From George VY2GF Aug.13th:
Alan Beck (VY2XU) will be activating Cape Bear. I just registered him this morning so it's not on the ILLW list yet. VE1NSL is a new callsign acquired by the Pictou County ARC for lighthouses in NS.
VE1NSL Caribou Island Lighthouse CA0065
VE9BP Green's Point, Bay of Fundy CA0066
VE9EZ Richebucto Head CA0052
VO1MCE Cape Race Lighthouse CA0006
VO1OK Lobster Cove Head CA0040
VY2PLH Point Prim, PEI CA0062
VY2XU Cape Bear CA0049
George Dewar - [email protected] - [email protected]
57 Perth Stn. Rd, Cardigan RR6, Prince Edward Island, Canada, C0A 1G0
Location: New Perth, 35kms East of Charlottetown, N46 12.857 W62 41.645
Amateur Radio Callsigns - VY2GF & VY2PLH Grid - FN86PF61OJ ITU - 9 CQ - 5
Telephone - 902 838-3282 Skype - george.dewar Facebook - george.dewar.7
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:
From Dave VE9CB Aug.1st:
* 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?
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 (http://wp.rac.ca).
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 [email protected] .
From Ken VY2RU Jul.29th:
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:
From Peter VE1PS Jul.27th:
From Willis VA1WAB
From Doug VE1DFG July 5th:
Parks & Historic Sites On The Air ( www.cnpota.ca ) 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 [email protected] 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:
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:
From Dave VE9CB, Atlantic Director Radio Amateurs of Canada
From Jim VE1JBL Jun.9th:
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: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/ 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: http://amazon.com/author/owh
If you'd like to participate in discussion about the podcast or about amateur radio, you can visit the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/foundations.itmaze
Feel free to get in touch directly via email: [email protected], or follow on twitter: @VK6FLAB (http://twitter.com/vk6flab/)
If you'd like to join the weekly net for new and returning amateurs, check out the details at http://ftroop.vk6.net, 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
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
From Peter VE1PS May 12th
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,
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
Subscribe to the AMSAT-BB at
From Matt VE1BSG May 1st,
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.
Manager of Field Operations
Public Safety and Field Communications
(902) 424-3479[email protected]
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 https://ve9irg.net 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: https://ve9irg.net/contact
Rick MacMillan VE9MTB
From Dave VE1HUL Apr.16th
From Jim VE1JBL Apr.11th
"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
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
From Jim VE1JBL
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
From Gary VA1GGM Jan.26th, 2018
From the IRG Website
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.