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.

IRLP Node 1080 VE7TSI back online

After several months of no service and looking for a new home, VE7TSI, KARC's IRLP Node 1080 is finally back on the air, accessible as per normal via VE7RKA (instructions are on the Local Repeaters page).

The node has had a computer upgrade, and depending on how plans develop we may move the node again, though we would expect further downtime to be much less in the future.

For now, please feel free to make use of it and enjoy!

Exercise Coastal Response 2016

Emergency Management B.C. (EMBC) is in the process of developing Exercise Coastal Response, a full-scale major earthquake and tsunami response exercise which will take place in the Port Alberni region from June 7-10, 2016.

This exercise will also involve the real-time deployment of the Provincial Coordination Team (PCT), a cross-government group that can be activated to bring support to a local authority in an emergency, and the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) team from Vancouver. In addition to HUSAR and EMBC, multiple levels of government, various jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S., and a number of provincial ministries, First Nations, Crown corporations, first responders and internal and external agencies will all be invited to participate.

This exercise will enhance provincial emergency readiness and response capabilities for a catastrophic earthquake.

Local volunteers from the Kamloops Amateur Radio Club and the Provincial Emergency Radio Communications Service will be participating in Exercise Coastal Response. If you are interested in more information or would like to volunteer, please contact Bill Foster (VE7WWW) or Myles Bruns (VE7FSR).

Mysterious cosmic radio bursts found to repeat

Astronomers for the first time have detected repeating short bursts of radio waves from an enigmatic source that is likely located well beyond the edge of our Milky Way galaxy. The findings indicate that these "fast radio bursts" come from an extremely powerful object which occasionally produces multiple bursts in under a minute.

Read more at:

http://phys.org/news/2016-03-mysterious-cosmic-radio.html#jCp

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/fast-radio-bursts-repeat-1.3472668

K9LA Propagation Presentation from the Special February Club Meeting

Carl Luetzelschwab (K9LA) delivered another very informative presentation to the club last night. If you weren't able to attend, the presentation is available for download below.

If you have HF propagation questions or topics you'd like to learn about, please let us know and we will arrange another webinar with Carl.

Scenic photos from Greenstone Mountain

Panoramic photos taken from the top of Greenstone Mountain on January 10, 2016.

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.

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

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