Amherst, Nova Scotia

WestCumb  Amateur  Radio Club  VE1WRC

  Serving Westmorland County New Brunswick & Cumberland County Nova Scotia

Latest WARC Minutes
Secretary - Ron Bickle VE1BIC


The Meeting was brought to order at 7:02 p.m. with President Kevin (VE1 KEV) in the chair. 18 members and guests were present. Regrets: Dana (VE1 VOX); Kaye (VE1 YH). Introductions were made around the table.

Approval of the Agenda:

It was moved/seconded by Mike (VE1 MWJ)/Brad (VE1 ZX) that the Agenda be approved.

Minutes From the Last Meeting: 

The minutes from the January 2020 regular meeting were posted on the Website and circulated by email. There was no meeting in February due to bad weather.

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

Business Arising From the Minutes:

Jim (VE1 JBL) noted that the WARC would be celebrating its 40th anniversary in April 2020. He suggested we could have a cake at the April meeting. 

Ron (VE1 BIC) said he would contact Darrell Cole of The Amherst News to do an article about the WARC.

Kevin (VE1 KEV) suggested we could have special QSL cards and t-shirts.

Mike (VE1 MWJ) said we could apply for a special call sign for April.

Pravin (VE9 PKV) suggested we could mention it on the Monday night WARC Net.

Lorne (VE1 BXK) said it could also be mentioned on the CQ Maritimes net.

Jim (VE1 AFH) said instead of ordering new QSL cards, we could use the Municipality of Cumberland card and have it stamped for the 40th Anniversary.

Kevin (VE1 KEV) suggested we put a list on the Club website for anyone wanting to order t-shirts or hoodies. Or, send an email to

It was moved/seconded by Kevin (VE1 KEV)/Ron (VE1 BBB) that we will order 20 WARC 40th Anniversary t-shirts @$20.00 each, at a maximum of $400.00.

Motion Carried.

New Business:

Jim (VE1 JBL) said Neil Hughes (VE1 YZ) has Winlink 2000 and was asking if the Club wanted to set up a node at the County Office. It was noted, however, that the Provincial EMO does not want to use Winlink.

Rob (VE1 RMJ) said it was a robust system that can be used when regular email is down. It is a triple-redundant mail server.

Mike (VE1 MWJ) said you would need a computer hooked up to a radio. 

Jim (VE1 JB) said we have the equipment and would just need the software.

Bob (VE1 EDP) noted we had used Winlink on packet but now it’s ‘the cat’s meow.”

Jim (VE1 JBL) wondered if MESH was the same idea.

Rob (VE1 RMJ) noted that Winlink was very slow on RF.

Jim (VE1 JBL) said it would need a dedicated HF rig.

Lorne (VE1 BXK) said he figured they were looking for a home for the system. He said a modem for a radio was expensive.

Kevin (VE1 KEV) wondered if we could use a TNC.

Lorne (VE1 BXK) said HF scans different bands. He mentioned VE1 HRE.

Kevin (VE1 KEV) suggested we just stay with VHF and the Internet.

Jim (VE1 AFH) said we should reply to Neil that “it was in the discussion stage” with the Club, and that we would need more information.

Jim (VE1 JBL) said he would suggest that Neil talk to Rob (VE1 RMJ).

Jim (VE1 AFH) suggested we could use the Harris rig.

Bob (VE1 EDP) said we need to debate the pros and cons. He noted that Lloyd Smith was involved with packet during Exercise Handshake, and later it was removed.

Mike (VE1 MWJ) noted that the Internet was more robust now, and Winlink would just be a duplication. He said that while a major ice storm would be devastating (to communications) Amateurs still have the equipment for voice.

Pravin (VE9 PKV) asked what is the benefit of email if you have voice?

Mike said if the Internet was down 4 or 5 days, Winlink may be needed.

Lorne (VE1 BXK) noted that Winlink on HF is world-wide.

Course Books – Mike (VE1 MWJ) said many prospective Amateurs get the books, but don’t go through with getting on the air.

Jim (VE1 JBL) noted that we had four individuals signed up for SMART with no license.

Bob (VE1 ED) suggested we get together with other clubs and order some books and have them available here. 

Computer at Fusion Site – Lorne (VE1 BXK) said the current computer is an HP with a 160 GB hard drive and 4 GB RAM. He said it is running “full tilt” during CQ Maritimes as it is using more resources. He suggested upgrading to 8 GB RAM and a solid state drive.

Jim (VE1 AFH) asked if that could be done for around $200.00.

It was moved/seconded by Brad (VE1 ZX)/Pravin (VE9 PKV) that Lorne should go ahead with the upgrade. Motion Carried.

Treasurer's Report: 

Jim (VE1 JBL) presented the Treasurer’s Report for January and February. 

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

Jim (VE1 AFH) said the WARC $200.00 Bursary for 2020 would be going to a student from Parrsboro.


Nothing to report.

Field Day:

Nothing to report.


Ron (VE1 BIC) said he and his crew at CFTA 107.9  had made several announcements about the March meeting.

Public Service:

Mike (VE1 MWJ) reported there have been no calls for help. 

He asked for input for designs for magnetic car signs.

Jim (VE1 AFH) said Amateur Radio and the County should be more prominent.

Web page:

Jim (VE1 JBL) 


Mike (VE1 MWJ) gave an update on the study for the Isthmus of Chignecto. He said an engineering firm had been chosen, to come up with three options to be presented to Government. It has to be done before 2020. He said a 10 percent rise in sea level could rise over the top of the present dyke system. He hoped there would not be a storm during high tide.

Mike said they were monitoring the COVID-19 corona virus, with a projection of 80% experiencing a mild case, and 20% with a more serious case. There could be a 2-3% mortality rate.

There are eight radios going into fire departments this year. There is nothing new on the Oxford sinkhole.

Jim (VE1 AFH) said the Moncton club needs climbers. 

Jim also said there would be changes to TMR during Exercise Handshake, and noted that we used to have fun on Tuesday nights.

Jim (VE1 JBL) said it was like that for the first six years or so.

Mike (VE1 MWJ) said we could set up training for TMR2 showing how to move through different talk groups. This is why having Exercise Handshake is so important.

Jim (VE1 AFH) suggested we could invite outside clubs.

Jim (VE1 JBL) said there could be a course held during the SMART Symposium about how TMR deals with Amateur Radio Operators.

Bob (VE1 EDP) noted that we are OK with 2m but not TMR.

Jim (VE1 AFH) said would could have someone from Field Communications put on a course, and have certificates for participants.


Jim (VE1 AFH) said there would be a “Worked All Counties” contest on March 22nd. The Halifax Fleamarket was planned for May 23rd.

President’s Report:

Nothing to report.


Mike (VE1 ZB) said the Monday Night Net was down in numbers, from the teens to the 30’s.

Jim (VE1 JBL) reported the Fusion net (using CQ Maritimes) was getting about 30 check-ins each week, mostly from NS and NB, with the odd caller from PEI. He said 10-12 repeaters were in use.


Lorne (VE1 BXK) reported two grounding bars had been purchased for the Salem site. There had been some interference with the HP.

He was planning some road trips to tune up repeaters.

Unfinished Business:

Jim (VE1 JBL) gave an update on plans or the 2020 SMART Symposium on April 25th in Springhill. There have been 132 registrations to date. He wondered if the Community Centre had a debit machine. He said he had talked to Jack at Radioworld and is going to wait until the end of the month to maybe get another discount. He already had four $25.00 gift certificates for Radioworld. 

He said Dana (VE1 VOX) had licenses for both the radio raffle and the 50-50, and he had a logging program from the USA. There was a banner from Yaesu. He said Kenwood cannot attend this year. 

It has been suggested that we could have Raspberry Pi kits for sale during the Symposium. We could also sell 213 coax cable.

Bob (VE1 EDP) said that among the comments from the 2019 Symposium was why the registration was so cheap?

Jim (VE1 JBL) said we could increase it to $10.00 next year.

Kevin (VE1 KEV) asked if we could use the BBQ’s that were in Springhill. Mike (VE1 MWJ) replied that we don’t want to move them around.

Mike (VE1 ZB) suggested that we start cooking earlier this time.

Hints & Kinks:

Nothing to report.

Sick and Visiting:

A sympathy card will be sent to Terry and Sue Duncan whose daughter recently passed away.

Technical & Operating Information: 

Nothing to report.


The March Brunch is planned for the 18th at Breakfast at Brittany’s in Amherst.

In April it will be on the 18th at the Parkview in Oxford. The May Brunch at the Harbourview in Parrsboro may have to be held on the 30th due to the Halifax Fleamarket happening on the 23rd.

The 50-50 ($30.00) was won by Al (VE1 ZS).

Next Meeting:

Thursday, April 2nd 2020 at 7:00 PM at the Municipality of Cumberland Building in Upper Nappan. 

Adjournment: 9:23 pm.                 Ron Bickle (VE1 BIC) Secretary