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Radio Mischief in the Montreal Metro

21 Jun 2023

I'm currently on a multi-week road trip that's taking me to a bunch of cities in Eastern Canada and the USA. At the moment, I'm in Montreal for a few days.

Me and my partner in crime, Ben VE2TBR, wondered about scattering VHF/UHF radio waves in the metro system. Along for the ride was Harrison, VE2HKW, as well as his brother, Sullivan, and Ben's friend, Keegan.

Myself and Harrison stayed at the Georges-Vanier station, with my """trusty""" Baofeng UV-5R. Meanwhile, Ben, Sullivan, and Keegan would ride down the orange line towards Montmorency with his Yaesu VX6R. Every station, they'd get off, we'd do a quick signal report on 2M and 70cm, and then they'd wait for the next train and head to the next station. We'd repeat this until we couldn't make a contact anymore. Signal reports are from me transmitting at 5W to Ben.

Station nameDistance from Georges-Vanier2m signal report70cm signal report
Bonaventure1300mNothing heard33
Square Victoria-OACI1800mNothing heardNothing heard

Harrison predicted (correctly, I might add!) that 70cm would work better than 2m due to the shorter wavelength. I was surprised by how much of a difference it made! We were also seeing significant QRM on 70cm, which we think is from the trains. There were a lot of twists and turns between Bonaventure and Square Victoria-OACI. This is likely why the signal dropped out even though it wasn't much more distance.

Next time I'm in Montreal, we're going to try higher power, directional antennas, and possibly SSB modulation.

A quick video from Ben's side: