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 – November 07, 2019

 

The Meeting was brought to order at 7:06 p.m. with President Kevin (VE1 KEV) in the chair. 14 members and guests were present. Regrets: Dana (VE1 VOX); Mike (VE1 MWJ); Pravin (VE9 PKV). Introductions were made around the table.

 

Approval of the Agenda:

It was moved/seconded by Jim (VE1 JBL)/ Terry (VE1 AS) that the Agenda be approved. Motion carried.

 

Minutes From the Last Meeting:

The minutes from the October regular meeting were posted on the Website and circulated by email.

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

 

Business Arising From the Minutes:

Lorne (VE1 BXK) explained the need for a spectrum analyzer so they could properly tune the notch filters at the various repeater sites. He had obtained prices on a couple different models, but suggested the Siglent SSA3021X at about $1,700.00 was the best in the price range.

Jim (VE1 AFH) noted that Matt Boyle (who was taking over from Todd Brown) had stressed the need for making sure our gear was up to scratch. Jim said the WARC could make the purchase and own it, and leave it up to Lorne and Brad on what to do with it. He noted that the WARC was not the biggest club but had the most repeaters, so the onus was on the WARC to buy the equipment. We could then advise the NSARA that we have the gear to tune other sites. He said Bill Elliott (VE1 MR) at the NSARA said they were not in a position to offer any funds but they were hoping “there was a club out there” that could purchase a spectrum analyzer. Jim said he had also talked to Mike (VE1 MWJ) about getting some help from the County.

Lorne noted that the problem was not just local but was all across the province. He said the model he had in mind was from RCC Electronics in Concord, Ontario and there was a currently discount coupon available.

It was moved/seconded by Jim (VE1 AFH)/Terry (VE1 AS) that the WARC purchase the spectrum analyzer and the required cables, for an amount not top exceed $2,400.00. Motion Carried.

Jim added that we should keep track of any future donations that may come to the Club for the use of the spectrum analyzer.

It was moved/seconded by Jim (VE1 JBL)/Terry (VE1 AS) that the Club reimburse Lorne $400.00 for the new power supply he and Brad had installed at VE1 BHS.

Motion Carried.

 

It was moved/seconded by Ron (VE1 BIC)/Mike (VE1 ZB) that the WARC approve the Memorandum Of Understanding with The Cumberland Regional Emergency Management Organization, with the amendment to item #3. Motion Carried.

 

New Business:

Lorne (VE1 BXK) said they would need to purchase a new battery for the laptop and the UPS at the VE1 AMH Fusion repeater in Salem.

Kevin (VE1 KEV) said he had inquired about Club sweatshirts and hats at Carter’s Sports Cresting.

Mike  (VE1 MWJ) joined the meeting at this point and suggested we compile a new list of members available for call out by the EMO. It would include being called out in the middle of the night to be on standby at a fire hall for emergency communications.

It was moved/seconded by Jim (VE1 AFH)/Mike (VE1 MWJ) that the WARC pay $200.00 each to Lorne (VE1 BXK) and Brad (VE1 ZX) as a token of appreciation for their work on the repeaters, and expenses incurred.  Motion Carried.

Jim (VE1 AFH) proposed we ask Robert (VE1 RMJ) to put on a Raspberry Pi workshop in the new year, and possibly invite other clubs. Rob said he could do that, and suggested some possible versions that were available. He would also look into prices for the new Raspberry Pi 4b 4GB. Jim said anyone wanting to purchase one should have the money ready for Robert by the December meeting so he could make a bulk purchase.

 

Treasurer's Report:

Jim (VE1 JBL) presented the Treasurer’s Report. He noted that he is keeping track of the SMART funds separately.

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

 

Correspondence:

Jim (VE1 JBL) had received an email from Kevin (VE1 BAK) in Kentville regarding a planned Fusion repeater for Glenmount.

 

Field Day:

Nothing to report.

 

 

Publicity:

Bob (VE1 EDP) thanked Ron (VE1 BIC) or making several announcements on CFTA 107.9 about the November meeting.

 

Public Service:

Jim (VE1 AFH) reported on The Halloween night Amherst Pumpkin Patrol. Four operators had been on duty from 5-10 pm. It was rainy and dark. No calls had come in. An Eastlink vehicle had been spotted although they were nor formally involved.

Bob (VE1 EDP) suggested that we should have magnetic vehicle signs for these type of events. Some discussion followed on what should go on the signs. Jim (VE1 AFH) said they should at least say “Amateur Radio” “Regional EMO” and “Community Service” and contain the County emblem and WARC crest.

 

Web page:

Jim (VE1 JBL) reported no problems.

 

E.M.O:

Mike (VE1 MWJ) reported that the Trans Canada Highway had been shut down across the marsh on November 1st  with trucks overturned and jackknifed, and a diesel spill. He also recalled that Tropical Storm Dorion had been a “big event” with a number of issues, including Internet and phone outages. He said some cell sites had been blocked to the public, so TMR service could be maintained.  Mike said some “extra hardening” needed to be done, including more generators. He said the phone companies wants to concentrate on cell phones instead of landlines in the future, which will lead to more vulnerability. He said they will need priority dial numbers in times of overload.

Mike also discussed the various comfort centres and VHF radio base stations in Cumberland County. He said a number of radios are ready to be installed, Wallace Fire Department needs an antenna. Jim (VE1 JBL) asked about the Southampton Fire Department, and Ron (VE1 BIC) mentioned Shinimicas Fire Department as a possible future site.

Mike (VE1 MWJ) said property management is an issue. He said there have been some major changes in weather patterns since September, including an increase in rainfall and wind. He noted that “Windty” had added a European model to its forecasts that seemed to be quite accurate.

Jim (VE1 JBL) reported receiving a message about a recent emergency exercise in New Brunswick that had experienced some interference.

Kevin (VE1 KEV) suggested holding a TMR workshop in the new year.

 

N.S.A.R.A:

Jim (VE1 AFH) reported on the meeting held at the Greenwood Fleamarket on October 19th. Amateurs from Yarmouth had been in attendance, but nobody from Cape Breton. He said the “Worked All Counties” contest was going to be held later this year. He also said there had some problems during a recent Exercise Handshake where certain individuals would not get off a repeater.

Jim said the proposed plan for the NSARA becoming affiliated with RAC was also discussed. He said when the NSARA is dealing with the Province it is better if they have federal insurance.

Jon (VE1 JSG) brought up how he had experienced a problem obtaining Amateur plates for his vehicle. Jim said the procedure is still to go through Tom Cohoon.

 

President’s Report:

Nothing to report.

 

Net:

Ron (VE1 BBB) said a recent Wake Up Net had 43 check-ins.

Mike (VE1 ZB) said the Monday Night Net was going well. He said Exercise Handshake in November will be done by Moncton, and Truro will handle December. VHF only. Mike said if anyone else wants to volunteer to let him know.

Mike (VE1 MWJ) said it is important for WARC members to take part, and deal with opening and closing repeaters, and using the satellite phone, which now has better coverage.

Bob (VE1 EDP) said to him it looks like we are losing participants in Exercise Handshake.

 

Repeaters:

Lorne (VE1 BXK) reported the new power supply installed at VE1 BHS had fixed a hum problem. They also replaced a link radio.

Also the frequency was off for the link to Upper Sackville. Lorne said the Sand River controller had “scrambled” and would require a UPS.

The Salem Fusion repeater had experienced a problem with a battery for the laptop running Wires-X. He added that having the remote Webswitch has saved a lot of trips.

Mike (VE1 ZB) said he had heard the Moncton club was going to Fusion.

 

Unfinished Business:

Nothing to report.

 

Hints & Kinks:

Nothing to report.

 

Sick and Visiting:

Nothing to report.

 

Technical & Operating Information:

There was some discussion about using Raspberry Pi.

 

Social:

The November Brunch will be at Patterson’s in Sackville.

There will not be a Brunch in December. We are holding our Christmas Potluck on Thursday December 5th.

The January Brunch is tentatively set for the 18th at Breakfast at Brittany’s in Amherst.

 

The 50-50 ($23.00) was won by Bob (VE1 EDP).

 

Next Meeting:

Thursday, December 5th 2019 – The Christmas Potluck at 7:00 pm followed by a short business meeting at the Municipality of Cumberland Building in Upper Nappan.

Note - the January meeting will be on the Thursday January 9th instead of January 2nd.

 

Adjournment: 8:44 pm.                 Ron Bickle (VE1 BIC) Secretary