Amateur Radio is a hobby. And it’s also a public service.

Amateur Radio does not rely on internet or telephone links so it is a good back-up system when those systems fail. When modern communications go down in times of emergencies and disasters, certified and licensed Amateur Radio operators lend their qualifications, skills, experience, and equipment to provide voice and data communications to government and relief agencies. Amateur Radio operators don’t need cell towers, the Internet, or radio repeaters to get the message through to and from anywhere in the world.

It’s for these same reasons this technology is relied on to stay connected while travelling to some of the most remote locations in the world, overland and by sea.

Wikipedia has more.

Follow this link for a post about Amateur Radio while overlanding.

The following are some of the amateur radio resources I use.


  • National Research Council’s Web clock (Official times across Canada)
  • WWV – 2.5, 5, 10, 15, and 20 MHz (USA)

Propagation and Band Conditions


APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System)

Originally called the Automatic Position Reporting System.


Other Amateur Radio areas of interest


  • CHIRP – open source programming software
  • RumLogNG – Mac and iOS logging and contesting
  • Dog Park Software – Don VE3VRW – Mac & iOS Amateur Radio Applications
  • HamPiDave Slotter, W3DJS – Most complete software image for the Raspberry Pi – over 80 applications (Fldigi, WJST-X, APRS, Antenna Analyses, Logging, CW, PSK, SDR, Training, JS8Call, CHIRP, etc.)
  • HamAlert

My Hardware

Amateur Radio operators you may want to follow

Call Signs

National and International Associations

Operating Amateur Radio in Foreign Countries

    • Properly licensed Canadian Radio Amateurs have advanced operating privileges in CEPT countries (mostly European countries) without obtaining additional licence
    • CEPT includes most, but not all, European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Israel, South Africa, the Netherlands and its overseas territories, and the USA. (pdf)
    • DARC – Operating in Germany
  • Canada has signed reciprocal agreements with many other countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Regulations for Canadians

Band Plans


The following are the more widely used »

QRL Are you busy? –or– Is this frequency in use?
I am busy. –or– Please do not interfere.
QRM Is there any (Man made) interference?
There is man made interference.
QRN Is there any atmospheric noise? Static
There is atmospheric noise.
QRO Shall I increase power?
Increase power.
QRP Shall I decrease power?
Decrease power.Operating at lower power
QRT Shall I stop sending?
Stop sending.
QRU Do you have any messages for me?
I have no messages for you.
QRV Are you ready to receive?
I am ready to receive.
QRZ Who is calling me?
You are being called by ____ on ____ khz (or Mhz).
QSB Are my signals fading?
Your signals are fading.
QSL Can you acknowledge receipt?
I acknowledge receipt.
QSO Can you communicate with ____ direct or by relay?
I can communicate with ____ direct (or by relay through ____ ).
QSP Can you relay a message?
I can relay a message.
QSY Shall I change to another frequency?
Change to another frequency.
QTH What is your location?
My location is…


ARRL Quick Reference Operating Aids

Disasters and Emergencies

Alert Systems

Link Sites

  • AC6V – 6000 links across 133 pages

Contest Calendar

International Telecommunication Union Phonetic Alphabet

A – Alpha
B  – Bravo
C – Charlie
D – Delta
E – Echo
F – Foxtrot
G – Golf
H – Hotel
I – India
J – Juliet
K – Kilo
L – Lima
M – Mike
N – November
O – Oscar
P – Papa
Q – Quebec
R – Romeo
S – Sierra
T – Tango
U – Uniform
V – Victor
W – Whiskey
X – X-ray
Y – Yankee
Z – Zulu

RST System


  • 1 – Unreadable
  • 2 – Barely readable, occasional words distinguishable.
  • 3 – Readable with considerable difficulty.
  • 4 – Readable with practically no difficulty.
  • 5 – Perfectly readable.

Signal Strength

  • 1 – Faint signals, barely perceptible.
  • 2 – Very weak signals.
  • 3 – Weak signals.
  • 4 – Fair signals.
  • 5 – Fairly good signals.
  • 6 – Good signals.
  • 7 – Moderately strong signals.
  • 8 – Strong signals.
  • 9 – Extremely strong signals.


  • 1 – Sixty cycle a.c or less, very rough and broad.
  • 2 – Very rough a.c., very harsh and broad.
  • 3 – Rough a.c. tone, rectified but not filtered.
  • 4 – Rough note, some trace of filtering.
  • 5 – Filtered rectified a.c. but strongly ripple-modulated.
  • 6 – Filtered tone, definite trace of ripple modulation.
  • 7 – Near pure tone, trace of ripple modulation.
  • 8 – Near perfect tone, slight trace of modulation.
  • 9 – Perfect tone, no trace of ripple or modulation of any kind.

CDN Swap Shops

Fun Facts

  • 73, (Morse: −−••• •••−− ) means “best regards” in amateur radio lingo
  • In the early days of amateur radio, there were few transceivers available commercially. Consequently, creative and resourceful licensed amateur radio operators were left to build, or hack together their radios, often using parts salvaged from other equipment. These were the original hackers.

73 » Robert VE9CDN

This page was last updated on Sunday, October 11th, 2020 by Robert Vinet