Amherst, Nova Scotia

WestCumb  Amateur  Radio Club  VE1WRC

  Serving Westmorland County New Brunswick & Cumberland County Nova Scotia

Latest WARC Minutes
Secretary - Ron Bickle VE1BIC

WARC REGULAR MEETING – April 04, 2019

The Meeting was brought to order at 7:02 p.m. with President Kevin (VE1 KEV) in the chair. 28 members and guests were present. Introductions were made around the room.

Regrets: Rick (VE9 RWS); Peter (VE1 SM).


Minutes From the Last Meeting:

The minutes from the March 07, 2019 regular meeting were posted on the WARC website and distributed in the Newsletter.

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


Business Arising From the Minutes:

Jim (VE1 JBL) presented an update on the SMART Symposium planned for April 27th. A meeting had been held earlier in the evening. Tickets were ready to be sold by Dana (VE1 VOX) for two Fusion radios (handheld and mobile) a Hotspot and a DMR Anytone radio. The Symposium will be open at 8am with 13 vendors. The canteen will be open at 7:30. Lunch will be a BBQ with hotdogs and hamburgers. Door prizes will be drawn after lunch, and the main prizes later in the afternoon. Jim said as of today, they had 149 registrations, and anticipate having over 170. Admission is $5.00. Setup will be on Friday evening at 6.

Don (VE1 AOE) asked if you had to be in the arena to win a door prize. Jim answered “yes” and said they would be taking a group photo during the afternoon break.


New Business:

Kevin (VE1 KEV) asked about the Fusion Repeater project.

Jim (VE1AFH) said it was going smoothly. They had a meeting earlier in the evening. So far, $1,600 has been spent including the repeater itself. Other items included the HRI Wires-X, MH-48 mike and rack shelving. They still needed to get a router and web switch for a remote shutdown or reboot. A laptop may be available from the Municipality of Cumberland. Total cost should be around $2,000. The cavities will be on loan from the Province via NSARA. At this point there is no estimate of a when it will be operational. The application for the installation has been submitted to the Province, but Jim said Matt Boyle, (the coordinator of capital assets and field services) had been away but knows it is in his desk to be processed.

Jim said the callsign VE1 AMH is available, but he wanted it to be applied for through the County. They are also considering VA1 AMH.

Jim said there are a number of callsigns in his name that he wants to turn over to the County. He said if they are under the umbrella of the Municipality of Cumberland, and something goes wrong, it would be better if the local government was involved.

The sites are set up for emergencies, and if they are controlled by the County and would be secure from any tampering. Jim said Mike (VE1 MWJ) with the EMO could always be consulted if the WARC needs to make any changes to its equipment.

Hal (VE1 LV) asked about equipment on loan.

Jim said any equipment owned by the Province is distributed by the NSARA, so if a site is decommissioned, the equipment goes back to the NSARA.
Lorne (VE1 BXK) asked about the callsign for Sand River VE1 SDR.

Brad (VE1 ZX) noted that it would cost about $60 for each license.

Mike (VE1 MWJ) said it could be expensive unless the County assumes the cost of transferring the licenses. He added that we need to have a very strong network of Amateurs to make it work.

It was moved/seconded by Dana (VE1 VOX)/Bob (VE1 EDP) that all repeaters that are WARC assets will be moved over to the County, pending the permission of the current certificate holders of those callsigns. Motion Carried.

Brad (VE1 ZX) added that the NSARA had done a study that said it would cost $250,000 for the various Amateur repeaters if they were commercial installations.


Treasurer's Report:

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

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


Correspondence:

Nothing to report.


Field Day:

Mike (VE1 MWJ) reported the Department of Lands and Forests had given permission to hold Field Day on June 22-23, 2019. at the Tidnish Docks Provincial Park at the end of the ill-fated Chignecto Ship Railway. We will need to contact Roymac about the loan of a trailer. A committee will be set up. So far, it includes Mike (VE1 MWJ); Ron (VE1 BIC) and Jim (VE1 JBL). Jon (VE1 JSG) had earlier expressed interest in helping.


Publicity:

Ron (VE1 BIC) said he had aired a PSA about the meeting for the past two days on CFTA 107.9.


Public Service:

Mike (VE1 ZB) said he had heard the Cross Border Challenge had undergone a name change. It was normally held in June.


Newsletter:

No report. Peter (VE1 SM) was in the hospital.


Web page:

Jim (VE1 JBL) has encountered an issue with the website. The domain  westcumb.ca had expired. He said the County had been renewing it along with their own domains, but some documentation had been misplaced. It has now been renewed for 10 years.

Jim noted that there had been lots of hits for SMART Symposium page.


E.M.O:

Mike (VE1 MWJ) acknowledged the efforts of the repeater committee ( Lorne (VE1 BXK); Brand (VE1 ZX) and Jim (VE1 AFH) for their work on the Fusion project.

He said Exercise Handshake needs 6 Net Controllers, and so far they have 5: Mike (VE1 MWJ); Mike (VE1 ZB); Jim (VE1 AFH);Kevin (VE1 KEV) and Robert (VE1 RMJ).

Mike said he was hoping to have members of the MARC (Moncton Amateur Radio Club) involved to get more exposure in New Brunswick, which now has TMR radios. We need to keep up our level of proficiency and have as many modes as possible (satellite, HF and digital) working when “Murphy’s Law” is enacted.

Jim (VE1 AFH) noted that having Amateurs using TMR will encourage members of fire departments, the Red Cross and RCMP become more involved.

Bob (VE1 EDP) said Al Thurber, the IRG provincial coordinator was using TMR in Fredericton.

Mike (VE1 MWJ) said TMR in New Brunswick is tightly controlled now, but so was Nova Scotia in the beginning.

Dave (VE1 HUL) asked where information from Exercise Handshake was being kept, and Mike replied that the data was being faxed to Al Prosser, so the Province knows what is being done.

Jim (VE1 JBL) said Al wants the data on the ICS form, so they know which repeaters are being used.

Mike added that using the repeaters helps identify any problems with the system. He then explained the rationale behind the simplex repeaters, saying we wanted to have a “backup to the backup” in order to continue communications when everything went down.

Lorne (VE1 BXK) then talked about how the system worked using the Motorola radios which have a single frequency, but with each radio having different tones.


N.S.A.R.A:

Brad (VE1 ZX) said the next NSARA meeting will be held at the Halifax Fleamarket.


President’s Report:

Nothing to report.


Net:

Ron (VE1 BBB) reported that the morning Wake Up net was going well, with between 35 and 40 check-ins each morning. Brad (VE1 ZX) said the IRG was being used, including St.Stephen.

Mike (VE1 ZB) said the recent Monday Night Net had over 20 check-ins including Verne on the IRG from Tracadie-Sheila.

Terry (VE1 AS) asked if there were any changes to the preamble being planned.


Repeaters:

Brad (VE1 ZX) reported the only issue currently was VE1 BHS at Sugarloaf, which had a problem that was only intermittent. He had replaced a radio but the problem contained, so it might be an adapter or antenna issue. He said the Truro club was having a problem with packet at the Hilden site. The APRS had been turned off.

Jim (VE1 JBL) noted that the squelch fades in and out on the VE1WRC Amherst repeater.

Lorne (VE1 BXK) said it could be a problem with UHF on VE1 SDR in Sand River.

Dave (VE1 HUL) said he had a problem linking from Truro using I-code destination.

Lorne thanked Robert (VE1 RMJ) for picking up some repeaters from Bill Elliott.


Unfinished Business:

Jim (VE1 AFH) had sent a cheque to Advocate Harbour for the WARC 2019 Bursary. It will be presented by area councilor Don Fletcher.


New Business:

Nothing to report.


Hints & Kinks:

Jim (VE1 JBL) related how a YouTube channel called “Hoax Hotel” had been scamming the scammers.

Ron asked if anyone had information on how to extend the range of current cell phones, now that the older “bag phones” were being phased out.


Sick and Visiting:

It was reported that Peter (VE1 SM) had been admitted to the Amherst hospital.

Jerry (VE1 KW) said he had visited Rob (VE9 KM) and he was in good spirits and gaining weight following his recent surgery. He said Bill (VE9 UH) was not doing so well. Rick (VE9 RWS) had an issue with a power supply and antenna but it had been rectified.


Technical & Operating Information:

Nothing to report.


Social:

The April Brunch will be on the13th at the Parkview Restaurant in Oxford, and the following one on May 18th at the Harbourview Restaurant in Parrsboro. There are no Brunches in June, July and August.


The 50-50 ($40.50) was won by Dana (VE1 VOX).


Next Meeting:

Thursday, May 2, 2019, at 7 pm at the Municipality of Cumberland Building in Upper Nappan.


Adjournment: 8:41 pm.                 Ron Bickle (VE1 BIC) Secretary