Welcome to the Kamloops Amateur Radio Club Website!

Please click on any of the top club links at the top of the page, or more informational links on the side. News is immediately below.

Greenstone repeater guy line repair update

On January 10, 2016 Myles (VE7FSR) and his friend Bert made the trip up to Greenstone to make a permanent repair to the broken guy line.  A new "pre-formed dead end" was installed, replacing the temporary fix undertaken last December.  While we were up there we dug down through the snow and inspected all the other guy lines at the ground end of the tower -- they look OK and should last through the winter.  Next summer a closer inspection should be made at both the tower and ground end of all guy lines, and any dead ends that look questionable should be replaced with new ones.

See attachments below for photos of the repair.

Monthly Meeting tonight!

Happy 2016 all!

Our 1st meeting of 2016 is tonight at the usual time & place.

See you there!

de
VA7AQD

Link east to Salmon Arm is on and working!

The link to the east has been turned on (*8321 ON | *8320 OFF) and is working! I spoke with Ron (VE7RLE) and Darrell (VE7IU) through the Fly Hills link this morning and they say the signal is good at their end. It's great to have the link back in operation after a long hiatus, so don't be surprised if you start hearing some "new" call signs on the VE7RKA repeater!

Follow-up visit to the Greenstone repeater on December 16, 2015 (UPDATED!)

Last night when I visited the repeater on Greenstone I discovered that the top guy wire on the east side had snapped off and was hanging loose. I wasn't sure how long it had been like this, but it needed to be repaired soon to prevent the tower from coming down if there was a severe wind storm and/or heavy ice loading. Before work today I stopped in at Shaw's Enterprises and asked them what they would recommend for a temporary fix until we can do a proper splice. They were very helpful and I'd like to send a big "thank you!" to the guys at Shaw's! In less than 15 minutes I was out the door with five feet of 3/8" wire rope with a swaged loop on one end and a half-dozen top-quality wire rope clamps (total cost: $21.32). They also walked me through the right way to install rope clamps .

It was minus 13C and a windy at the top last night, but the sky was absolutely clear and there was a sliver of moon and a million stars right above me. A very scenic, albeit a bit chilly, environment for the repair.

I had come prepared with more tools than I ended up needing, because once you're up at the top of Greenstone, you can't just walk into the garage and grab something you forgot! The turnbuckle wasn't rusted or corroded, so I didn't need the penetrating oil, torch, or the myriad of crescent wrenches and other stuff I had packed "just in case". The repair went fairly quickly, despite some fumbling with tools and the nuts (not one was dropped in the snow!), which were a little hard to handle with warm gloves on my hands. You can see pictures of the "field-expedient repair" below.

It took a little less than two hours to snowshoe in, splice the guy wire, loosen the turnbuckle, hook the repaired guy wire to the turnbuckle, tighten and tie off the turnbuckle, take a bunch of photos, then pack up and walk out. I did stop a few times during the evening to admire the awesome view of Kamloops from the top of Greenstone, and to marvel at the stars. I left home just before 6pm, and was home about 9:30pm, so it made for a nice evening adventure!

Thank you to Bill, VE7WWW, who monitored the radio all evening to make sure I made it safely home from Greenstone.

Myles
VE7FSR

UPDATE!

I went up to the tower on Sunday, to see how the things looked in the daytime. I checked the torque on the wire rope clamps (they were OK) and noticed something I hadn't seen in the dark -- I didn't quite get all the clamps on the wire splice lined up in a nice row! I took some photos (see below) in the sunshine, so you can get a better idea of how things look up the hill in winter.

Carl Luetzelschwab (K9LA) Propagation Presentation

On November 5, 2015 the Kamloops Amateur Radio Club hosted a special meeting where propagation expert and experienced DX'er Carl Luetzelschwab (K9LA) presented a webinar on radio propagation.

Carl has very kindly offered to share his presentation with the membership, and it is available for download below.

Visit to the Greenstone repeater, December 15, 2015

I made an evening trip up to the Greenstone repeater (VE7RKA) on December 15, to do some troubleshooting on some UHF interference that was causing problems for the Shuswap Amateur Radio Club repeater on Fly Hills. After slogging in to the repeater shack on snowshoes, I was surprised to see a strange looking "wire" covered in frost, hanging from the tower.

After I dug out the door to the shack, I grabbed my flashlight and walked over to take a look. Much to my surprise it was the top guy wire from the east side of the tower -- it had broken off at the turnbuckle! And it was draped across several antennas on the tower, including two of the UHF link antennas! I wonder if this could have been the cause of the issue with the east UHF link to Salmon Arm!?

I managed to get it moved off the antennas and tied down right against the tower, but it was a little exciting because as I waved the loose guy wire around, clumps of frost and ice were dislodged from the top of the tower and showered down on me. And no, I hadn't thought to bring a helmet!

I plan to stop in Wednesday morning at Shaw's Enterprises and get them to make up a temporary "splice" that I can u-bolt to the broken guy wire and get it re-attached to the turnbuckle. At some point we will need to find someone who can do a proper splice on the guy wire (know anyone who could do this?). Wednesday night after work I will head back up the mountain and install the temporary splice, and inspect the other guy lines for damage. Anyone interested in joining me?

73,
Myles
VE7FSR

No Meeting Tonight, Club Pot Luck Dinner tomorrow

Hi all,

Just a reminder that there is no regular KARC club meeting in December. We have our club pot luck dinner on Friday evening, the 4th at 5:30pm in the basement of the church.

See you there!

73,
Adam

Special November Club Meeting - Propagation webinar with K9LA Carl Luetzelschwab

The Kamloops Amateur Radio Club will be hosting a special meeting on November 5, where propagation expert and experienced DX'er Carl Luetzelschwab (K9LA) will be presenting a webinar on radio propagation.

Here is some background on Carl:

http://k9la.us/
http://k9la.us/html/webinars.html

This special presentation is open to all amateur radio operators, or anyone with an interest in radio propagation.

If you'd like to do some background reading and preparation before the presentation, please see the file attachments below. The New DX’ers Handbook, Chapter 6 “DX Propagation Basics” provides a good basic explanation of HF propagation.

An excellent resource, albeit a bit complex, is the NM7M “The Little Pistol’s Guide to HF Propagation”, available for free download (15MB!) at: http://k9la.us/NM7M_The_Little_Pistol_s_Guide_to_HF_Propagation.pdf

Hams should bookmark these two sites, where you can run up-to-the-minute propagation predictions for your QTH:
VOACAP Online Coverage Maps: http://www.voacap.com/coverage.html
VOACAP Online for point-to-point predictions: http://www.voacap.com/prediction.html

We will be holding this meeting at a DIFFERENT LOCATION to accommodate a larger audience, so please make note that the November 5th meeting will be held at the:

Kamloops Innovation Centre Society
348 Tranquille Road, Kamloops
https://goo.gl/3XdHkf
(see attached map below)

Please get the word out to all your ham friends, and mark it in your calendars!

October Club Meeting - Antenna Night and Swap & Shop

The October club meeting will be "Antenna Night", and we will be having an informal Swap & Shop.

Myles, VE7FSR, will be bringing an Anritsu Site Master antenna analyzer if anyone wants to sweep a hand held antenna or mobile whip on your vehicle. The Site Master gives a visual SWR sweep of the antenna which is helpful for tuning/trimming an antenna, or if you want to know the 2:1 bandwidth of an antenna.

Myles and Vern, VE7VGO, will also be talking about some antenna experiments they have been making with OCF (Off-Centre Fed) dipoles and End-Fed HF antennas.

If you have an interesting antenna you want to show off, or have an antenna problem or question that you need some advice with, then please attend the meeting at St. George's Church cottage. https://goo.gl/nEHQ13

Also, if you have something to sell, swap, or give away, we will be holding an informal Swap & Shop at the end of the meeting.

As always, there will be donuts! :-)

Update on the TI audio chip + Windows bug

Hi all,

An update was posted which shows a more permanent fix for those of us with these affected older-model TI sound chips in our devices.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwFUUMrPazA

Enjoy, and 73!
-Adam

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