Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Installing Amazon Prime Video in Canada

Amazon has been offering Canadian customers access to their Prime Video service since the end of 2016. It's only $79 CAD per year to become a Prime Member and there is a 30 day trial available as well.

Configuring your devices to use this new streaming video service can be a bit challenging for Canadian customers as not all of the consoles and streaming media players make it as easy as we would hope. Over time I'm sure Amazon will start to deploy a proper Canadian version of their apps in all of the digital storefronts but until then we'll just need to be creative.

PC's and Laptops

  • Open your browser and go to the website
  • Bookmark this site for future easy access.
  • Login with your Amazon user account and password.

Cellphones and Tablets

  • Download the Amazon Prime Video app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  • Login with your Amazon user account and password.

Nvidia Shield

  • In the Settings change your Country location to the USA and reboot.
  • Download the Amazon Prime Video app from the Google Play Store.
  • Login with your Amazon user account and password.
  • Change your location back to Canada and reboot one last time.

Xbox One

  • In the Settings change your Country location to the USA and reboot.
  • Download the Amazon Prime Video app from the Xbox Store.
  • Login with your Amazon user account and password.
  • Change your location back to Canada and reboot one last time.

PlayStation 3

  • This method should work for the PS3 and PS4, it was tested on a PS3.
  • Start by creating a new US Sony account, This is easily done online at You will need a valid US address and zip code. This account will only be used to get the app downloaded from the US app store so it's kind of disposable and you should not link a credit card to the account.
  • After the account is created and validated via an email you're ready to move over to the console.
  • Add a new User to PlayStation, this is done at the far left of the XrossMediaBar under the Users menu. I created my 2nd account with the same name as my primary account, and just added 'US' to the end so I could tell them apart.
  • Log into the new account and then move the XrossMediaBar to the PlayStation Network menu and login with the new US Sony account that you created in step 2.
  • Now you can browse to the PlayStation Store and search for the Amazon Video app. Download install and then update the app.
  • Change your User back to your primary account.
  • Launch the Amazon Video app, login with your Amazon account and register the console app to your account.

Roku and Others

  • If you have found a tested and working method for any other media players, consoles, or smart TV's please share it with me and I'll update this page.
  • Email me at

Monday, June 12, 2017

The 1 Watt WSPR Day

I reconfigured my WSPR setup for multi-band operation today and I reduced the transmit power to 1 watt.

Again very surprised by how many confirmed contacts across the bands, mostly from the US and lower Canada.

1 watt DX worth mentioning, one more contact with Australia and best of all to the far north VY0ERC...

Eureka, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

The Club is located in the environs of the Eureka Weather Station which is itself located at 79 degrees 59 minutes N, 85 degrees 56 minutes W on Ellesmere Island (IOTA NA-008). VY0ERC is currently operating out of the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) Ridge Laboratory (RidgeLab) located approximately 11 km as the crow flies from the weather station ( The RidgeLab is set on top of the hill at 80 degrees 3 minutes N and 86 degrees 25 minutes W at 600 m.a.s.l. The separation is significant as Eureka is in grid square EQ79 and the RidgeLab is in grid square ER60, and as the RidgeLab is above 80 degrees N, it is in ITU zone 75 rather than ITU zone 4. Both are located in CQ zone 2.

Setting up WSJT-X with Flex SDR and PowerSDR

It took me a week to figure this out so it's good to document for my own future reference.

First off it I tried the WSPR 2.0 software for Windows from  K1JT and the CAT control would not respond at all to the Flex radio and PowerSDR.

When I switched to the WSJT-X software (ver 1.7.0) from K1JT that did work with CAT and appears to be a much more versatile program working with many other modes like JT65 (not just WSPR).

Flex Radio settings under PowerSDR v2.7.2

  • 2x VAC lines active in settings. Input VAC1, Output VAC2, Sample Rate 48000
  • 2x CAT COM ports active. COM10 for primary CAT, COM12 for PTT.
  • ATU = On
  • AF = 100
  • AGC-T = 120
  • Drive = 1 or 5 watts depending on output choice
  • SQL = -160
  • DIGU mode selected for all bands being used by WSPR
  • 4k filter selected for all bands being used by WSPR
PC Settings
  • Virtual Audio Cable software installed and configured for 1 pair of cables (1 and 2)
  • vspMgr Virtual COM Ports installed and configured for 2 pairs (10-11) (12-13)
  • Start Menu to Control Panel to Sound
    • Line 1 = 48000 Hz, Level 75
    • Line 2 = 48000 Hz, Level 75
WSJT-X settings
  • Callsign = VA7AEJ
  • My Grid = DO00mf
  • Rig = Kenwood TS-2000
  • Serial Port = COM11
  • Baud Rate 115200
  • 8-N-1
  • PTT Method = CAT - COM13
  • Mode = None (other choices cause CAT errors)
  • Split operation - None (other choices cause CAT errors)
  • Soundcard Input = Line 2 - Mono
  • Soundcard Output = Line 1 - Mono
  • Enable TX = On
  • Input dB scale = drag slider until audio levels sit at approx 30db
  • Pwr output = leave at full (top)
  • Output level = 30 dBm 1 W or 37 dBm 5 W

Issue = Waterfall in WSJT-X displays solid red vertical lines and makes no contacts.
Answer = No audio reaching the WSJT software, check that VAC is enabled in PowerSDR. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

WSPR (Week Signal Propagation Reporter)

First day on WSPR, another one of those projects that I've been meaning to try for some time.

I configured my Flex 5000 on 5 watts and made all these contacts in less than 4 hours on the 20m band.

Two long distance contacts stretch far below the map to Uruguay, and Brazil !!!

Great way to tell you how your antennas are working on various bands or what band conditions are like.

My setup
  • Flex 5000a transceiver on 5 watts output.
  • 80m OCF Diple antenna at about 30' off the ground with a N/S orientation.
  • WSJT-X software ("Weak Signal Communication, by K1JT") version 1.7.0
  • 3.4Ghz Intel Quad Core PC, 16GB Ram, SDD, running Windows 7 Pro
UPDATE 8:16pm

By 8pm when I powered things off for the evening here were my final results. I'm just floored I made this many confirmed contacts all in a single day. 

Using the website I was able to cross reference and see if I made a contact with the Canada C3 Expedition, CG3EXP Special Event and WSPR station. Sadly not on this first try, but next weekend I'll give it another go. Right now the ship is sailing east away from me along the Saint Lawrence Seaway heading to the Atlantic, then it will sail north to the entrance of the Northwest Passage and sail west all cross northern Canada. I'm sure when it's westward bound I'll be able to make some contacts.

Getting WSPR up and running wasn't easy and I spent a few frustrating hours this past week trying to get it working. As with any challenge I learned a lot along the way and when I was able to get it working it performed much better than expected.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Elecraft - All Kitted Out

I very much enjoyed building my Elecraft KX3 and PX3 kits over the last 6 months and finally have all the accessories I want (for now).

Here's everything listed
  • Elecraft KX3 Transceiver (kit build).
  • Elecraft PX3 Panadapter (kit build).
  • Elecraft T1 Miniature Auto Tuner (an item I owned/reused from a previous QRP rig)
  • Cooler KX Plus Heatsink from
  • Windcamp KX3 Shield Kit (side panels and protective cover)
  • Windcamp PX3 Shield Kit (side panels and protective cover)

Everything is assembled and working great.