Friday, 21 November 2014

VE3YRK Gateway will be down for a while

Following some scheduled maintenance we need to do another site visit before the gateway will be back on line. This will be done as soon as it can be coordinated. Until then, the repeater is operational but its link to reflectors and other repeaters is out of service.

Thanks to Steve for all the hard work (past, present and future) for knocking our repeater systems into shape.


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Minutes of General Meeting 2014-11-04

Meeting called to order 7:30 PM, Chris VE3NRT as chairman, John, VA3JI, taking minutes. Chris made introductory remarks.
  1. Introduced guests and members, 25 people present.
  2. Brian, VE3IBW, moved to accept the minutes of the October meeting, seconded by Bill, VA3QB, passed.
  3. John, VA3JI, gave Treasurer's report and moved its acceptance. Seconded by Glenn, VA3AU, passed. We have approximately [balance available to members on request to Secretary] in the bank but some expenses for the Hamfest have not been paid. A closer estimate would be [estimate available to members on request to Secretary].
  4. John, VA3JI, gave the financial portion of the Hamfest report. We had 565 admissions and 87 tables sold. Geoff, VA3GS, will have a fuller detailed report when he returns from Italy in December.
  5. Steve, VE3UT, reported on Winter Field Day. Runs noon 24 Jan, 2015, to noon 25 Jan. We have arranged for use of the Sharon Temperance Hall (where we meet) but due to previous commitments for the hall, we must be cleaned up and gone by 12:45 PM on Sunday at the latest.
  6. Eric, VE3EB, reported that 6 people wrote their exam at the Hamfest; 5 passed.
  7. Eric, VE3EB, is arranging for the entry to the Newmarket Santa Claus parade. We will be entering the Communications Trailer in the parade. Rob will be towing it.
  8. Don, VE3IXJ, gave the EMCOMM report.
  9. Steve, VE3UT, provided the repeater report. We have poor coverage in Georgina and he is looking at having a secondary repeater there as a relay. He is looking at obtaining an Internet connection at the Richmond Hill Hospital site.
  10. There is now a repeater in the Communications trailer for emergency use only. Callsign is VE3RCY and it requires a 100 Hz sub-audible tone to access it. This is on an uncoordinated frequency pair that can only be used intermittently.

Speaker was John, VE3IPS, who gave a presentation on the Elecraft KX3 QRP rig and its accessories. He also discussed Buddipole antennas.

Next meeting 2 December, 2014. This is the annual Christmas party. Please bring non-perishable food items for the food bank.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

South Pickering Amateur Radio Club Meeting Invitation

I received the following email from Dave Dempsey VE3EAB of the South Pickering Amateur Radio Club. Hyperlinks were added by me. Google tells me it is 49 minutes from my QTH, without traffic.


Hello Gentlemen and Ladies

I am emailing you today as your website lists you as a contact for your respective clubs surrounding the Durham Region Area.

I wanted to extend an warm invitation to your club members to attend our where we have a Guest speaker from the Memory Project.

We will be having Captain Brian Cotter, Retired Royal Canadian Air force as a guest speaker for the night speaking on a few topics such as communications in the Canadian forces, His career history and long with current events and search and rescue.

Feel free to share this information with your club members and such.

Event Location:
Pickering Recreation Complex (Back of Building, Arena Doors) Meeting Room A
1867 Valley Farm Road
Pickering, Ont
L1V 6V3

Meeting [on November 13th] starts at 7:30pm, Guest speaker at 8pm, Coffee will be hot.

Monday, 3 November 2014

General Meeting Minutes - 2014-10-07

Meeting held at the Sharon Temperance Hall. The meeting was called to order at 19:30. Chaired by Chris VE3NRT. 41 members and 3 guests in attendance.
  1. The agenda for the meeting was presented by Chris VE3NRT (attachment #1)
  2. News – Chris VE3NRT reported that
    • Aurora is getting LED lighting
    • Aurora council adopted a new tower protocol
    • W1AW moving to Virginia, Missouri, and the Mariana Islands at 0000Z
  3. Project Night – Brad VE3HII discussed / proposed a microcontroller project night. Please contact Brad if you are interested in participating.
  4. Financial Report – John VA3JI presented the financial report (Attachment #2).
    • Closing Balance August 31st [available to members upon request to Secretary]
    • Income (Dues and Hamfest) $1,140.00
    • Disbursements (Field Day, Trailer, Misc) $745.36
    • Closing balance Sept 30th $15,608.19
    • Income (Dues and Hamfest) $837.00
    • Disbursements (Fees) $8.21
    • Balance as of Oct 7th [available to members upon request to Secretary]
    • Motion 2014-10-07-01 by John VA3JI to accept the report, seconded by Geoff VA3GS. Motion carried.
  5. Minutes of the last meeting:
    • Motion 2014-10-07-02 by Geoff VA3GS to accept the minutes of the last general meeting, seconded by Brad VE3HII. Motion carried.
  6. Field Day Report – Steve VE3UT reported that
    • The field day trophy (broken coffee pot award), now has proper plaques installed to record the winners
    • Anyone interested in participating in the winter field day event contact him so that he can gauge interest among the club
  7. Repeater report – Steve VE3UT reported that the repeater committee needs members who have the technical skills to support our repeaters. He provided an update (attachment #3) on the projects underway as follows:
    • Communications trailer – Work is underway to tune the duplexer previously installed in Richmond Hill to the new frequency pair. The repeater will also need to be programmed to the new frequency.
    • Tower trailer – repeater needs to be installed and tuned. There will need to be a budget approved to purchase materials required (antenna and feedline) and to cover any repairs necessary.
    • Tentatively planning to increase the power of the YRK/B D-Star UHF repeater to 75W in the next 2 or 3 weeks
    • Looking into the feasibility of a linked UHF repeater in Georgina to improve coverage
  8. Public service – Eric VE3EB thanked those who volunteered to support the CIBC Run for the Cure and highlighted the concern that the club was short of a full complement of volunteers to support the event. Eric VE3EB asked if the club planned to enter the Newmarket Santa Clause parade. Chris VE3NRT confirmed that the club will support the event. Plans are also underway to support the Bradford Santa Clause parade.
  9. EMCOMM – Russell VE3WTR reported that
    • YRARC served as emergency dispatch to EMS, St John Ambulance, and YRP again this year at the Markham fair. The communications trailer was deployed to the event
    • He is working to secure a parking space for the tower trailer at Bales Road site.
    • EMCOMM group is looking for more volunteers to act as site owners
    • Richmond Hill council has indicated they can fund an amateur radio equipment installation at their site. A volunteer is needed to take the EMCOMM lead with Richmond Hill.
  10. Hamfest report – Geoff VA3GS reported that set up will start at 1pm on Friday Oct 31st. On Saturday vendors will arrive at 6:30am. Yaesu will be presenting Saturday morning. Volunteers are needed.
After the break at 8:06pm Doug VE3VS presented Fox Island Activation (Canadian Islands on the Air - CISA) and Steve VE3EZ presented Durham’s Next Gen Regional radio upgrade project. The meeting adjourned at approximately 21:41

Minutes of October 2014 Board Meeting, 2014-10-21

Meeting held in the lower room of the Magna Centre. Called to order at 19:05. Chaired by Chris VE3NRT. Board members attending; Chris VE3NRT, Rob VE3RQB, Chris VA3DXZ, John VA3JI, Barry VA3LLT, Geoff VA3GS, David VA3DCY, Steve VE3UT. Board members absent; Eric VE3EB. Guests attending; Bob Rennie VA3BSJ
  1. Review of the agenda as proposed by Chris VE3NRT (attachment #1).
    • Motion 2014-10-21-01 by Geoff VA3GS to adopt agenda, seconded by Barry VA3LLT. Motion carried.
    • Barry VE3LLT VA3LLT requested the addition of item 4c to provide an update on the communications trailer
  2. Adoption of Sept 16 board meeting minutes
    • Motion 2014-10-21-02 by Geoff VA3GS to adopt minutes as published in the splatter blog at, seconded by David VA3DCY. Motion carried.
  3. Governance
    • Insurance – John VA3JI
      • John VA3JI shared the list of assets to be insured. This is still a work in progress. Steve VE3UT offered a few corrections. John needs assistance getting serial numbers for some of the equipment in the communications trailer
      • John VA3JI confirmed that the existing insurance policies have been renewed and that these policies can be changed in accordance with the boards wishes once he finalizes his insurance proposal and it is approved by the board
      • Tower trailer towing and operating procedure is being worked by Rob VE3RQB
      • Rob VE3RQB confirmed that the communications trailer towing procedure is completed and located in the trailer.
    • Finance Report (Attachment #2)
      • Closing balance Sept 30th 2014 [available from club Secretary on request]
      • Disbursements (PayPal fees, Plaques, Insurance, Trailer) $688.95
      • Income (Hamfest, sale of assets, memberships) $2,149.00
      • Balance as of Oct 21st 2014 [available from club Secretary on request]
  4. Property – Rob VE3RQB
    • Disposition of surplus equipment
      • Aluminum tower section has been sold to Bob VE3WY and is waiting to be picked up
      • Trailer ball will be posted for sale online
      • Tri-band antenna has been sold to Bob VE3WY
    • Painting of the tower trailer
      • Painting has been completed.
      • Motion 2014-10-21-03 by Geoff VA3GS to thank Rob VE3RQB, Steve VE3UT, and Barry VA3LLT for completing the work, seconded by David VA3DCY. Motion carried
      • Communications trailer – Barry VA3LLT reported that the repeater has been installed and equipment in the rack was re-organized.
  5. Repeaters – Steve VE3UT
    • Transfer of the VE3YRA call from Bruce VE3BV. Chris VE3NRT confirmed that he will draft letters for Bruce VE3BV, Steve VE3UT, and himself to send to industry Canada to initiate the transfer of the call sign to Steve VE3UT
    • Repeater Committee update
      • VE3RCY is operational in the communications trailer on 145.250 Mhz with negative offset and 100 hz tone for TX only. This is an uncoordinated shared frequency pair.
      • The club owns 3 portable repeaters. One is not operational and is being kept for spare parts. The remaining two could be used in an emergency to replace YRC or YRA operating from the tower trailer. The suggestion is to house the repeater inside a weather tight container on the tower trailer so that it is ready for emergency deployment.
      • Steve VE3UT suggested that the board consider a maintenance budget for the repeaters
  6. Events
    • Tracking of volunteer hours back to the AGM.
      • Eric VE3EB provided an email report prior to the meeting indicating that he was working on the spreadsheet and had requested input from those people that lead events that he had not participated in.
    • Recent and upcoming events
      • Newmarket Santa Claus parade Nov 15th – Eric VE3EB’s report identified a list of information he needed to complete the application which is due Nov 4th
      • Bradford Santa Claus parade (Evening) Nov 15th – Rob VE3RQB shared the application with the board. There is a requirement for 500 lights on each float. Rob will get a note out to club members looking for their support.
      • Aurora Santa Claus parade (Evening) Nov 22nd - The board discussed whether it was feasible to participate
      • Motion 2014-10-21-04 by Geoff VA3GS that the board approves the application to enter the Aurora, Bradford, and Newmarket parades, seconded by John VA3JI. Motion carried.
  7. Membership – Geoff VA3GS
    • Hamfest Update
      • Geoff VA3GS reported that 85 tables have been sold. The club has also once again donated tables to CLARA (Canadian Ladies Amateur Radio Association), CNIB, and RAC.
      • There will be 4 admissions booths this year.
      • Food will be cut back compared to last year.
      • John VA3JI will be in charge of dispensing and reconciling the cash floats
    • Motion 2014-10-21-05 by John VA3JI to approve $20.00 to cover the cost of the trophy plaques, seconded by Geoff VA3GS. Motion carried.
    • The board reviewed the speakers list for the upcoming general meetings
    • Toronto Rebellion Special Events Station – Chris VE3NRT reported that the event is on hold and will be revisited next year.
    • Winter Field Day – Steve VE3UT reported that the Sharon Temperance Hall is the preferred location. He will see if it is available to be used by the Club.
    • Christmas meeting – Chris VE3NRT reminded the board that he will be unable to attend the December general meeting and that Rob VE3RQB will chair the meeting in his absence