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Canada C3 Voyage Carrying WSPR Concludes; Beacon May Remain Active on Return Trip


The epic WSPR-carrying Canada C3 voyage of the Polar Prince to commemorate Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation celebration ended successfully on October 28. Over the course of the 150-day expedition from Toronto, Ontario, to Victoria, British Columbia via the Northwest Passage, the CG3EXP WSPR HF beacon was received on every continent except Antarctica, CG3EXP trustee Barrie Crampton, VE3BSB, told ARRL this week. 

“The Ultimate 3S beacon transmitter made 64,800 transmissions that resulted in 397,964 uploads to,” Crampton said. The CG3EXP WSPR beacon — which transmitted on 40, 30, and 20 meters — provided an opportunity for the Amateur Radio community to follow the vessel’s progress and share in the celebration.

However, the end of the voyage does not mean the end of the beacon’s transmissions. Crampton said the CG3EXP beacon “will likely remain on the air as the Polar Prince returns to the east coast of Canada via the Panama Canal.”

The deadline for Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) Canada C3 Expedition Award submissions is November 30. The purpose of the award was to track the voyage of the Polar Prince from Toronto to Victoria and to study radio propagation in the Arctic regions of Canada. Stations listened for WSPR signals from CG3EXP and recorded the 6-character Maidenhead grid square that was transmitted, as well as the location of the ship at the time of the reception.

The WSPR beacon consists of a QRP Labs Kits U3S beacon transmitter. The antenna is a 30-meter resonant end-fed dipole from, sloping at 62° up to the mid-mast.

Earlier this year, Crampton explained that the Polar Prince did not carry a full-blown Amateur Radio station because of logistics, space, technical requirements, and the fact that many other groups also wanted their research projects on board. A WSPR beacon was far easier to implement, he said. Also, he quipped, it “doesn’t eat, sleep, get seasick, or need a bunk.”

RAC Operating Awards Manager John Scott, VE1JS, already has e-mailed Canada C3 Expedition Award certificates to 40 radio amateurs in North America and Europe. 

The overall RAC Canada 150 Award program will continue until December 31. To date, volunteers operating RAC-suffix stations have logged nearly 45,000 contacts. — Thanks to Barrie Crampton, VE3BSB, and RAC MarCom Director Alan Griffin.



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