25-26. Bj Madsen, VE5FX, operated as VE5RAC on 20m SSB during the rest of the year. The Sask-Alta Radio Club, VE5RI, in Lloydminster, activated VE5RAC during the RAC Canada Winter Contest on December 30.
VE6RAC – David Gervais, VE6KD, operated the VE6RAC station from September 4 to September 17. Patrick Piedmont, VE6PIE, operated as VE6RAC from October 20 to October 22.Members of the Calgary Amateur Radio Association operated the Association's club station VE6AO under the VE6RAC call sign from November 3 to November 17. Hubert Johnson, VE6AMY, operated VE6RAC from November 18 to December 3. Hans Mausolf, VE6TK, operated as VE6RAC in the CQ Worldwide CW Contest on November 25 and November 26 and for the ARRL 160 Meter Contest from 2200Z December 1 to 1600Z December 3. David Gervais, VE6KD, operated from December 4 to December 10. Gord Kosmenko, VE6SV, John Torneby VE6MRT and Max Stagg VE6RST operated VE6RAC from December 11 until December 31 including the RAC Canada Winter Contest on December 30.
VE7RAC – Fred Orsetti, VE7IO, organized the following volunteers to operate the VE7RAC call sign for the rest of the year: Doug Pichette, VA7DP, Gabor Horvath, VE7JH, Al McNeil, VA7QQ, John Mackay, VE7RB, Keith Witney VE7KW, Al Ross, VE7WJ, Donald Studney VE7DS, Jeanne Wilson VA7QD, Jim Smith, VE7FO, Marcia Lui VE7JT, Christine Pires VA7NLF, Pedro Catalan VA7XP, Rebecca Kimoto, VA7BEC, Koji Kimoto, VA7KO, John Noakes VE7NI, Brian Summers, VE7JKZ, John White, VA7JW, John Schouten, VE7TI, Guy Immega VA7GI, Stan Williams VA7NF, Heinz Buhrig VA7AQ, Elizabeth Anderson, VE7YL and Fred Orsetti, VE7IO. A multi-operator team including Stan Williams VA7NF, Christine Pires VA7NLF, Pedro Catalan VA7XP, Jeanne Wilson VA7QD, Mike Zavarukhin VE7ACN and Fred Orsetti VE7IO operated as VE7RAC during the RAC Canada Winter Contest on December 30 from VE7IO's station.
VE8RAC – Gerry St Amand, VE8GER, operated from his cabin near Inuvik in the Northwest Territories from August 17 until August 24 and September 1 to September 4. VE8GER also operated as VE8RAC in October and from November 15 until the end of the year, with the exception of the Canada Winter Contest. Chris Cameron, VE8WD, operated VE8RAC in the RAC Canada Winter Contest.
VE9RAC – Jean-Paul Leblanc, VE9BK and Marcel Leblanc, VE9ML activated VE9RAC during the year including as a Multi-2 in the NAQP CW contest on August 5-6 and the RAC Canada Winter Contest on December 30. Andy McLellan, VE9DX, operated in FT8 from September 23 to October 3 and in digital modes at the end of the year.
VO1RAC – Doug Mercer, VO1DM, operated from August 1-5, Frank Davis, VO1HP, from August 6-12, and Boyd Snow, VO1DI, operated from August 16-19 and again from September 21-23. Max Powell, VO1VR, operated from September 10 to September 16. Chris Hillier, VO1IDX, operated from September 24 to 30. Boyd Snow, VO1DI, RAC NL Section Manager, organized several RAC members across Newfoundland to activate VO1RAC from October to the end of the year as follows: Carl Milley, VO1UL from October 1-7; Chris McGonigle, VO1TX, from October 8-14; Loren Butler, VO1OE, from October 15-21; George Hopkins, VO1EGH, from October 22-28; and Joe Earles, VO1BQ, from October 29 to November 4; Barry Harris, VO1NC, from November 5-11; Ross Trickett, VO1ROS, from November 12-18; and Frank Davis, VO1HP, from November 19-25. Max Powell, VO1VR, operated from November 26 to December 2. Ken Tucker, VO1KVT, operated from December 3-9. Dave Parsons, VO1COD, operated VO1RAC from December 10-16. Chris Hillier, VO1IDX, operated from December 17-23. Boyd Snow, VO1DI, operated VO1RAC from December 24-31 to close out the year, including the Canada Winter Contest.
VO2RAC – Chris Allingham, VO2AC, in CW, operated as follows: August 25 to September 4; September 22; October 7-8; November 4-6; and November 13 and in December. Nazaire Simon, VO2NS, operated in SSB and digital modes from September 1 to December 17. Chris VO2AC operated as VO2RAC during the Canada Winter Contest.
VY0RAC – Pierre Fogal, VE3KBT, operated from Eureka, Nunavut on July 12-23. Michael Shouldice, VY0CF, operated from September 17 until September 30 from Rankin Inlet. Alex Tikhomirov, VE1RUS and Pierre Fogal, Pierre, VE3KTB, operated again from Eureka, Nunavut from October 17 to November 10. Mike Shouldice, VY0CF, once again operated from November 10 to November 30 and also closed out the year until December 31 including the RAC Canada Winter Contest on December 30.
VY1RAC – Gerry Hull, VE1RM, operating the station of VY1JA, activated VY1RAC on CW and Digital modes from August 16 to September 4 and again in CW and SSB on December 16. David Musselwhite, VY1XY, in PSK31, September 22 to December 14; Allen Wootton, VY1KX, operated VY1RAC mainly in CW from October 16 to December 11. Bob Melanson, VY1MB, operated as VY1RAC in SSB from September 7 to October 10, on November 29 and from December 7-15. David Musselwhite, VY1XY, operated from December 17 to December 31 and in the RAC Canada Winter Contest on December 30.
VY2RAC – RAC Director Phil McBride, VA3QR, operated from Cavendish, Prince Edward Island from August 13 to August 19 on Sunday, August 13 on 40m, 60m and 80m SSB. Len Morgan, VE9MY, Russ Hemphill, VE9FI, Linda Friars, VE9GLF and Patricia Targonski, VE9DZ, activated VY2RAC while visiting Prince Edward Island. Ron Huybers, VY2HR and Ken McCormick, VY2RU, activated VY2RAC through the end of 2017. Ken McCormick, VY2RU and Bill Glydon, VY2LI, operated as VY2RAC during the RAC Canada Winter Contest.
Stay tuned to the March-April 2018 issue of The Canadian Amateur for a wrap-up article about the RAC Canada 150 Award Program.