The Wakes I Leave…

QRP Bike Portable from the Cape North Lighthouse


With the intention of providing a lighthouse-to-lighthouse QSO to Chris VE3CBK (he had announced an attempt to activate lighthouse ARLHS CAN 1352 from Graham Bay in the Nepean waterfront), I biked to the Cape North Lighthouse (ARLHS CAN 865M).

The British Government built this lighthouse in 1856 in Cape Race, Newfoundland, then a British Colony. In 1908 it was moved to Cape North, Nova Scotia, and in 1980 it travelled to Ottawa, to the grounds of the Canada Science and Technology Museum, not far from my QTH here in Ottawa.

I chose a superb spot under some pine-trees (Scotch-pine?) in full view of CAN 865M. The rig was the KX3 at 5W and the antenna, a 20m PAR EndFedZ dipole. The ~10-meter wire was held upright with the aid of a Sotabeams “travel” mast threaded up the branches of one of the pine-trees. The 20m band was not the best choice for a QSO some 16 Km apart. However, that was the band that Chris had chosen for his activations and on previous opportunities we had contacted each other using similar conditions.

As it happened, SFI was low, the K-index was high and very few signals were heard in the band, none of which was Chris’. Fortunately, Jim W3NRJ from Darnestown, MD, saved the day, as we completed a very nice CW QSO:

QSO: 14041 20160720 1851 CW VE3DTI 599 W3NRJ 579

Bob VA3QV also dropped-by for a nice chat and poor-propagation moral support. He also took the picture to the left of the following composite:

By the way, the bicycle on the pictures is a 1977 “Shields Nishiki”, “Custom Sport”, “Made by Nakamura”, serial Nr. CG02646 (“C” is for “Canada” and “G” is for the last “7” in “1977”). The “Shields Bicycle Company” was a Canadian company that imported and marketed Nishiki bicycles in the 70s and 80s. Quite coincidentally, according to information posted in (, the Shields bike collection is now part of the collection of – you guessed it – the Canada Science and Technology Museum.