Monday, 4 December 2017

Minutes, YRARC General Meeting 2017-11-07

Meeting held in the Sharon Temperance Hall. Called to Order at 19:30 by Steve VE3UT. Total members and guests attending: 31
  1. Welcome & Introductions – Steve VE3UT
  2. Adoption of minutes from 2017/10/03. Moved John VE3IPS, seconded John VA3JI. Carried
  3. Treasurer’s Report – Charles VA3TTB
    • Opening Balance 2017/09/30 [available to members on request to club secretary]
    • Income
        Memberships $330.00
      • Hamfest $308.00
      • Total Income: $638.00
    • Expenses:
      • Markham Fair Rental $3,643.21
      • Liability Insurance $1,112.40
      • Canada Post box rental $250.86
      • Misc $12.92
      • Total Expenses: $5,019.40
    • Closing Balance 2017/10/31 [available to members on request to club secretary]
  4. EmComm Report – Mike VA3MCT
    • On October 14 there was an Ontario wide SET. The York Region EOC was activated, and communication on 40m and 60m was attempted using NVIS antennae.
    • On November 15, there will be a Markham SET. We need support for this event.
  5. Winter Field Day – Steve VE3UT
    • Winter Field Day will happen in January 2018 and the proposed site is Al's Tack Shop, 4812 Vandorf Rd in Stouffville. The board approved payment for gas and beverages only, and meals would be the responsibility of the participants.
    • Motion that the club pay $275 for gas and beverages, moved Alex VA3ASE, seconded John VE3IPS. Carried.
  6. Public Service Report – Eric VE3EB. No report
  7. Repeater Committee Report – Steve VE3UT
    • IRLP is off the air momentarily.
    • One repeater is announcing the Hamfest message – to be investigated.
  8. Membership Report – Barry VA3LLT. We have a total or 61 paid members and 8 life members.
  9. Hamfest Report – Geoff VA3GS. Geoff was away, but there was a short discussion on what went well and where improvements could be made.
Guest Speaker John VA3KOT – “Narrow Band Emergency Message System”

John talked the need for emergency communications, not for ARES types of disaster events, which occur very infrequently, but for something that is likely to happen more often, like an ice storm or winter snow storm where power and communications are disrupted.

Is voice radio communication the answer? 2M or 70cm repeaters may be down without power, simplex has limited range and it uses bandwidth.
Winlink? It works only with Windows and not open source software, depends on the internet, is email based and needs a 'connection' to function.

CW works and uses less bandwidth than voice, but not everybody knows Morse Code.

There are other digital modes that use less bandwidth than CW and work under the noise floor.

NBEMS is an open source, free, multi platform that can be 'connectionless', ie the signal is broadcast to whoever is receiving, or with a 'connection' to only one receiver for security.
Remember, email does not need to be sent over the internet.

FLDigi (Fast Light Digital) and the suite of products, like FLMsg (Message), FLArq (Automatic Repeat Request), FLWrap (to drag and drop messages), FLAmp (Amateur multicast protocol, for connectionless transfer of files).

FLDigi is open source, run on multiple platforms (Windows, MAC, Linux and more) on powerful processors down to a RaspberryPi, using a soundcard and supports many digital modes.

John demonstrated the use of FLDigi with a RaspberryPi, interfaced to a handheld radio, and received buy cheap off-shore radio, acoustically coupled to an old android smart phone running AndFLMsg. It worked and was done with inexpensive devices.

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry I missed the NBEMS pitch. We have had a small band of Hams (VA3MCT, VE3EZ, VE3EB, VE3IBW, VE3HIS, VA3FUZ) working with NBEMS over the past month (Nov 2017). We have successfully communicated simplex on VHF (144.930) using MT63-2KL and PSKR-250R. The Oak Ridges Moraine though gets in the way between North and South York region for VHF simplex. We were able to use Steve (EZ) as a relay point, though

    We have also tried NBEMS on HF (20m, 40m, and 80m). Just recently, we had success between north and south York region with 20m PSKR-250R. We did not try Olivia 16-500 as conditions were good. We have even tried MT63-2KL on HF, but PSKR-250R is much better and much faster. Our group has settled on just two applications: fldigi and flmsg. Any packet exchanges can be done with these two programs alone. And these two programs can also do a single transmission in one shot too; no packetization of the message, depends on conditions.

    Some of us are working on NVIC antennas. Mike (VA3MCT) has one deployed and it seemed to work. VE3IBW is building one now, but may not be ready to be deployed until the spring due to the colder weather and he isn't a fan of the cold :-).

    Mike found out that the Niagara region Hams have decided to get in their vehicles and drive to designated spots due to the Niagara Escarpment getting in the way of simplex to truly cover that region. This is why the YRARC ARES group is experimenting with HF to see if it can be used as a means to operate from our home QTHs during an emergency.