Atlantic News

From the Greenwood ARC Sept.18th:

Saturday October 20th, 2018
All sorts of Amateur Radio, Computer and Electronics for sale.
Sell your old stuff or buy some new old stuff.
Date: OCT 20th, 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 10:00AM � 1:00PM (Open 8:00AM To Sellers)
Place: Greenwood Community Centre, Church Street,
Greenwood, Nova Scotia
Cost: Admission $5.00. Tables Free To Sellers
GPS Coordinates: N44� 58.512� W064� 55.612�
Talk In: VE1WN 147.240+
A BBQ Lunch will be available.

John Scott VE1JS (RAC Awards Manager) will be onsite to check
QSL cards for DXCC, VUCC, WAS, WAC (ARRL awards) and all RAC awards

There will be various door prizes given out throughout the
event with one big door prize at the end.
We will be selling tickets on a radio.

To Book Tables Contact:
Carol VE1ICY at
To Obtain Further Info Contact:
GARC President � Phil Hunter VE1PHL

From the IRG newsletter:

Fall Meeting of the IRG - September 23, 2018

The next meeting of the International Repeater Group will be held on Sunday, September 23, 2018 at the Upper Kingsclear Rec Centre.  The meeting starts at 2:00 pm, with a pot luck dinner to follow.  More details and directions are on the web site.

Bike Maine 2018 

Over 450 riders will hit the roads this week in northern Maine along the border.  As part of the event, amateur radio operators will provide communication support along the way, and the IRG is pleased to help them out.  You may hear activity on the repeaters in the North West Zone and West Zone during the week, so please extend cooperation and a warm welcome to all the visitors.  You can find out more about the event — and even sign up to volunteer!  Look for the link on the IRG web site.

Summer weather review and fall outlook

How hot was it compared to previous summers in New Brunswick?  Was it really hotter and drier than normal in my area?  What might be ahead this autumn in the Maritimes?  All these questions and more can be answered in the very detailed report from Jill Maepea, Meteorologist with Environment & Climate Change Canada.  You can find her informative monthly PDF reports on the IRG web site.

For more details on these and other activities, visit the IRG web site. 

From Dave VE1EDA Sept.16th:

News from the HATS: September 2018
The Halifax Auxiliary Telecommunications Service (HATS) is an operational vehicle through which HARC contributes to emergency telecommunications when a man-made or natural disaster strikes our community. This service is a joint effort of amateur radio clubs in the Halifax region and functions under the direction of the Emergency Management Division of Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency (HRFE).
NEWS: We held our first public demonstration and field Exercise on 6 – 8 July at Scott Manor House, a heritage property and museum in Bedford. Eight HATS members staffed the three-day event and interacted with visitors. We demonstrated our WinLink System by originating messages to various points in the HRM and communicated by voice with fixed and mobile stations over the VE1PSR and VE1HNS repeaters. A popular hands-on-activity was teaching visitors how to send their name in Morse Code. This event was an effective way to practice our communications skills, and to tell the public about amateur radio and its role in emergency communications. This is a model we will continue to use.
In the spring we initiated the HATS Leadership Program., an organized effort to recruit members who have leadership capability and are interested in developing it. I am pleased to report that over the summer we have had a good response, and we will begin working with 4 or 5 candidates this fall. I will provide more details about our current Leadership Candidates and their program in my October report.
Since training and practical exercises are the key part of our preparations to provide emergencies communication services, we will be offering courses this fall, including the Basic Message Handling Course, ICS-100 and Use of TMR Radios. As soon as dates are set, I will send out a training bulletin to all members. Remember that free ICS-100 training on-line is always available. If you want to pursue this independent learning opportunity, I can provide you with the URL and a necessary access code.
Our Third HATS General Meeting is scheduled on Thursday, 11 October from 7:00 – 9:30 pm at HARC’s new Club location in Fire Station #50 on Hammonds Plains Road. Matt Boyle, VE1BSG, who is with the NS Government’s Public Safety and Field Communications Office will make a short presentation on Threats to Radio. Communication. The program also will include a HATS update, plans going forward and group discussion as well as a chance to socialize with one another.
19 September (Wednesday) at 18:30 hrs. – HARC Monthly Meeting. It will feature Steve Frost, VE9SF talking about Wireless MESH Networks for Ham Radio
20 September (Thursday) at 1000 hrs. HRFE/EMO – Radio Advisory Group Meeting at the Eric Spicer Building on Mt Hope Drive in Dartmouth.
11 October (Thursday) from 19:00 – 21:30 hours a General Meeting of HATS will be held. Matt Boyle, VE1BSG, will speak about Threats to Radio Communications.
In October, Jim Calvesbert, VE1PPA, will be taking over from Joe MacPherson, VE1CH, the maintenance of our time and travel data, and making a regular report to HRFE Division Chief Erica Fleck. This is record of how much volunteer time and travel kilometers we accumulate each month in service to the HRM. Thus, it is vital information that demonstrates the value we provide to the HRM in return for the financial and organizational support we receive. This does not work without each member doing their part – regularly reporting their data. It is important to submit your data sheets, even if there is no activity for the month. It will show you are present!
Note that the HARC Program this month is on a topic of direct interest and importance to emergency communications, namely Wireless Mesh Networks for Ham Radio. Please plan on attending.
Do you want membership information? Please contact Dave Musgrave, VE1EDA. He is our membership officer and will see that you get the necessary information and application forms. His contact information is via email:
Finally, please submit your August monthly time and travel data to Joe MacPherson ( but for September it will need to go to

73 de Scott
K. Scott Wood, VE1QD
Halifax Auxiliary Telecommunications Service (HATS)

From MAARC Facebook page:

To all the MAARC members who came out early this morning to help, a big thank you. While the totals are not in yet, we did have 134 paid entrants and the 50/50 gave $192 to the winner and $192 to the club so I think we are on track to have the best flea market yet. Larry will let us know what the final take is on the raffle and canteen and we will post some pictures of the winners of the door prizes and the raffle.

I am glad to report that our own Oscar, VE9OSK won the raffle prize. The prize was a new Yaesu FT-2980 hi output (80 watts) 2 meter transceiver. He told me that at first he said to himself that he just missed the winning number of 273 as his ticket was 271 but then he remembered he had bought 3 for $5 so he had 271, 272 and 273. Congratulations Oscar and enjoy the new radio.

The door prizes were won by Kevin, VE1KEV who decided on the Tri-band hand held radio and VE9REG, Reg who got the dualband mobile radio. Congratulations to all.

From MAARC Facebook page:

As we discussed at the MAARC meeting last Saturday, the DMR repeater has been temporarily relocated to the MAARC clubhouse and is back on the air. The coverage may or may not be better that it was at U de M but it is working better than not having an antenna connected to it at all.
Thanks Tobie, VE9XAB for doing the switch and thanks to Denis, VE9MUD for doing the I/T work on getting the ports open to make it happen.

From Bruce VE1II Sept.11th:

A new slate of officers were selected at the 2018-19 annual meeting of the Truro Amateur Radio Club last night.

The new executive includes Dave Hull VE1HUL - President, Logan Shaw VE1LFS - Vice-President, Mike Harvey VE1MBH Treasurer and Secretary, pending.

From Kevin VE1KEV Sept.5th:

Contact Manager 2.60 Released

We have just released N0GSG Contact Manager version 2.60. N0GSG Contact Manager is the "goto" software for working with codeplug data in many different makes of DMR radios, including Connect Systems, Tytera, AnyTone, and others. It allows you to freely edit information in all supported codeplugs, and also allows you to migrate data freely between any supported radio types using copy and paste commands for individual elements (such as contacts, channels, or zones), or Structural Import for migrating complete codeplug structures seamlessly.

Version 2.60 incorporates support for the new TYT MD-UV380, an enhanced DMR Database Search Facility, and for radios with multi-bank zones, a Mirroring Command to copy between A and B sections of these zones.

Everyone is aware of the impact that GDPR has had on the DMR databases. Ham Digital serves all DMR ID records worldwide, but due to GDPR, it's unable to provide detailed information on registrants beyond first name and callsign. Thankfully, Radio ID provides the missing data for non-European DMR users. But these are two distinct databases, which is hard to resolve for individual users. The enhanced DMR database search routine in Contact Manager now seamlessly merges the data from both sources so that you automatically get the best information available from both databases. Additionally, we've refined and expanded the DMR Online Database Searcher to allow you to enter additional search information that's "remembered" between Contact Manager sessions. For example, if you commonly wish to update your radio's contacts from specific regions, cities, or countries, you can enter those as additional search items, which Contact Manager will then automatically search for you each time you use the DMR Online Database Searcher.

Within the DMR Online Database Searcher we've also added a new CSV Contact Exporter that will allow you to export properly-formatted CSV contact files for radios such as the MD-2017, MD-9600, and MD-UV380, so that you can load additional contacts (up to 100,000) for these radios. The same enhancements applied to the DMR Online Database Searcher have been applied to the CSV Contact Exporter, so you can do this in just seconds with just a few mouse clicks.

The documentation for Contact Manager is updated and explains how to use the new features.

N0GSG Contact Manager is delivered via secured servers that are scanned daily for malware. Our site and software are 100% safe for your computer (we can make this claim only if you download Contact Manager direct from our site at er/). It is well known that certain anti-virus software (including Windows Defender) is notorious for delivering false-positive reports. You may view an authoritative scan of this entire site and its content by visiting Virus Total.

We welcome your input on this software and very much appreciate your support for the Contact Manager project.

Tom Nilssen

From Kevin VE1KEV Sept.5th:

Here is an interesting link to view old amateur radio 73 Magazines via The Internet Archive.

73 Magazine (also known as 73 Amateur Radio Today) (OCLC 22239204) was a United States-based amateur radio magazine that was published from 1960 to 2003. It was known for its strong emphasis on technical articles and for the lengthy editorials in each issue by its founder and publisher, Wayne Green.

The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public. Our mission is to provide Universal Access to All Knowledge.

From Jim VE1JBL Sept.1st:

The new website for DMR New Brunswick is now up and running. There are pages still under construction but overall the site is active. Here is the link.

From Jim VE1JBL Aug. 30th:

Thanks to a donation from Brad Ross VE1ZX and the WestCumb ARC in Amherst the Fredericton DMR site is back up and running. Reports are that the antenna is performing great, that and with the newly tuned hybrid ring duplexer, it has never performed so well.

Here is a report on the repeater from Nick Robinson VE9ARZ with DMR New Brunswick.

Just a little insight on the repeater job:

We made a site visit in July after local users complained of decrease range and desense type problems, checking the Repeater Diagnostics and Control (RDAC) software we saw that VSWR alarms had been registered. Once at the site it was quickly determined that the antenna was bad, registering a SWR of 4:1, likely damaged from a lightning strike. The repeater was also putting out much less power then it should have. We were all set to purchase a brand new antenna, when Brad & Westcumb offered us the replacement. The repeater PA was easily fixed and was putting out rated power once again, Tobie VE9XAB and Mike VE1ZB worked to get the antenna from Brad to Fredericton, where it was quickly installed, along with a new polyphaser lightning arrestor, on the air it was showing a SWR of 1:1 and coverage report have been excellent from everyone. The donated antenna saved our group from spending $800 that can now be put forward to future projects or upgrades.

From DMR New Brunswick Facebook

We are happy to announce we now have a means of connecting hotspots to the NBDMR system. At this time it is purely experimental, and limited to TS2. Performance may vary, but so far it does seem to work well.

We invite you to try it out and we want your feedback, please let us know if you try it and any issues encountered.

From Dave VE1HUL Aug.21st:

Hi All,
I hope everyone is having a great summer and the heat and humidity hasn't been too bad for you.

I have received several emails and questions on air about when the Round Table would be back. So I thought I would send out an email as a reminder that the Round Table will be returning on Sunday October 14th at 2100.

I hope everyone enjoys whats left of summer and I will talk to you in October on the Round Table if not before.

From the ARRL website Aug.3rd:

ARISS Packet Radio System Expected to be Back Late this Year 08/03/2018

The currently silent packet radio system on the International Space Station could be back on the air by year’s end.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) hardware team members have located an original duplicate of the packet module that had been in use on the International Space Station (ISS) before failing more than a year ago after 17 years of service. With a new battery installed, the unit was tested and found to be functioning. The ARISS packet system in the space station’s Columbus module, operating on 145.825 MHz, quit last July after first experiencing some problems. All necessary paperwork has been completed to manifest the packet module on the Progress 71P spacecraft launch now set for Halloween, with docking on November 2.

“Installation date will depend on the crew’s busy schedule, but ARISS hopes packet can be online again by the end of November 2018,” ARISS said this week in a news release. ARISS said it’s heard from “many hams” who have been asking when the packet system will be back on the air.

When the ARISS packet module aboard ISS died in last year, the ARISS hardware team already was overburdened with the design and safety certification of the new interoperable radio system ARISS has been developing that’s set for launch next year. The team did attempt some basic troubleshooting of the old packet module but was unable to revive it and decided instead to dedicate all of its time to the new replacement radio system, including packet capability.

Early this year, thermal testing of the first flight-identical power supply for the new comprehensive radio system showed that some changes to air flow were needed. This change would delay launch of the new radio equipment from late 2018 to early 2019.

To contribute to the ARISS radio fund, visit the ARISS website and click on the “Donate” button.

From Brent VY2HF Aug.2nd:

There are two new hams here on the Island. I ran an exam session on June 20th and the following passed their exam:

Therese Mair, Georgetown PEI - Basic with Honours - VY2TAM
Stirling Carr, Hazelbrook PEI - Basic with Honours - VY2SEC

Both have VHF capability, with Stirling also capable on 70CM from his home. He has a nice J-pole installed and can hit several repeaters in PEI and Northern Nova Scotia. Therese also has a 2M radio, and I believe will be operating mostly mobile. Therese's ultimate goal is to learn Morse Code and eventually operate some HF CW.

We have a couple of other prospective hams now with study guides and we'll try to mentor/Elmer them as they need help in their studies.


From Dave VE9CB Aug.1st:

Would you like to...
    * communicate with people around the world without the use of phones or the Internet?
    * experiment with electronics?
    * interface radio transmitters with your computer?
    * serve your community at public events or during serious emergency situations?
    * talk to astronauts aboard the International Space Station, or communicate through satellites?
    * develop new relationships and learn what is going on around world through the airwaves? 

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) may be for you!
(credit: RAC)

From 27 September through Monday 17 December 2018, the Fredericton Amateur Radio Club will run a course to help you earn your Amateur Radio license. 

Classes will run most Mondays and Thursday evenings from 7pm to 9pm.  There will also be one Sunday afternoon session in each of October, November and December.  The language of instruction will be English.

The cost is $165.  This includes:
- all classroom instruction;
- all required study materials;
- all materials and instruction for you to build two antennas to get you on the air quickly;
- a one-year membership in the Fredericton Amateur Radio Club (FARC); and
- FARC’s accredited Examiners will administer the examination for the Basic Certificate of Proficiency in Amateur Radio, the essential requirement to hold a call sign and get on the air.  

Successful candidates will earn a licence to operate their own Amateur Radio station, and they will receive a free one-year membership in the Radio Amateurs of Canada ( 

Your instructors are a team of experienced, knowledgeable Radio Amateurs who are very keen to help you get a good start in the fascinating, diverse world of Amateur Radio.

Registration will be on Monday, 10 September 2018 at 7pm.  Come to the Boardroom of the Victoria Health Centre, 65 Brunswick Street, Fredericton NB.

For more info, Please contact Dave VE9CB at (506) 206-8334 or .

From Ken VY2RU Jul.29th:

W/VE Island QSO Party....

The U.S. Islands Awards Program (USI) and the Canadian Islands Activators (CIA) announce the annual W/VE Island QSO Party, 1200z 25 August – 0300z 26 August, 2018. 15 Hours.

To promote the U.S. (USI) and Canadian (CIA) islands programs to amateurs worldwide. 
To promote verifiable amateur radio contacts with stations located on islands in the U.S. and Canada.

W/VE island stations work everyone. Non-island stations work only W/VE islands stations.

Details and rules can be found at

Contact the Contest Manager NS4J with any questions

From Ken VY2RU Jul.27th:

Hi folks,
Here are a couple of Awards I received for the Russia Football (Soccer) World Cup Amateur Radio Event.  One is a pic of the Plaque for contacting the Russian cities involved and the other is myself with the Plaque and a few of the 24 Certificates I acquired during the FWC.  I also came 1st for North and South America, Africa and OC (Pacific Area) see: 
You can input my call sign to see the Award Certificates I acquired.  A lot of work, time and dedication but fun also!!!
- Ken   VY2RU

P.S. I would be remiss to not mention Ella's understanding when I take part in these Amateur Radio Events!!!!!

From Peter VE1PS Jul.27th:

I have heard many fellow HAMs in the Maritimes speak of interest in 6m ops. In an attempt to coordinate this interest and facilitate QSOs and learning I have created a chat group on .
Subscribe at

73 Pete VE1PS/VE9NPS

From Willis VA1WAB

Hi Jim,

I thought you may be interested this. Attached is a copy of the 1st place certificate for 2018.

VE1UW is the Pictou County ARC and operated by the members.

From Doug VE1DFG July 5th:

Parks & Historic Sites On The Air ( ) is a brain child of several Hams in the Halifax area who want to duplicate the American Parks theme of two years ago, only for Canada. We need assistance of a couple programmers, preferably if they are a Ham but not necessarily so. Below is a description of what is needed.


The division of programming labor I’d suggest is

  1. I’ll return to work on the web site to add support for ADIF file upload, update the logos, and assist with changes for bilingual translation.
  2. We’ll need to find (several?) others to help design and write the backend processes to confirm QSOs, compile statistics, maintain leader boards, track awards.
  3. We’ll need to figure out if we’re going to allow already uploaded logs to be deleted or edited.  If we do, we’ll need to have a subsystem designed and written to do this.


We’ll need specific computer skill sets.  Experience in a UNIX/Linux environment, database design and SQL coding (MySQL or other database), Linux programming in Perl or PHP programming language.


Anyone interested, please contact Doug Grace VE1DFG  by e-mail or by phone 902-456-0506. Thanks so much and look forward to hearing from interested people.


Doug Grace, VE1DFG

From Ken VY2RU July 4th:

Amateur Radio ES100 Event....

I was very pleased to receive in the mail last week a "Juniper Tankard" from the Republic of Estonia's 100th Anniversary for the ES100xx Event.  The ES100 Event ran for February and March 2018 and I was fortunate to end up in the top 10 for the World (actually 6th) and 1st for North America.  See under "Leaderboard" for standings.  I also received the Bronze, Silver and Gold Certificates during the event and could order the wooden plaque

The Tankard is hand made and absolutely beautiful with my call sign "VY2RU" on the side with "ES100" and my placing "488 Pts" on the attached

The 1st place in the ES100 Event received a "Begali CW Key" and from 2nd to 10th received the "Juniper Tankard"

All the Best - Ken   VY2RU

From RAC Website Jun.30th.

I am pleased to announce the election of Dave Hull, VE1HUL, as Section Manager of the Maritime Section effectively immediately.

Dave resides in Truro, Nova Scotia and is retired from the Canadian National Railway.

Dave has been an avid Motorsport enthusiast since 2004 and became an Amateur in 2016, and is actively involved with the Truro Amateur Radio Club.

Welcome aboard Dave!

Doug Mercer, VO1DM CEC
RAC Vice-President and Community Services Officer

From Peter VE1PS Jun.24th:

Thought this would be nice to post on the MA site. Really good edition with info on the hacking of routers and suggestion on how to overcome any hacking to date.  Even better is mention of our old friend Burt Amero VE1AMA (SK) and his contribution to HF packet at the 0:50:23 mark in the podcast.



From Dave VE9CB, Atlantic Director Radio Amateurs of Canada

Hello all:

A group of Radio Amateurs in Quebec is very concerned about an unlicensed person in Nicolet QC who has been causing deliberate interference to Radio Amateurs.  They have engaged ISED, who seized equipment from the miscreant, but ISED has laid no charges under the Radiocommunication Act.  This person has acquired more equipment and continues to interfere with Amateurs.   

The petitioners "are calling on the government to provide more support to the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada so that it can intervene more decisively in this matter."

I have no first-hand information on the matter, but I favor the objective of ISED having more resources to fulfill their spectrum enforcement responsibilities.

You can find the petition here:
I agreed 100%. We need for enforcement of radio interference.

From Jim VE1JBL Jun.9th:

Anyone who has purchased or will be purchasing a Yaesu System Fusion radio since the SMART symposium at the end of April please let Brad Ross VE1ZX know as he will be forwarding this info along to Cory Sickles WA3UVV at Yaesu USA.
Cory is very interested to find out after his presentation at SMART how many amateurs have purchased a Fusion radio. If he has had enough sales over this current year from the Maritimes he may be coming back to SMART 2019 to give another presentation. His class was very well attended but due to scheduling problems some members could not take in the complete class. If he comes back we will make sure no other class will be going on and everyone will be able to attend.
Again this is only for amateurs who have purchased Fusion Radios.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the summer.

From Ken VY2RU June 3rd.

The Internet of Digital Radio by Onno Benschopu VK6FLAB

The topic of how radio evolves and embraces available technology is one that describes the hobby itself. From spark-gap through AM, SSB and FM our community picked up or invented solutions to make communication possible. When the internet came along it too became a tool ripe for picking and in 1997 a connection between a radio and the internet was made with the Internet Radio Linking Project or IRLP when Dave VE7LTD, a student at the University of British Columbia, joined the UBC Amateur Radio Society. Using a radio, some hardware and a computer, you could send audio between radios across the internet.

Since then this field has exploded with D-STAR, Echolink, DMR, AllStar, Wires, CODEC2, System Fusion and Brandmeister.

At a glance they're all the same thing, radio + internet = joy.

Looking closer there are two distinct kinds of internet radio contraptions, those where the radio is digital and those where it's not. IRLP is an example of an analogue radio connecting to hardware that does the encoding into digital and transmission across the internet. At the other end the reverse process, decoding, happens and another analogue radio is used to hear the result. This encoding and decoding is done by a piece of software called a CODEC.

If we continue for a moment down the analogue path, Echolink, AllStar and Wires do similar things. In 2002 Echolink made its way onto the scene, similar to IRLP, but it didn't need any specialised hardware, any computer running the Echolink software could be used as both a client and a server, that is, you could use it to listen to Echolink, or you could use it to connect a radio to another Echolink computer.

AllStar, which started life in 2008 went a step further by making the linking completely separate. It uses the metaphor of a telephone exchange to connect nodes together, which is not surprising if you know that it's built on top of the open source telephone switching software Asterisk.

In 2012 or so, Yaesu introduced Wires which is much like Echolink and AllStar. There are servers with rooms, not unlike chat rooms, where you connect a node to and in turn your radio.

Blurring the lines between these technologies happened when you could build a computer that spoke both IRLP and Echolink at the same time. Now you can also add AllStar to that mix.

Essentially these systems do similar things. They manage switching differently, handle DTMF differently, use a different audio CODEC and handle authentication in a variety of ways, but essentially they're ways of connecting normal hand-held radios, generally FM, to each other via the internet using intermediary computers called nodes. Before you start sending angry letters, I know, there's more to it, but I've got more to tell.

While Dave was busy in Canada inventing IRLP back in the late 1990's, in Japan the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications funded research, administered by the Japan Amateur Radio League into the digitisation of amateur radio. In 2001 that research resulted in what we know today as D-STAR. Two years later, ICOM started developing D-STAR hardware which resulted in actual physical radios less than a year later. Today you can get D-STAR hardware from ICOM, Kenwood and FlexRadio Systems.

Unlike the other technologies where the audio was converted at a central place, in D-STAR the audio is encoded in the radio and a digital signal is sent across the airwaves. That in turn means that the software that does the encoding, the CODEC, needs to be inside the radio. Since the information is digital right from the point of transmit, you can send other information, like GPS locations and messages along with the audio.

In 2005 DMR started life as a group of companies, now up to around 40, agreeing on some standards for digital audio in much the same way as D-STAR. Mostly in use by commercial users, DMR has the ability to have two users simultaneously on-air using alternate channels by having separate time slots for each channel, alternating between the two of them. They agreed to use the same CODEC to ensure compatibility. Formal interoperability testing has been happening since 2010, but because DMR allows manufacturers to build in extra features many brands cannot actually work together on the same network.

For many years D-STAR and DMR-MARC, the DMR Motorola Amateur Radio Club World Wide Network, were the main digital radio systems around in amateur radio. That changed in 2013 when Yaesu introduced System Fusion. It too made digital audio at the radio, but it added a wrinkle by making it possible to have both analogue and digital audio on the same repeater. Depending on how the repeater is configured, analogue and digital radios can coexist and communicate with each other.

The Wires system that Yaesu rolled out was upgraded in 2016, renamed to Wires X and now also incorporates digital information to allow the linking of their System Fusion repeaters.

In 2014 at the Ham Radio Exhibition in Friedrichshafen in Germany, Artem R3ABM planned to make an alternative master server for DMR+ and DMR-MARC and the result was a German wordplay which we know today as Brandmeister. It acts as a network for digital radios in much the same way as DMR, but it's run as an open alternative to the commercially available options made by Motorola and Hytera.

The story isn't complete without mentioning one other development, CODEC2. It started in 2008 when Bruce Perens K6BP contacted Jean-Marc Valin, famous for the SPEEX audio compressor and David Rowe VK5DGR about the proprietary and patented nature of low data use voice encoders such as those in use in D-STAR, DMR and System Fusion. David had already been working in this area a decade earlier and started writing code.

In 2012 during Linux Conference Australia, Jean-Marc and David spent some time together hacking and managed to make a 25% improvement and CODEC2 was well under way. Today CODEC2 forms the basis of several projects including FreeDV in software, the SM1000 FreeDV adaptor in hardware and the roadmap for the future of open and free digital voice is bright.

I should mention that this information is specifically brief to give you an overview of the landscape and hopefully I've not made too many glaring errors, but feel free to drop me a line if you do find a problem.

Digital radio and the internet, it's not just a single mode, a whole cloud of modes, and I haven't even started with WSPR, FT8 or JT65.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

To listen to the podcast, visit the website: and scroll to the bottom for the latest episode. You can also use your podcast tool of choice and search for my callsign, VK6FLAB, or you can read the book, look for my callsign on your local Amazon store, or visit my author page:

If you'd like to participate in discussion about the podcast or about amateur radio, you can visit the Facebook group:

Feel free to get in touch directly via email:, or follow on twitter: @VK6FLAB (

If you'd like to join the weekly net for new and returning amateurs, check out the details at, the net runs every week on Saturday, from 00:00 to 01:00 UTC on Echolink, IRLP, AllStar Link and 2m FM via various repeaters.

Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award

Today in Ottawa, the first recipients of the #EmergencyManagement Exemplary Service Award were honoured at ceremony with federal, provincial and territorial Ministers:
Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Management

Allan K Thurber VE1RG (far right standing)

Mr. Thurber has been involved with New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization (NBEMO) and the ham amateur radio operators since 1973. For more than 45 years, Mr. Thurber has been an integral communicator during emergencies throughout the province of New Brunswick, such as the 2017 ice storm in the northeast of the province of New Brunswick. Mr. Thurber's leadership and organization skills enabled NBEMO to communicate with emergency services during the province-wide communications blackout in August 2017. Mr. Thurber's dedicated volunteerism has shown great commitment to enhancing emergency communications capacity in New Brunswick.

From YouTube May 21st

Tour Through The Swaps Tables At Hamvention 2018. It is setup day at Hamvention 2018. Larry Jacobs WA7ZBO took a trip out to the Swaps tables to meet some new friends.

From Peter VE1PS May 12th

Here’s a throw back link for the Maritime Amateur site.

 The basic operation of a Morse code telegraph is explained for transmitting messages using short and long signals called "dots" and "dashes".


N. Peter D. Service, BA

From Ken VY2RU May 6th,

Solar Panel QRM!!!  Read and take note guys...this is becoming a!!!!  If you have a problem with noise check your area for Solar Panel Arrays and see if they are emitting any spurious RF.  The following by Bob WB4APR and associated links will certainly give you some idea of what we are up against.   

- Ken   VY2RU

Threat to HF from Solar Panel change....

Friday, May 4, 2018

The creator of APRS Bob Bruninga WB4APR says "I don't want to be an alarmist, but we need the Hams with the proper knowledge to get involved in this disturbing news" 

His post on the AMSAT-BB, used with permission, says: 

The National Electric Code now requires electronics on every module of a solar array communicating via signalling on the DC power lines to assure EACH pair of panels can shut down independently. This is to make all possible faults never allow more than 80 volts anywhere in the system. This is effective 1 Jan 2019

This is the nail in the coffin of simple DC series string arrays which are the quietest systems and almost demands microinverters oroptimizers on every panel. Refer to the QST article a few years ago about how disastrous optimizers are to RFI and HF operations with modules all over the roof.

Here is the Solar news:

Also, what is going to happen to an array that has signaling all over it in the near field of HF?

Although you can avoid it by going solar before then, you may have problems when your neighbors go later.

I hate to be an alarmist but we all know what happens when ham radio and commercial systems are incompatible and even though Ham radio might be in the right, we are only 1 in 600 and no one is going to side with us.

We took on broadband over power and squelched that dumb idea, but now this has the potential for equal demise of Ham radio. It should be fixable, but we also know that there is high competition in the solar market and the modules that are made the cheapest will be popular and will likely not be adequately filtered.

If nothing else, we need to find out what systems are terrible emitters and nip them in the bud. Maybe all it takes is driving by solar systems you see and turing on your AM radio on a weak signal channel and seeing if the background noise peaks near that home. But also it has individual peaks, so it might also be nice to tune around too find the max and then check the range. I find the noise can go hundreds of feet along the power lines.

You can't miss em... just sounds like a 60 Hz buzz on all the harmonics of the inverter switching frequency.


AMSAT Bulletin Board archive

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From Matt VE1BSG May 1st,

Hi Everyone,


I wanted to pass on my congratulations and recognition to the Province’s newest set of licensed amateur radio operators!


Over the last four months this group has put in a great deal of effort and study both inside and outside the Province’s class, and has shown a great deal of interest in this hobby, which is also a great help to public safety during times of emergency. The examiners commented that both the interest and the diligence of the students was obvious when the final review occurred and the exam was written. We are proud to welcome this group into the amateur community, and know that their new privileges will be very useful in their roles as communicators and emergency management personnel.


Congratulations to you all!


In the attached photo, from left to right:


Scott Fisher – PSFC – Student

Al Cyples – PSFC – Course/Exam Assistant

Wanda Witcher – EMO Nova Scotia – Student

Nicole Benoit – PSFC – Student

Debra MacDonald – Student

Tosha Clarke – Student

George Mosdell – Student

Donna Harwood – Student

Karen Wickwire – Student

Paul Maynard – Student

Jim Hannon – Examiner

Brad Ross – Examiner

Mark Turner – Student


There is at least one additional student who was not able to write the exam yesterday, but we hope to arrange this in the near future.


Matthew Boyle

Manager of Field Operations

Public Safety and Field Communications

(902) 424-3479

From Rick VE9MTB Apr.19th

New Web Site Launched

At long last, we have refreshed our web site. It's still a "work in progress" but we're sure you will find it easier to navigate and keep up-to-date on IRG activities.   The new location will be   so be sure to update your bookmarks.  Some content on the old site will still be available as we transition.  Any feedback is welcome, just look for the "Contact" link at the bottom of each page.  See the important information below about your user name and password for the new site!

Member information update

As part of the new web site, we have been updating the membership information.  No doubt, we have a lot of wrong e-mails, mispellings or wrong expiry dates with the change-over.  Take a look at the "Current Members" page on the new web site and if anything is incorrect, let us know using the "Contact" form at the bottom of each page.

Important:  Your old log-in and passwords are not valid on the new web site.  Current members seeking access to "members only" features on the new site will have to set a new password as a security feature.  Here's how:

  • Go to the Home Page and look for the  "User Login" box on the left.
  • Click on "Reset your password"
  • Enter your User name -- this has been set by default to be your call sign (i.e. ve9abc ) or the e-mail address that we have on file (the same one that you got this e-mail on).  Click "Submit".
  • Instructions will be sent to your e-mail on how to set your new password.
  • Once you log in, you can check and edit your personal information if you wish.
  • After that, you can log in at any time with your "User name" (usually your call sign) and your own "Password" that only you can set or change.
  • You do not need to log-in check your expiry date, or to renew your membership.

If you run into problems, send us a note here:

Rick MacMillan  VE9MTB
President, IRG

From Dave VE1HUL Apr.16th

As of today April 13, 2018 at 0045 the new web page for the Truro Amateur Radio Club is online.
There are still some areas to add some more info to but we are essentially up and running.

If you have any questions or comments you can direct them to VE1HUL at

From Jim VE1JBL Apr.11th

With the latest increase of users and digital radios here in Atlantic Canada I have added a couple of new links on the Homepage of the Maritime Amateur website. On the left hand side you will see "All things Digital" and "DMR NB on Facebook.
"All things Digital" directs you to Ron MacKay's website VE1AIC and to My DMR, Fusion, MMDVM Information page.
There is a wealth of information there going back several years but also includes the latest news and information and photos about digital radios, software and hot spots.
Ron will again this year have a display at S.M.A.R.T 2018 showing off all the digital modes, Hot Spots and will answer any questions you have on the mode.

The other new link is the DMR New Brunswick Facebook page @DMRNB. This covers all the latest news and information about DMR in New Brunswick.

From Shane VE1SMC Apr.8th

Since the fall of 2017 some members of the Liverpool Fire Department expressed interest in taking a basic amateur radio course.
They approached Trevor Munroe VE1TKM who is the fire chief, and asked him if he could put one on for them, he agreed. He obtained training information from Honorary Firefighter Shane McDougall VE1SMC. On April 7th,  2018 the group sat down with Bill Corkum VA1BC the local examiner from the Queens County ARC along with assistance form Howard Henderson VE1FV, and 4 out of 5  member passed there amateur radio course.
Two of them obtained Basic with Honors. They are Devon Whynot VE1DXW and Chris Whynot VE1CLS. The other two that passed with Basic are Nicholas Whynot VE1NJW and Byron Thorburne VE1BET. Michael Peach will be rewriting his exam at a later date.
Best of luck to you and congratulations to our new ham radio operators, and enjoy this hobby we call Amateur Radio.

From Dana VE1VOX

The Canadian Brandmeister DMR Network now has an established emergency communication talk group for NB, NS, PEI. 3021911 Maritime Canada Disaster.

From Jim VE1JBL

Just a note to let everyone know that on March 1st, it was the 10th anniversary of the Maritime Amateur website.
It started as a way to contact amateurs around the Maritimes after becoming Radio Amateur of Canada Section Manager for the Maritimes (2008-2012)
To all my friends who have helped me out during these 10 years with stories, Silent Key information and donations, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Without all of you this site would not be possible.
I will continue to bring stories about amateur radio from Atlantic Canada to all of you for for enjoyment.
Quick stats after 10 years: TOTAL Visits - 113760, Monthly average - 948, Daily average - 31  


From Dave VE1ADH Jan.29th, 2018

The AM net was started in the 1960's or 70's by my mentor Tex Mattinson VE1AAX.  He had been forced off of AM operation in the 50's because his AM transmitter caused TV I due to poor shielding. He acquired a better transmitter but SSB was becoming the phone mode and AM carriers were not really welcome on the band's. He eventually acquired a SSB rig but him and some of his buddy's wanted to use AM because they liked the quality. Tex often referred to AM as "Angel music". So they started the net. I used to listen to the net before I was licensed and I even called in on CW after I got my ticket. My first HF phone contact was on the AM net in July 1988, just after passing my advanced. I had been CW only since 1967. 
Tex became a silent key in 1993 and I was asked to be net control and have been doing so, with help from others, since.
I was asked one time if I would send in a traffic report for the net but it was not a traffic net so we started referring to it as a round-table.  This is appropriate as back when AM was king most of the rigs did not have PTT and round-table QSOs were the norm.
The net usually starts around 8:30 local Sunday mornings on 3735. Anyone is welcome and most of the discussion revolves around old gear and technical topics.

From Gary VA1GGM Jan.26th, 2018


My name is Gary Murphy VA1GGM and I have been handed the Canwarn coordinator torch from Jim Langille. 

I have spent the last 20 years working as a Nova Scotia Paramedic and also 20 years working in the NS Medical Communications Center as a Paramedic Communications Officer.  I have been a Radio Amateur for about 5 years. (I am still learning an awful lot about ham radio and welcome all hints and tips. Please feel very free to help me in this endeavor.)

I have also taken most of the FEMA independent Study courses, COMET courses, SkyWarn courses , ARRL, ARES, RAC, and EMO courses. I heartily endorse taking all the courses that are available I will be highlighting any free courses for anyone with the interest and time to take them.

I want to thank all those spotters who have put the time in over the years with Jim and hope you will help me continue to make this a worthwhile resource for Environment Canada. Also tank you to the Net Controllers who have helped over the years. If anyone wishes to take on that role as well; I am hoping to get a net controller course for us.

I have started a Facebook page to keep us together as well.

Please send me your ideas and suggestions so that we, together, can make this a great resource

Gary Murphy VA1GGM

From the IRG Website

Hospital Radio System Exercise Great Success!

A test exercise of the New Brunswick health facility radio system that took place on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 was a great success.

Net control was VE9DOH at Department of Health, Fredericton, headed by Al Thurber CG1RG contacted each health care facility.  Operators at each facility reported those present and the equipment being used, and any particular comments on accessibility to the radio or the facility for the test.  Over forty five (45) operators took part at twenty-one (21) facilities.

The test was a good demonstration to served agencies that amateur radio can be used as a back-up network in case of communication failures such as those experienced on August 4, 2017 when many cellular and internet connections were disrupted in the Maritimes.

The International Repeater Group maintains agreements with the Department of Health, and the Horizon and Vitalité Health Networks to assist with emergency communications.  Each health care facility with an emergency room is equipped with an amateur radio as back-up.