Canadian Islands on the Air

The Activation & Qualification of
Narrows & Darling Islands

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Activating station - VE3VS
with Rob, VA3RBM

Narrows Island - ON-298

Arrived at Narrows Island Tuesday morning around 10:15 local time
Operation planned for 20 metres and 40 metres sideband
Got on the air about 10:45 am. Band conditions very poor, quite noisy
with no local stations being heard.

We struggled for a while trying to drum up some contacts, but they were coming very slowly.
Very few Canadian stations were being heard. In the end we had five (5) VE3 contacts,
and 21 contacts from stations in the USA. It took most of an hour to get that many.

We realized that it was folly to be in the 7.250 to 7.260 portion of the 40 metre band
during the daytime, since those frequencies were filled with nets.
We will definitely choose a different portion of the band if there is a "next time".

We took a break for a half hour or so, to have some lunch, and to decide if we would try for a second island.
Since the antenna sets up, and takes down fairly quickly, we decided to see if we could get permission
from property owners to cross the bridge to Darling Island and set up temporary operations there.
Having received a positive response, we quickly got established at a pull-off along a road-side.

Darling Island - ON-299

The first few contacts came very slowly, due largely to the geomagnetic activity during the previous couple
of days which made the band noisy, and the propagation quite variable. By mid-afternoon there seemed to be
a sudden improvement in propagation, and we quickly rattled of more than enough contacts (38 QSOs) to qualify
Darling Island, the second one of the day. Both of us were "All smiles".


GMC truck - transportation, and hinged mounting base for antenna centre support
Trapped dipole, built especially for twenty and 40 metres operation
Honda generator - switching power supplies - fibreglass poles for antenna end supports.
Transceiver - Yaesu 450D - about 75 watts output
Transceiver - Kenwood TS590s - about 75 watts output

Thanks to John, VE3JWS for lending me a hand-held mic for my Kenwood.

above - - Google Map view of the Narrows Island location
blue line shows the Narrows Passage for boaters leaving or entering Gloucester Pool
red circles indicate the two locations of station set-up.

above - - View of the antenna setup from front of truck.
The end supports are 20 feet of sectional fibreglass poles
Small concrete blocks served as anchors for the guy ropes.

above - - View of the hinged A-frame antenna centre support
about 25 feet from the ground to top of pole
During transit, the pole rides on the canoe racks
and the A-frame folds down over the truck box.

above - - We operated from the front seats of the truck
radio was positioned on a temporary table fitted over the mid-console

above - - Can you spot the antenna supporting poles?