WestCumb  Amateur  Radio Club  VE1WRC

  Serving Westmorland County New Brunswick & Cumberland County Nova Scotia

 

News & Information

Exercise Handshake receices outstanding award

Jim Hannon (Left) receiving Exercise Handshake award from Todd Brown Director Public Safety & Field Communications.

Certificates awarded for Key Members of Exercise Handshake
(LtoR) Mike Johnson, Bob Perry, Jim Langille, Jim Hannon, Craig Seaboyer & Todd Brown Director PSFC.

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.

Thank You!


Jim Langille VE1JBL

Oct.17th, 2017

WestCumb ARC will meet with Mike Johnson VE1MWJ Cumberland REMO Management this Wednesday night at the ED Fullerton building beginning at 6:30pm.
The meeting will go over expectations of radio amateurs with the county during a emergency or disaster.
At this time you will be able to ask any questions you have about your part in this.
There will be new ID cards taken during the evening. These cards will be used to access buildings around the county that have amateur radio equipment installed.
Any club member interested in taking part in this we hope to see you at this very important meeting.
 

Oct.13th, 2017

Seventeen members were on hand at the October meeting of the WestCumb ARC.
Talks including setting up a UHF repeater for DMR. A committee will look into this and bring details to the next meeting in November.
There was talk on S.M.A.R.T. with club member Dana Rushton VE1VOX volunteering to look after prizes again for next year's event tentatively scheduled on April 28th, 2018. More on this at future meetings.
We have two news hams in the club. James Oh received his Canadian ham ticket and has chosen VE9WIN as his call and Robert Mannette passed his exam at the meeting and will be looking for VE1RMJ as his callsign. Congratulations to both and hope to hear you on the radio soon.
Brad brought up discussion on the MESH program and how it could benefit emergency communications for the club. More on this at future meetings.
Under EMO Jim VE1JBL and Jim VE1AFH traveled to Westchester and Wallace to explore setting up amateur radio station in their fire halls.
Tests will be done over the following month with radios already installed in fire halls and hospitals around the county.
Antennas to be installed in the Amherst Fire hall and repairs to Truemanville and CFTA.

There will be a meeting with Mike Johnson VE1MWJ Cumberland Regional and members of the WestCumb ARC EMO group next Wednesday October 18th at the ED Fullerton building beginning at 6:30pm. All members of this group are encouraged to attend to hear the procedures expected of us during an emergency. This will also be a Question & Answer session for members. Finally pictures will be taken for new EMO ID cards so you will be able to enter stations that have radio equipment in them. The old cards will be no good after new cards are issued. It is very important if you want to be in this group to attend this meeting. If you want to be on this list but can't make it contact Mike Johnson mjohnson@cumberlandcounty.ns.ca  or telephone at 902-667-2198.

Halloween is this month so anyone interested in taking part contact Jim Hannon VE1AFH at 902-667-5158 or email at ve1afh@eastlink.ca

50/50 won by Al Christie $17.50

Brunch will be this Saturday October 14th at the Parkview Family Restuarant beginning at 11am
Next brunch in November will be Nov.18th at Brittney's in Amherst.

Next club meeting will be Nov.8th, at the ED Fullerton building beginning at 7pm.

Oct.13th, 2017

I was informed from Brad Ross VE1ZX that Robert Mannette passed his amateur radio exam at the recent club meeting.
Hope to hear you on the radio soon. Robert has chosen VE1RMJ to be his callsign. That should come in very soon.
Congratulations Robert.
Oct.11th, 2017

There is a new Twitter feed for the WestCumb ARC. There is no cost for this. All news and information about the club will be posted on this new feed. This is another way to get our name out there to the public via social media.
All members who have twitter are invited to follow. @WestCumbARC
Sept.29th, 2017

I was informed today from Rick Sullivan VE9RWS that club member Jeong Hee (James) Oh DS5NKO has passed his Canadian ham radio exam and has chosen VE9WIN as his call. On behalf of all the WARC club members congratulations, welcome aboard and hope to hear you on the bands soon.

Sept.14th, 2017

Seventeen members were on hand for the first meeting of the WestCumb ARC for the 2017-18 season Wednesday night at the ED Fullerton building.
As usual the annual meeting was first which included reducing family membership and non-amateur associate member dues.
The executive will remain the same for another year including Kevin Burke VE1KEV (President), Mike Masters VE1XDT (Vice-President), Ron Bickle VE1BIC (Secretary) and Jim Langille VE1JBL (Treasurer).
The first regular meeting was held immediately following the annual meeting which included a moment of silence for amateurs we lost over the summer Colin M. Curliegh VE1CMC and John Gareth Greenslade VE9SG.
Under EMO we are looking at having a test of all our amateur radio stations in Cumberland County including hospitals and fire halls. Everyone will get notice when this will happen and a schedule will be made up for operators to report to these stations for a radio check and also to make sure these radios are operating. Will also look for feedback on problems or equipment needed at these stations.
The winner of the 50/50 was Mike Johnson VE1MWJ ($21.50)
The first brunch of the year will be Sept. 23rd at Patterson's in Sackville NB. The October brunch is tentatively scheduled for Parkview in Oxford NS on the 14th.
The next club meeting will be on October 11th which will include an auction at the end of the meeting. If you have any surplus equipment you would like to donate send me an email with the items and I will add it to the list. This list will be sent our to club  members by email before the next meeting. The funds from this auction will go towards club operations.
All members are reminded about the club net which is back up and running for the season. It is on Monday nights beginning at 8pm AT. Please check in and support the club. Complete schedule of operators for the season can be found on the club website under WestCumb 2 Meter Net.
There is also talk about the club hosting a Maritime DMR Net in the near future. As I receive more information on this I will post it here.

Sept. 11th, 2017

Members of the WestCumb ARC along with Cumberland Regional EMO continue to crisscross the county installing amateur radio stations at volunteer fire halls. Today we made another road trip installing an amateur radio station at the Parrsboro Fire Department.
Arriving at the hall at 2pm we met up with Brad Ross VE1ZX from Two Islands who had already arrived ahead of us. We were met by James Shaw who gave us a tour and where they wanted the station set up. After selecting the location for the new antenna Mike VE1MWJ ran cable through the building while Brad VE1ZX soldered PL 259 connectors onto each end. Soon after we went outside to mount the antenna on the building. As this was being done Lorne VE1BXK arrived and used his analyzer to check the readings on the antenna and the line. We then connected the radio and power supply and made some tests by connecting to several repeaters around the area. The reading were well within range so the radio and power supply were disconnected and placed in a new
GO BOX for now and in the near future will be mounted in their new radio room.
While installing the new cable we found their old VHF fire radio system cable to be of no use so we will be heading back down with new cable and a new base station for their radio room.
We cleaned up our mess loaded all the tools and supplies back into the vehicle and left the building at 5pm.
Work has now been completed at fire halls in Pugwash, Tidnish, Oxford, Advocate and Parrsboro. We are already in discussions with other volunteer fire halls in the county for future radio stations.
Work was completed a couple of years ago with installing amateur radio stations at all 5 hospitals in Cumberland County and also installing an amateur radio repeater VE1SPH 146.805 for emergency communications on top of the All Saints Hospital in Springhill.
Thanks to Brad Ross VE1ZX for the photo.

From Lorne VE1BXK Sept. 3rd, 2017

Gentlemen,

 

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:


Gentlemen,

 

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.

 

73,

 

Lorne VE1BXK

Brad VE1ZX


 


From Mike VE1XDT Jul.16th, 2017


Recently stumbled across this online magazine on Twitter. http://www.natcommag.com/

 Jul. 8th, 2017

Theresa "Terry" McGee wife of WARC Lifetime member Jack McGee VE1CZD passed away on Jul. 7th, 2017. Condolences to Jack and his family.
 Here is the link to her obituary. CLICK HERE.

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.
Updated June 5th, 2017

The WestCumb ARC held their regular monthly meeting Wednesday May 10th, with 16 members in attendance.
There was talk about the Symposium and plans for next year.
Kevin Burke VE1KEV is looking after the YMCA Cross Border Challenge this year. If you are interested in helping contact Kevin at ve1kev1@ns.sympatico.ca
Don Roland VE1AOE won the 50/50 and donated his half to the club. Thanks Don.
The club brunch will be this Saturday in Parrsboro at the Harbour View Restaurant. See map below for directions.

The final club meeting of the 2016-2017 year will be on June 7th and will include the annual "Thank You Members" barbecue put on by the executive.
Note the starting time at 6:30pm.   Following the barbecue will be a short club meeting.
 May 26th, 2017

Florence Tuttle wife of club member Bob Tuttle VE1DR passed away on Friday May 26th, 2017. Condolences to Bob and his family at this difficult time. CLICK HERE for obit.

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.


Jeong Hee Oh DS5NKO

My name is Jeong Hee Oh. I am Korean. My English name is James and I have a wife and two daughters.
In the fall of 2004, I decided to immigrate to Canada. I first got my permanent resident card through PNP in New Brunswick and arrived with my family  at Toronto Pearson Airport in the summer of 2006. I acquired my Canadian citizenship in 2010.
In March 2012 I bought the Tantramar Motel and moved from Moncton to Sackville NB where I now live with my family.
I first became interested in Amateur radio when I was a University student back in Korea. I received my basic license in 1987 and started working as a club station operator. In 1999 I personally opened my own radio station with the callsign DS5NKO.
Coming to Canada I thought I could no longer enjoy amateur radio because of the language barrier. It has been 11 years but now I would like to get back into amateur radio. I searched the web for the nearest amateur radio club and found the WestCumb ARC in Amherst NS. I would very much like to join the club and coming to this meeting in March I hope to meet many of you and hopefully get back into the hobby.
Thank You
73
Mar.8th:

We had a very good turnout for this month's meeting with 21 in attendance including two new members, John Haley VE1JCH of Tidnish Bridge NS and Jeong Hee (James) Oh of Sackville NB. James is originally from South Korea now living in Sackville NB.
There was much talk about club dues and how the family plan may be changed to streamline membership. Also talk about associate membership to the club. These will both be brought up again at the April meeting.
Mike Johnson VE1MWJ  mentioned that there is a exercise coming up and would like to know how many club members would like to take part. Club members are asked to contact me if they are interested in being part of EMO Cumberland but not on our call out list on the website.
EMO Cumberland and the WestCumb ARC will continue to add amateur radio stations throughout Cumberland County. Parrsboro Fire, Amherst Fire and Amherst PD are slated for this spring.
There is a problem with setting up ticket sales for a DMR radio we want to raffle off. Because of this tickets will only be sold by club members here in Cumberland County and at the upcoming Symposium at the end of April. Amateurs from outside the area wishing to buy tickets will have to purchase them from WARC club members.
Gerry Hannah VE1KW from Sackville NB will be celebrating 60 years as a ham next month. Congratulations Gerry. Well done.
Winner of the 50/50 this month is Ron Bickle VE1BIC $21.00
The club brunch this month will be at Patterson's Restaurant in Sackville NB on march 18th.
We had discussion on club meetings and for the time being our meeting will be on the second Wednesday of each month.
Thanks to Dana Rushton and Ron Bickle for donations to the DMR Repeater fund.
Next meeting will be April 12th, 2017.
From Jim VE1JBL Feb.21st,

NOTICE: I have a new mailing address as of today.
Jim Langille VE1JBL
473 Green Road
Tidnish Bridge NS B4H3X9

Feb.12th:

Ten members of the WestCumb ARC turned out Saturday to take in the presentation by Sean Bridge VE1XOP talking about Digital modes. It was very informative and Sean answered all questions that were asked. The presentation went on for three hours and could have lasted longer because of the interest. An HF station was set up in the conference room and the computer was connected to the overhead projector so everyone could see the operation of PSK31. Other Digital modes were also talked about including RTTY.
After the class was completed Sean came over to the radio room and set up the Ham Radio Deluxe software to our computer at our HF station and in no time we had Digital modes running.
Sean will be setting up links on his website VE1XOP.ca for all to see and download.
If you have any questions send him an email qso@ve1xop.ca and he will help you out.
On behalf of the club I want to thank Sean for coming up on a very cold morning and spending the day with us. There is talk that Sean will be setting up a session or two at this year's S.M.A.R.T.
Thanks to the following hams for taking part: Pravin VE9PKV, Dave VE1DEH, Jim VE1AFH, Jon VE1JSG, Ron VE1BBB, Rick VE9RWS, Brad VE1ZX, Kevin VE1KEV and Lorne VE1BXK. 
 
From Lorne VE1BXK Feb.11th

Today Kevin VE1KEV, Lorne VE1BXK and Mike VE1XDT arrive on site for the
installation of a internet router provided by Mike VE1XDT. Lorne VE1BXK with
his Notebook computer configured the router with ISP (internet Service
Provider) IP parameters and security information for remote configuration.
Once this was completed, the router parameters were saved on file.

The router was then installed on top of the XPR84000 VHF (DMR) repeater and
interfaced from the router to the ETHERNET port on the XPR8400 repeater.

"ON AIR" tests was verified by Kevin and Mike's DMR hand held's right at the
site with final confirmation from Ron VE1AIC from Web Site

http://www.ve2tax.com/RepeaterDetails.aspx?id=302101

See photos taken by Lorne VE1BXK. CLICK HERE

73,
Lorne

Feb.2nd, 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 mikemasters@eastlink.ca or Lorne Anderson VE1BXK at ve1bxk@ns.sympatico.ca


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.

Dec.22nd 2016:


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 



Dec.9th 2016:


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.