Jim Hannon (Left) receiving Exercise Handshake award from Todd Brown Director Public Safety & Field Communications.
Ian MacKinnon Memorial Interoperability Award
On Thursday Oct.12th, 2017 members of the WestCumb ARC travelled to Dartmouth NS to receive the Ian MacKinnon Memorial Interoperability Award at the 2017 Nova Scotia Interoperability Forum hosted by Nova Scotia Public Safety and Field Communications.
The award was given to “Exercise Handshake” for its outstanding contribution over the years to ensure radio interoperability for first responders in Nova Scotia.
Since December 2008 “Exercise Handshake” has been a monthly exercise to promote and test the provincial TMR radio system around the province. The exercise was a joint venture between Jim Hannon VE1AFH who was Cumberland Regional EMO Coordinator at the time and P.S.F.C.
It had been hosted by Cumberland REMO and the WestCumb ARC in Amherst for the first six years before being handed over to other clubs to host.
The idea of the exercise was to have a monthly net to test out the new provincial TMR radios in a non emergency situation so that agencies would learn to be comfortable using these radios and find any problems with them so they could be repaired and be ready in case of a real emergency or disaster. Amateur radio operators associated with EMO's across the province were also ask to learn how to use these radios in case they would be called in to operate these radios during a real emergency or disaster.
At this writing there have been 106 exercises with over a thousand check-ins by multiple agencies including RCMP, Police, Fire, EHS, Search & Rescue, provincial & county EMO Centers, Environment Canada etc.
Accepting the award of behalf of Handshake was Jim Hannon VE1AFH.
Also receiving awards as key members for Handshake were Jim Langille VE1JBL, Bob Perry VE1EDP, Mike Johnson VE1MWJ and Craig Seaboyer VE1DSS.
Jim Langille was Net Control Operator in the early days of Handshake, sending out monthly recaps and reminders to the agencies and today looks after the webpage for Handshake on the Maritime Amateur website.
Bob Perry took part from the very beginning of Handshake and was Communications Officer for Cumberland EMO, looking after the radios and having the radio room ready each month for us to host the exercise.
Mike Johnson is the current EMO coordinator for Cumberland County while Craig Seaboyer is the current Net Control Operator for TMR during the exercise.
In the past year Prince Edward Island & New Brunswick have joined Nova Scotia using the TMR system and their agencies are in the process of changing over to the system. Hopefully they will also join in on Handshake to exercise these radios and also be comfortable using them when the need arises.
Special thanks to all the radio operators who have taken part in Handshake over these past nine years. This award is for all of you who volunteer your time each month to participate in this exercise.
Without you, we would not have received this award and the exercise would not be active.
Jim Langille VE1JBL
The VE1BHS Repeater system is now operational, except for the IRLP Node which requires additional programming. All other ports are “ON AIR”. It is hoped to have the IRLP Node back in operation in the future.
Special thanks to Scott McNutt VE1CHL and Mike Masters VE1XDT for making the trip to the site today and helping us with many job tasks at hand.
UPDATE Sept.5th, 2017:
Brad and I made another trip to the Sugarloaf site yesterday (Sept. 4th) afternoon to configure the IP information in the IRLP embedded node STN2109 with the addition of a Dlink DIR-819 router and a Digital Loggers Web Switch 7. With support and expertise help from Ron VE1ZC via a cell phone at his residence, we finally made changes to the IRLP embedded node, Dlink DIR-819 router and Digital Loggers Web Switch 7 it all work ok.
Thanks to Bill VE1MR, Scott VE1CHL, Mike VE1XDT, and Ron VE1ZC with additional support from the NSARA.
Lorne VE1BXKBrad VE1ZX
Jun. 24th, 2017
Members of the WestCumb ARC participated in the 9th annual YMCA Cross Border Challenge that was held in Amherst this past Saturday. The club has provided communications each year for this event.
This event is broken down into three races: 5K, 10K and a half marathon. The 10K race started in Mt. Whatley NB and finished in Amherst NS while the half marathon began in Amherst crossed over to New Brunswick to Mt. Whatley and returned to Amherst.
Net Control is set up at the starting point at the Amherst Stadium while other amateur radio stations are set up at each water station and also a station at the starting point of the 10K at Mt.Whatley NB. This is also the turn around for the half marathon. There were a total of 57 messages passed during the 2.5 hour event.
Members taking part in the event this year were Kevin Burke VE1KEV, Mike Masters VE1XDT, Bob Tuttle VE1DR, Ron Bickle VE1BIC, Ron Blue VE1BBB, Peter Hebb VE1SM, NCO Mike Johnson VE1MWJ and Mike Embree VE1MY who walks the race each year behind the walkers in case of any problems along the way.
Left to Right: Ron VE1BIC, Mike VE1XDT, Ron VE1BBB, Bob VE1DR, Mike VE1XDT, John VE1JCH, Kevin VE1KEV and Peter VE1SM. Missing Mike VE1MY.Thanks to Ron VE1BIC for the photo.
April 12th, 2017 was a very special night for the WestCumb ARC.
Jerry Hannah VE1KW celebrated 60 years this month as a amateur radio operator getting his license in April of 1957.
Jerry noted "back in 1957 Amateur Radio was administered by the Department of
Transport. The Application to write the exam cost $2.50, and I think it
included an outline of the material on which you would be tested - - -
theory, operation, circuit diagrams to be drawn, cw test, etc.
The cost of being tested was 50 cents - - - presumably for the time the DOT Examiner spent in supervising, playing the cw tape, and marking the exam.
Anyway, I took the exam, passed, and got my call on April 4, 1957.
Being a student and spending summers working in Ontario I didn't get in a lot of operating time, but I did use a home-brew HF transmitter and a Hallicrafters SX99 receiver for a start".
Jerry is seen here sitting with his wife Kay VE1YH. Presenting the Lifetime certificate to Jerry is Peter Hebb VE1SM and his wife Treva.
Jerry is also a founding member of the WestCumb ARC having been at the first meeting back on Apr.9th, 1980. On October 27th, 1981 Jerry became part of the Education Committee which he continued to do until stepping down last month.
Picture courtesy of Ron Bickle VE1BIC.
Next club meeting is May 10th, 2017.
Here is a picture of the work party that participated in installing the new DMR repeater VE1XPR 145.290- in Springhill on Wednesday.
(L to R) Kevin VE1KEV, Lorne VE1BXK, Mike VE1MWJ and Mike VE1XDT
Taking the picture is Brad VE1ZX
More pictures can be found in the Photo Gallery thanks to Brad & Lorne.
Thanks to WestCumb ARC, Cumberland REMO and Brian Kelly of Seaside Communications for getting this repeater on "ON THE AIR"
Work continues on fine tuning the repeater so at times it may be off at different times over the next couple of days. If you can reach the repeater please send reports to Mike Masters VE1XDT at email@example.com or Lorne Anderson VE1BXK at firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTICE: VE1XPR is operating stand alone mode only, there is no connection with the Internet at the tower site. Seaside Cable will be checking it out.
UPDATE From Jim VE1JBL Jan.29th
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 Lorne VE1BXK
Picture of WARC Lifetime member Bill Wheaton VE1CFK taken on his 96th birthday Dec.6th 2016.
Taken by Brenda Wheaton at Camp Hill Hospital in Halifax.
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.
Thanks to Mike VE1XDT for photo.
Fall Prevention Course:
Left to right back : Ron Blue VE1BBB - Instructor Alan Whitehead - Mike Johnson REMC VE1MWJ
First row: Brad Ross VE1ZX
The WestCumb ARC held their regular Christmas Pot Luck Supper at the ED Fullerton building on Wednesday Dec.7th.
There were 26 members, friends and family taking part. There was no meeting so everything will be carried over to the next meeting on January 4th, 2017.