Radio Amateurs of Canada issues update on Directors Jan 2020

As reported in the January-February 2021 issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine, following the call for nominations for Directors of Radio Amateurs of Canada’s Atlantic, Ontario North/East, Midwest and British Columbia/Yukon Regions, RAC would like to welcome the following Radio Amateurs to our Board of Directors 2021:

  • Al Penney, VO1NO, was elected as the new Director for the Atlantic Region (see bio below)
  • Ed Richardson, VE4EAR/VE4VT, was elected as the new Director for the Midwest Region (see bio below)

RAC would also like to welcome back the following Radio Amateurs to our Board of Directors:

  • Keith Witney, VE7KW, was re-elected as the Director for the British Columbia/Yukon Region
  • Allan Boyd, VE3AJB, was re-elected the Director for the Ontario North/East Region.

Alphonse (Al) Penney, VO1NO, was born and raised in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

A Remco crystal radio kit Christmas gift, and the acquisition of a Halicrafters S-38D shortwave receiver as a boy sparked a lifelong fascination with the “magic of radio”.

Al was licensed in early 1977 after taking an evening course sponsored by the local Department of Communications (DOC) Radio Inspector.

Al has served on the Executives of many clubs throughout Canada and the USA, including Vice-President of the West Island ARC in Montreal, and President of the VE2CMR ARC, Halifax ARC, West Carleton ARC in Ottawa, and the Pike’s Peak Radio Amateur Association in Colorado Springs while serving at NORAD Headquarters.

More recently he co-founded the Annapolis Valley Amateur Radio Club in Nova Scotia, a “virtual” club that appeals to those who do not like to take part in more traditional clubs.

Al has been involved with teaching prospective Amateurs since the early 1990s. He is one of the primary instructors for the Halifax ARC for their Basic and Advanced courses, and organized and taught the RAC Online Basic Course in response to the global pandemic. 

Al has been the RAC Band Planning Coordinator since 2013, and spearheaded the effort to update the Canadian HF band plans and have them published in a graphic format. He is currently coordinating the update of the VHF/UHF band plans. He lives in Aylesford, Nova Scotia on 10 acres he would like to turn into an antenna farm!

Ed Richardson, VE4EAR/VE4VT, has been a licensed Amateur Radio operator since 1983.

He was bitten by the radio bug in the early 1970s after discovering the excitement and challenge of listening to distant radio stations.

Introduced to the hobby of “ham” radio by his neighbour, Sandy, VE4SZ, Ed made the decision to get his licence and at the same time decided that a career in electrical engineering was what he wanted to do.

Professionally, Ed has worked as a microwave design engineer. Designing amplifiers, oscillators, filters, mixers and power amplifiers all the way to 28 GHz. Since 1998, has been Ed employed as the Communication Systems Engineer for the City of Winnipeg.

Ed joined the Board of Directors of the Manitoba Repeater Society in 1994. After five years as Technical Director, he assumed the role of President in 2000 and held this position until 2019.

As the Manitoba Frequency Coordinator for the past 14 years, Ed has worked with his counterparts in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Minnesota and North Dakota to keep the VHF/UHF bands organized in this region.

Ed is a founding member of Radiosport Manitoba and is currently serving as its President.

Both Al and Ed began their two-year term on January 1 and I look forward to working with them.

Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA
RAC President and Chair

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director


The SEA-PAC Executive Committee has been closely monitoring the continuing COVID-19 pandemic situation has determined that the safest course of action for all is to cancel the 2021 in-person event.

This decision was based on the uncertainties of more COVID outbreaks, vaccine availability to all, and the probable social distancing requirements.  But most importantly, it is based on our genuine concern for the health and safety of you, the attendees, vendors, and presenters.  We firmly believe that providing our Ham Radio community with a safe and quality convention experience is paramount.

To offset this cancellation, the SEA-PAC Committee is exploring alternate online and on-air activities to engage our loyal attendees during 2021.  Watch for future SEA-PAC Wave newsletters with the details as they become available.

Finally, we look forward to hosting you again in Seaside, Oregon, on June 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2022. Thank you for your patience and understanding and we invite you to start planning for SEA-PAC 2022.


John Bucsek, KE7WNB

2021 SEA-PAC Chairman

Registration now underway for RAC Advanced Course for Maple Leaf Operators: Winter/Spring 2021

In response to the global pandemic, Radio Amateurs of Canada is once again offering an online Advanced Qualification Amateur Radio Course so that individuals can upgrade their qualifications while continuing to practise social/physical distancing.

With your Advanced Certificate, you can run higher power, operate a remotely-controlled station, obtain operating privileges when travelling overseas, set up repeaters, be the trustee for club stations and even become an Accredited Examiner (AE). 

Course information:

The course will be 10 sessions in length and each session will be two hours long.

In order to offer maximum flexibility, we will be running two Advanced courses so students will be able to choose one of the following two options:

  • Sunday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm EDT (12 pm PDT) starting on Sunday, February 7 and ending on Sunday, May 2


  • Monday evenings from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm EDT (5:30 PDF) starting on Monday, February 8 and ending on Monday, May 3

Note: There will be no sessions on February 14 -15, March 28-29 and April 4-5.

Course Instruction:

The course instructor is Dave Goodwin, VE9CB. Dave has been an Amateur since 1975, is an active HF Contester and DXer and his DXpedition to Point Amour Lighthouse was featured on the front cover of the November-December 2020 issue of The Canadian Amateur. Dave has also been a long-time volunteer at the national level and has served as the RAC President and as the RAC Director for the Atlantic Region. Since 2015, he has also has been teaching Basic and Advanced certification courses with the Fredericton (NB) Amateur Radio Club.

Course material pertaining to all topics covered in the course syllabus will be provided to all registered students and is available online at:

Course Requirements:

The RAC Advanced Qualification Amateur Radio course is being offered at no charge to RAC Maple Leaf Operator Members – both current and future as described below.

Participants in the course will need to meet all of the following requirements:
  1. Participants must already have the Canadian Basic Amateur Radio Qualification and a Canadian call sign.
  2. Participants must already be a RAC Maple Leaf Operator Member or become one by joining RAC at the Maple Leaf Operator level or upgrading to that level.
  3. Participants must have a copy of the Canadian Amateur Radio Advanced Qualification Study Guide provided by Coax Publications. For more information please visit the RAC Study Guides webpage.
  4. Participants must have a computer and Internet connection capable of using the GoToMeeting (GTM) conference platform. You do not need your own account on GTM to take part in this course, but you will have to download an applet from the GTM site to participate.
  5. Participants must have a working email address to receive course materials and links to the sessions.

There is room on the conference server for 200 participants in each session. Auditors are welcome to attend on a space-available basis, provided they are RAC Maple Leaf Operator members. You can sign up by following the instructions on the Winter 2021 Advanced Course Registration Page

Other Amateur Radio Courses:

Amateur Radio Basic and Advanced Qualification courses are also now being provided both online and in person by Canadian Amateur Radio Clubs and organizations. Please visit the Amateur Radio Courses webpage for more information at the link provided below.

Amateur Radio Courses

Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA
RAC President and Chair


Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director
720 Belfast Road, #217 
Ottawa, ON K1G 0Z5

Registration for Winter 2021 RAC Basic Course is Closing Soon

Radio Amateurs of Canada is once again offering an online Amateur Radio course so that individuals from all across Canada can obtain their Amateur Radio Operator Certificate with Basic Qualification while continuing to practise social/physical distancing.

Date: The course will start on Thursday, January 14 and will finish in late March. Registration is still open but it will be closing soon.

Time: Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6 pm to 8:30 (1800 – 2030) Eastern Time (1900 – 2130 Atlantic Time) and Sunday afternoons 1 pm to 3:30 pm (1300 – 1530) Eastern Time (1400 – 1630 Atlantic Time).

Cost: The registration fee for the course is $50 plus GST/HST. The cost of the Basic Study Guide is extra and an order link will be provided upon completion of payment.

Background information:

The course will again be conducted with the assistance of the Annapolis Valley Amateur Radio Club (AVARC) of Nova Scotia.

This course prepares students for the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) Basic Qualification Level Operator Certificate exam to operate on allocated Amateur Radio frequencies.

Course material pertaining to all topics covered in the course syllabus will be provided to all registered students. Students must have a copy of the Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide provided by Coax Publications. For more information please visit the RAC Study Guides webpage.

It is essential that all students have the necessary equipment and bandwidth capable of taking the course – at least a tablet or PC and a DSL broadband connection.


The course will use the GoToMeeting web-based service. Students will receive instructions on how to log on to the online sessions once they have registered for the course. Classes will be recorded, so occasional absences are not a problem.

The course instructor is Al Penney, VO1NO. Al was first licensed in 1977 and has been active in many areas of Amateur Radio including contesting, DXing, VHF/UHF weak signal, satellites, emergency communications and DXpeditioning. He has served as the President of six different Amateur Radio clubs in both Canada and the United States and currently chairs the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 Band Planning Committee. Al has taught the Basic Qualification Amateur Radio Course since 1994.

Complete information about the course and a downloadable copy of the course syllabus are available at:

Other Amateur Radio Courses:

Amateur Radio Basic and Advanced Qualification courses are also now being provided both online and in person by Canadian Amateur Radio Clubs and organizations. Please visit the Amateur Radio Courses webpage for more information at the link provided below.

Amateur Radio Courses

Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA
RAC President and Chair



Wishing Everyone the very best in 2021. 2020 presented some challenges that is for sure. Hopefully 2021 will be a safe and prosperous new year for you with lots of good times on your radio. Stay well, Stay safe.

[RAC-Bulletin] Former RAC President Farrell(Hoppy) Hopwood, VE7RD SK

Radio Amateurs of Canada has received the sad news that former RAC President, Farrell Hopwood, VE7RD, became a Silent Key on December 8, 2020 at age 91.

The following information was extracted from the online obituary notice which was published in North Shore News on December 30.

“Farrell worked for BC Tel for many years and was active in St. Stephen’s parish, North Vancouver as well as instrumental in the founding of the Radio Amateurs of Canada.

He is survived by his son David, brother Brendan, sisters Eileen and Deidra, sister-in-law Lee, their spouses and many nieces and nephews.

The family is grateful to the staff of Delta Hospital as well as Wexford Independent Living in Tsawwassen for their care and support. Due to the current Covid restrictions, a celebration of Farrell’s life will be limited to a private Mass with a graveside service to follow at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer’s Society would be appreciated.”

RAC would like to extend its sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Member of Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame 2015

Farrell (Hoppy) Hopwood, VE7RD, was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame in 2015 and the information provided below was published in the January-February 2016 issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine in recognition of this significant achievement. We will be including a tribute article to Farrell in the March-April 2021 issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine.

Farrell Hopwood, VE7RD, better known as “Hoppy”, was born and raised in British Columbia. Hoppy’s parents were influential mentors in his early telecommunications career.

His father, Jack, was a telegrapher with Canadian Pacific (CP) Telegraphs; his mother, Mona, was a Teletype operator who worked alongside Jack. Hoppy learned the landline Morse code from his dad.

Hoppy started his telecoms career in Vancouver as a telegraph lineman for CP Telegraphs in 1948 and then transferred to BC Telephone, where he worked his way through maintaining telephone dial offices to long-distance carrier systems in Vancouver.

After the changeover to public distance dialing in 1959, Hoppy was involved with mechanical switching, TD2 microwave and large digital switching networks; and in 1971, formed a Systems Coordination Centre (SCC) to help BC Telephone and other large business users to install new telecom networks. He managed the SCC until he retired in 1992.

In 1955, Hoppy obtained his Amateur Radio licence and his first call sign, VE7AHB. He held a strong interest in all aspects of Amateur Radio, particularly DX, VHF/UHF linking and packet. He was an early member of the Canadian Radio Relay League (CRRL), the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation (CARF), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), Telephone Pioneers and the North Shore Amateur Radio Club. He was also a member of the team that created an Amateur Radio station and exhibit at EXPO 86 in Vancouver.

These memberships introduced him to government regulations and the various threats to Amateur Radio bands. This led Hoppy to become an Assistant Director for the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation, followed by Director and Vice-President.

He sought the CARF Presidency on the condition that the CARF Board commit to meet with the CRRL Board to revisit prior discussions with the CRRL to create one national society. Thus began a series of meetings between CARF and CRRL.

Merging the two societies was a complex and delicate process for the whole merger team and when roadblocks occurred it was up to the two Presidents to find a way around.

Hoppy particularly appreciated working with CRRL President Dana Shtun, VE3DSS (now also VE3DS), who shared the vision for a strong national Canadian Amateur Radio society and served as RAC’s first Vice-President.

Hoppy was appointed RAC President and remained in this post for six years. During this period the new RAC team improved services to members and to the Amateur Radio community in Canada. Hoppy retired at the end of 1998 after serving three terms as President.

Hoppy was inducted into the Hall of Fame on December 10, 2015 at the annual banquet of the North Shore Amateur Radio Club in North Vancouver, BC.


Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director

Coast Emergency Communications Association