HARC News

This page contains detailed information on the latest HARC news.


2017 Brit Fader Scholarship Awarded to Bram Paterson - VA2XE


The Halifax Amateur Radio Club is pleased to announce that Bram Paterson - VA2XE - has been awarded the 2017 Brit Fader Scholarship.

Bram has just completed a college programme in engineering at CÉGEP de Saint-Laurent and will begin Electrical Engineering at the Sir George Williams Campus of Concordia University in Montreal in September 2017. It was because of his experiences in Amateur Radio that Bram elected to further his education in the field of electrical engineering and hopes to work in the area of RF field engineering.

Bram’s operating activities consist of SSB HF 2m and 70cm (FM & DMR) and he operates an APRS gate at his home QTH.

Bram served as the treasurer for the West Island Amateur Radio Club from 2015 to 2017, and is currently the editor of the Club News Letter, acts as backup net control operator for the Club and helps out at Field Day.

Bram was awarded a RAC Scholarship in 2015 as well as the 2015 Brit Fader Scholarship.


2016 HARC Amateur of the Year awarded to Win Hartlin (VE1WIN)

The Halifax Amateur Radio Club is pleased to honour Win Hartlin (VE1WIN) with a special “2016 Amateur of the Year” award for his long-standing and active support of the Halifax Club.


Win, now in his 91st year, has for many years participated in the vast majority of our Club’s activities, including Field Day, the Down-East Flea Market, the DX Forum, the MS Bike Rides and Walks, and was a major generator of advertising revenue for the past three Maritime Callbooks. Most recently, Win has been a regular feature at the new “Wireless Room” at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, meeting and greeting visitors from around the world.

Win became a Silent Key on Tuesday March 21st as a result of pneumonia.


2016 Brit Fader Scholarship Awarded to Trent Mitchell (VE9EN)


The Halifax Amateur Radio Club is pleased to announce that Trent Mitchell (VE9EN) of Fredericton New Brunswick has been awarded the 2016 Brit Fader Scholarship.

Trent will be entering his fifth year in Electrical Engineering in September 2016 at the University of New Brunswick. He has been an honour student throughout high school and university. He developed an interest in Amateur Radio when he was eleven, but it was not until he was in university that he decided that he wanted to become formally involved in Amateur Radio. He was first licensed as VE9EN in January of 2016 and in February of the same year passed the advanced exam.

Trent is a member of the International Repeater Group (IRG) in New Brunswick, is a regular participant on the weekly IRG nets, and is affiliated with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Amateur Radio Club, where he is a regular user of the Club\s HF station operating both phone and JT65 modes. In addition, he occasionally serves in the capacity of voluntary technical support for the Club, troubleshooting radio and computer issues.

Trent’s strong interest in electronics and electrical systems from an early age evolved into a passion to learn and understand how electronic components work, and in his case, his interest in electronics has led him to become involved in Amateur Radio. In turn, his new-found interest in Amateur Radio has let him to a summer position with a large national communications firm.


HARC Establishes a Wireless Room at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

The Wireless Room
A Joint Project of the Halifax Amateur Radio Club and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic


HARC has been working with Halifax’s Maritime Museum of the Atlantic (MMA) to produce a new permanent exhibit, illustrating both amateur radio and radio’s vital role in maritime and shipping history. This very popular museum on Halifax’s waterfront displays the long and fascinating history of ships, sailors, and maritime boating, fishing, marine commerce, and naval activity in our region. With the invention of radio, for the first time in human history ships were no longer cut off from the rest of humanity when they were out of sight of land. Navigation, safety, and rescues at sea were enormously improved, and the number shipwrecks decreased dramatically, thanks to this magical invention.

To see the full story with photos of the Wiresless Room follow this link.....

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The following is a schedule of expected activity levels at the MMA over the remained of 2016. HARC members will be needed at expected high-traffic times to be "on deck" to operate the station and to inform the public.

* Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Radio Room Calendar for 2016 / 2017

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The following presentation was made to the Halifax Club February meeting in 2016 on the HARC Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, radio room project. Halifax Amateur Radio Club Radio Room Exhibit at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
by Fred Archibald - VE1FA


Personal Communications at the Joint Arctic Weather Stations in the 1950s

Except for major family emergencies people who went to work on the Joint Arctic Weather Stations (JAWS) were reliant on the mail brought in during the Spring and Fall Airlift and the occasional mail-drop. There were no telephones and radio teletype was only introduced in the late 50s.The first domestic communications satellite, allowing wide-spread use of telephone service in the North, was not launched until the early 70s.
This serious gap was filled by volunteer radio amateurs. They provided messaging service as well as “phone patches” when radio conditions permitted. Many people on the JAWS arranged phone patches with people close to their homes.

To see the full story of how HARC's Brit Fader and others made communication with the north possible in the early days follow this link.....


2015 HARC Rookie of the Year


Coral Wickstrom - VA1CAW

We are pleased to award the 2015 Rookie of the Year Award to Coral Wickstrom (VA1CAW). Coral is active in the life of HARC having participated in a number of HARC sponsored events. She was a charter member of the Halifax Auxiliary Telecommunications Service, has completed the Halifax ATS training course, has been assigned to a Joint Emergency Management Site (JEMS), and participated in Operation Kingfisher. She participated in the 2015 Field Day and operated as a member of the GOTA group. An attendee at many monthly HARC meetings, she has also assisted with the Britt Fader QSL Bureau.


HARC Members Donate Dolphins to Submarine Museum



Two pairs of dolphins are being donated to Canada’s submarine museums by LCdr Jim Guilford, RCN (Retired). One pair of dolphins, about 12 inches high, is being donated to the Museum of Naval History in Port Burwell, Ontario, for the OJIBWA Submarine Museum; and the other pair of dolphins, about 6 inches high, is being donated to Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père in Rimouski, Quebec for the ONONDAGA Submarine Museum. The dolphins have been transferred to Donald Courcy, a submarine veteran, who will deliver the dolphins to the submarine museums. In the attached photos, you can see Donald Courcy on the right accepting the dolphins from LCdr Jim Guilford on the left.

LCdr Guilford served many years in the Canadian Submarine Service when he was a non-commissioned officer and his trade was Radioman, just like Donald Courcy. He was Donald’s POTEL on OKANAGAN and OJIBWA IN 1971/1972. Jim also served as COX’N of OJIBWA. He held the rank of CPO1 before commissioning from the ranks and he achieved the rank of LCdr before retiring from the Royal Canadian Navy. Jim ( VE1JG ) and Donald ( VE1CG ) are passionate ham radio operators and lovers of the morse code. Jim has also accumulated one of the best collection of morse keys in Canada. Donald recently moved back to Halifax and reconnected with Jim at a meeting of the Halifax Amateur Radio Club. It is while reminiscing their submarine days that Jim came up with the idea of donating the dolphins to the submarine museums.



Canadian Hams Successfully Cross the Pond on Two Meters

Several Canadian Radio Amateurs, including three from the Halifax Amateur Radio Club – Fred Archibald (VE1FA); Helen Archibald (VA1YL) and Rich Pieniaszek (VA1CHP) – along with two colleagues from the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia – Roger Sturtevant (VE1SKY); and Al Penney (VO1NO) – successfully made a one-way two-metre transatlantic transmission between Pouch Cove in Newfoundland and Europe, on July 6th, 2014 at 13:41 UTC, in an effort to claim the coveted Brendan award. Pouch Cove is about 40 km north of St. John’s. The group was using new technology in an effort to replicate, in reverse, Guglielmo Marconi's 1901 transatlantic transmission achievement, and for this, they hope to win the Irish Radio Transmitter Society's Brendan Plate, one of three coveted Brendan Awards, for their achievement.

The expedition operated from Maidenhead Grid GN37os on 144.155 MHz. It will run 750 watts into a 30 meter long rope Yagi with a gain of more than 23 dB over a dipole. The group concentrated its efforts on JT65B, a digital mode that offers greatly enhanced performance over more conventional modes. The callsign used was VC1T.

Details on the expedition can be found on the team's website --> www.brendanquest.org.

2014 Transatlantic Two Meter "Brendan Quest" Objectives:

  1. Complete one or more legal, confirmed, two-way QSOs between North America and Europe on the Amateur Radio 2 meter band using terrestrial propagation modes;

  2. Complete such contacts using both "traditional" (CW or SSB) and "non-traditional" (JT65B or ISCAT) modes; and;

  3. Failing the above, to be heard in Europe.


2015 Brit Fader Scholarship Award to Bram Paterson - VE2XCS


The Halifax Amateur Radio Club is pleased to announce that Bram Paterson - VE2XCS - has been awarded the 2015 Brit Fader Academic Scholarship.

Bram is a member of the West Island Amateur Radio Club in Montreal where he serves as Club Treasurer and Director of Publishing, and has served as one of the Club net control operators.

He has been active in the Club's Field Day, and uses software-defined radio to monitor the HF bands.

Bram credits Amateur Radio for his chosen career path in electrical engineering. He has been accepted into the electrical engineering programme at Cegep de Saint-Laurent in Montreal.


2014 HARC Rookie of the Year

Scott Verge, VE1SRV

With the completion of the Basic Amateur Radio Certification course in December 2013, Scott Verge distinguished himself by passing both certification exams for the Basic with Honours and Advanced levels with the very highest marks.

At the Christmas dinner, just a few days later, he let it be clearly understood that he wished to become involved in the work of HARC. This he has done in innumerable ways, including:
• Attending all the monthly meetings
• Taking part in the Executive Committee as a non-voting observer
• Participating in all the Club’s events, such as the Ham Radio Breakfast, Flea Market, Field Day and more.
• He has worked on Repeaters, taken the Climbing Course and been on several antenna climbs, and taken an active interest in all the issues being addressed by HARC
• Engaged fully as a member of the EMO Radio Advisory Group

However, most significantly of all, beginning in the spring of 2014 he has not only taken on the role as Coordinator for the fall Basic Amateur Radio Certification course, but he has also introduced valuable new approaches that promise improved results from the course and instituted an approach that has made students more comfortable in taking the necessary steps beyond passing an exam to actually communicating as a Radio Amateur.

Finally, at the November AGM he was nominated and elected to a position as the Executive Member with responsibility for Education.

This record of participation and achievement leading to an Executive position truly is deserving of the award of Rookie of the Year!


HARC #1 in Canada in the 2014 ARRL Field Day in 2F Class

Once again, the Halifax Amateur Radio Club (HARC) with a total of 7,218 points has once again placed first in Canada in its class (2A) in the 2014 ARRL Field Day and 24th overall in the 2A class.

This year, 47,428 operators participated in the 81st annual Field Day, operating from mountain-tops, parks, emergency operation centres and homes across North America, including the historic York Redoubt at the entrance to the Halifax Harbour, where 37 members of the Halifax Club participated.

The Halifax Club traditionally alternates between the 2A and 2F classes, operating in the field one year and from the Club station (backup site for the EMO Emergency Operations Centre) on alternate years.

The photo below is a montage outlining activity at the Field Day site in 2014, including panoramic view of the Club’s set up at York Redoube.


2013 Brit Fader Scholarship Award to Alex Cushley


Mr. Cushley is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Physics at the Royal Military College in Kingston Ontario. Alex received his Amateur Radio license – Basic with honours – in 2009, and is a member of the Kingston Amateur Radio Club. He has been involved with “High Altitude Balloon Experiments”, and with setup and maintenance of the VE3RMC Ham Radio satellite ground station; he also participated in the 2012 ARES exercise in Kingston.

Alex is most interested in using Ham Radio to support science experiments and his academic pursuits, including tracking, telemetry and down-linking of balloon and satellite data.


2013 HARC Rookie of the Year

The Halifax Amateur Radio Club is pleased to announce the awarding of the 2013 HARC Rookie of the Year award to Brandon Fowler (VE1BMF) and Graham Fowler (VE1GFA) – two young brothers who were both licensed in December 2012.

The Fowler brothers are both high-school students and both took the Basic Amateur Radio course offered by the Halifax Club in the fall of 2012.

Brandon and Graham were regular attendees at the monthly HARC meetings throughout 2013, and both were active participants in Club activities throughout the year, including the Down East Flea Market and Field Day. Their father, Jeremy Fowler (VE1JHF) is secretary of the Halifax Club.


2013 HARC Basic Amatyeur Radio ClassGraduates


Acadia & New Scotland Contester of the Year Award

The Maritime Contest Club is pleased to announce a new awards program for Radio Amateurs located in the Maritime Provinces of Canada.

The goal of these new awards is to encourage participation and achievement in the Sport of Radio Contesting among Radio Amateur Stations in the Maritimes, and to promote the sport of Radio Contesting in the Maritime region.

The Acadia award is given for the contester with the highest aggregate score over the year, and the New Scotland award is given to the individual with the second highest aggregate score.

The current winners for the Acadia and New Scotland awards are respectively:
2009: VY2SS, VE1RGB
2010: VE1OP, VE1ZA
2011: VE1ZA, VE1RGB

A more detailed document, containing information relating to contest eligibility,scoring and category weighting is located on the MCC website.

For more information on the Maritime Contest Club visit the friendly folks of the MCC at their website.


2012 Radio Amateur of the Year

The RAC Board of Directors has just announced the selection of K. Scott Wood, VE1QD of Halifax, Nova Scotia, as the Canadian Radio Amateur of the Year for 2012.

Standing with Scott from left to right are:
John Sluymer, VE3EJ
George Nicholson, VE1GRN and N4GRN
Gary Bartlett, VE1RGB
Scott Wood, VE1QD
Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW and RAC President
John Scott, VE1JS

Scott celebrated 60 years in Amateur Radio in 2012. During these years, Scott has contributed in many ways, both to our hobby and to radio in the broader sense – In his youth as a net controller for all radio services at Crater Lake National Park; as a radio operator in the US Naval Reserve; as a member of the Board of Directors for Radio for Peace International; in contesting and DXing, and in Elmering aspiring new hams, both young and old. He currently serves as the RAC Assistant Regional Director for the Halifax region, is the President of the Halifax Amateur Radio Club, and is a tireless supporter and promoter of our national organization.

The awarding of Radio Amateur of the Year to Scott is based not only on the leadership in Amateur Radio that he has demonstrated – locally, regionally, and internationally – but also, and primarily, on his vision, enthusiasm, dogged determination, and commitment to excellence in the area of Amateur Radio DXing through the establishment and running of the Maritime DX Forum for eight consecutive years – 2004 to 2011 inclusive.

The DX Forum was Scott’s “brain child” from its inception in 2004. Scott envisioned the forum to be a venue where DXers in the region (Atlantic Canada) could come together annually to hear world-class speakers as well as local DX experts, speak about important and current DX topics, and to provide a forum in which to share ideas with some of the best operators and leaders within the Amateur Radio community. True to his Unitarian philosophy, Scott strived to ensure that the Forum was truly inclusive – DXers with little or no experience, to those who were dedicated to this aspect of our hobby were encouraged to attend and to participate fully. For those who could not afford the registration cost, Scott established a support fund to ensure no one was excluded for any reason. To a very large extent the success that this annual gathering of DX enthusiasts in Halifax has been the result of the tremendous amount of time and effort that Scott invested, both on-air and through personal contacts that he has made throughout the Canadian Maritime provinces, nationally and internationally. Perhaps the most successful of its kind in Canada, the Maritime DX Forum has drawn attendees not just from Atlantic Canada, but from Ontario, Alberta, BC, the North Eastern US states, the UK, Europe and as far away as Japan.

Scott organized and held the inaugural DX Forum gathering of twenty or so DX enthusiasts in August 2004 at his home on Moser Island on St. Margaret’s Bay Nova Scotia, and from there the event grew in leaps and bounds to include some of the most well-known Radio Amateurs in Canada, the United States and internationally. The DX Forum is clearly Scott’s seminal contribution to Amateur Radio.

It is interesting to note that of the 21 Radio Amateur of the Year awards that have been made since 1976, three have been members of the Halifax Amateur Radio Club – 1976 Brit Fader, VE1FQ; 2003 Bill Elliott, VE1MR, and 2012 Scott Wood, VE1QD.

Page Last Updated: 27 November 2016