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After Action Report - Operation "CAMP-X"

6 - 8 May 2000

Executive Summary

1.	The event was a huge success with all objectives being met.
The static display was well received and much appreciated by the organizers.
During the active display, W/T ground-wave communications were established at a
distance of 80 Km using vintage equipment.  Sky-wave communications were
successful at a distance of 550 Km in W/T.  An attempt to work this distance
in R/T would very likely have been successful had prior arrangements been made.

Part 1 - Introduction

2.	Background.  Operation "CAMP-X" was a combination static/active
display held in Oshawa, Ontario from 6 to 8 May 2000.  Its purpose was
twofold - to mark the 55th anniversary of VE-Day and to draw attention
to the historical importance of Camp-X.  To achieve these aims the
North Shore Amateur Radio Club (NSARC) ran a special event station while
the Camp-X Historical Society (CXHS) held a commerative ceremony.
In support of these activities, the Signals/Telecom Section of the Museum
of Applied Military History provided reenactors and a display of WWII
communications equipment.

3.	Mission.  The primary mission was to provide displays in support of
the NSARC/CXHS activities.  A secondary mission was to conduct ground-wave
and sky-wave trials with the W.S.#19.

Part 2 - Discussion

4.	Static Display.  This display was centred on a WWII bell tent with

a selection of vintage communications equipment (W.S.#19, W.S.#48, Signal Lamp,

Signal Flags, 5" Heliograph, Signalling Mirror, UC-6 Switchboard, D Mk V Field

Telephones, B/II Spy Transceiver, SSTR-1 Spy Transceiver, PE-484 Portable DF Set,

Playfair Codes, One-Time Pad).  Two uniformed reenactors were present for the

entire period (D. Lawrence, 2nd Div RCCS; T. Lawrence, CWAC).  On Sunday, 7 May

additional assistance was provided by R.D. (Bob) Cooke and S. McConnell.  On Monday, 8 May

an additional reenactor was present to assist with the display and the CXHS

ceremony (R.D. Lawrence, Capt, Perth Reg't).

5.	The use of the bell tent was excellent as it provided a central focus

for the display and tended to draw visitors to the location.  It also proved

useful during a brief rain shower when all of the display material had to quickly

be brought under cover.  Due to its size, only about six visitors could be inside

the tent at any one time.  For this reason, it is best to put most of the display

material outside (only the W.S.#19 and a camp cot were inside the tent).

6.	Having the display outside changes the material that can be displayed.

Due to the windy location, the display of cipher techniques was not fully

successful.

Being paper based, this display will only work where it can be spread out and

where the visitors have an opportunity to read the material and try their hand

a coding/decoding.

7.	The items that seemed to be of most interest to the visitors were the field
telephones (mainly for children) and the visual signalling display (flags, lamp,
 heliograph).  These are easily demonstrated and easily understood by non-technical
 visitors.

8.	The event was very well attended with several hundred visitors seeing

the display over the three day period.  Press coverage was good with a short item

being carried on CBC's Sunday Report.  If anything, it was too busy and consideratio
n
 must be given to ensuring that enough people are on hand to adequately staff

the display.  It would also have been useful to have a brochure to give out to

visitors which describes the group and its activites.  This is particularly

important when dealing with press reporters who seem to be unable to report

details with any accuracy.

9.	Active Display.  This was conducted in two parts - a ground-wave trial

 using vertical antennae and a sky-wave trial using horizontal antennae.  Both

trials were successful.

 10.	Parameters for the ground-wave trial were derived from a 1944 signalling

 pamphlet.  This suggested that for 3.7 MHz and mid-day, a 19 Set with a 34 ft

vertical antenna could have a maximum range of 120 miles.  As this far exceeds

any known performance, a sked was arranged with stations using low power (less

than 15 watts) and vertical antennae.  W/T communications were established

between Camp-X and VE3RIH in Mississauga (65 Km) as well as between Camp-X and

VE3BBN in St. Davids (80 Km).  In both cases, the path is about 85% over fresh

water.  VE3CBK in Kanata (285 Km across southern Ontario) heard nothing during

this period.  The results tend to support the data in the 1944 pamphlet.  With

the equipment in use there would have been very little high angle radiation and,

in addition, E layer absorption would have been very high.  Further tests under

 similarly controlled conditions will be necessary to prove that ground-wave

 communications are possible at extreme ranges under specific conditions.


11.	The results of the sky-wave trials were as expected with good W/T

 communications being established using vintage equipment at a distance of 285 Km

(with VE3CBK in Kanata, ON) and 550 Km (with W1NU, Fairfield CT).  Communications

were also solid with W1HIS (modern equipment in Boston, Mass; 670 Km).  Signals

were heard (weak but readable) by VE1NU in Dieppe, NB (1,140 Km).  Most surprising

was that at the end of this sked, VA3ORP made a call to VE3CBK using the W.S.#19

in R/T (carrier power 3 watts and modulation of 60%).  This call was clearly heard

by VE3CBK, W1NU and W1HIS.  Had the outstations been advised of an attempt being

made in R/T, it is likely that they could have responded successfully.  This result

 suggests that R/T nets may be successful at distances of 500 Km under the right

 conditions.

Part 3 - Conclusions/Recommendations

12.	Overall the event was a total success with the following conclusions and

 recommendations being made:

	a.	Great care must be taken to tailor display to both the expected

 audience and the location.  For outdoor displays, a contingency plan must be in

place for windy or foul weather.

	b.	A brochure outlining the group and its activities would be helpful

to the visitors and could result in more accurate reporting.

	c.	Sufficient staff must be on-hand to both answer visitors' questions

and to provide continuous security for the artifacts

	d.	Ground-wave propagation using the W.S.#19 may be possible over

greater ranges than previously thought.  A controlled trial between VE3CBK and

VA3ORP (130 Km) should be attempted during the summer of 2000.

	e.	R/T performance of the W.S.#19 may be better than previously

believed.  Arrangements should be made to hold a vintage R/T net in order to verify

the results obtained from Op CAMP-X.



Annex A
to Camp-X After Action Report
dated 13 May 00

Ground-Wave Trial - 5 May 2000

1. 	Stations Participating:
	a.	VA3ORP 	- Camp-X (43.85 N, 78.88 W)
			- W.S.#19, Mk III s.n. 77160 (no additional filters)
			- antenna was 34 ft mast with earthing pin and 4                      radials

	b.	VA3BBW	- HMCS Haida (43.62 N, 79.41 W)
			- Knwd TS-440 and Drake TR-7
			- antenna was ship's 34 ft whip (may have been N/S)

	c.	VE3RIH	- Mississauga (43.61 N, 79.59 W)
			- Delta IV with 15 watts
			- antenna was Cushcraft 18AVT vertical

	d.	VE3BBN	- St David's, Ontario
			- 1929 Hartley Oscillator (5 watts output)
			- antenna was 30 ft insulated tower

	e.	VE3CBK	- Kanata, Ontario
			- W.S.#19, Mk III & Racal 6778C
			- antenna was 34 ft mast without radials

2.	Log of Activity (all on 3,580 KHz)

1230 EDST	VE3RIH tries to work VA3BBW, no reply on vert or horiz ant
1230		VA3BBW hears VE3RIH but not able to work him
1245		VE3RIH hears 19 Set tuning
1253		VA3ORP begins calling "19SN"
1257 		VA3ORP (rst 449) works VE3BBN (rst 349).
1300		VE3CBK reports nil heard
1300		VE3RIH hears VE3BBN vy wk
1303		VA3ORP (vy wk, QSB) works VE3RIH (rst 239).
1305		VA3BBW switches to Drake & horiz ant.  Hears RIH (559) & ORP (569)
1308		VA3ORP calls VA3BBW, no reply
1315		switch to 2 M FM to discuss results (ORP/RIH/BBW)

3.	Propagation Conditions

	a.	Solar Flux = 126.8;  A Index = 12;  K Index = 2
	b.	MUF = 5.9 MHz
	c.	E Layer cut-off = 3.7 MHz

4.	Comments.  This sked was conducted slightly below the E Layer cut-off

  frequency and with all participants using vertical antennae at relatively short

 distances (50 - 285 Km).  The radiation angle required for the 65 & 80 Km links

is approximately 84 & 80 degrees.  The 285 km link requires an angle of 66 degrees.

  Under these conditions, the possibility of sky-wave propagation is remote.  It is

more likely that the primary propagation mode was ground-wave.  Further tests of

this mode should be done when the Solar flux is very high (ie 180 - 200) this would

 increase E Layer absorption and further reduce the possibility of any sky-wave

 propagation.



Annex B
to Camp-X After Action Report
dated 13 May 2000

Sky-Wave Trial

1.	Stations Participating

	a.	VA3ORP	- Camp-X, Oshawa, ON
			- W.S.#19, Mk III
			- ant was 1/2 wave inverted "L" plus 12 ft @ 15 ft

	b.	VE3CBK	- Kanata, ON
			- W.S.#19, Mk III
			- ant was 80/40 trapped dipole @ 15 ft

	c.	W1HIS	- Boston, MA
			- Icom 775 DSP (200 Watts)
			- ant was 22M centre fed @ 8 M

	d.	W1NU	- Fairfield, CT
			- W.S.#19
			- ant (unknown)

	e.	VE1NU	- Dieppe, NB
			- Icom 730 and W.S.#19
			- ant was dipole

2.	Log of Activity (all on 7,017 KHz)

1559	VA3ORP begins calling "19SN"
1600	replies from W1HIS, VE3CBK, W1NU
1602	VA3ORP (rst 557C) works W1HIS (rst 599)
	(w1his later reports ve3cbk as 548C, w1nu as 558C)
1606	VA3ORP (rst 599C) works VE3CBK (599C)
1609	VA3ORP (rst 579) works W1NU (rst 479C).  Vic advises W1GDZ is on 7,020
1615	VA3ORP resets to 7,017 and doubles with W1HIS
1620	VA3ORP clears with VE3CBK
1624	VA3ORP clears with W1NU
1625	VA3ORR calls VE3CBK in R/T, no reply
	(ve3cbk later advises that he heard the R/T clearly but had technical
problems and was delayed in making a reply in R/T.
VE3CBK was using enhanced modulation from Control Unit No. 10) (w1his later advises that he heard the R/T with Strength 3, Readability 5 and good audio quality. He also heard ve3cbk make a reply at 1626 hrs but slightly off frequency. His audio quality was good) (ve1nu later advises that he heard va3orp, ve3cbk and w1nu. All were weak but readable on a dipole. Some of this traffic was copied on his 19 Set) 1627 VA3ORP hears "...gdz.." 3. Propagation Conditions a. Solar Flux = 126.8; A Index = 12; K Index = 1 b. MUF = 7.9 MHz (to W1NU with radiation angle of 47 degrees) c. E Layer cut-off = 4.3 MHz 4. Comment: This sked was as predicted. The surprising incident was the success of the R/T transmission made at 1625 hrs. In R/T, the W.S.#19 set being used (Mk III, s.n. 77160) has a carrier power of 3 Watts
and approximately 60% modulation. (original signed by) D.G. Lawrence, VA3ORP OC Sigs/Telecom Sect 13 May 2000





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R. D. (Bob) Cooke, VE3BDB (Orillia, Ontario, Canada).
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