Saturday, 19 December 2015

Merry Christmas

This year, 2015, has seen a great increase in the number of island activations, a trend that we hope will continue throughout 2016 and beyond.

May we take this opportunity  to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Please stay safe out there!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Successful Activations!!

Congratulations to Doug VE3VS, and Rob VA3RBM who have successfully activated Narrows Island, ON-298, and Darling Island, ON-299.

You can read all about their adventure, complete with pictures HERE.

This was done despite lousy band conditions, so well done to these two.  It looks like it was an outstanding day!!

Friday, 30 October 2015

Narrows Island - NEW DATE

It looks like we will have a run of good weather here in Ontario next week so Doug, VE3VS and Rob, VA3RBM, are going to attempt the first time activation of Narrows Island on Tuesday November 3rd, after their postponement last week.

Once again Doug hopes to be on the air by 11:00 local, and perhaps will even be on a little bit sooner.

The frequencies of the day will be:

40m - 7.250 to 7.260, and maybe 7.150.
20m - 14.250 to 14.260.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Narrows Island Activation

Just had an email from Doug, VE3VS, that tomorrow's planned activation of Narrows Island has been cancelled due to expected bad weather.   We are expecting in this part of Ontario two inches of rain and winds of 70 kph gusting to 100 kph......not the sort of weather you want to be out in, especially on an island.

This activation will be rescheduled for a later date.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

New Island Activation.....

Just received a note from Doug, VE3VS, that he will be attempting a first time activation of Narrows Island, which is along the Trent-Severn Waterway System.

It's nice to see activations still happening this late in the season, so let's hope the weather and propagation are both good for the day.

The activation will take place on Wednesday, October 28th, and Doug  hopes to be on the air by 11:00 local, and perhaps even a little bit sooner.

The frequencies of the day will be:

40m - 7.250 to 7.260, and maybe 7.150.
20m - 14.250 to 14.260.

There is a possibility that two additional islands may be activated for the first time that day if time permits.

Let's get on the air and support Doug and this activation!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Yukon Islands on the air next year!!

Members of the North Country DX Association (NCDXA) will be active in February and March 2016 from several different locations in Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories using KL7RST, VY1RST, and VE8RST to further promote Amateur Radio up north.  This may just be a first for the north- a joint-venture KL7, VY1 and VE8 special event.  All modes 6-160 meters and WARC bands are permissible.  

The dates for this event is February 15 (0001Z) through March 27 (2359Z), 2016.

There will be three island activations during this event, YT-003, YT-004, and YT-005.  These islands are all located in the Yukon River at Whitehorse.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Let's get ready for Winter!!

Wintertime in Canada allows us to activate islands over the ice that we sometimes cannot get too during the warmer months.  Activating islands in the Canadian winter can encounter serious weather hazards at any time, and without warning! 

It is assumed that in preparing themselves prior to any winter activity, each participant will:

Understand the causes, preventive measures and treatment for hypothermia;

Dress appropriately (in layers), bring food, snacks, and water and be prepared for unforeseen delays on the trail, remember the "10 Essentials" and carry them in your pack as well as your radio gear.

Understand that changes in weather and snow conditions can affect the difficulty level of a given trail;

Have experience on and be familiar with his/her own equipment;

Have a good understanding of the hazards of travelling over open ice.

The Ten Essentials:

Remember!!!  Be Safe Out There !!!!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

How this all started...........

Many people have wondered how amateur radio operators started activating islands.....and today Jose VA3PCJ discovered the truth and sent us the photographs evidence.

A picture they say is worth a thousand words...and here you have it.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


Several updates have been done to the site over the past few weeks.  As noted in previous entries we have had the Ontario and Quebec island lists reviewed by local experts, and as a result a few name changes and removals have happened.

We have also changed a number of the six figure Maidenhead Grids to eight figure grids, to give our activators a better idea where a particular island is.  It was discovered that in one particular six figure grid there are four activated islands, the use of the eight figure grids allows us to narrow the locations right down.

There are still a large number of activated islands in the database, whose actual location cannot be found.  This is true in many provinces, and is originally due to poor initial record keeping a long time before CIA came along on the scene.  We are working hard to try to find their actual locations.  If you come across an activated island with no grid reference, and know where it is, please let us know so we can bring the record up to date.

We're also thrilled to see the large up-swing in island activations in Ontario and Quebec this year.  Hopefully this trend will catch on in the rest of the country.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Green Island ON-122

Next Friday, Sept 25th, Bob, VA3QV is planning to activate Green Island which is also known as ON-122, and is located in the City of Ottawa at Grid FN25dk.

The timing will be 1200 local to 1600 local.

Frequencies will be the usual CIA SSB frequencies: 7.250, 14.250 to 14.260,  21.350, and 28.450....all depending on what the propagation is that day.

Location of Green Island, ON-122

Green Island is home to the Royal Canadian Air Force Memorial, and it is very fitting that Bob has chosen to activate the island during this month.  We celebrate this year the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and especially those gallant RCAF fighter squadrons that took part in that historic event.

The RCAF Memorial on Green Island

Friday, 18 September 2015

Late Notice !!

Sorry about the very late notice, but I have just received word that Jose VA3PCJ, and Bob VA3QV, will be activating Rideau Island ON 297 from Brewers Park in Ottawa.

Bob and Jose will be on 40m for the Ontario Stations and then on 10-15-20 depending on band conditions for the rest.  They will be using the unofficial CIA operating frequencies are 7.250, 21.350, 14.250-14.260 (main) and 28.450 mHz phone

The should be on the air before 1300 local and close down around 1700 local.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Quebec Island Grids

A huge "Merci Beaucoup" goes out today to Gilles, VA2MAM, who has very kindly taken the time to check the list of Quebec Islands for mistakes, and has also provided us with their Maidenhead Grid locations.

Due to the work Gilles has done, we will be making some adjustments to the Quebec Islands list as at least one island listed, and granted a number, is not an island at all, but part of a peninsula.

This is all part of the on going work being done behind the scenes to make sure the locations and islands grids are as accurate as possible.

Once again, Merci Beaucoup Gilles !!

Ontario Island Grids

Many thanks to Jose, VA3PCJ, who has kindly checked the Ontario island locations and provided us with an abundant of information to fill in some blanks, and some new grid locations.

There will be some changes coming to the Ontario island list as some of the currently listed islands cannot be found at all, on any official, or unofficial list.   Many of the missing islands, even on the original reference material that CIsA used, does not show their locations.

Thanks for your help Jose, it's really appreciated!

Friday, 4 September 2015

Rideau Island - ON-297

We have yet another island activated in Ontario!  Jose, VA3PCJ, and Bob, VA3QV have successfully submitted the paperwork for Rideau Island in Ottawa, which is now also known as ON-297.  This means Jose has done the hat-trick of island activations in three weeks!!

Rideau Island is bordered by both the Rideau Canal and Rideau River, which meet at the island’s southern-most point forming ‘Hog’s Back’, and the Ottawa River at its northern end.  

Jose's has done a nice write up on his Blog, read about it HERE.

So there you have it, in Ottawa you don't have to travel far to activate an island any longer !!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Email received

Just received the following email today.

In case this would be of interest, I just worked VO1/DJ8QP.   Gus is today, Sunday, on North Twillingate Island (NF-012) and he told me that tomorrowMonday, he will be QRV from Long Is (NF-038).


Gregg A. Calkin, VE3ZZ

Monday, 24 August 2015

VA3PCJ - Another successful first activation !!

Upper Duck Island - ON-296
Congratulations to Jose, VA3PCJ, for another first activation last Saturday.  Jose successfully activated Upper Duck Island, which is now also known as ON-296, in FN25el.

Upper Duck Island is located in the Ottawa River, not very far from the Rockcliffe Airport.

This is Jose's second successful first activation in two weeks.

Once again Jose sailed the "Sassy Gaffer" to the island, rowed ashore, and setup his portable shack and antenna.   He made 33 QSO's from a total of three DXCC entities, including an island to island QSO with TF3JB, Jonas in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Hopefully Jose will now go for the hat-trick and look at activating Lower Duck Island, which is right next door to Upper Duck Island, and has never been activated.

A huge well done to Jose for another great activation!!

Jose - VA3PCJ at the Upper Duck Island portable shack.

All Photo's copyright of VA3PCJ and used with permission.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Upper Duck Island - Saturday August 22

Coming up tomorrow.....

Jose, VA3PCJ, will be doing another first time activation, his second in two weeks!!

This time the target is Upper Duck Island, which is yet another island in the Ottawa River, located at Grid FN25el, which has never been activated.

Jose should be on the air around 1030 - 1100 Ottawa time and will be on the air most of the afternoon.

Look for Jose around the usual SSB QRP frequencies as well as 14.250 - 14.260.  He will also be beaconing on APRS as VA3PCJ-8.

If you're around the Ottawa area he will also be monitoring the VE3MPC VHF repeater so he can arrange HF contacts as needed.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

2015 W/VE Island QSO Party Rules

The rule for this years W/VE Island QSO Party have now been published, and they are available HERE.  There are some changes so please read them carefully.

This event takes place on Saturday, August 29th.  Pick out your island and start planning the activation.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

VA3PCJ - A successful first activation !!

Aylmer Island - ON-295
This past Saturday, Jose - VA3PCJ, carried out a very successful first activation of Aylmer Island....which as of today is now also known as ON-295.

Aylmer Island is located in the Ottawa River, very near Shirley's Bay at grid FN25bj.

Jose got to the island on his sailboat, the "Sassy Gaffer", anchored off the island and rowed ashore in the dinghy.

Once on the island he managed to dodge the ever present and dreaded poison ivy that covers the island, set up his 20m PAR endfed using a Sotabeams travel mast, and sitting under a large oak tree managed to put 30 contacts from 3 DX entities in the log using his KX3.

Given the lousy state of the bands this weekend, this was a fantastic achievement.

Well done Jose!!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

VA3QV on the air - Island and Lighthouse Portable!

Coming up this week, starting on Thursday, August 13th, Bob - VA3QV, will be activating a number of islands along the St.Lawrence River.

He will be camping along the Long Sault Parkway on either Snetsinger Island, ON-083 or Mille Roches Island, ON-084.

He will also be very close to Moulinette Island, ON-075, and Macdonell Island, ON-079, and may be able to activate them upon special request.

Bob will be operating QRP with his FT-817, and will be operating casual as he also has to entertain his XYL on this holiday.

While Bob did not list any frequencies to be used on the trip, I would suggest looking for him on the usual 40m to 10m QRP frequencies.

On Sunday he will be activating the lighthouse at the Ottawa Science Museum, CAN-016 for the ILLW.

QSL route is via eQSL or LOTW.

Friday, 31 July 2015

2015 W/VE QSO Party

Our first activation notice has arrived for the W/VEIsland QSO Party on the weekend of August 29th and 30th.  

Saturday the 29th will see John VE3SIE, and Doug VE3GJ, activating Forans island ON-293, and Haywood island ON-292. (Please note: from Haywood Island the operator can see Port Dalhousie Light CAN-541), and Henley Island ON-007 starting at 1400 UTC.

Sunday the 30th will see them activate Tinturn Island ON-254, The Island ON-110 and Merrit Island ON-109.  These last two islands are located within the Welland Canal,   Starting around 1400Z

Frequencies will be the usual 20M 14250, 40M 7250,  all frequencies are +/- QRM and Weather Permitting.

Please QSL to the home calls, all details on QRZ.

Start making your plans for the event.  We need MORE Canadian stations taking part, and don't forget to submit your logbook.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Pelee Island - ON-002

Dan, VA3MA, and John, VE3JQX, will be activating Pelee Island, ON-002 this coming Saturday, July 25th from approximately 1300 to 1900 EDT.
Dan and John will be on the usual 20m and 40m island calling frequencies, which may be busy as this weekend is also the RSGB IOTA Contest.
They might also have time to activate, and get on the air, the islands lighthouse during this activation.
There will be a special certificate or QSL card available for all QSO's. Contact details via QRZ.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

2015 W / VE Island QSO Party

Coming up in late August is this years Island QSO Party....we hope you're getting ready!!  Over the past few years participation from Canadian stations has been very low, we hope that we can change that fact.

This year the date has been moved up to allow us to have some decent weather to operate as last year we all froze!  The date this year is August 29th 1200 UTC to August 30th 0300 UTC.   Mark your calendars now and pick an island.......there's thousands to chose from.

The results from last year can be found HERE.   You will note that only three (3) Canadian stations bothered to even submit a log.

You don't have to be on a coast to take part in this event, all provinces and territories have islands, check out the list on the right side of this page.

This page will be updated when the rules are issued for this year.

Start getting ready !!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Marathon Activation on July 11th !!

Bates Island, Ottawa.
The following email was received from Gilles, VE2MAM........

I will be activating four or five islands Saturday the 11th of July.

The order will be the following:

Victoria isl. ON-123    Green isl. ON-122   Porter ON-121 and North Petri ON-119.

Bates isl. ON-283 will be activated the last if all goes well with the others.  Since I go on Bate isl. a few time each week it will be easy to make a sked if I skip Bate because of time constraint.

I will be on Victoria isl. at 9 AM (1300Z) and transmit on 7.250 (plus or minus) until there is no more takers. Then to 14.250 (plus or minus) again until no more takers. I will then move on to the next island.

It will be the same for every islands, 40M then 20M. The exchange will probably be contest style.

Victoria, Green and Porter are close to each other so it won't be too long between each of them.  North Petri is a bit farther, maximum one hour to get there.

One QSL card from you will be OK to confirm one or all the islands. I will send back one card that will confirm one or all the islands. QSL info is on

The order of the run could change or be cancel because of weather or for reasons that are unknown at this time.

It should be a lot of fun !!!   Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


Monday, 29 June 2015

Need an Ottawa - Hull area activation?

Just received the following email from Gil, VE2MAM.  It will be of interest to those looking for a contact on Bates Island, ON-283:

4-5 times a week, every week of the year I'm on Bate island ON-283
with my mobile.  I  chase US counties so in my CQ call I don't mention
that I'm on ON-283 I say that I'm "chasing counties".

Bates island is just 3 kilometers from my home QTH.  I like to
bring a newspaper and a small lunch and pass one or two hours on the

'm there mostly in the morning but sometime I will go on Bate
island just before the sun goes down.

If any of your members would like a contact with this island we
could easely make a sked.   I'm retired... just send me an e-mail at

 In the past I was on QC-007, QC-006, QC-038

 Best 73

Gilles (Gil) VE2MAM

Monday, 15 June 2015

Forans Island - ON-293

John, VE3ISE, will be activating Forans Island, ON-293, on Wednesday, June 17th.   This island is near Grimsby, Ontario and is at Grid FN03fe.

His schedule will be:

1600Z on 7.260
1700Z on 14.250

All frequencies are +/- QRM.

John mentions that other bands may be available depending on conditions.  This is the second activation for this island.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Success at Upper Brewers Mill Island

The Frontenac Radio Group were finally successful today, after two years of trying and four attempts they finally managed to activate Upper Brewers Mill Island.  The Island has been assigned the identifier ON-294.

The bands were not in the best of conditions today, 20m and 40m were both very noisy and had deep QSB on them.  No contacts were managed on 10m or 15m.

Our thanks to both the Canadian and US operators who came up on frequency and made this activation finally successful.

This is the second successful activation of islands we have had in a few weeks.........who's next?

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Upper Brewers Mill Island

OK, Frontenac Radio group is going to try and do this again......for the fourth time!

This Saturday morning between 1300 UTC and 1700 UTC the Frontenac Radio Group is going to attempt to break the jinx, and finally activate Upper Brewers Mill Island, which is located on the Rideau Canal system.

Grid is FN14uj.

Callsign in use will be the group's call, VE3FRG.

Hopefully the bands will be singing so we can get this activation over done with.  The propagation needs to improve quite a bit to get this activation done.

There will be two HF station on the air, and as usual, the frequencies will be +/-........

14.250 to 14.260

Friday, 5 June 2015

A Successful First Activation

Congratulations go out to John, VE3ISE, who has successfully activated Forans Island, near Grimsby, Ontario, last Tuesday evening.

Forans Island is now officially ON-293.  The island is located at FN03fe.

Well done John. we look forward to your next activation!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Upper Brewers Mill Activation - Update.

The activation of Upper Brewers Mill Island held yesterday, May 31st, was unsuccessful.

Unfortunately, with high winds and driving rain - what was first thought to be antenna issues, quickly became a major issue as they realized it was actually due to radio failure, and no contacts were able to be made.  This was unfortunate and very frustrating for the guys who were there.  There will be another attempt at this island later in the summer.

Many thanks to the Frontenac Radio Group who attempted this first time activation, and to the many stations who were standing by waiting for them to come up on frequency.  Your patience was really appreciated by all concerned.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Forans Island Activation

Our old friend John, VE3ISE, will be doing a first time activation of Forans Island, FN03, near Grimsby, Ontario.  This is a small island that is scheduled to be a condo development in the near get it in your log while you can !!

This activation will take place on Tuesday, June 2nd, at 2200 UTC.

John will start out on 40m and move to 20m later.

Frequencies will be:

40m - 7.260 +/- QRM
20m - 14.260 +/- QRM

Let's all hope the propagation improves for this activation.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Upper Brewers Mill Island

The Frontenac Radio Club will be activating Upper Brewers Mill Island this coming Sunday, May 31st.  This will be another attempt to try and have a successful first time activation and secure an island number.

Upper Brewers Mill island is on the Rideau Canal system which was built by the Royal Engineers between 1826 and 1832 and stretches 202 km between Kingston and Ottawa, Ontario.

The activation will take place between 1400 UTC and 1800 UTC.

The frequencies in use will be ( +/-)

14.250 to 14.260
50.125 (depending on propagation)

Callsign being used: VE3FRG

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Bates Island, Ottawa

Unfortunately we received this information too late in the day to post it in time for the activation.  

But it should be noted that Dave, VE3AAQ, did in fact activate Bates Island, ON283, Grid FN25 this afternoon.  Dave was planning on being active from 1700 to 2000 UTC.

His rig is a FT-817 running into a Buddipole antenna system.

Let's hope Dave enjoyed himself and made a good number of contacts!


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

News from our US Island Friends........

Hams Hit the Water for the new US Islands Awards Program’s “One-Day Getaway” - Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fans of portable ham radio are encouraged to grab their equipment and head for the water as part of the new “One-Day Getaway,” sponsored by the US Islands awards program. The annual event will make its debut on Saturday, May 9, 2015, from 0000 UTC through 2359 UTC (Friday evening to Saturday evening in the continental US).

Founded in 1994, US Islands promotes portable ham radio operations from islands found in all bodies of water: lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and coastal islands in US territorial waters. The One-Day Getaway is an on-air activity, not a contest: no scores are tallied and no prizes are awarded. Participation from all radio amateurs, regardless of experience level, is encouraged.

“US Islands is a great way to go on a mini-DXpedition without spending a lot of money,” said US Islands Awards Manager Jay Chamberlain, NS4J. “Discovering islands in your own back yard and setting up a station outdoors is always a good time. If hams have only operated outdoors during Field Day, we offer another route to get outside and enjoy portable ham radio in a different way.”
Contacts can be made with any station; US Islands offers achievement awards for both island activators and island chasers, including a certificate for your first US Islands activation.

While there are over 2,800 islands on the US Islands list, there are more than 17,000 islands within the United States. Participants can use Google Earth to locate new islands and be the first to operate ham radio from that location!

Complete information on the US Islands Program, a how-to guide for One-Day Getaway participants and a list of currently qualified islands is available at

Sunday, 5 April 2015

We're on Facebook now!!

Canadian Island Activators has decided to join the 21st Century and we now have a Facebook group page up and running.  We'll be posting activation information here and on Facebook.

The number of Canadian Island activations has been done in recent years and we're doing everything we can to promote this aspect of our great hobby.

Click HERE to go to our Facebook group page.

Join us on Facebook as well!!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Haywood Island and Canadian Lighthouse CAN-541

Its time to get back out and activate an island/ Lighthouse.
John, VE3ISE, is planning to be back out on Haywood Island on Sunday March 29, 2015 weather permitting.

The long range forecast looks good so he hopes to activate Haywood Island ON292 along with Canadian Lighthouse CAN 541 on the above date.

Operating start time would be 1500 Z   on 40 meters 7260 +- QRM switching to 20 meters 14260 +- QRM around 1700Z.   

Other bands might be possible depending on conditions.
All QSL's should be sent to John's call.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Successful Activation

John, VE3ISE, had a very successful activation today of Haywood Island.  John made 33 contacts, all on 40m.

Haywood Island will be added to the list of activated islands and awarded the number ON-292.

Below is a copy of his log page.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

First Time Activation Coming Up !!

John, VE3ISE will be attempting a first time activation this coming Tuesday, January 27th.  The island is Haywood Island in Port Dalhousie, Ontario.  The grid is FN03ie.

The activation will start at 1600 UTC on 40m at 7.260 +/- QRM.  John will switch to 20m at 14.260 about 1700 UTC.
All QSO’s to John’s home call as per

Due to the season, the activation will be subject to the weather.
Haywood Island is within the red circle.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

IOTA NA-140 - Maryland State West Group

This just in......

Jim KA3UNQ is making plans to drive down to Middle Hooper Island in Dorchester County on Saturday, January 17th to activate the HOOPER ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE.

He plans to be on the air around 1430 UTC, and will start on 40m (around 7.235 +/-) and then move up to 20m (14.270 (+/-).  He may even try 17m and 15m if the conditions are right.

This activation counts for the following:

US-I MD-016S

Friday, 2 January 2015

Henley Island - ON-007


John, VE3ISE will be activating Henley Island ON-007 on the Niagara Peninsula tomorrow Saturday Jan 3, 2015..........all depending on weather.
Start time will be 1500Z on 40 Meters 7260 +-  QRM  switching to 20 meters  14265+- QRM at 1600 Z.
John wins this years prize for the First Island Activation of the year in VE3 land !!
All QSL's to go to the home call VE3ISE.
Hopefully somebody will spot John and put him on the cluster, that way we can keep him warm by working him hard !!