JD's [VE0JD/VA7OTC] Radio Amateur page
"John D. Erskine, QTH Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
nam hr [name here is] JD(John)
call [international call sign] VA7OTC, amateur radio MM [maritime mobile
callsign is] VE0JD"
Over the years I've held several callsigns, some have lapsed others
renewed. Currently I hold VE0JD VA7OTC VE3OTC VE6OTC and sponsor club
stations VA7RCN - HMCS MALAHAT ARC(Amateur Radio Club) and VA7AUX
VMRS/Aux35 ARC. The latter one is for use by Victoria Marine Rescue
Society or the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit 35 - Victoria which
it, VMRS, supports.
A brief history of various ICS I've held:
- VE3OTC - When I lived in Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout, NW Ontario,
accquired in spring 1985 (finally! I started studying when a teen in
Toronto in 1973 and would've held a VE3Gxx if acquired then) and held
until spring 1998, now recovered and mine ALL mine - has been frequently
pirated on HF ("Shortwave"). VE3OTC was issued, no choice there, though I
happy with the association of abreviations to one the Navy uses for
Officer In Tactical Command. The next class from Lakehead ARC, Amateur
Radio Club, was allowed to select their own suffix much to the
consternation of most "old timers" as it had been a mildly variable method
of determining social seniority. So, they had change to deal with.
- ex-VE0MHI - On board a
non-commisioned (ie not an "HMCS") Canadian Naval
Patrol Craft, "RAPID" out of Halifax, NS in 1985. RAPID was a 95'
ex-Canadian Coast Guard SAR craft, de-engined from 4 to 2 diesels by
the CCG and
stripped of her fire monitor (large deck mounted nozzle used to fight
fires) at time of sale. I didn't get the imagined HF installation going as
it took the powers that be _months_ to issue the callsign, so we as
Reservists, were long gone. Likely to not return to that ship.
- For four/five years when living in Calgary, AB - now also recovered - as
in, a valid call of mine. This is the call I held when I worked the
Magnetic North Pole DXepedition on Cameron Is. from my mobile.
- ex-VE0OTC - A former marine callsign of mine, required for legal "off
shore" use, ie "on the High Seas", which is beyond the 12 mile limit. -
not current. It's kinda of ugly in as much as a zero and letter O are
beside each other.
- ex-VE4TC and ex-VE4DOT - accquired in anticipation
of going to Churchill, MB when I worked with Transport Canada in Air
Traffic Services as a Flight Service Specialist.
- Prior to this
anticipated move I acquired and held VE3YXL as a club, now repeater call,
for the Sioux Lookout Amateur Radio Group - 'SLARG'. Arr! I turned it over
to Dave Williams VE3UKK on my departure. (C)YXL is the airport designator
for Sioux Lookout, ergo the choice.
- ex-VE7JDE - was my call when I wanted to get a local BC one and before
the VA7 block was available for general issue. VE7OTC was taken (Alan is
very much alive and living some ten miles away) and I needed another year
and a half before I had the ten years as an advanced radio amateur which
was the prerequisite then to apply for a "two letter" call. This was
changed to five years as an Advanced Amateur over the winter of 1999 as
Industry Canada moved to abolish the requirement for us to hold both an
Operator's Certificate (issued for life in Canada) and Station License
(formerly issued on an annual basis). Now one simply has the callsign
printed on one's Op Certificate and no station license is issued, which to
most means a saving of $24 per year per call. Why not donate some of that
to RAC - Radio Amateurs of/du Canada our
- VE0JD - My amateur radio Maritime Mobile ICS,
required for use on the High Seas, however usable in coastal waters as
well, yet not ashore. Want a good argument? Start a discussion about this
on-air or over coffee. It was acquired in exchange for ex-VA7JD, in time
for me to use it on board the R. TUCKER THOMPSON a New Zealand top's'l
schooner between Hawaii and Victoria, BC in June 2005
- and VA7OTC my
terrestrial callsign usally employed for voice and APRS.
Some of my radio amateur interests are data/digital including
APRS(Automatic Position Reporting
System), qrp (that's very low power radio), portable work were you
haul your stuff out somewhere, marine mobile, nets, public service, HF,
VHF, UHF, including 6m and 220.
With respect to data/digital
comms, one of the most active Canadian groups is VARPA or the Victoria Amateur Radio Packet Assoc..
Our web site is at http://www.varpa.bc.ca/. VARPA was
formed in 1989 at the south Vancouver Island "Ham Happenings" (usually the
second full weekend in September each year. This year HH is sponsored by
the other club I belong to here the West
Coast Amateur Radio Assoc. better known as WARA.) VARPA has regularly published an
informative newsletter "Connect Request" put out by it's seemlingly
tireless editor Larry Joe, VE7DIE and his digital elves. Larry's name may
seem familiar as he has also had a column about packet radio in RAC's TCA - The Canadian Amateur.
the web based Java delivered map to see if my APRS station VA7OTC is on the air. Or at FindU.com. If
not, check at the VARPA site for
other local hams on APRS, several use automatic tracker units.
Please send me an e-mail to
any of my current callsigns via the RAC redirection, ie VE0JD@AUNTIESPAMrac.ca if you
wish to discuss any of this. Unsolicited commercial e-mail is not
For information on Amateur Radio in Canada and in
general, contact Radio Amateurs of/du Canada
(RAC) at http://www.rac.ca
Check back for more, updates, links, etc. 73
JD's Home Page.
Created 98/12/08. Updated finally, on 2007/11/21.
Finally since last update was 2006/12/30