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Posts by VE6CIA

thingCharger Neat Idea

This is a cool device.

Boston Marathon 2013 – Bombs, Carnage and Amateur Radio Operators

Glacier Waterton Hamfest

Hamfest Time!!!
Registration is open! Available here is the 2013 registration. Hope to see you there!!

George Forsyth AA7GS
212 Skyline Drive N.E. (Home)
Great Falls, Montana 59404

George Forsyth (work)
207 2nd Ave So. (shipping)
Great Falls, Montana 59405

FEMA training:
Montana’s Ham Radio Forum:

Director: Glacier Waterton International Hamfest
Member: North Central Montana Auxiliary Communications Group

ICS 100-200-230-250-288-700-702-800-802-813-907-ARECC-CERT-FEMA AUX COMM-FEMA COML-

North Central Montana Auxiliary Communications Group Net:
AE7OC 7PM Thursdays 146.740 (N7YO) Echolink 37656 IRLP NODE #7908 (147.300)

Contact ISS

All visible passes over the next five days starting Feb.19, 2013 of the ISS for us are at about 54deg N and occur between 6:30PM and 8:30PM.

Rx on 145.800 and Tx on 144.490

Volunteers provide key emergency communications

Volunteers provide key emergency communications

EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS: Russell Storry, emergency radio coordinator, recently participated in a practice session during which an email was sent and received using ham radios and netbook computers.
Equipment allows emails to be sent using ham radios and battery-powered computers
by Laura Walz |
Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 11:21 AM PST
Ham radio operators in Powell River are a key part of the region’s emergency response system. Members of Powell River Amateur Repeater Society and Powell River Amateur Radio Club volunteer to be part of the emergency radio communication unit, which comes under the umbrella of Powell River Regional Emergency Program (PRREP).

A major disaster on the West Coast would have the potential to knock out communications, including telephone and Internet service. The unit would activate equipment kept in an emergency communications trailer, which can be set up wherever an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) would be established. Both the Powell River Regional District and City of Powell River have contributed funds for equipment, as well as a grant from BC Gaming.

The emergency radio communications group, which has 10 regular members, is part of Emergency Management BC (EMBC), said Russell Storry, emergency radio coordinator. “We have identify cards and coverage through WorkSafeBC for a tasked event,” he explained. “We complement Emergency Social Services [ESS] and ground search and rescue.”

The trailer is equipped with generators and fuel, Storry explained. “Our task is to pass messages. We provide backup communications in the event that telephones and Internet are not available.”

The group recently added a system which enables them to send digital messages within the region and also to Victoria, using a combination of amateur radios and other equipment. The system allows an EOC in Powell River to have outside communications and both send and receive messages.

Digital messages can be sent between two ham radios connected to netbooks or laptop computers that can run off batteries, explained Derek Poole, a radio operator with the unit. “With the software we’re using and that hardware, we can send text messages, emails back and forth,” he said.

Without the system, communications would be voice-to-voice over the radio, Poole said, or actually picking the message up physically and delivering it. “The problem with a real large-scale event can sometimes be the radios can really get tied up with the urgency of the communications,” he said. “This uses a different system, a different set of frequencies and it’s very fast. When you send a message with this method, once it’s all set up and you push the go button, it’s a matter of a few seconds and it passes the whole message. It doesn’t tie up the airways to any extent at all.”

Currently, the system works radio-to-radio directly, so it is restricted by distance. The plan is to install a digital repeater on Texada Island, which would allow the group to work in more isolated areas, Poole said.

While the system is somewhat slower than normal Internet service, it is possible to send small attachments, Poole said. “For example, if you had specific, written instructions that you had to pass on, the commander or whoever was in charge could sign that off and send it off signed to another location,” he said. “They could receive it and it could be an official document as part of whatever exercise you are involved in.”

Poole said he was excited about the new capabilities, which he said has applications for search and rescue as well. “If we were in the backcountry and there were poor communications back into the front, we could do equipment requests or resource requests using this system.”

The group is looking for more members, said Storry. “The issue for us would be if we had an event, to provide volunteers on a continuous basis around the clock for a number of locations takes a lot of people.”

People interested in volunteering don’t have to have their own ham radios, but most do. People do need an amateur radio licence to use amateur radio bands, Storry explained, and computer skills are helpful.

Members of the society assist newcomers with learning how to become an EMBC registered radio communications volunteer. The society meets on the first Saturday of the month from September to June at the Cranberry Training Centre.

Interested readers can find more information by following the PRREP links on the regional district’s website.

Weather Radio Net

There is a fairly new net on Saturday nights called the Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter Net. It is hosted by Gordon Maybee, VA3WXA out of Toronto. It begins at 8pm Atlantic, 7pm Eastern on IRLP Reflector 9034 and if you have a computer, Echolink node 223557. It has information about Weather Radio and also CANWARN. It will also include weather warnings across Canada and power outages. We are trying to make this a Cross Canada Net to include all provinces and Territories.We are looking for station from Québec to participate as we do not have any stations checking in from there yet.

We are looking for stations who are interested in weather to take part. If you have a weather station, you can report your findings at your QTH or if you have any local severe weather going on, you can report on that.

For more information about the net, go to The Maritime Amateur website and click on CANWARN. Once there, click on CANWARN news where you will find articles on this net. Here is the direct link:

New 60M band

RAC Bulletin 2012-021E – Update on 60 Metres*

RAC has been pursuing channelized access to 60M since early 2010. Our request was for an allocation identical to the US allocation, with one additional unique Canadian channel, and with fewer restrictions (the US allocations were restricted to USB voice only, with power and antenna restrictions). Amateurs will recall that one of the rationales for RAC requesting a 60M allocation was to enhance emergency communications including cross-border interoperability. IC responded by indicating that they were prepared to support access in synch with US amateur allocation and regulations. In late 2011, in response to an ARRL petition for change, the FCC issued a final Report and Order that, once it has been published in the Federal Register, will result in a change to the frequency of one of the channels and will enable the use of CW and data modes in addition to USB voice. These features had already been in the original RAC request. The FCC Report and Order has cleared the way for Canada to move ahead with finalizing its allocation to match the new US allocations, including the ability to use CW and data modes. This allocation, which will be on a secondary basis, requires a public consultation through the Canada Gazette, which RAC anticipates will occur in the second quarter of 2012.

It is important that Canadian Amateurs comment on the draft once released. RAC will continue to keep our members aware of the status of this important initiative.

An important offer has been made by IC with regards to 60M. Industry Canada is prepared to licence operators in channelized 60M operation pending the results of the consultation process. The licencing process will be managed out of ICs regional offices and is open to any Canadian amateur. The process requires a formal licence application, payment of a licence fee, and the use of a special call sign instead of the licensee’s amateur call sign. RAC regards this as an important interim step allowing amateurs to get on the air in the 60M band as soon as possible and thanks IC for this initiative. RAC`s objective, however, is to ensure that Canadian amateurs have the 60M allocation available to all amateurs as part of their amateur radio certification, i.e. without licence applications, licence fees or special call signs. RAC is cautiously optimistic that this will come about in the summer of 2012.

If you wish to obtain a temporary, paid license to operate on 60M, please contact your local Industry Canada Regional Office to complete the application form.The total fee depends upon the date of your application but in any case is less than $100.

Bill Gade, VE4WO
Regulatory Affairs Officer – Radio Amateurs of Canada

Google does it again!!!

Check out the gmail tap

Canada – US

Neat video I came across again today.

Special Event Station – VO1AA

Special Event Station – VO1AA – April, 25, 2012

The Society of Newfoundland Radio Amateurs (SONRA) will make history on April 25, 2012

April 25th each year marks the birthday of Guglielmo Marconi, who received the first wireless signal at Signal Hill, Newfoundland on this date. This April 25th, SONRA will celebrate the event with making an Amateur Radio contact with Princess Elettra (Marconi) who will be in Bologna Italy to celebrate her father’s birthday. It is planned to have the Canadian Heritage Minister, the NL Premier , the City of St. John’s Mayor along with the NL Lieutenant Governor, exchange greetings with the Princess via Amateur Radio from VO1AA at Cabot Tower.

This is the first time that this event has been attempted, and it is anticipated that it will be a high level media exposure for Amateur Radio in Canada.

SONRA appreciates the wonderful relationship that it enjoys with Parks Canada, Signal Hill National Historic Site, and looks forward to many years of commemorating this important event.
Doug Mercer, VO1DTM/VO1DM
Chief Field Services Officer – Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.