Ken Harker WM5R
2009 Canada


I spent a week in the Canadian maritimes in May, 2009. Amateur radio was not the focus of the trip, but I managed to enjoy a few radio-related moments while I was there.

These photos are copyright © 2009 Kenneth E. Harker. All rights reserved.


While in the Saint John, New Brunswick area, I had a chance to visit Len VE9MY and Linda VE9GLF. They're primary radio activity is HF contesting and they have activated several IOTA islands in the province. Len is also on the Board of Directors of Radio Amateurs of Canada. This is Len in his shack.
A three-element yagi for 40 meters.
Another tower had a tribander for 20 meters, 15 meters, and 10 meters.
This short tower supports the ends of a couple of wire antennas for the low bands.
Inside the shack at VE9MY/VE9GLF is a Yaesu FT-900, and a brand-new Tokyo HyPower HL-1.5K amplifier.
Driving to Nova Scotia, I cam across this field of radio towers outside Sackville, New Brunswick. This is the Sackville Relay Station owned by Radio Canada International. Its location is on marshy soil that I am certain gives it an excellent earth ground for the antennas.
The RCI Sackville Relay Station broadcasts programs for Radio Canada International and several other broadcast stations including Radio Japan, China Radio International, Voice of Vietnam, Radio Sweden, BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle, and Radio Korea.
The tower support huge cables that form curtains of dipole antennas. By feeding different curtains in different phases, the antennas can be steered to direct more of their energy to Europe or to South America. The antennas are designed to handle transmissions of 500 KW, but the transmitters are limited to 300 KW.
During the trip, I visited St. John's, Newfoundland. There's one place in Newfoundland that every amateur radio operator has to visit. Signal Hill is a strategic hill overlooking the mouth of St. John's harbor. Signal Hill was the site from which Guglielmo Marconi received the first trans-Atlantic radio transmissions (from Poldhu, Cornwall) in 1901. Cabot Tower was built on top of the hill in 1897 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's discovery of Newfoundland.
The Society of Newfoundland Radio Amateurs (SONRA) maintains and operates an amateur radio station inside Cabot Tower, as part of the site's tribute to the radio history of Signal Hill. Sensitive to the park rangers' concerns about maintaining the historic appearance of the tower, the station uses modest wire antennas that are hard to see if you don't know where to look for them.
Doug Mercer, VO1DTM, a local amateur radio operator who is active with the amateur radio station on Signal Hill met me there and enabled me to get on the air and make some radio contacts from this historic location. Doug is also the ARES Coordinator for Newfoundland.
The VO1AA station occupies about a quarter of the second floor of the tower, and had a display case, just below the frame of this photo, displaying antique radio equipment and explaining the 1901 wireless experiments conducted by Marconi on Signal Hill.
The station equipment was fairly modest, but thanks to a donation by Icom America

Last Updated 22 November 2012
wm5r@arrl.net