Atlantic News

From Brad VE1ZX Nov.18th:

“For those interested in Yaesu's C4FM digital system (a.k.a. Fusion), my uncle (Brad Ross, VE1ZX) and I (VE1ZC) connected the VE1HPR Fusion repeater in Hammonds Plains (145.490-) to Yaesu's WiRES-X network yesterday night. The repeater is now part of a worldwide digital network. VE1HPR will normally be connected to the "CQ-Canada" room that is hosted by the Truro ARC (VE1AO). At any point in time, there are usually 12-20 repeaters and private nodes from across the country connected to the CQ-Canada room.


On Wednesday evenings at 10pm Atlantic time, the CQ-Canada room hosts a weekly net (with net controller Denis Rule, VE3BF) and the number of connected repeaters and nodes can hit 30 with additional connections from the US and overseas.


For those interested in Fusion, Yaesu has a sales promotion on right now with instant rebates on various models of Fusion radios.

These rebates are reflected in the discount prices at RadioWorld in Toronto right now (until December 31).“

From George VY2GF Nov.13th:

The Maritime Lighthouse Amateur Radio Group is holding a dinner meeting to discuss this year's and future events.

When - Saturday, November 17 at 7PM

Where - Razzy's Roadhouse, 161 St Peters Rd, Charlottetown

Our Facebook page reflects our activities.

All are welcome!

From Dave VE9CB Nov.13th:

Hello all,

I'm looking for volunteers to operate the Atlantic Region RAC HQ stations. Don VE9XX has already stepped up to operate as VE9RAC.

The other RAC stations are:
VO2RAC and

Please let me know if you would like to be a RAC HQ Station in this contest.

The RAC Canada Winter Contest will take place from 0000z to 2359z on Saturday 29 December.

Dave VE9CB  [email protected]
RAC Atlantic Director

From Nick VE9MP Nov.8th:

Today is a great day for DMR users in Canada!!

This project was a dream of mine for a long time and am very happy to say as of this morning it is a reality.

From Trunk Mobile Radio 2

The video recording of the 2018 Interoperability Forum is now available for you to view.

Please pass this link along to anyone you think is interested in watching :


From Michel Nov.3rd, 2018:

VA2IDX is portable from November 2 until November 7, 2018. (SAFARI ANTICOSTI)
I just worked him yesterday, on 40 meters cw

Anticosti Island IOTA NA-077 GRID FN89
Complete info on his QRZ page.

Activation IOTA NA-077 

Eric, VA2IDX/p will be active from Anticosti Island Grid FN89 (NA-077 CISA QC001), during November 2 – 7 2018.  QRV QRP on 40 and 20m SSB and possibly CW. He will be sporadically active around 1500 and 2300 UTC every day. QSL via home call

From Ross McCart VE9GCS

I thought I would post a picture of the VE9GCS radio shack. It is a little messy but that is because the Mrs. is not allowed in here. This is the control point for the Moncton Area 2 meter simplex net and the 2 meter SSB net on Sunday nights. 


From Lorne VE1BXK Oct.26th:

Eric VE1JW and Brian VE1IQ were successful in getting the RF QRM from the MFJ-1274 TNC's at the VE1WN packet installation at the Stronach Mountain site this morning as per my suggestion of using aluminum foil to hopefully snuff out the offending RF harmonics from both the MFJ-1274 TNCs. This is most likely the best the VHF LAN packet has worked since it originally installed many years ago.

Hats off to both Eric and Brian for a job well done after several trips! Thanks to Eric for the photos.

From Jeff VY2ZM Oct.22nd:

Memories of Jack Leahy VE1ZZ

VE1ZZ was not only a personal friend to many of us - he was probably one of the finest Topband Dx'ers ever to have lived.  He goes back to not long after W1BB came back on the band at the end of WWII - and was one of the strongest signals I have ever witnessed on Topband.  His signal was almost LEGENDARY all over the world.  EU stations used to say  - "He is almost as loud when he calls in Asian pileups as the EU callers are over here"...and that says it all!

Jack Leahy was personally responsible for my migrating to VY2ZM and was here at my home twice - once is 2002 and once in 2012.  I last visited him and Opal (his XYL) in August of 2014 with Mike OE6MBG who wanted to meet Jack and see his QTH .

When I finally had the time after building my house here on PEI  to visit Jack which was probably in July of 2003 or 2004, at first blush his place did not make a huge impression on me because it had only a short triangular portion of land at the road in the Head of Jeddore NE of Halifax - and the land rose rapidly behind his home.  One initially wondered "How does he get out so well from here down at the road?"

The answer came shortly thereafter - Jack took me out behind the house - and we climbed that hill - up and up and up for something like a MILE - it was a pizza slice in shape and very wide at the top of the hill in the woods - with only about 100 feet (if that) at the road front side of the parcel.

Some distance up the hill was Jack's 160m 4sq array - which was made of ROHN 6 tower - that was sitting on 18 wheeler truck tires as base insulators.  The towers were not tall - perhaps 55 feet or so and the rest of each radiator was wire - so it was really a WIRE inverted L 4sq.  Jack was the "ultimate scavenger" and his radials were all 1-2" diameter pieces of HARDLINE!!!  Hundreds of them all over the hillside  I think he had a friend in CATV or at his local dump - but he got most of it for next to nothing he said.

From that point of his land, he could reach around the HILLTOP on 160m to acquire  a clear shot to EU and the South was wide open and to the SW was also clear looking over the water.  Looking straight up the hill was probably blocked to some degree - but often this does not matter all that much on Topband.

The day I was there was shortly after Jack had managed to communicate across the pond on what I think was 600m - I may be wrong about the frequency - but the antenna he used to make the SLOW SLOW SPEED CW contact was something out of this world!

It started about 1/3 of the way up the hill - and ran all the way to the rear of the property to near the furthest reaches of his land - and this was a LONG LONG LONG walk to get there - through some land that I recall was swampy.  It had to have been at least 3000 feet long.

Part way up the hill, Jack had built a small shelter in which he placed the BIGGEST homebrew loading coil I have ever seen. It was about 4 feet tall and about 8 feet in diameter and wrapped around some kind of coil form he had created.

Jack explained that it took him awhile to resonate the system to his desired operating QRG - and this was done by taking a pair of alligator clips and through trial and error he tapped the coil he made - trying to use a DC ammeter to find the point of peak current into the system - which he explained seemed to indicate the system was reasonably matched.

His was among the first to work across the pond with that antenna - just one of his many achievements.

When I was in the US Navy stationed at Bremerhaven, Germany I used to listen to Jack and W1BB on 160m.  W1BB would sit around 1801, KV4FZ often was around 1803 and Jack was down at the low end as well - calling CQ listening QSX up at around 1825-1830 in what was then known as the "DX Window".

Jack had a huge signal even then - using equipment that was popular in that era.  I recall a Hammarlund HQ 160 Rx or something close to that model - there is a photo of that station from the late 1950's in my book "Dx'ing on the Edge."

Jack's More Recent Station  - Inside

When I first visited Jack in 2003/2004, it was in his old house - not the newer one he built further up the hill some years later.  The station was vintage (much like my own on Cape Cod) - and Jack used a TS830 driving a HB amp to something around a KW DC input.  Jack's operating table gave me a chuckle because there was only about 4 inches of space between the front panel of the radio and the edge of the table.  Jack was a "leftie" and placed his paddle parallel to the front of the TS830 and did his best to keep his forearm on the table while he sent.

Jack's keying system triggered a bunch of interconnected relays as he operated and he had quite a number of vintage antenna switches which selected his many Rx antennas.

After visiting his shack, Jack later showed me around other parts of the rest of the house - and I recall several rooms CHOCK FULL of stuff most of us would die for.  One room was full of EIMAC xmitting tubes - 4-400's, some 304TL's, some 4-1000A's etc

Another room had shelves loaded with vacuum relays and vacuum variables he had collected over the years.  Not one or two - but something like a 100 of them.  There were also rotary inductors for HB design and many other things that made me drool.

I think I remember a third room full of vintage ham radio gear as well.  Older stuff he had used previously over the years I guess.


I will relate one story about Jack when I was operating at 7O6T over in Yemen in 2012 I think it was.  I was calling CQ arond 1823kHz waiting for SS to occur in NA - and this bone crushing signal came at me that almost blew me out of my chair.  You can listen to this clip on my VY2ZM website - and you will see what I mean.

I told Jack that I was operating in the snippet - and later asked him to please tell me when OTHER NA stations were calling.  I said, please do NOT tell me the calls - just tell me that USA stations are now hearing me and calling me.  Jack did as I asked and about 15 mins later a very weak in the noise caller was Dave Patten, NN1N who was probably 3-4 S units down from Jack's signal.  Dave's station is first rate - but there is something truly magical about operating from the Maritimes along oceanfront property.  It is just how things work - Jack had what I call the "front door" to the NE path and it often shows up as it did that evening at 7O6T.

Here's how to listen to what I heard:

1) Go to http://www,
2) Select the sound bites tab
3) Click on Sound Bite #4 and play VE1ZZ - Booming.
4) If you also wish to hear NN1N's piece look further down the list to hear the difference in signal levels.

JACK's last years

I last spoke with Jack in the summer of 2016.  He told me he then had COPD and that his amp needed repairs and that his antennas were largely broken.  I had heard him sparingly in 2015 and probably not at all in 2016 - and that explained why.

JACK's 160m DXCC Achievements:

For many years JACK  held the #2 position WORLD in the Topband DXCC rankings.  He finished his legendary Topband career at 334 countries confirmed at position #6 in the current rankings.  This is only a HANDFUL of entities below that necessary to have qualified for DXCC HONOR ROLL - single band 160M.  His mild, unassuming manner was also the measure of the man.  He would stop DX'ing and work ANYONE who called him - which says alot as well.  His was a special person and I have always admired him and what he managed to do in HAM RADIO.

Not only did he make DXCC on 160m - in the summers he got me hooked on 6M and he had a 6M DXCC as well - just to keep himself occupied during the summer doldrums on 160M.

I will close now and stop reminiscing about Jack - but I think it is altogether fitting that we stop and pause a moment to remember this fine 160M operator and gentleman and what he achieved on the band we all love to operate.  He will always occupy a special place in our memories of Topband!

73 and thanks for the bandwidth.


Email:   [email protected]

Jeff Briggs
DXing on the Edge: The Thrill of 160 Meters
Available worldwide through BookBaby, Array Solutions, DX Engineering, Royal Society of Great Britain, & Amazon

The following pictures were taken at VE1ZZ in August 2014 when Mike OE6MBG and his wife Sissy and I visited Jack and Opal with my XYL Miriam VY2HH.
  • Jack VE1ZZ in his shack 2014
    Jack VE1ZZ in his shack 2014
  • Jack VE1ZZ, Jeff VY2ZM & Michael OE6MBG
    Jack VE1ZZ, Jeff VY2ZM & Michael OE6MBG
  • Michael OE6MBG, Sissy, Jack VE1ZZ, Jeff VY2ZM, Opal and Miriam VY2HH
    Michael OE6MBG, Sissy, Jack VE1ZZ, Jeff VY2ZM, Opal and Miriam VY2HH
  • VE1ZZ Mobile
    VE1ZZ Mobile
Jack VE1ZZ in his shack 2014
Jack VE1ZZ in his shack 2014

From Eric VE1JW Oct.16th:

On Saturday Oct 13, 2018 a crew comprised of Bill VE1MR, Tom VE1TA, Bruce VE1II, Eric VE1JW and Neil VE1STP assembled at the VE1BO site at 11:30am.

     The task was to move VE1BO and it associated equipment in the NSARA Rack to the new building at the site. Thanks to Neil's truck we were able to move the rack with most of the equipment still in the rack. This saved us an immense amount of time. Once the rack was in position and secured to the floor reassembly commenced. AC power was connected to the rack, equipment was
connected to feed lines to the antennas on the new tower, all equipment connections were verified and an upgrade was done to the repeater  controller. Power was applied, all equipment was tested, cleanup was done and we were on our way home at 5:30pm. 
A very productive and shorter than expected day.

From Brian VE1IQ Oct.13th:

There is a new website for the Greenwood ARC.

This site is BRAND NEW and ALMOST put together the way we want and as such please consider anything you find here a 'work in progress'.

Please send any comments, helpful tips, or other suggestions to your friendly neighborhood webslinger at this email

Here is the link to the website   CLICK HERE

From Alex VE1RUS Oct.4th:


VY0ERC will be QRV from October 17 until November 10, 2018 from Eureka, NU (NA-008).
Expect activity on 40, 20 Meters and hopefully 80m in SSB, Digital and CW when time and weather permitting.
Activity via FM satellites from ER60, EQ79 and close grids is also scheduled.

From Jim VE1JBL Oct.3rd,

I was informed yesterday by that the Register Page is once again working. It has been offline since February 15th of this year. We have already had an amateur register and he told me that everything went very well. I encourage everyone who had a problem with signing up over these past eight months to go back and register with the site. Looking forward to seeing you on the members page. CLICK HERE to Register.

From Brent VY2HF Sept.26th:

Bryan Weaver, VY2OG, and I administered exams this afternoon, and we're pleased to report that both William Caw (Bonshaw) and Tyler MacNeill (Cape Bear) earned Basic with honours, and then Tyler went on and passed his Advanced.

They should have their callsigns chosen and assigned in the next day or two. 

UPDATE: Callsigns are in. William Caw VY2EH and Tyler MacNeill VY2TM

Congratulations to our new PEI amateurs!

Brent Taylor, VY2HF / W1PJ
Stratford, PE

From Dave VE1EDA Sept.16th:

News from the HATS: September 2018
The Halifax Auxiliary Telecommunications Service (HATS) is an operational vehicle through which HARC contributes to emergency telecommunications when a man-made or natural disaster strikes our community. This service is a joint effort of amateur radio clubs in the Halifax region and functions under the direction of the Emergency Management Division of Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency (HRFE).
NEWS: We held our first public demonstration and field Exercise on 6 – 8 July at Scott Manor House, a heritage property and museum in Bedford. Eight HATS members staffed the three-day event and interacted with visitors. We demonstrated our WinLink System by originating messages to various points in the HRM and communicated by voice with fixed and mobile stations over the VE1PSR and VE1HNS repeaters. A popular hands-on-activity was teaching visitors how to send their name in Morse Code. This event was an effective way to practice our communications skills, and to tell the public about amateur radio and its role in emergency communications. This is a model we will continue to use.
In the spring we initiated the HATS Leadership Program., an organized effort to recruit members who have leadership capability and are interested in developing it. I am pleased to report that over the summer we have had a good response, and we will begin working with 4 or 5 candidates this fall. I will provide more details about our current Leadership Candidates and their program in my October report.
Since training and practical exercises are the key part of our preparations to provide emergencies communication services, we will be offering courses this fall, including the Basic Message Handling Course, ICS-100 and Use of TMR Radios. As soon as dates are set, I will send out a training bulletin to all members. Remember that free ICS-100 training on-line is always available. If you want to pursue this independent learning opportunity, I can provide you with the URL and a necessary access code.
Our Third HATS General Meeting is scheduled on Thursday, 11 October from 7:00 – 9:30 pm at HARC’s new Club location in Fire Station #50 on Hammonds Plains Road. Matt Boyle, VE1BSG, who is with the NS Government’s Public Safety and Field Communications Office will make a short presentation on Threats to Radio. Communication. The program also will include a HATS update, plans going forward and group discussion as well as a chance to socialize with one another.
19 September (Wednesday) at 18:30 hrs. – HARC Monthly Meeting. It will feature Steve Frost, VE9SF talking about Wireless MESH Networks for Ham Radio
20 September (Thursday) at 1000 hrs. HRFE/EMO – Radio Advisory Group Meeting at the Eric Spicer Building on Mt Hope Drive in Dartmouth.
11 October (Thursday) from 19:00 – 21:30 hours a General Meeting of HATS will be held. Matt Boyle, VE1BSG, will speak about Threats to Radio Communications.
In October, Jim Calvesbert, VE1PPA, will be taking over from Joe MacPherson, VE1CH, the maintenance of our time and travel data, and making a regular report to HRFE Division Chief Erica Fleck. This is record of how much volunteer time and travel kilometers we accumulate each month in service to the HRM. Thus, it is vital information that demonstrates the value we provide to the HRM in return for the financial and organizational support we receive. This does not work without each member doing their part – regularly reporting their data. It is important to submit your data sheets, even if there is no activity for the month. It will show you are present!
Note that the HARC Program this month is on a topic of direct interest and importance to emergency communications, namely Wireless Mesh Networks for Ham Radio. Please plan on attending.
Do you want membership information? Please contact Dave Musgrave, VE1EDA. He is our membership officer and will see that you get the necessary information and application forms. His contact information is via email: [email protected]
Finally, please submit your August monthly time and travel data to Joe MacPherson ([email protected]) but for September it will need to go to [email protected].

73 de Scott
K. Scott Wood, VE1QD
Halifax Auxiliary Telecommunications Service (HATS)
Email: [email protected]

From MAARC Facebook page:

As we discussed at the MAARC meeting last Saturday, the DMR repeater has been temporarily relocated to the MAARC clubhouse and is back on the air. The coverage may or may not be better that it was at U de M but it is working better than not having an antenna connected to it at all.
Thanks Tobie, VE9XAB for doing the switch and thanks to Denis, VE9MUD for doing the I/T work on getting the ports open to make it happen.

From Kevin VE1KEV Sept.5th:

Contact Manager 2.60 Released

We have just released N0GSG Contact Manager version 2.60. N0GSG Contact Manager is the "goto" software for working with codeplug data in many different makes of DMR radios, including Connect Systems, Tytera, AnyTone, and others. It allows you to freely edit information in all supported codeplugs, and also allows you to migrate data freely between any supported radio types using copy and paste commands for individual elements (such as contacts, channels, or zones), or Structural Import for migrating complete codeplug structures seamlessly.

Version 2.60 incorporates support for the new TYT MD-UV380, an enhanced DMR Database Search Facility, and for radios with multi-bank zones, a Mirroring Command to copy between A and B sections of these zones.

Everyone is aware of the impact that GDPR has had on the DMR databases. Ham Digital serves all DMR ID records worldwide, but due to GDPR, it's unable to provide detailed information on registrants beyond first name and callsign. Thankfully, Radio ID provides the missing data for non-European DMR users. But these are two distinct databases, which is hard to resolve for individual users. The enhanced DMR database search routine in Contact Manager now seamlessly merges the data from both sources so that you automatically get the best information available from both databases. Additionally, we've refined and expanded the DMR Online Database Searcher to allow you to enter additional search information that's "remembered" between Contact Manager sessions. For example, if you commonly wish to update your radio's contacts from specific regions, cities, or countries, you can enter those as additional search items, which Contact Manager will then automatically search for you each time you use the DMR Online Database Searcher.

Within the DMR Online Database Searcher we've also added a new CSV Contact Exporter that will allow you to export properly-formatted CSV contact files for radios such as the MD-2017, MD-9600, and MD-UV380, so that you can load additional contacts (up to 100,000) for these radios. The same enhancements applied to the DMR Online Database Searcher have been applied to the CSV Contact Exporter, so you can do this in just seconds with just a few mouse clicks.

The documentation for Contact Manager is updated and explains how to use the new features.

N0GSG Contact Manager is delivered via secured servers that are scanned daily for malware. Our site and software are 100% safe for your computer (we can make this claim only if you download Contact Manager direct from our site at er/). It is well known that certain anti-virus software (including Windows Defender) is notorious for delivering false-positive reports. You may view an authoritative scan of this entire site and its content by visiting Virus Total.

We welcome your input on this software and very much appreciate your support for the Contact Manager project.

Tom Nilssen

From Jim VE1JBL Aug. 30th:

Thanks to a donation from Brad Ross VE1ZX and the WestCumb ARC in Amherst the Fredericton DMR site is back up and running. Reports are that the antenna is performing great, that and with the newly tuned hybrid ring duplexer, it has never performed so well.

Here is a report on the repeater from Nick Robinson VE9ARZ with DMR New Brunswick.

Just a little insight on the repeater job:

We made a site visit in July after local users complained of decrease range and desense type problems, checking the Repeater Diagnostics and Control (RDAC) software we saw that VSWR alarms had been registered. Once at the site it was quickly determined that the antenna was bad, registering a SWR of 4:1, likely damaged from a lightning strike. The repeater was also putting out much less power then it should have. We were all set to purchase a brand new antenna, when Brad & Westcumb offered us the replacement. The repeater PA was easily fixed and was putting out rated power once again, Tobie VE9XAB and Mike VE1ZB worked to get the antenna from Brad to Fredericton, where it was quickly installed, along with a new polyphaser lightning arrestor, on the air it was showing a SWR of 1:1 and coverage report have been excellent from everyone. The donated antenna saved our group from spending $800 that can now be put forward to future projects or upgrades.

From DMR New Brunswick Facebook

We are happy to announce we now have a means of connecting hotspots to the NBDMR system. At this time it is purely experimental, and limited to TS2. Performance may vary, but so far it does seem to work well.

We invite you to try it out and we want your feedback, please let us know if you try it and any issues encountered.

From the ARRL website Aug.3rd:

ARISS Packet Radio System Expected to be Back Late this Year 08/03/2018

The currently silent packet radio system on the International Space Station could be back on the air by year’s end.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) hardware team members have located an original duplicate of the packet module that had been in use on the International Space Station (ISS) before failing more than a year ago after 17 years of service. With a new battery installed, the unit was tested and found to be functioning. The ARISS packet system in the space station’s Columbus module, operating on 145.825 MHz, quit last July after first experiencing some problems. All necessary paperwork has been completed to manifest the packet module on the Progress 71P spacecraft launch now set for Halloween, with docking on November 2.

“Installation date will depend on the crew’s busy schedule, but ARISS hopes packet can be online again by the end of November 2018,” ARISS said this week in a news release. ARISS said it’s heard from “many hams” who have been asking when the packet system will be back on the air.

When the ARISS packet module aboard ISS died in last year, the ARISS hardware team already was overburdened with the design and safety certification of the new interoperable radio system ARISS has been developing that’s set for launch next year. The team did attempt some basic troubleshooting of the old packet module but was unable to revive it and decided instead to dedicate all of its time to the new replacement radio system, including packet capability.

Early this year, thermal testing of the first flight-identical power supply for the new comprehensive radio system showed that some changes to air flow were needed. This change would delay launch of the new radio equipment from late 2018 to early 2019.

To contribute to the ARISS radio fund, visit the ARISS website and click on the “Donate” button.

From Brent VY2HF Aug.2nd:

There are two new hams here on the Island. I ran an exam session on June 20th and the following passed their exam:

Therese Mair, Georgetown PEI - Basic with Honours - VY2TAM
Stirling Carr, Hazelbrook PEI - Basic with Honours - VY2SEC

Both have VHF capability, with Stirling also capable on 70CM from his home. He has a nice J-pole installed and can hit several repeaters in PEI and Northern Nova Scotia. Therese also has a 2M radio, and I believe will be operating mostly mobile. Therese's ultimate goal is to learn Morse Code and eventually operate some HF CW.

We have a couple of other prospective hams now with study guides and we'll try to mentor/Elmer them as they need help in their studies.


From Dave VE9CB Aug.1st:

Would you like to...
    * communicate with people around the world without the use of phones or the Internet?
    * experiment with electronics?
    * interface radio transmitters with your computer?
    * serve your community at public events or during serious emergency situations?
    * talk to astronauts aboard the International Space Station, or communicate through satellites?
    * develop new relationships and learn what is going on around world through the airwaves? 

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) may be for you!
(credit: RAC)

From 27 September through Monday 17 December 2018, the Fredericton Amateur Radio Club will run a course to help you earn your Amateur Radio license. 

Classes will run most Mondays and Thursday evenings from 7pm to 9pm.  There will also be one Sunday afternoon session in each of October, November and December.  The language of instruction will be English.

The cost is $165.  This includes:
- all classroom instruction;
- all required study materials;
- all materials and instruction for you to build two antennas to get you on the air quickly;
- a one-year membership in the Fredericton Amateur Radio Club (FARC); and
- FARC’s accredited Examiners will administer the examination for the Basic Certificate of Proficiency in Amateur Radio, the essential requirement to hold a call sign and get on the air.  

Successful candidates will earn a licence to operate their own Amateur Radio station, and they will receive a free one-year membership in the Radio Amateurs of Canada ( 

Your instructors are a team of experienced, knowledgeable Radio Amateurs who are very keen to help you get a good start in the fascinating, diverse world of Amateur Radio.

Registration will be on Monday, 10 September 2018 at 7pm.  Come to the Boardroom of the Victoria Health Centre, 65 Brunswick Street, Fredericton NB.

For more info, Please contact Dave VE9CB at (506) 206-8334 or [email protected] .

From Ken VY2RU Jul.27th:

Hi folks,
Here are a couple of Awards I received for the Russia Football (Soccer) World Cup Amateur Radio Event.  One is a pic of the Plaque for contacting the Russian cities involved and the other is myself with the Plaque and a few of the 24 Certificates I acquired during the FWC.  I also came 1st for North and South America, Africa and OC (Pacific Area) see: 
You can input my call sign to see the Award Certificates I acquired.  A lot of work, time and dedication but fun also!!!
- Ken   VY2RU

P.S. I would be remiss to not mention Ella's understanding when I take part in these Amateur Radio Events!!!!!

From Peter VE1PS Jul.27th:

I have heard many fellow HAMs in the Maritimes speak of interest in 6m ops. In an attempt to coordinate this interest and facilitate QSOs and learning I have created a chat group on .
Subscribe at [email protected]

73 Pete VE1PS/VE9NPS

From Willis VA1WAB

Hi Jim,

I thought you may be interested this. Attached is a copy of the 1st place certificate for 2018.

VE1UW is the Pictou County ARC and operated by the members.

From Ken VY2RU July 4th:

Amateur Radio ES100 Event....

I was very pleased to receive in the mail last week a "Juniper Tankard" from the Republic of Estonia's 100th Anniversary for the ES100xx Event.  The ES100 Event ran for February and March 2018 and I was fortunate to end up in the top 10 for the World (actually 6th) and 1st for North America.  See under "Leaderboard" for standings.  I also received the Bronze, Silver and Gold Certificates during the event and could order the wooden plaque

The Tankard is hand made and absolutely beautiful with my call sign "VY2RU" on the side with "ES100" and my placing "488 Pts" on the attached

The 1st place in the ES100 Event received a "Begali CW Key" and from 2nd to 10th received the "Juniper Tankard"

All the Best - Ken   VY2RU

From RAC Website Jun.30th.

I am pleased to announce the election of Dave Hull, VE1HUL, as Section Manager of the Maritime Section effectively immediately.

Dave resides in Truro, Nova Scotia and is retired from the Canadian National Railway.

Dave has been an avid Motorsport enthusiast since 2004 and became an Amateur in 2016, and is actively involved with the Truro Amateur Radio Club.

Welcome aboard Dave!

Doug Mercer, VO1DM CEC
RAC Vice-President and Community Services Officer

From Peter VE1PS Jun.24th:

Thought this would be nice to post on the MA site. Really good edition with info on the hacking of routers and suggestion on how to overcome any hacking to date.  Even better is mention of our old friend Burt Amero VE1AMA (SK) and his contribution to HF packet at the 0:50:23 mark in the podcast.



From Ken VY2RU June 3rd.

The Internet of Digital Radio by Onno Benschopu VK6FLAB

The topic of how radio evolves and embraces available technology is one that describes the hobby itself. From spark-gap through AM, SSB and FM our community picked up or invented solutions to make communication possible. When the internet came along it too became a tool ripe for picking and in 1997 a connection between a radio and the internet was made with the Internet Radio Linking Project or IRLP when Dave VE7LTD, a student at the University of British Columbia, joined the UBC Amateur Radio Society. Using a radio, some hardware and a computer, you could send audio between radios across the internet.

Since then this field has exploded with D-STAR, Echolink, DMR, AllStar, Wires, CODEC2, System Fusion and Brandmeister.

At a glance they're all the same thing, radio + internet = joy.

Looking closer there are two distinct kinds of internet radio contraptions, those where the radio is digital and those where it's not. IRLP is an example of an analogue radio connecting to hardware that does the encoding into digital and transmission across the internet. At the other end the reverse process, decoding, happens and another analogue radio is used to hear the result. This encoding and decoding is done by a piece of software called a CODEC.

If we continue for a moment down the analogue path, Echolink, AllStar and Wires do similar things. In 2002 Echolink made its way onto the scene, similar to IRLP, but it didn't need any specialised hardware, any computer running the Echolink software could be used as both a client and a server, that is, you could use it to listen to Echolink, or you could use it to connect a radio to another Echolink computer.

AllStar, which started life in 2008 went a step further by making the linking completely separate. It uses the metaphor of a telephone exchange to connect nodes together, which is not surprising if you know that it's built on top of the open source telephone switching software Asterisk.

In 2012 or so, Yaesu introduced Wires which is much like Echolink and AllStar. There are servers with rooms, not unlike chat rooms, where you connect a node to and in turn your radio.

Blurring the lines between these technologies happened when you could build a computer that spoke both IRLP and Echolink at the same time. Now you can also add AllStar to that mix.

Essentially these systems do similar things. They manage switching differently, handle DTMF differently, use a different audio CODEC and handle authentication in a variety of ways, but essentially they're ways of connecting normal hand-held radios, generally FM, to each other via the internet using intermediary computers called nodes. Before you start sending angry letters, I know, there's more to it, but I've got more to tell.

While Dave was busy in Canada inventing IRLP back in the late 1990's, in Japan the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications funded research, administered by the Japan Amateur Radio League into the digitisation of amateur radio. In 2001 that research resulted in what we know today as D-STAR. Two years later, ICOM started developing D-STAR hardware which resulted in actual physical radios less than a year later. Today you can get D-STAR hardware from ICOM, Kenwood and FlexRadio Systems.

Unlike the other technologies where the audio was converted at a central place, in D-STAR the audio is encoded in the radio and a digital signal is sent across the airwaves. That in turn means that the software that does the encoding, the CODEC, needs to be inside the radio. Since the information is digital right from the point of transmit, you can send other information, like GPS locations and messages along with the audio.

In 2005 DMR started life as a group of companies, now up to around 40, agreeing on some standards for digital audio in much the same way as D-STAR. Mostly in use by commercial users, DMR has the ability to have two users simultaneously on-air using alternate channels by having separate time slots for each channel, alternating between the two of them. They agreed to use the same CODEC to ensure compatibility. Formal interoperability testing has been happening since 2010, but because DMR allows manufacturers to build in extra features many brands cannot actually work together on the same network.

For many years D-STAR and DMR-MARC, the DMR Motorola Amateur Radio Club World Wide Network, were the main digital radio systems around in amateur radio. That changed in 2013 when Yaesu introduced System Fusion. It too made digital audio at the radio, but it added a wrinkle by making it possible to have both analogue and digital audio on the same repeater. Depending on how the repeater is configured, analogue and digital radios can coexist and communicate with each other.

The Wires system that Yaesu rolled out was upgraded in 2016, renamed to Wires X and now also incorporates digital information to allow the linking of their System Fusion repeaters.

In 2014 at the Ham Radio Exhibition in Friedrichshafen in Germany, Artem R3ABM planned to make an alternative master server for DMR+ and DMR-MARC and the result was a German wordplay which we know today as Brandmeister. It acts as a network for digital radios in much the same way as DMR, but it's run as an open alternative to the commercially available options made by Motorola and Hytera.

The story isn't complete without mentioning one other development, CODEC2. It started in 2008 when Bruce Perens K6BP contacted Jean-Marc Valin, famous for the SPEEX audio compressor and David Rowe VK5DGR about the proprietary and patented nature of low data use voice encoders such as those in use in D-STAR, DMR and System Fusion. David had already been working in this area a decade earlier and started writing code.

In 2012 during Linux Conference Australia, Jean-Marc and David spent some time together hacking and managed to make a 25% improvement and CODEC2 was well under way. Today CODEC2 forms the basis of several projects including FreeDV in software, the SM1000 FreeDV adaptor in hardware and the roadmap for the future of open and free digital voice is bright.

I should mention that this information is specifically brief to give you an overview of the landscape and hopefully I've not made too many glaring errors, but feel free to drop me a line if you do find a problem.

Digital radio and the internet, it's not just a single mode, a whole cloud of modes, and I haven't even started with WSPR, FT8 or JT65.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

To listen to the podcast, visit the website: and scroll to the bottom for the latest episode. You can also use your podcast tool of choice and search for my callsign, VK6FLAB, or you can read the book, look for my callsign on your local Amazon store, or visit my author page:

If you'd like to participate in discussion about the podcast or about amateur radio, you can visit the Facebook group:

Feel free to get in touch directly via email: [email protected], or follow on twitter: @VK6FLAB (

If you'd like to join the weekly net for new and returning amateurs, check out the details at, the net runs every week on Saturday, from 00:00 to 01:00 UTC on Echolink, IRLP, AllStar Link and 2m FM via various repeaters.

Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award

Today in Ottawa, the first recipients of the #EmergencyManagement Exemplary Service Award were honoured at ceremony with federal, provincial and territorial Ministers:
Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Management

Allan K Thurber VE1RG (far right standing)

Mr. Thurber has been involved with New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization (NBEMO) and the ham amateur radio operators since 1973. For more than 45 years, Mr. Thurber has been an integral communicator during emergencies throughout the province of New Brunswick, such as the 2017 ice storm in the northeast of the province of New Brunswick. Mr. Thurber's leadership and organization skills enabled NBEMO to communicate with emergency services during the province-wide communications blackout in August 2017. Mr. Thurber's dedicated volunteerism has shown great commitment to enhancing emergency communications capacity in New Brunswick.

From YouTube May 21st

Tour Through The Swaps Tables At Hamvention 2018. It is setup day at Hamvention 2018. Larry Jacobs WA7ZBO took a trip out to the Swaps tables to meet some new friends.

From Ken VY2RU May 6th,

Solar Panel QRM!!!  Read and take note guys...this is becoming a!!!!  If you have a problem with noise check your area for Solar Panel Arrays and see if they are emitting any spurious RF.  The following by Bob WB4APR and associated links will certainly give you some idea of what we are up against.   

- Ken   VY2RU

Threat to HF from Solar Panel change....

Friday, May 4, 2018

The creator of APRS Bob Bruninga WB4APR says "I don't want to be an alarmist, but we need the Hams with the proper knowledge to get involved in this disturbing news" 

His post on the AMSAT-BB, used with permission, says: 

The National Electric Code now requires electronics on every module of a solar array communicating via signalling on the DC power lines to assure EACH pair of panels can shut down independently. This is to make all possible faults never allow more than 80 volts anywhere in the system. This is effective 1 Jan 2019

This is the nail in the coffin of simple DC series string arrays which are the quietest systems and almost demands microinverters oroptimizers on every panel. Refer to the QST article a few years ago about how disastrous optimizers are to RFI and HF operations with modules all over the roof.

Here is the Solar news:

Also, what is going to happen to an array that has signaling all over it in the near field of HF?

Although you can avoid it by going solar before then, you may have problems when your neighbors go later.

I hate to be an alarmist but we all know what happens when ham radio and commercial systems are incompatible and even though Ham radio might be in the right, we are only 1 in 600 and no one is going to side with us.

We took on broadband over power and squelched that dumb idea, but now this has the potential for equal demise of Ham radio. It should be fixable, but we also know that there is high competition in the solar market and the modules that are made the cheapest will be popular and will likely not be adequately filtered.

If nothing else, we need to find out what systems are terrible emitters and nip them in the bud. Maybe all it takes is driving by solar systems you see and turing on your AM radio on a weak signal channel and seeing if the background noise peaks near that home. But also it has individual peaks, so it might also be nice to tune around too find the max and then check the range. I find the noise can go hundreds of feet along the power lines.

You can't miss em... just sounds like a 60 Hz buzz on all the harmonics of the inverter switching frequency.


AMSAT Bulletin Board archive

Subscribe to the AMSAT-BB at

From Matt VE1BSG May 1st,

Hi Everyone,


I wanted to pass on my congratulations and recognition to the Province’s newest set of licensed amateur radio operators!


Over the last four months this group has put in a great deal of effort and study both inside and outside the Province’s class, and has shown a great deal of interest in this hobby, which is also a great help to public safety during times of emergency. The examiners commented that both the interest and the diligence of the students was obvious when the final review occurred and the exam was written. We are proud to welcome this group into the amateur community, and know that their new privileges will be very useful in their roles as communicators and emergency management personnel.


Congratulations to you all!


In the attached photo, from left to right:


Scott Fisher – PSFC – Student

Al Cyples – PSFC – Course/Exam Assistant

Wanda Witcher – EMO Nova Scotia – Student

Nicole Benoit – PSFC – Student

Debra MacDonald – Student

Tosha Clarke – Student

George Mosdell – Student

Donna Harwood – Student

Karen Wickwire – Student

Paul Maynard – Student

Jim Hannon – Examiner

Brad Ross – Examiner

Mark Turner – Student


There is at least one additional student who was not able to write the exam yesterday, but we hope to arrange this in the near future.


Matthew Boyle

Manager of Field Operations

Public Safety and Field Communications

(902) 424-3479

[email protected]

From Rick VE9MTB Apr.19th

New Web Site Launched

At long last, we have refreshed our web site. It's still a "work in progress" but we're sure you will find it easier to navigate and keep up-to-date on IRG activities.   The new location will be   so be sure to update your bookmarks.  Some content on the old site will still be available as we transition.  Any feedback is welcome, just look for the "Contact" link at the bottom of each page.  See the important information below about your user name and password for the new site!

Member information update

As part of the new web site, we have been updating the membership information.  No doubt, we have a lot of wrong e-mails, mispellings or wrong expiry dates with the change-over.  Take a look at the "Current Members" page on the new web site and if anything is incorrect, let us know using the "Contact" form at the bottom of each page.

Important:  Your old log-in and passwords are not valid on the new web site.  Current members seeking access to "members only" features on the new site will have to set a new password as a security feature.  Here's how:

  • Go to the Home Page and look for the  "User Login" box on the left.
  • Click on "Reset your password"
  • Enter your User name -- this has been set by default to be your call sign (i.e. ve9abc ) or the e-mail address that we have on file (the same one that you got this e-mail on).  Click "Submit".
  • Instructions will be sent to your e-mail on how to set your new password.
  • Once you log in, you can check and edit your personal information if you wish.
  • After that, you can log in at any time with your "User name" (usually your call sign) and your own "Password" that only you can set or change.
  • You do not need to log-in check your expiry date, or to renew your membership.

If you run into problems, send us a note here:

Rick MacMillan  VE9MTB
President, IRG

From Dana VE1VOX

The Canadian Brandmeister DMR Network now has an established emergency communication talk group for NB, NS, PEI. 3021911 Maritime Canada Disaster.

From Jim VE1JBL

Just a note to let everyone know that on March 1st, it was the 10th anniversary of the Maritime Amateur website.
It started as a way to contact amateurs around the Maritimes after becoming Radio Amateur of Canada Section Manager for the Maritimes (2008-2012)
To all my friends who have helped me out during these 10 years with stories, Silent Key information and donations, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Without all of you this site would not be possible.
I will continue to bring stories about amateur radio from Atlantic Canada to all of you for for enjoyment.
Quick stats after 10 years: TOTAL Visits - 113760, Monthly average - 948, Daily average - 31  


From Dave VE1ADH Jan.29th, 2018

The AM net was started in the 1960's or 70's by my mentor Tex Mattinson VE1AAX.  He had been forced off of AM operation in the 50's because his AM transmitter caused TV I due to poor shielding. He acquired a better transmitter but SSB was becoming the phone mode and AM carriers were not really welcome on the band's. He eventually acquired a SSB rig but him and some of his buddy's wanted to use AM because they liked the quality. Tex often referred to AM as "Angel music". So they started the net. I used to listen to the net before I was licensed and I even called in on CW after I got my ticket. My first HF phone contact was on the AM net in July 1988, just after passing my advanced. I had been CW only since 1967. 
Tex became a silent key in 1993 and I was asked to be net control and have been doing so, with help from others, since.
I was asked one time if I would send in a traffic report for the net but it was not a traffic net so we started referring to it as a round-table.  This is appropriate as back when AM was king most of the rigs did not have PTT and round-table QSOs were the norm.
The net usually starts around 8:30 local Sunday mornings on 3735. Anyone is welcome and most of the discussion revolves around old gear and technical topics.

From Gary VA1GGM Jan.26th, 2018


My name is Gary Murphy VA1GGM and I have been handed the Canwarn coordinator torch from Jim Langille. 

I have spent the last 20 years working as a Nova Scotia Paramedic and also 20 years working in the NS Medical Communications Center as a Paramedic Communications Officer.  I have been a Radio Amateur for about 5 years. (I am still learning an awful lot about ham radio and welcome all hints and tips. Please feel very free to help me in this endeavor.)

I have also taken most of the FEMA independent Study courses, COMET courses, SkyWarn courses , ARRL, ARES, RAC, and EMO courses. I heartily endorse taking all the courses that are available I will be highlighting any free courses for anyone with the interest and time to take them.

I want to thank all those spotters who have put the time in over the years with Jim and hope you will help me continue to make this a worthwhile resource for Environment Canada. Also tank you to the Net Controllers who have helped over the years. If anyone wishes to take on that role as well; I am hoping to get a net controller course for us.

I have started a Facebook page to keep us together as well.

Please send me your ideas and suggestions so that we, together, can make this a great resource

Gary Murphy VA1GGM

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