Have Handheld, Will Travel — Third Stop: VE3OSC!

This morning I once again brought my HT outside with me while I sipped my morning coffee. Don, VA3XFT, was my first contact. Don is a friendly, helpful fellow. The first time I met him was yesterday evening, when he heard me calling for Wade, VE3WGK — when Wade didn’t answer, Don called me and offered to call Wade on the telephone for me. I didn’t take him up on it then, but this morning I did take him up on his offer to call and find out more about the amateur radio station at the Ontario Science Centre. When he came back on the air he said that the station is manned every day from 1000-1400 hrs. Thanks, Don!

After another contact with Steve, VA3SF (who, like Don, operated the repeater we were using), I prepared to go to the Ontario Science Centre. My wife decided to come along, making it a grand adventure. We walked to the nearby subway terminal and soon were rumbling along. After transferring to a bus, we arrived at the Ontario Science Centre and made our way to amateur radio station VE3OSC on the fourth level.

Bill, VA3WTT, volunteering at VE3OSC

Bill, VA3WTT, was manning the station. This Scottish gentleman showed us the warmest hospitality, inviting me to come into the booth, sign the guestbook, and check in to a 2m ARES net that was in progress.

NØIP checking in to the Toronto ARES 11:00 daily 2m net

Ken, VA3KRS, was net control and gave me a warm welcome.

Bill also helped me get on 40m, where I tapped out a CQ with some Bencher paddles. For some reason the HF radio seemed deaf, so I’m not sure all was in order at the moment. But no matter! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the station of the Ontario Science Centre Amateur Radio Club. It’s a great idea. I applaud the Ontario Science Centre for including this permanent display, and I applaud all the hams who man it every day.

Bill gave me a very nice QSL card, pictured above, and shook my hand. After saying farewell, my wife and I made our way to the OMNIMAX theater where we watched a documentary on the building of the Canadian Railroad through the Rocky Mountains. It was informative and full of amazing footage of a restored steam engine puffing through some sublimely scenic parts of Canada.

None of this would have happened had I not brought along my HT on this trip. Only because I happened to contact Wade, VE3WGK, did I learn about the station at the Ontario Science Centre. I’m glad I brought the HT, and I’m glad I met Wade and all these other fellows on the air. Maybe when I get back home I’ll even EchoLink back to Toronto and chat with them again on 2m and 70cm.

Here you can see some more photos of our trip to VE3OSC, the amateur radio station at the Ontario Science Centre.

Click to view slideshow.

Todd Mitchell, NØIP, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Minnesota, USA. He can be contacted at [email protected].

8 Responses to “Have Handheld, Will Travel — Third Stop: VE3OSC!”

  • Jediah:

    I was also at the Ontario science center the same day asyou with my school. I also talked to Bill and he was very helpfull in many ways as iam studying for my general class ham license. It is so interesting how so many thing can happen and people you meet when you are envolved in ham.

    Ps. I am between the age of 11-14

  • I visited there in 1972 at the age of six and was completely blown away! My Uncle Ken was a manager there – so if anyone there remembers the late Ken Stewart, that would make it a small world! 73, Rob.

  • Todd Mitchell, NØIP:

    Jediah, thanks for your reply. Just think, we might have even seen one another! I saw a school group or two there. I became a ham radio operator when I was 10 years old; back then all I used was morse code (still my favorite mode). If your parents approve of it, you can study and get your license whenever you want. Of the many hobbies I’ve had over the years, ham radio is the one that has outlasted them all.

    Rob, thanks for your reply, too. It sounds like you and I are about the same age. Was there an amateur radio station at the Ontario Science Centre back then?

  • Jediah:

    Todd, I am actually 13 years old and I have already started studying as well as my grandfather as we both want to get our license. I am planning to join the whitby radio club and have already went to some of their meetings and found everything very interesting. I am very excited to get my license and cant wait to get on the air.

  • Todd Mitchell, NØIP:

    That’s great, Jediah! Maybe we’ll meet on the air someday!

  • Hi Todd – I can’t remember, sorry! I was awe-inspired by everything I saw there, though. 73, Rob.

  • ac7af:

    yes,it is always important to have a radio ready for anything.Good article tnx

  • ward kennedy VE3WGK:

    Hi Its ward VE3WGK not wade

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