This article might be a bit early, with snow still on the ground, but now is the time to get prepared for mobile and portable Ham radio operating activities for the coming year.

Below is a work-in-progress comparison on the programmes related to getting on the air somewhere other than at your QTH.

aka VEFF
aka 44
Logo VEFF - Canada Flora Fauna Canadian National Parks On The Air
Participants Activators,
shortwave listeners.
shortwave listeners.
Activators, chasers. Activators, chasers.
Number of QSOs to Activate 44 for an individual callsign, 200 for a club callsign, all cumulative over multiple visits. 1 to activate the summit, 4 to activate and claim the points for the summit (in a single visit).


This must be done within the same day in Zulu Time 00:00 – 23:59.

Activate from Mobile (car), portable locations or buildings within parks. Travel the last leg of the journey on foot, by bicycle or animal to a summit of at least 150m prominence.

Note that SilverStar has not yet been activated!

You and all the equipment you use need to be within the perimeters of the park, and on federal or state/provincial owned land.

1200+ registered parks in BC, 4940 Canadian National and Provincial Parks.

Mobile (car) or portable locations aka units.

Units eligible for the CNPOTA event are based on the officially recognized Parks Canada administrated National Parks and National Historic Sites.  As of December 18, 2018, there were 220 Parks Canada “Administrated Units”.

Bands All.  All.  All. All except 4m and 60m
Modes All.  All.  All. All.
Rig Powering All allowed, green power preferred. Only portable power allowed - no generators or mains power.  All allowed. All allowed.
Satellite Allowed  ?  Yes.  ? Yes.
Exchange Call signs, RST, and wherever possible the VEFF reference number. Call signs, RST plus the SOTA reference number. Call signs, RST plus the park reference number. Call signs, RST plus the Parks Canada administrated unit identifier (eg. “BC01”).  See Parks Lookup for a complete list of accepted unit identifiers.
Awards Many. Many.  Many. 4 certificates, self printing.
Who gets credit - club and/or operator?
QSOs made with a club call sign count for the club and the operator (if log includes operator info). Activator points accrue to the operator regardless of the callsign used.  ? QSOs made with a club call sign count only for the club, not the operator.
Equipment Sharing and Operator Changes ? ? ? Equipment can be shared but operator changes only every 30 minutes.
Program Life 2008 to present. 2002 to present.  ? to present. The CNPOTA event will run from 00:00 UTC January 1, 2019 until 23:59 UTC December 31, 2019.
Logging Requirements CSV or ADIF emailed to national coordinator. Use web form to enter QSOs or upload logs in TSV/CSV format. Send the log in ADIF format to regional manager via e-mail. Upload log in ADIF format to the CNPOTA web site as soon as practical. .txt, .log and .cbr formats may also be acceptable. More info as we test it.

If you plan to travel outside of the Okanagan valley, also consider IOTA - Islands On The Air
IOTA might be one of the oldest programmes having been created in 1964. IOTA applies to ocean islands only.


For inland lake islands and ocean islands, you might be interested in Canadian Island Activators


VEFF/WWFF suggested frequencies:

  • Phone: 3.744, 7.144, 14.244, 18.144, 21.244, 24.944, 28.444 MHz
  • CW: 3.544, 7.024, 10.124, 14.044, 18.084, 21.044, 24.894, 28.044 MHz

SOTA suggested frequencies: various, please check the SOTA reflector for latest suggestions.

POTA suggested frequencies: TBD

CNPOTA suggested frequencies: TBD

IOTA suggested frequencies: TBD

Canadian Island Activators suggested frequencies: TBD

Suggested loggers: