Canadian 630m Ops Meet

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting VA7MM (Mark) and VE7CNF (Toby) along with their respective XYL's May (VE7MAY) and Nancy. They have been spending the week cruising BC's Southern Gulf Islands and made a stop here on Mayne Island.

Hakuna Matata under sail

After a visit to the boat, a magnificent fractionally sloop-rigged 32' Beneteau, the Hakuna Matata, we all returned here to the house for refreshments, dinner and a station / antenna inspection. Part way through the visit I realized that our group contained 50% of Canada's active 630m operators, a rather sorry but true fact. In actuality, five out of the six Canadian 630m ops are VE7's! With such a special occurrence, a picture of the somewhat motley but enthusiastic crew was in order, with arms appropriately folded for the formal occasion.

Mark (VA7MM), myself and Toby (VE7CNF)
Both Toby and Mark have plans for improving their 630m systems once the summer weather forces them back to the workbench and both look forward to more 630m operation this coming season ... Canada, the west-coast is waiting for you.

Canadian amateurs have been fortunate enough to gain operating privileges in this very interesting part of the spectrum (472-479KHz) where surprisingly good results can be had with small backyard antenna systems. Hopefully with more activity from the west coast, amateurs in the prairie provinces and further east ... especially in highly-populated VE3, will take more interest in the band as two-way communications between the provinces can readily be done during the quiet winter nights.

With the USA well on its way to getting 630m operating privileges as well, it would be nice to see more Canadians on the band to take advantage of what is bound to be a flurry of activity from our southern neighbours ... there are already a dozen or more experimental stations there, just waiting to make the switch when the word comes.

More information on 630m operating and equipment see three related blogs:

630m Resources - Part 1

630m Resources - Part 2

630m Resources - Part 3 

For a listing of all 630m-related blogs, click here.
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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