WestCumb  Amateur  Radio Club  VE1WRC

  Serving Westmorland County New Brunswick & Cumberland County Nova Scotia


Mike Johnson VE1MWJ - Cumberland REMO Coordinator - 902-667-2313

UPDATE From Jim VE1JBL Jan.29th, 2017

Mike Johnson VE1MWJ from Cumberland REMO and Jim Langille VE1JBL of the WestCumbARC attended the Tidnish Fire Hall on Sunday Jan.15th to install an amateur radio station in their radio room. We started at 10am running two lines of coax through the attic to the new tower at the back of the building. The tower was attached to the building. Connectors were soldered on all four ends and the antenna was raised to the top of the tower. With the wind picking up and snow squalls coming in off the strait we decided to wait for another day to finish the project. The antennas for Tidnish Fire were tied with rope to the side of the tower instead of bringing them back down. We connected the cable and checked their VHF radios by making a contact with Valley Dispatch. They responded with a very good signal report so we finished up their radio in the radio room and it is now active. The amateur radio antenna and radio will be installed when we return at a later date. 

Thanks to Kenny Gilbert and his bucket truck Cumberland REMO Mike Johnson VE1MWJ along with WestCumb ARC member Jim Langille VE1JBL finished the installation of the Tidnish Fire antenna and amateur radio antenna on Sunday morning Jan.29th, 2017. Once completed contacts were made to Valley Dispatch on the fire radio and to WARC club member Brad Ross VE1ZX in Two Islands on the amateur radio station. After cleaning up we left the building at around 12 noon.

Work has now been completed in Pugwash, Oxford and Tidnish. We are hoping to get to Parrsboro sometime in February to install their amateur radio antenna and station.

From Jim VE1JBL Dec.22nd, 2017:

On Tuesday Dec.20th members of the WestCumb ARC and Cumberland EMC Mike Johnson VE1MWJ made a trip to Oxford to install a complete amateur radio station at the Oxford Fire Hall. We began work at 10am installed the antenna on the roof, feed the feedline from the radio room to the antenna, installed PL 259 connectors and opened up GoBox which includes radio, power supply and accessories. We made a few calls out on different repeaters across the band and SWR was perfect. By 1pm we left the building leaving the GoBox in the radio room for future use. Thanks to Mike Johnson VE1MWJ, Mike Masters VE1XDT for taking part in this project.

Three more fire halls will be completed come the new year including Tidnish, Amherst and Parrsboro.

WestCumb presents amateur radio to Oxford Fire Dept.

Members of the WestCumb ARC participated in a amateur radio session at the Oxford Fire Hall on Thursday Jan.8th, 2015.

Mike Johnson Cumberland Regional Emergency Management Coordinator and other members of the WARC gave a presentation of amateur radio and the benefits of having amateur radio as a backup to their fire communications system.
Besides Mike VE1MWJ other members of the club that participated were Jim Langille VE1JBL, Mike Masters VE1XDT and Ron Blue VE1BBB who came down to learn more about his new hobby. There were more than 20 firefighters at the meeting.

Contacts were made with Glenn Wallis VE1GK on Simplex, Bob Tuttle VE1DR (Pugwash Fire Hall) and Randy Elliott VE1ADV (Parrsboro Fire Hall) via the MAVCOM system, Bruce Harvey VE1II in Truro on the IRLP and Scott Hoyt VE9SDH at the Sussex Fire Hall via the MAVCOM system and the International Repeater Group in New Brunswick.
During the contact with Scott in Sussex, Mike gave the microphone to Oxford Fire Chief Tory Rushton to have a short QSO with Sussex Fire Chief Harold Lowe.

All connections went well and after speaking with Brad Ross VE1ZX in Springhill our noise went away as well after moving the radio away from the power supply. Thanks Brad.
Repeaters used during the evening were Sugarloaf VE1BHS, Springhill VE1SPR, Harmony VE1HAR and the IRG system in New Brunswick.

The meeting ended after an hour with a Q&A session.

Hopefully soon the club will be asked to supply Oxford Fire with amateur radio equipment for backup communications as in Pugwash NS.

More trips are being planned to other fire halls around the county.

Thanks to the Oxford Fire Dept. and the volunteers for having us down to explain our hobby.

Jim Langille VE1JBL

Cumberland Health Authority Emergency Backup VHF Amateur Radio Test

On Nov.15th, 2013 members of the WestCumb Amateur Radio Club in Amherst NS participated in a test of amateur radio stations located at all hospitals throughout Cumberland County.
With Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Amherst acting as Net Control, contacts were made with North Cumberland Memorial Hospital in Pugwash, South Cumberland Community Care Centre in Parrsboro, All Saints Hospital in Springhill and Bayview Memorial Health Care Centre in Advocate. Other contacts during the test included Cumberland Regional EOC, Red Cross Amherst, Sackville NB Memorial Hospital and Sussex NB Health Center. Besides a few minor problems with batteries and linking, all radios worked exceptionally well and there were 18 messages passed during the session which lasted thirty minutes. Repeater systems in all three Maritime Provinces (MAVCOM in Nova Scotia & PEI, International Repeater Group in New Brunswick) were linked together during the test. I would like to thank the following amateurs who participated in this exercise: Brad Ross VE1ZX Springhill, Lorne Anderson VE1BXK Parrsboro, Bob Tuttle VE1DR Pugwash Junction, Jim Hannon VE1AFH Cumberland EMO Coordinator stationed in Advocate, Bob Perry VE1EDP Amherst, Peter Hebb VE1SM Amherst and Jim Langille VE1JBL Amherst. Operators in New Brunswick included Rick Sullivan VE9RWS, Jerry Hannah VE1KW and Terry Craig VE9TER all of Sackville with Scott Hoyt VE9SDH in Sussex Corner. Overseeing NB operations was Al Thurber VE1RG of Keswick Ridge.
Message from Al Thurber in New Brunswick.
In partnership with Nova Scotia's Cumberland County hospitals and NS EMO there was an opportunity for New Brunswick to partner and test interoperability between the two provinces.
Since the Province of New Brunswick's EMO amateur radio system operates a system of twenty five VHF repeaters (International Repeater Group) the connectivity to Nova Scotia's MAVCOM network was put to the test. New Brunswick has all of their twenty emergency room hospitals equipped with amateur radio stations. All are equipped to access the IRG network.
In the past many months the IRG's system has undergone many changes to the network's configuration in forming many zones in the province. This exercise showed the capability of the New Brunswick system with the new configuration. It appears that some testing should be carried out to be aware of the capability of connecting to each province, whether connecting to NB from NS or conversely from NS to NB.
Overall the test went rather well with Sussex Health Center (VE9SHC) and the Sackville Memorial Hospital (VE9SMH) participating in the communications check.

If your hospital is interested in taking part in this test please contact Mike Johnson VE1MWJ Cumberland County REMO Coordinator.