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A view from the bridge of the Polar Prince on Friday, August 18, 2017.
A view from the bridge of the Polar Prince on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Update: August 18 | Background Information | QSL card update

Canada C3 Expedition update: August 18, 2017

Canada C3 logoThe Polar Prince is currently approaching Resolute, Nunavut and is at the northern most latitude of its journey. Daytime propagation is at the lowest it has been on the voyage, however stations with efficient antennas continue to pick up CG3EXP signals during the daylight hours. Overnight continues to be the optimum reception period as Amateurs would expect.

Graham, VE3GTC, has compiled the following statistics:

As of Monday, August 14 (about mid-day) since June 1 there have been:

It is interesting that 40m has more than double the reports of 30m,  and 30m more than double that on 20m. Perhaps this speaks to the efficiency of or the dominant radiation pattern of the antenna onboard the Polar Prince.

The greatest distance for received spots has been well over 18,000 kilometres or 11,500 nautical miles (nm). These of course are spots received in Australia and New Zealand.

John Scott, VE1JS, RAC Awards Manager, has already started to receive requests for a certificate. TCA columnist Robert Mazur, VA3ROM and John 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/

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: https://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map

WSPRnet as of August 18
WSPRnet for the Polar Prince CG3EXP as of August 18

Below is the online route map as of August 18 that is produced from the position reports provided by the network Amateur Radio receivers.

The Polar Prince tracking map on August 18
The Polar Prince tracking map on August 18

Some helpful links are listed below:

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

https://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map

Tracking map:

https://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 https://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