Welcome to the Kamloops Amateur Radio Club Website!

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2022 RAC Canada Day Contest -- fun in the sun!








The club held the 2022 RAC Canada Day Contest at Peter's (VE7DNZ) farm, at the same location that we held Field Day.  The weather was good for setup on Thursday afternoon, but early in the evening there was a wicked thunderstorm which finally cleared about 10:30pm.  Band conditions were good, and contacts were made on 80, 40, 20 and 15m.  Things were still hopping when the radio was turned off at 11pm.

Friday morning the sunshine and blue sky returned, and band conditions were good on 40, 20 and 15m. 

2022 RAC Canada Day Contest -- how and where

The annual RAC Canada Day Contest is this week, on Friday July 1.  The contest starts at 00:00 UTC (5pm Thursday PDT) until 23:59:59 UTC (5pm Friday PDT).  We will be operating the club station, VE7UT, from the Field Day site at Peter's farm in Knutsford.  All members and guests are welcome. 

Please bring your own chair, food and beverages, and be prepared for "rustic" and historic conditions (this is part of a ranch that has been in operation for over a hundred years).  There is an old ranchers cabin and an outhouse, and the views are spectacular (see the photo album for KARC Field Day 2022 for what to expect), so remember to bring your camera. As with Field Day, we will have the Coleman stove for cooking, some cool water for your dog (or you!), and lots of room to camp if you are so inclined.

Please see the directions to the site in the Field Day 2022 story below.  We had a few people who had some challenges finding the site last weekend, so I have attached a more detailed map to this story.  In a nutshell, when you come through the green metal gate (ignore the "Private Property" sign and remember to close the gate), you will drive on a rutted, 2-track dirt road for quite a ways before getting to the site.  If you don't make any turns off the 2-track you will eventually get to the site! 

Any problems, give us a call on 147.320 VE7RLO and we'll guide you in.

KARC Field Day 2022 -- It was awesome!





KARC Field Day 2022 was held at Peter's (VE7DNZ) farm in Knutsford near Curry Hill (aka Brigade Hill).  We enjoyed fabulous weather and made lots of contacts and had lots of fun.  We put up the club's 40-foot portable mast (aka tower) and HF beam (10/15/20m), and a 40-foot fiberglass mast from which we hung the OCF Carolina Windom HF antenna (mostly used for 40/80m).  We also had a portable APRS station broadcasting our location for Field Day.  Band conditions were great (particularly 20m), and we made almost 200 (197, "missed it by that much") contacts over the 24-hour period.  We operated as a 2A station, using the club's IC-7300 in Ralph's tent and also the IC-7100 in Myles' Jeep.  We used solar power (3 - 100W panels) for the contest, although we did run the 3kW generator for a while on Friday evening just to make sure it worked in case we needed it.  We also lit the "VE7WWW Memorial Mosquito Coil" -- long time club members will recall Bill's passion for the mosquito coil!

Thank you to everyone who helped set up and take down, and to all those who participated or just came out for a visit!

There is a Field Day 2022 Photo Album here: https://karc.ca/node/694 and I have included a few photos from the weekend to whet your appetite before you look at the complete Photo Album.

Participating were:
  • Peter, VE7DNZ
  • Ralph, VA7VZA
  • Simon, VE7RIZ and his son Bryson
  • Mark, VE7ARN
  • Shawn, VA7NIN
  • Jeff, VA7LH
  • Bill, VE7EAF and his XYL Susan
  • Don, VA7LNX
  • Myles, VE7FSR

KARC Field Day 2022 -- How to get there




The KARC Field Day will be held this weekend from Saturday noon until Sunday noon, at Peter (VE7DNZ) Philip's farm in Knutsford.  A map and Google Earth KMZ file are attached, as well as Google Maps directions from the link below.


We will be setting up on Friday from noon onward, and on Saturday morning.  Please bring your own chair, food and beverages, and be prepared for "rustic" and historic conditions (this is part of a ranch that has been in operation for over a hundred years).  There is an old ranchers cabin and an outhouse, and lots of room to camp if you are so inclined.  The views are spectacular, so remember to bring your camera.

To get there start from the Knutsford Community Hall south of Aberdeen, and follow the Long Lake Road south until you come to the junction and turn left onto Jackson Road.  Head east and then turn right onto Mannings Road and follow it south until you come to the sign that says "End of Public Road".  Look to your left and you will see a sign for the KARC Field Day and a gate leading into a field.  Please close the gate after you come through, and follow the two-track dirt road and the flagging ribbons until you come to the old rancher's cabin.  Please stay on the two-track (unless you need to bypass a mud puddle) and avoid driving in the field wherever possible.  We will be monitoring 147.320 VE7RLO if you need help finding the place.

Please keep in mind you are driving through open range and there may be cattle on the roads so please drive carefully, especially after dark.

Here is a photo of what to expect when you get there.

2022 KARC Picnic

The annual KARC Picnic was held Saturday, May 28 at the City of Kamloops Long Board Park in Aberdeen.  Ralph VA7VZA organized the picnic and the permitting from the City, and in attendance were Ralph VA7VZA, Myles VE7FSR, Simon VE7RIZ, Jordan VE7OSX, Peter VE7DNZ, Jim VE7JMN, Shawn VA7NIN, and Alphie the dog.

The gang set up a portable mast with a 20m quarter-wave vertical antenna, and four ground radials.  We tried out the club's new Icom IC-7300 HF radio, and Simon and Shawn made their first HF contacts with W9IMS the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ham special event station.  We had quite a few dog walkers wander by and ask us what we were doing, and the weather cooperated with some sunshine and a few overcast clouds.

For more photos of the picnic please see:  Photo Album 2022 KARC Picnic

Reminder: Annual KARC Picnic Saturday May 28

The annual KARC Picnic is being held this Saturday, May 28 from noon to 4PM, at the City of Kamloops Long Board Park in Aberdeen.  It's just above the Pacific Way Elementary School, and you can access it from the upper parking lot of the school.

Please bring your own camp chair, snacks, and beverages.  There are two picnic tables, one under a shelter.  We will have a two-burner Coleman stove for anyone wanting to roast hot dogs or marshmallows.

We will be monitoring VE7RLO (147.320+ and 442.525+ PL100) for anyone that needs directions or help finding the picnic.

Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday!

For directions: https://goo.gl/maps/agLeD3YN8S5J7HvD6






PS.  Don't forget the club breakfast at Kirsten's Hideaway at 9AM Saturday.

Reminder: KARC Monthly Meeting next Thursday, June 2 at 7:00PM






The next monthly meeting of the Kamloops Amateur Radio Club will be held on
Thursday, June 2, 2022 at 7:00 PM PST.

The Agenda and Minutes from the last meeting are attached below.


Project Corner: Building an APRS Tracker for a Snowmobile





By Myles Bruns, VE7FSR

The APRS-IS network is terrific -- it not only shows the geospatial location of amateur radio stations (for example, https://aprs.fi/VE7FSR-9), but it allows for messaging between those amateur radio stations over RF (on 144.390 MHz).  The APRS-IS also supports short messages to and from email (see http://www.aprs-is.net/email.aspx) and short messages to and from SMS (e.g. mobile phone, see https://smsgte.org/ug-sending-messages/ for more info).  What this means is that the user of a "two-way" APRS tracker has the ability to send and receive messages to other ham radio operators on APRS, but also to non-hams such as family members through the email or SMS gateways.  This increases a person's safety net and ability to "stay in touch" -- and to call for help if needed.

Fortunately for me, in my pile of "ham radio and electronics junk" I had almost everything I needed to build a "two-way" APRS tracker which would allow me to send and receive short messages over APRS while out on the snowmobile alone.  It took a little thinking to figure out how to make this work on the snowmobile -- I didn't want to have something else (more weight) to carry in my pack -- and I wanted to use an efficient (and tough) antenna mounted to the snowmobile.

Click on "Read more" to see the rest of the article...

South Forge VE7LGN Solar Charging Analysis

by Myles VE7FSR and Lee VE7FET

On January 15, 2022 Myles, VE7FSR snowmobiled up to South Forge Mtn to download the log file from the Morningstar TriStar MPPT solar charge controller.  Myles and Lee were curious how the new solar panel array and "new" batteries were faring so far this winter.

Originally we had planned to have a 48vdc battery plant, but when we undertook the big rebuild project this summer we had to change those plans and use a 12vdc system.  The TriStar MPPT-45 solar charge controller is rated for a 2400W array when using 48vdc, but only 600W when using 12vdc.  This means that our solar panel array (~900W) is over-sized and over the rated capacity of the charge controller.

In full sun, and with a lower battery voltage, it appears that the charge controller is reaching its 45A charge limit and goes into current limiting (and also generates one or more error messages in the log file, see attached).  The good news is that the charge controller still charges, and it hasn't gone kaput so far!

We were worried that without the wind generator (with we discovered had failed when we did the repeater rebuild last summer) we might be short of power, hence the trip up in mid-January to check on things.  We we guessing that if the repeater had survived through the shortest (and probably coldest) days of the winter then things might not be too bad.

Lee: "Looking at the log file, it is good to see "float entered" on most days. That means that the battery voltage got up to the absorb voltage, and stayed there for the three hour time limit, when it transitioned to float (remember, this charge controller is "dumb" and can't measure battery current, so it relies on a timer for how long to stay at the absorb voltage, before switching to float)."

Click on "Read more" to see the rest of the article...

Greenstone Mountain Panorama


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