WestCumb  Amateur  Radio Club  VE1WRC

  Serving Westmorland County New Brunswick & Cumberland County Nova Scotia


Latest WARC Minutes
Secretary - Ron Bickle VE1BIC

W.A.R.C. REGULAR MEETING – October 11, 2017

The Meeting was brought to order at 7:07 p.m. with President Kevin (VE1 KEV) in the chair.

Sixteen members were present. Introductions were made around the table. Regrets: Terry (VE9 TER).

Congratulations were extended to James Oh of Sackville on his new callsign VE9 WIN.

Minutes From the Last Meeting:

The minutes from the September 2017 regular meeting were posted on the WARC website and distributed in the Newsletter.

It was moved/seconded by Ron (VE1 BIC)/Jim (VE1 AFH) that the minutes be approved.  Motion carried.

Business Arising From the Minutes:

Nothing to report.

New Business:

A sale of surplus equipment from SK Gareth (VE9 SG) will be held following the meeting.

Kevin (VE9 KEV) said that Mike (VE1 XDT) has a UHF repeater, that could be used on VE1 DMR, a VHF repeater, and wondered if we should make it a club project.

Jim (VE1 AFH) asked if it would cost more than $100.00.

Brad (VE1 ZX) wondered why it should be a UHF repeater since we had decided to go with VHF the same as New Brunswick.

Bob (VE1 EDP) asked what the benefit would be?

There followed some discussion of the different systems in place including DMR, Fusion and BrandMeister, after which Lorne (VE1 BXK) suggested that it might be better to just change the current VHF DMR repeater to BrandMeister. He said by going from VHF to UHF the range will decrease.

Dana (VE1 VOX) noted that there is more traffic on BrandMeister.

Pravin (VE9 PKV) said we don’t want to have an “open ended” project.

Mike (VE1 XDT) pointed out that it is just an idea for now, but they had contacted Nova Communications about using UHF at the Springhill site.

Lorne (VE1 BXK) asked what other gear would be needed, such as a web switch, power bump, Raspberry Pi, zoom board?

Brad (VE1 ZX) noted that you had to hold an Advanced license to host a repeater.

Kevin (VE1 KEV) suggested we put on an Advanced course.

Lorne (VE1 BXK) said another option may be a simplex repeater, that uses “Store & Forward”.

Dana (VE1 VOX) noted that BrandMeister was busier than DMR, and Motorola is becoming very restrictive.

Brad (VE1 ZX) suggested we could also look at building an Amateur Radio Data Net which would establish Internet connections for emergency communications. He said some radios are available.

Jim (VE1 AFH) cautioned that the subject was getting “off track” and we need more information, perhaps at the next meeting.

Treasurer's Report:

Jim (VE1 JBL) presented the Treasurer’s Report.

It was moved/seconded by Jim (VE1 JBL)/Jim (VE1 AFH) that the Treasurer’s Report be accepted. Motion carried.


Nothing to report.

Field Day:

Nothing to report.


Nothing to report.

Public Service:

Jim (VE1 AFH) said the annual “Pumpkin Patrol” would be activated on Tuesday, October 31st. This will be the same night as “Operation Handshake.”


Peter (VE1 SM) reported he had some difficulty with the newsletter in trying to use two sets of minutes.

Web page:

Jim (VE1 JBL) reported the site is working fine, except for some problems with posting photos.

He has started a Twitter feed for the Club: @WestcumbARC

Payment of Club dues is also possible on the site.

Peter (VE1 SM) asked about some links that appeared to be missing, and Jim replied that they were now available under “more”.

Jim said the renewal for the website would be $54.34, and information has been submitted to RAC for affiliation and insurance.

Lorne (VE1 BXK) noted that the page sometime takes a long time to load, to which Kim replied that it was an ongoing problem with WEBS, so he has continued with the backup using weebly.com – the same site he uses for “The Maritime Amateur.”


Jim (VE1 AFH) reported that in the past week, he and Mike (VE1 MWJ) and Jim (VE1 JBL) had checked the radio systems in the firehalls in Westchester, Wentworth, Wallace and Pugwash. They also checked the simplex coverage which was very favorable back to Oxford. There is an antenna problem at the Truemanville firehall.

They will be checking Joggins and Apple River next. They have identified a few locations that will need equipment, and they will be preparing Go Boxes.

Jim (VE1 JBL) said they had decided that instead of a one-day exercise to test the sites, it will be dome over a one-week period. The plan is to go to the various hospitals and firehalls, set up the radios and check in. The Pugwash hospital and firehall have already been checked.

Jim (VE1 AFH) said a meeting with radio operators who are genuinely interested in emergency communications was being planned for the County Building on Wednesday October 18th at 6:30 pm, to get a feeling of what the expectations are of the emergency management organization. Photos will be taken that night in order to update ID’s.

He added that while everyone is a volunteer, the more polished and prepared you are, the better.

Dana (VE1 VOX) suggested that in an emergency, he would be available to be on duty in Folly Lake or Wentworth.

Paul (VE9 TTT) said an exercise was planned for November for hospitals in New Brunswick.


Brad (VE1 ZX) said a meeting was planned for October 21st in Greenwood.

President’s Report:

Nothing to report.


Mike (VE1 XDT) reported that all the Nets since the first of September had been going well, with several new callsigns.

He encouraged more Club members to take part.


Brad (VE1 ZX) reported that he and Lorne (VE1 BXK) had been up to Sugarloaf to fix a faulty TNC. He said there had been a report of a stolen standby generator at one of the government sites. The UHF link between Kirkhill and Hilden was not working.

They also addressed a problem with non-labeled wires to temperature probes being cut by maintenance personnel at one site. Brad said all wiring and equipment must be approved in official drawings.

Unfinished Business:

Nothing to report.

New Business:

Dana (VE1 VOX) suggested we start thinking now about prizes for next year’s Symposium on April 28, 2018.

Jim (VE1 JBL) said there was supposed to be a meeting in the near future.

Hints & Kinks:

Nothing to report.

Sick and Visiting:

Nothing to report.

Technical & Operating Information:

James (VE9 WIN) asked what was the proper length for each leg of an HF antenna.

(Answer: 30 feet).


The October Brunch will be held at the Parkview in Oxford on the 14th.

In November, it will be held on the 18th at 11:00 am at Breakfast At Brittney’s in Amherst.

There will not be a Brunch in December.

The 50-50 ($17.50) was won by Al (VE1 ZS).

Next Meeting:

Wednesday, November 8th 2017 at 7:00 pm at the Municipality of Cumberland Building in Upper Nappan.

Adjournment: 8:47 pm.                      Ron Bickle (VE1 BIC) Secretary