THE TORONTO VHF SOCIETY --- VE3ONT --- HOME PAGE
Presented by Dana Shtun,
VE3DSS and Peter Shilton, VE3AX
This page is dedicated to the memory of
Dennis Mungham VE3ASO
Hans D. Peters VE3CRU (Class of 6T6 Electrical) *******
The Toronto VHF Society, VE3ONT got it's start more than 30 years ago when a group of VHF UHF Contesters including Dennis VE3ASO, Larry VE2DO, Paul VE3FIB,Peter VE3AX, Ernie VE3DMF,Dana VE3DSS and Bill VE3DXJ decided that it would be easier to contest if we used one call during the ARRL's June VHF QSO Party. We gathered each year in those days in Claremont Ontario at the home of Ernie VE3DMF. Ernie had the ideal location for contesting, a big farm, great hospitality (unbelievable home made pies -- courtesy of Ernie's wife Edna) and hydro power to spare.
The picture above, shows Ernie VE3DMF and Peter VE3AX (then VE3EMS) doing final touch up work on the 432 MHz array. The picture was taken in 1974. During our years at Ernies, VE3ONT set and re broke every record on the books, for a Canadian Group entering the ARRL's VHF contests. It was the result of dedication, teamwork and just plain hard work. At our peak, we had arrays of yagis on all bands 50 through 2304 MHz. In fact we had such a monster array for 50 MHz, designed by Barry VE3CDX that we needed a crane to erect it and remove it from the tower! Did it work? Yes indeed, we worked South America and we were the only station they were hearing....
Here's a picture of some of the gang, at our VHF Do in Dick VE3FAC's backyard... The whole gang includes Peter VE3AX, Bill VE3DXJ,Paul VE3FIB, Dennis VE3ASO (SK),Dana VE3DSS, Larry VE2DO, Don VE2DFO, Hans VE3CRU (SK), Joe VE3ABG and Bob VE3KZ, as well as Tom K8MMM, Len WB8IWI and a few others.
In the picture front row (L to R), VE3DXJ, VE3DSS,VE3AX,VE3CRU, VE3FIB, on the tower VE3ASO, VE3UP..
VHF DXing is unlike anything else in Amateur Radio. Firstly, it completely goes against the 30 years of uniformed "expert" opinion (probably from some guy who never got off 80 metres) that VHF radio waves travel in straight lines and just fly off into space, thus limiting VHF operating to a few miles -- or merely line of sight. Ahh, well that just isn't quite the real picture!
Yes VHF and UHF radio waves as all waves do, travel in straight lines...however, this trajectory can be modified by such things as:
* Temperature Inversions
* Sporadic E Ionization
* F layer Ionization
* and much more.
Each of these phenomena can cause VHF and UHF radio waves to travel great distances. In addition, these phenomena are regular events, not just once in a lifetime things!
In order to make the most of these phenomena, you need to design your station to be somewhat different from the "norm"....ie. you need an SSB (Single Sideband ) transceiver, a good quality yagi beam antenna, good coax cable, rotor, tower or mast and some other accessories.
Here's a picture of what I mean... this is the VE3DSS station circa 1970...
VE3DSS Tower in 1970
The higher antenna was a 28foot long telrex 2 metre yagi (15 elements), and the lower yagi is a 6 element "Tilton" style yagi for 50 MHz. These antennas have been retired and replaced with an M Squared 16 LBX and a Cushcraft 6 metre Boomer. In addition, antennas for 220 MHz, 432 MHz, 902 MHz and 1296 MHz have been added, and the tower has been upgraded to a Trylon. All feedlines are 7/8 inch Heliax, and 1/2 inch Heliax. Of course this picture doesn't show the fact that I started out with a 30 foot TV tower, a homebrew yagi and lesser coax...even with that setup DX was reachable on 144 MHz...and on 50 Mhz it can be worked with a 2 metre 5/8 wave vertical...oh and the Tower has been moved, increased in height from 48 feet to 66 feet at my new QTH in central Etobicoke. Unfortunately all I have on it is 50 and 144 MHz at the moment, as I shop around for new antennas for 222 and 432 MHz & rebuild the shack, tinker with some of the new digital meteor scatter modes, while working full time, taking the kids skiing, renovating, etc etc......
Look for more info about the VE3ONT Gang !
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