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How to Obtain Awards | September 1 | Update: September 25 | September 1 | August 25 | LogsBackground | QSL card

The voyage of the Polar Prince, circumnavigating Canada from Toronto to Victoria, British Columbia via the Northwest Passage came to an end with the following post on the Canada C3 website:

“After 150 days, we made it to Victoria! Thank you for following our journey from coast to coast to coast.”


Cover of the September-October 2017 TCA

The Canada C3 Expedition CG3EXP was featured on the front cover of both the September-October 2017 (shown above) and November-December 2017 issues of The Canadian Amateur magazine which is now available online to members of Radio Amateurs of Canada. The feature articles by organizers Barrie Crampton, VE3BSB and John Gilbert, VE3CXL, provide a great overview of the project from conception to reality. The CG3EXP project has received an excellent response from Amateurs worldwide so we have decided to share Part 1 of this article with you. Stay tuned for Part 2 at a later date.

Download (PDF, 1.78MB)

 


Procedures to obtain the Canada C3 Expedition Award

The program is open to all Radio Amateurs and Shortwave listeners. It will start at 00:01 UTC July 1, 2017 and will run until the Polar Prince arrives in Victoria – this is expected to be on October 28, 2017.

We have revised the logging spreadsheet for the Canada C3 Expedition Award as of July 26. There are now two versions of the logging spreadsheet available: one will hold 150 observations, while the other is good for 10,000 observations should anyone wish to do that many. User’s choice. We would prefer that these new versions be used, but any version that works and has the total score at the top of the sheet may be used.

The spreadsheets have been developed for Microsoft Excel, but will also work, with some deficiencies, in Libre Office. We have not tried it in any other versions but believe they should also work with the Mac version of Microsoft Excel with no problems. The new logging spreadsheets were kindly prepared by Chip Chapman, VA3KGB, and we thank him for his hard work in improving the spreadsheet.

Points

Each 6-character Grid Square generates one (1) point and each physical location generates five (5) points. A total of 150 points is required for a certificate.

When your application is complete and you have at least 150 points, rename your log spreadsheet to:

<your call>-C3.xls (eg VE1RAC-C3.xls)

Once that has been completed please email your spreadsheet to .

Note: Please do not use this email for any other purpose then for the Canada C3 Expediton Award.

All applications must be received at the email address above not later than 23:59 UTC on November 30, 2017. No submissions will be accepted after that date and time.

Please be certain that your name, call and email address are complete and correct. The committee cannot be responsible for misdirected emails.

Example 1: Screenshot from WSJT-X in WSPR mode

Screenshot of Canada C3 entry

This is a screenshot from WSJT-X in WSPR mode. A decode of CG3EXP is shown. It happened at 1306 UTC June 19.

Example 2: Screenshot with a different Grid Square

Screenshot of Canada C3 entry: Example 2

Here is another screenshot from WSJT-X in WSPR mode at 0046 UTC with a different Grid Square.

The above examples are shown below as entered into the log sheet.

Example of Canada C3 Logobook

The entries may be typed into the spreadsheet or can be copied from one page to another to avoid retyping.

For more information on the Expedition please visit https://www.rac.ca/canada-c3-update-june-27/ and stay tuned to the RAC website at https://www.rac.ca/.

eQSL Instructions

Robert Mazur,  VA3ROM, has volunteered to be the CG3EXP eQSL Manager. He has designed an attractive e-QSL which is available via the online eQSL service or on request via direct email sent to:

Robert has provided the following simple instructions:

A) If you have an eQSL.cc account, you send your report to CG3EXP as per the usual method (eQSL.cc users know how to do this).  eQSL accounts are free for the basic version which is sufficient for most casual users.

B) If you don’t have an eQSL.cc account (most non-Amateurs do not), please send your report via email to . I will accept either a screen capture of the WSPR or WJST-X decoding programs showing the CG3EXP decoded beacon (attached to the email) or a regular text report with the beacon details listed from either of those two programs. The subject line can be “CG3EXP QSL Request”, but I’m not particular since the account is only used for CG3EXP QSLs and I’ll go through all received emails to see what they are requesting.

C) You can also submit the same report using both methods since the direct email QSL has the complete front (which I personalized) and back of the QSL card with the CG3EXP WSPR C3 Expedition details. CG3EXP has eQSL.cc “AG” (authenticity guaranteed) so eQSL users can count those towards the various eQSL eAwards.

73, Robert Mazur, VA3ROM


The real-time location shown on the contiguous route map is provided above and may be viewed online at: https://www.qrp-labs.com/c3.html

At the same time it is interesting to view the location on the live camera at: https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/live-feed/

Graham, VE3GTC, has submitted the following update on the statistics of the stations updating their reception reports (spots) to: http://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map

Enter the “CG3EXP” call sign, “All” for the Band and “24 hours” for the Time Period. Then select “Update”.

Download (PDF, 89KB)

For more information about Radio Amateurs of Canada visit https://www.rac.ca/about-rac/.


Canada C3 Expedition update: September 1, 2017

Canada C3 logoA Canada 150 Signature project, Canada C3 is a 150-day expedition (June 1 to October 28) from Toronto, Ontario to Victoria, British Columbia via the Northwest Passage. The journey is divided into 15 legs and as of September 1, the Polar Prince is on Leg 10 and is currently travelling along the Nunavut coastline heading towards Kugluktuk, formerly called Coppermine.

The Nunavut Tourism website describes it as follows:

Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut. It is located north of the Arctic Circle on the Canadian mainland at the mouth of the Coppermine River where it feeds into Coronation Gulf, which is part of the Northwest Passage. Situated near the border with the Northwest Territories, the scenic valley of the Coppermine River was an ancient source of copper for the Inuit people. It has a unique microclimate that extends a narrow band of stunted boreal forest trees northwards toward the Arctic Ocean. ‘Kugluktuk’ means ‘place of moving water’ and the root word ‘kugluk’ means ‘waterfall.’ Upriver from this hospitable hamlet is the beautiful Kugluk cascade, also known as Bloody Falls, an ancient fishing and hunting location that is now a territorial park of historic cultural importance.” For more information visit: https://nunavuttourism.com/regions-communities/kugluktuk

Below is the online route map as of September 1 that is produced from the position reports provided by the network Amateur Radio receivers (see http://www.qrp-labs.com/c3.html).

The Polar Prince tracking map on September 1.
The Polar Prince tracking map on September 1.

The total distance travelled from the start of the journey on June 1 is 15,812 kilometres. The daytime reception reports increasingly rely on the Western Stations for uploading spots to WSPRnet.org. As described in the background information below the location and frequencies for the WSPR, CG3EXP, may be viewed online at: http://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map

On June 29, the CG3EXP beacon was received in Japan, the first Asian continent report (see below).

Canada C3 Event WSPRnet August 31

Graham, VE3GTC, has undertaken a detailed report on the CG3EXP beacon reception characteristics and reporter stations. A full report will be published towards the end of the Expedition.

As of August 31, 2017, there have been a total number of 1,899 unique reporters reporting on CG3EXP WSPR contributing to a running of 319,000 spots since the Polar Prince departed Toronto.

Band Reporter Distance in kilometres Distance in miles
40m VK6JI 18,580 11,545
30m VK2CBD 17,768 11,041
20m VK2XN 16,718 10,388

Interestingly, 40 metres still wins out as the band having the maximum distance and is still the workhorse band for CG3EXP even though the total number of spots per day has dropped off as the ship has been further north and further away from the larger populations of Amateur Radio stations.

WSPR spot count by band:

Band Count
40m 195,900
30m 86,997
20m 35,699

Top 10 reporters all bands:

Lastly, TCA columnist Robert Mazur, VA3ROMhas completed an exquisite design of the Canada C3 Expedition Award certificate. Stay tuned to this website for more information.


Canada C3 Expedition update: August 25, 2017

Canada C3 logoThe Polar Prince is currently midway through the famed Northwest Passage and is due to arrive in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut tomorrow on Saturday, August 26.

As the ship traversed the most northern leg of the expedition at latitude 74.6 degrees, CG3EXP daytime beacon receptions at times were achieved only by stations such as Bob, VE3YX, Don, VE8JY and northern stations Gerry, VE8GER and Ron, VE8TEA.

Rich, VE3KI, had noted in an email exchange that HF propagation should improve with a decrease in the K-Index. Such was the case in the August 24-25 period as shown in the following Planetary K-index chart provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/planetary-k-index.

Planetary K-index chart provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Planetary K-index chart provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

John, VE3CXL, is in contact with the National Resources Canada Geomagnetic Laboratory (http://geomag.nrcan.gc.ca/lab/default-en.php) who have expressed a keen interest in the HF Propagation data from CG3EXP. An invitation to the Ottawa Laboratory has been extended for late September.

Barrie, VE3BSB, with technical assistance from Jeff, VE3EFF, has assembled a QRP-Labs Kit receiver and a Raspberry Pi3 running WSJT-X. This small fun-to-build package is receiving CG3EXP 30 metre beacons.

John Scott, VE1JS, RAC Awards Manager, and TCA columnist Robert Mazur, VA3ROM, are finalizing the design of the certificate which is based on current spectacular imagery of the Polar Prince in Arctic waters.

You can watch the live camera feed from the Polar Prince at: https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/live-feed/

Note: at the time of posting the live camera feed was not working.

As shown below, the location and frequencies for the WSPR, CG3EXP, may be viewed online at: https://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map

WSPRnet for the Polar Prince CG3EXP as of August 25
WSPRnet for the Polar Prince CG3EXP as of August 25

Below is the online route map as of August 25 that is produced from the position reports provided by the network Amateur Radio receivers (see http://www.qrp-labs.com/c3.html).

The Polar Prince tracking map on August 25
The Polar Prince tracking map on August 25

Background information:

Note: The following is some background information about the Canada C3 Expedition. If you need additional information please contact Canada C3 organizer Barrie Crampton, VE3BSB, at  or Alan Griffin, RAC MarCom Director at .

The CG3EXP Radio beacon
The CG3EXP Radio beacon

Amateur Radio operators around the world have been following the CG3EXP Radio beacon that we were privileged to have installed on the Polar Prince. This small very low power radio unit, connected to a wire antenna atop the Polar Prince, transmits a position report every 20 minutes and has been picked up on all continents except Asia and Antarctica. The greatest distance from the ship was reported by a radio operator in Australia a distance of 18,850 kilometres

The total number of reports of signal receptions now total over 301,000.

The Canada C3 Expedition is being publicized and regularly updated by the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) on its website and by associated international organizations.

As an incentive to the Amateur Radio operators to know about the Canada C3 Expedition and to learn more about our County’s coastlines, RAC has introduced a point-based awards program for those operators that submit their tracking reports at the end of the voyage.

The purpose of the award is to track the voyage of the Polar Prince as she travels from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage and to study radio propagation in the Arctic regions of Canada. The Polar Prince has a radio on board which transmits her progress using the WSPR mode. The special event call sign CG3EXP is being used on the 40, 30 and 20 metre bands.

Note: WSPR (pronounced “whisper”) stands for “Weak Signal Propagation Reporter”. It is a computer program used for weak-signal radio communication between Amateur Radio operators. Additional information is provided below.

Stations will listen for WSPR signals from CG3EXP and record the 6-character Maidenhead Grid Square transmitted and the location of the ship at the time of the reception.

In addition, an attractive confirmation card (QSL card; see below) can be provided to operators that acknowledge their individual receptions of the tracking beacon.

The location and frequencies for the WSPR, CG3EXP, may be viewed online at: http://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map

Some helpful links are listed below:

WSPR net map (use the Polar Prince radio call sign CG3EXP):

http://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map

Tracking map:

http://www.qrp-labs.com/c3.html

News release announcing Canada c3 Expedition:

https://www.rac.ca/a-whisper-for-canada-c3/

Canada C3 Expedition Award webpage:

https://www.rac.ca/operating/rac-awards/canada-c3-expedition-award/

Additional Information

QSL Card Information

TCA columnist Robert Mazur, VA3ROM, has volunteered to be the CG3EXP eQSL Manager. Robert has designed an attractive eQSL card which is available via the online eQSL service or on request via direct email sent to: . For more information please see the text provided by Robert below.

To join the stations that are using WSPR to track the Canada C3 Expedition during its voyage, you only need a standard SSB HF receiver, an inexpensive ($10) USB sound adapter and a PC running the WSPR 2.0 software. You can download the software from http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/wspr.html.

We particularly need more northern stations to join the project.

Chip Chapman, VA3KGB, has refined the CG3EXP Award logging spreadsheet and we have posted an updated version on the Canada C3 Expedition Award webpage at https://www.rac.ca/operating/rac-awards/canada-c3-expedition-award/

eQSL Instructions

Robert Mazur, VA3ROM, has volunteered to be the CG3EXP eQSL Manager. He has designed an attractive e-QSL which is available via the online eQSL service or on request via direct email sent to:

Robert has provided the following simple instructions:

A) If you have an eQSL.cc account, please send your report to CG3EXP as per the usual method (eQSL.cc users know how to do this).  eQSL accounts are free for the basic version which is sufficient for most casual users.

B) If you don’t have an eQSL.cc account (most non-Amateurs do not), please send your report via email to . I will accept either a screen capture of the WSPR or WJST-X decoding programs showing the CG3EXP decoded beacon (attached to the email) or a regular text report with the beacon details listed from either of those two programs. The subject line can be “CG3EXP QSL Request”, but I’m not particular since the account is only used for CG3EXP QSLs and I’ll go through all received emails to see what they are requesting.

C) You can also submit the same report using both methods since the direct email QSL has the complete front (which I personalized) and back of the QSL card with the CG3EXP WSPR C3 Expedition details. CG3EXP has eQSL.cc “AG” (authenticity guaranteed) so eQSL users can count those towards the various eQSL eAwards.

73, Robert Mazur, VA3ROM


Background information

A Canada 150 Signature project, Canada C3 is a 150-day expedition (June 1 to October 28) from Toronto, Ontario to Victoria, British Columbia via the Northwest Passage. It will bring awareness to Canada’s coastline and inspire a deeper understanding of Canada’s coastline our land, our peoples and our country.

The purpose of the award is to track the voyage of the Polar Prince as she travels from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage and to study radio propagation in the Arctic regions of Canada. The Polar Prince has a radio on board which transmits her progress using the WSPR mode. The special event call sign CG3EXP is being used on the 40, 30 and 20 metre bands.

Note: WSPR (pronounced “whisper”) stands for “Weak Signal Propagation Reporter”. It is a computer program used for weak-signal radio communication between Amateur Radio operators. Additional information is provided below.

Stations will listen for WSPR signals from CG3EXP and record the 6-character Maidenhead Grid Square transmitted and the location of the ship at the time of the reception.

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director

rac.ca

720 Belfast Road, #217
Ottawa, ON K1G 0Z5

613-244-4367, 1- 877-273-8304


Canada C3 logo

Quick links: LogsProcedures | Points | eQSL Info

 

A Canada 150 Signature project, Canada C3 is a 150-day expedition (June 1 to October 28) from Toronto, Ontario to Victoria, British Columbia via the Northwest Passage. It will bring awareness to Canada’s coastline and inspire a deeper understanding of Canada’s coastline our land, our peoples and our country.

The purpose of the award is to track the voyage of the Polar Prince as she travels from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage and to study radio propagation in the Arctic regions of Canada. The Polar Prince has a radio on board which transmits her progress using the WSPR mode. The special event call sign CG3EXP is being used on the 40, 30 and 20 metre bands.

Note: WSPR (pronounced “whisper”) stands for “Weak Signal Propagation Reporter”. It is a computer program used for weak-signal radio communication between Amateur Radio operators. Additional information is provided below.

Stations will listen for WSPR signals from CG3EXP and record the 6-character Maidenhead Grid Square transmitted and the location of the ship at the time of the reception.

When different observations worth 150 points are recorded and filed with the organizers, a certificate suitable for framing will be awarded. This will be a totally online operation. Applications will only be accepted by email and all certificates will be emailed to the recipients. A list of procedures is provided below. When different observations worth 150 points are recorded and filed with the organizers, a certificate suitable for framing will be awarded. This will be a totally online operation. Applications will only be accepted by email and all certificates will be emailed to the recipients. A list of procedures is provided below.

The WSPR program is available as a standalone or as part of the suite of programs authored by a team headed by Princeton University professor, Joe Taylor, K1JT.

The standalone version of WSPR can be downloaded free from: http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wspr.html

The program suite, called WSJT-X, can be downloaded free from:  http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/index.html

The suite is very popular and it contains several programs which deal with weak signal work. Additional information is provided on the websites listed above.

Procedures to obtain the Canada C3 Expedition Award

The program is open to all Radio Amateurs and Shortwave listeners. It will start at 00:01 UTC July 1, 2017 and will run until the Polar Prince arrives in Victoria – this is expected to be on October 28.

We have revised the logging spreadsheet for the Canada C3 Expedition Award as of July 26. There are now two versions of the logging spreadsheet available: one will hold 150 observations, while the other is good for 10,000 observations should anyone wish to do that many. User’s choice. We would prefer that these new versions be used, but any version that works and has the total score at the top of the sheet may be used.

The spreadsheets have been developed for Microsoft Excel, but will also work, with some deficiencies, in Libre Office. We have not tried it in any other versions but believe they should also work with the Mac version of Microsoft Excel with no problems. The new logging spreadsheets were kindly prepared by Chip Chapman, VA3KGB, and we thank him for his hard work in improving the spreadsheet.

Points

Each 6-character Grid Square generates one (1) point and each physical location generates five (5) points. A total of 150 points is required for a certificate.

When your application is complete and you have at least 150 points, rename your log spreadsheet to:

<your call>-C3.xls (eg VE1RAC-C3.xls)

Once that has been completed please email your spreadsheet to .

Note: Please do not use this email for any other purpose then for the Canada C3 Expediton Award.

All applications must be received at the email address above not later than 23:59 UTC on November 30, 2017. No submissions will be accepted after that date and time.

Please be certain that your name, call and email address are complete and correct. The committee cannot be responsible for misdirected emails.

Example 1: Screenshot from WSJT-X in WSPR mode

Screenshot of Canada C3 entry

This is a screenshot from WSJT-X in WSPR mode. A decode of CG3EXP is shown. It happened at 1306 UTC June 19.

Example 2: Screenshot with a different Grid Square

Screenshot of Canada C3 entry: Example 2

Here is another screenshot from WSJT-X in WSPR mode at 0046 UTC with a different Grid Square.

The above examples are shown below as entered into the log sheet.

Example of Canada C3 Logobook

The entries may be typed into the spreadsheet or can be copied from one page to another to avoid retyping.

For more information on the Expedition please visit https://www.rac.ca/canada-c3-update-june-27/ and stay tuned to the RAC website at https://www.rac.ca/.

eQSL Instructions

Robert Mazur,  VA3ROM, has volunteered to be the CG3EXP eQSL Manager. He has designed an attractive e-QSL which is available via the online eQSL service or on request via direct email sent to:

Robert has provided the following simple instructions:

A) If you have an eQSL.cc account, you send your report to CG3EXP as per the usual method (eQSL.cc users know how to do this).  eQSL accounts are free for the basic version which is sufficient for most casual users.

B) If you don’t have an eQSL.cc account (most non-Amateurs do not), please send your report via email to . I will accept either a screen capture of the WSPR or WJST-X decoding programs showing the CG3EXP decoded beacon (attached to the email) or a regular text report with the beacon details listed from either of those two programs. The subject line can be “CG3EXP QSL Request”, but I’m not particular since the account is only used for CG3EXP QSLs and I’ll go through all received emails to see what they are requesting.

C) You can also submit the same report using both methods since the direct email QSL has the complete front (which I personalized) and back of the QSL card with the CG3EXP WSPR C3 Expedition details. CG3EXP has eQSL.cc “AG” (authenticity guaranteed) so eQSL users can count those towards the various eQSL eAwards.

73, Robert Mazur, VA3ROM