In times of crisis and natural disasters, amateur radio is often used as a means of emergency communication when wireline, cell phones, and other conventional means of communications fail. The Last Wire is a podcast that will profile and share these heroic stories of hams who have voluntarily their amateur radio knowledge and equipment for communications duty when disaster strikes.

Attention podcast listeners here is a new Canadian amateur radio emergency communications podcast that may interest you.

As I work through the first five episodes, three of them are feeling very local including wildfires in Kamloops, the flooding in High River Alberta, and a Search and Rescue event in Merrit. 

Host John Bignell VE1JMB is looking for stories for future episodes so if you have an event to share please reach out to him.

Email your stories:

Not sure if you’ve seen this but I found this documentary on the role of a large group of radio amateurs in the UK in both WW1 and WW2 very interesting:

If you have nothing to do some evening it’s well worth the 30 minutes to watch it.


Don't forget the RAC Canada Winter Contest 2020 is this weekend!

RAC Canada Day Contest 2020 Report:

The RAC Canada Day Contest 2020 Results and Soapbox are now available on the RAC website.

Here is a short introduction:

"With Canada Day falling on a Wednesday this year and the COVID-19 pandemic having an impact worldwide, it was gratifying to see so many still able to participate in the RAC Canada Day Contest.

While not being a holiday outside of Canada we thank those that took the time to join us in the celebration and exchanging greetings. 

With over 735 participants it was the one of the best ever turnouts in recent years despite the ongoing poor solar conditions and resulting propagation.

Our thanks to all those who participated and we hope you all have been staying as safe as possible during this very trying time. With that bit of introduction, on with the detailed results!"

For the complete report please visit the RAC website at:

As always, you can find all the contest rules and entry forms at:

Don't forget the RAC Canada Winter Contest 2020 is this weekend!

– 73, RAC Contest Managers 
Bart Ritchie, VE5CPU and Sam Ferris, VE5SF

Classically, I've read coax data sheets and transcribed the information into an Excel spreadsheet to do cable loss calculations based upon frequency, cable length and cable type.

Recently, I discovered this online tool for Messi & Paoloni coax:

I've had pretty good results with their coax over the last couple of years (and I really like the design of their cable end connectors), so when the time came to purchase some new coax for a special project (multiple frequency use ranging from 3.5 MHz all the way up to 2.4 GHz) I used the above mentioned tool to pick the right coax for me.

This sounds a bit like and ad, but really it isn't. It was just nice to see something other than the usual spec sheet.

Maybe this tool is of some use to you,

November 14, 2020

NORAC technical team member and all around smart fellow David Skelhon, VA7SZ has recently written an article outlining the setup and construction of an effective and very space efficient 80M magnetic loop.

Check out David's article here: