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Reminder: Next KARC Monthly Meeting is Thursday, January 5 at 7:00PM






The next monthly meeting of the Kamloops Amateur Radio Club will be held on
Thursday, January 5, 2023 at 7:00 PM PST.

The KARC is pleased to announce that our special guest presenter will be the Coquitlam Amateur Radio Club, VE7SCC.

This high-definition virtual tour will be presented in real-time by Coquitlam club members and will cover the following topics:

  1. Club History;
  2. Partnership with the City of Coquitlam;
  3. Capabilities across all amateur bands including CFARS;
  4. BCWARN-enabled remote station control and demo;
  5. Station automation and contesting;
  6. Mobile comms trailer;
  7. Mechanical and Electrical fabrication and repair on site;
  8. Video Conferencing and online streaming setup; and,
  9. Live Q&A with members of VE7SCC.

This will be hybrid meeting, but you are encouraged to join us in person because you will get the best experience of the live high-definition video feed from VE7SCC.

Please don't miss this opportunity!  You will be amazed (*blown away*) by the VE7SCC club station, comms trailer, fabrication facilities, etc..









For those who can only join online, please use this link:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 819 0048 7788
Passcode: ve7scc
One tap mobile
+12042727920,,81900487788# Canada
+14388097799,,81900487788# Canada

To join the meeting in person please meet outside the lobby of the Victoria Building at 210 Victoria Street.  The KARC meeting will be held in the offices of the Province of BC on the 5th Floor. This is a controlled access building so please try to be there by 6:50pm so we can start the meeting promptly on time at 7pm.  Please wait outside until someone comes to open the door.  You may also call (250) 318-5150 to let us know you are downstairs waiting.

There will be donuts and apple fritters for those attending in person!

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

Raspberry Pi devices and cold temperatures

December 20, 2022

We have been doing some unplanned and impromptu low temperature experiments at VE7LGN on South Forge Mtn.  With the recent arctic cold front, outside (and inside at South Forge!) temperatures at Mt. Lolo and South Forge plunged to below -30C.  

I was down visiting Lee, VE7FET, and we were watching the temperatures drop steadily at the KARC repeater sites where we have remote temperature monitoring.  At Lolo we have an outside temp sensor, and the lowest recorded was just below -31C.  The rest of our sites we only have inside temp sensors, and at Iron Mtn (with the heat on) the inside temp was between 2C and 8C; at Mt. Lolo (with the heat on) it was 14C inside.  At Dufferin it was between -2C and -6C (inside!).  The temperature of the charge controller heatsink at South Forge was -26C, and the battery temperature was -32C.

Lee got curious about the temperature of the Raspberry Pi device we use to run the Allstar repeater software for VE7LGN.  When we checked the temperature of the SoC (CPU) of the Raspberry Pi it was reporting 1C! The rest of the Pi would have been at -26-30C!

According to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the certified operating temperature for a Raspberry Pi is between 0°C and 85°C. The SoC (CPU) chip is certified from -40°C to 85°C, but the LAN chip is only certified from 0°C to 70°C.

So the VE7LGN Raspberry Pi was operating at a temperature much lower than it was certified for!  What's even more amazing is that the Pi managed to maintain the network connection at a much lower temperature than the LAN chip is certified for.

In doing some research we discovered that some Pi enthusiasts did some testing with a Raspberry Pi 4 running a heatsink cooled by liquid nitrogen and when the SoC temp got below 0C a bug in the Pi code was revealed and instead of reporting something like -2C, the Pi instead reported 4 million degrees!


KARC Bulletin: Southern Interior Amateur Radio Google Group Email Reflector

Southern Interior Amateur Radio Google Group Email Reflector










(Thompson Okanagan, Kootenay Rockies, Cariboo, Chilcotin)

There is a Google email reflector -- created by NORAC’s past president, Aaren Jensen VA7AEJ -- that is designed to create an online community for amateurs across the southern interior region. Participation is voluntary and subscribers may unsubscribe at will.  

To subscribe to this group please send an email to: bcsi-amateur-radio+subscribe@googlegroups.com

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails, please send an email to: bcsi-amateur-radio+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com

Once you are a member to start a conversation just send an email to bcsi-amateur-radio@googlegroups.com. Everyone in the group will receive your email and the conversation has started. Expect delivery delays as email reflectors do not bulk send to everyone at once, they typically deliver in smaller batches so they don't falsely trigger spam systems.

Here is the web link to the Google Group page: https://groups.google.com/g/bcsi-amateur-radio

This service is entirely free and optional, no membership is required. The focus of the group is better communication over our wider provincial region. Asking questions, selling something, discussing regional issues like repeater outages, emergency callouts, wildfires, and storms. So many things that people can share, even just posting club nets and events to a wider than the local group.

RAC Bulletin: 2023 RAC Online Basic Course

Registration for Spring 2023 RAC Basic Course is now underway!


For immediate release:

Radio Amateurs of Canada is once again offering an online Amateur Radio course so that individuals from all across Canada can obtain their Amateur Radio Operator Certificate with Basic Qualification.

The course will again be conducted with the assistance of the Annapolis Valley Amateur Radio Club (AVARC) of Nova Scotia.

This course prepares students for the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) Basic Qualification Level Operator Certificate exam to operate on allocated Amateur Radio frequencies.

Schedule and Cost:

Date: The course will be held on Thursdays and Sundays, commencing on Thursday, January 26 and ending in early April.

Time: Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6 pm to 9 pm (1800 – 2100) Eastern Time  and Sunday afternoons 1 pm to 4 pm (1300 – 1600) Eastern Time.

Cost: The registration fee for the course is $50 plus GST/HST. The cost of the Basic Study Guide is extra and an order link will be provided upon completion of payment.

KARC Christmas Dinner 2022

The 2022 KARC Christmas Dinner was held on Thursday, December 15 at Kirsten's Hideout Cafe.  Kirsten and her husband prepared an amazing dinner and dessert, which was heartily enjoyed by KARC members and their YLs.  Thank you very much to Ralph Adams, VA7VZA, for organizing the evening for the club.

The evening began with some informal socializing, followed by a quick trivia contest organized and delivered by Ralph, VA7VZA and Myles, VE7FSR.  The successful contestants (winners!) were rewarded for their generous knowledge of useless trivia with gift cards from Tim Horton's, Starbucks, Princess Auto and the Dollarama Store.

Attending the dinner were: Ralph, VA7VZA and Rita; Shawn VA7NIN and Tamara; Simon VE7RIZ and Caitlin; Dave VE7LTW and Jane; Peter VE7DNZ and Sharon; Morgan VA7SOY and Rai; Pete VE7CV; Stuart VE7OMT; Jordan VE7OSX; Gerry VE7TGV and Erika; Bill VE7EAF and Susan; Vern VE7VGO and Elisabeth; and Myles VE7FSR.















After dessert was served the Club recognized a number of our members with Certificates of Appreciation for their volunteering and donations.  Receiving the 2022 KARC Certificate of Appreciation were:

  • Shawn, VA7NIN
  • Simon, VE7RIZ
  • Dave, VE7LTW
  • Peter, VE7DNZ
  • Jordan, VE7OSX
  • Ralph, VA7VZA
  • Lee, VE7FET
  • Ian, VE7HHS
  • Brian, VE7EIZ
  • Adam, VA7AQD
  • Chuck, VE7PJR
  • Doug, VA7GPX
  • Brock, VA7AV
  • Mark, VE7ARN
  • Dwight, VE7BV

Thank you to all of the members who helped (in many ways!) over the past year.  We sincerely appreciate your hours of volunteer time, cash and in-kind donations to the club.  Best wishes for a peaceful holiday season -- Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year!

KARC 2022 Christmas Party will be held on December 15

The 2022 KARC Christmas Party will be held on Thursday, December 15 at Kirsten's Hideout Cafe at 1390 Columbia Street (the same place we have the weekly breakfast on Saturday mornings). Kirsten is going to prepare a fantastic turkey dinner with all the fixings and dessert just like we had last year.

We are also organizing a Silent Auction (proceeds will be donated to the club), and a radio-themed trivia quiz with prizes.

It all starts at 18:00, (02:00 UTC) on December 15.

Tickets are $30 per plate, including taxes and service charge (no tip required). Tickets are available from Ralph Adams VA7VZA at: rsadams@telus.net or 250-319-5925.

Payment by e-transfer to my email address is preferred, but I can also arrange for cash or cheque. Please RSVP as soon as you can as due to the size of the restaurant and current supply issues we will need to confirm numbers to Kirsten sooner rather than later.  Tickets will be on sale until Thursday, December 8.

Any questions contact please me directly. Similarly, if you and any guests need a ride, please let me know.


Ralph VA7VZA

Francois LaPierre, SK

It is with great sadness that I share the passing of VA7FEL, Francois LaPierre, who became a Silent Key on Friday, December 2 at 4pm.

Francois was a character -- a larger than life character -- and I didn't really know him all that well, but in the short time that I knew him he made an impact on my life.

I first met Francois over the VE7RLO repeater -- I think it was during Field Day in the early days of COVID -- I was up at the repeater doing some work and this voice with a distinct Quebecois accent came over the radio asking for a radio check.  I got to talking to him and he told me that he had trouble getting a response on the repeater and wasn't sure that his radio was working.  I told him that I would be willing to meet him and do some tests with his radio to make sure it was working properly.  

It turned out he had recently moved into an apartment about two blocks from my office, so at lunch I walked up and met him across the street from his apartment.  He was sitting in his mobility scooter, relaxing under the shade of a tree in the parking lot, and was surrepticiously sipping a beer!

He had a little Baofeng HT, and when he told me where he lived I suspected that the Baofeng didn't have a good line of site to the repeater, hence the poor reception.  So I offered to help make him a window dipole. That was the start of our friendship.  Francois had moved to Kamloops from Vernon, and he missed talking with his friends in Vernon.  Frank's English (by his own admission!) wasn't the best, but he was fluent in French and it was a joy to hear his Quebecios accent on the local repeater when he was having a QSO with his friends in Vernon.  Over the years the club helped Francois get better radios and antennas so that he could still be active on the air.  The last project that Ralph and myself cooked up for Francois this past summer was a surplus Tait UHF radio and compact switching power supply along with a home-built UHF quarter-wave dipole that looked very much like a sexy brass coat rack!

I always used to enjoy hearing him call "CQ" in the morning, and telling people that he would be monitoring the radio "from 7am to 7pm" -- he was willing to monitor the radio in case anyone out there needed assistance, or just needed someone to talk to.  That's the kind of guy he was.   

Francois' health took a turn for the worse this fall, and he passed after a long illness that kept him off the radio at the end.  I spoke to him several hours before his passing, and he insisted that I take the radio package back and that the club should give it to someone in need, someone that could use it.  Someone like him.  It brought tears to my eyes knowing that Francois only had hours to live, but he was thinking of others -- his innate generousity and compassion was obvious right up to the end.  

Francois, we will miss you.

Francois LaPierre, VA7FEL
Silent Key, December 2, 2022

XYL SK Mary Houghton of Logan Lake

November 14, 1929 – November 11, 2022

Mary Houghton (nee Driedger)

It with great sadness that we learned that the beloved XYL of Fred Houghton (VE7FFK) of Logan Lake passed away on the afternoon of November 11th, 2022.  Mary leaves behind her husband, Frederich (Fred), 2 sons, 4 grandsons and 2 great grandkids. Mary's ashes will be kept until Fred's demise, at which time both will be buried at Whispering Pines in Logan Lake.  There will not be a funeral service for Mary.

Online condolensces may be left for the family at https://www.drakecremation.com/mary-houghton-nee-driedger/

For those who don't know Fred, VE7FFK, he is a character.  He won the KARC Ham of the Year in 1998 because of his vast efforts in building up the profile and importance of Amateur Radio in the Logan Lake community and region. 

Fred, please accept the sincere condolensces of all of the members of the Kamloops Amateur Radio Club.

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.


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