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VHF+ Contest Roving and Microwave Hilltopping

Russell Beech, VE3OIL Roving
Russell Beech, VE3OIL
Russell Beech, VE3OIL

I obtained my Amateur licence in high school progressing to Advanced while attending university. My interest in Amateur Radio was triggered by a combination of the magic of signals from other places to me and an interest in building equipment.

Amateur Radio supplemented both studies and career. The body of knowledge that came from radio added context to some lecture material.

Since graduation I have held a number of roles in electronic research, development and manufacture serving companies in instrumentation, automation, test, aviation and financial technology (fintech).

Over time my interests drifted into contesting, particularly VHF contesting. When the rover category was made competitive in 1991, I entered to address the lack of a home station. I have remained a rover ever since. 

Answering the question “How can I improve?” inevitably leads a VHF operator to consider more bands. This has led me to be active on 10 GHz and above.


My rover presentation will explain what a VHF Rover and a Microwave Hilltopper are. 

I will provide some contrast to HF operations and what can reasonably be expected on the road. 

A summary of when and how to rove will be provided with guidance and boundaries based on my experiences gathered since I started.

LiFePO4 Batteries – Comparisons and Applications

Scott Williamson, VY1SW
Scott Williamson, VY1SW
Scott Williamson, VY1SW

I have been an Amateur Radio operator since 1991 and have been very active with the Yukon Amateur Radio Association (YARA) since moving to the Yukon in 2003. I am currently serving as the YARA Vice-President and I am also a Past-President. 

The Yukon Amateur Radio Association (YARA) is a Yukon registered society with about 25 members throughout the Yukon. This is about half the authorized Amateur Radio operators in the Yukon.

Members are active in the community and often travel to hamfests in other areas. We are involved in real and simulated emergency communications situations. We practice our skills through our daily “emergency preparedness net” as well as through communications in support of community events like the Canada Winter Games, the Klondike International Road Relay (“KRR”) and the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay (“KCIBR”). YARA provides support for communications for other community organizations.

I have been a part of the team that has built our linked repeater network, which currently consists of 21 sites covering the southern half of the Yukon, into British Columbia, and as far south as Juneau, Alaska. 

I am an expert on 12-volt systems – especially remote repeater sites and RVs – and I am also an avid outdoor adventure seeker, competitive curler and certified curling coach.


The presentation will provide a detailed study of the pros and cons of the more recent development of Lithium-iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries vs the more common sealed lead acid (AGM) batteries for 12-volt applications.

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