An Amateur Radio WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter Network) beacon has been installed and activated onboard the Canada C3 vessel. The ship departed Toronto, Ontario, on June 1 on a 150-day expedition to Victoria, British Columbia, via the Northwest Passage as part of the Canadian Sesquicentennial celebration. Sponsors are calling it an “epic journey to celebrate Canada and connect Canadians.” According to Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC), Canada C3 organizers permitted a group of enthusiasts under the leadership of Barrie Crampton, VE3BSB, to install the WSPR beacon on the C3 vessel.
“This provides a unique opportunity to track the vessel on its 150-day sailing voyage around the Canadian coast — the longest coastline in the world,” an RAC bulletin said. The WSPR beacon identifies as CG3EXP (this page also includes WSPR Amateur Radio frequencies). A live tracking link, generated by QRP Labs, the supplier of the tracking hardware, has been activated, hosted by Jeff Milne, VE3EFF. It generates a series of dots — one for each Maidenhead grid square the vessel traverses.
Stopping at a different location every day, Canada C3 will visit 50 coastal communities, 36 indigenous communities, 13 national parks and 20 migratory bird sanctuaries. The WSPR project is part of the science experiments and research to be carried out during the voyage.
“Many of the locations to be visited by Canada C3 lie in areas where radio communication is difficult,” RAC said. “Phenomena such as ‘arctic flutter’ and disturbances from the aurora have traditionally been a problem in the north. Very few, if any, of these locations will have a WSPR beacon and are thus, until now, outside the worldwide WSPR network.”
RAC said the collection of radio propagation information by several receiving stations will be of scientific interest. “At the conclusion of the voyage it might be possible to produce a map showing the course of the voyage with a summary at each stop of the numbers and locations of listeners who logged the Canada C3 beacon,” RAC suggested.
WSPRnet uses MEPT_JT digital mode software developed by Joe Taylor, K1JT, to probe radio frequency propagation conditions using very low power (QRP) transmissions.
Visit the RAC website for additional information.