ARRL Field Day 2015

Well, what a scorcher of a Field Day 2015. Temperatures reached 36 degrees late Saturday afternoon and Simon and Patrick were sweltering at their rigs, one in the trailer and one in the tent. I suspect that these conditions would meet the ARRL’s objective of learning how to operate in abnormal and less than optimal conditions. The setup crew, consisting of Simon/VE7SHG, Tom/VE7AMM, Eddie/VE7ETE, Bill/VE7KDK and Dave/VA7HDY, got the trailer parked on the service road behind the gazebo and the antennas up. Bill proved a stellar marksman with his compressed air gun to launch the line over the tree tops so that we could pull the antennas up. We put up the 80 metre and 40 metre antennas on Friday afternoon but the 80 metre was swapped out for a G5RV on Saturday morning. The tent, generator and radios were deployed Saturday morning by Robin/ VE7HMN, Mary/VA7MCH, Patrick/VE7FAT, Tom/VE7AMM, Simon/VE7SHG, Bill/VE7KDK and Winston/VA7WLH. Fortunately there was a tree handy to provide shade for the tent but as the sun moves so did the shade and so did the tent on a couple of occasions. Saturday night security was provided by Robin and Mary, secured in Bruno their trusty Winnebago LeSharo motorhome. Overall, the site at the Marine Park in Salmon Arm worked well. Thanks to the City of Salmon Arm, the Salmon Arm Recreation Society and Twin Anchors houseboats for their support and cooperation. Thanks also to Robin for stick handling the complicated process to get permission to use this site.
Taller trees would have helped to get the antennas higher but the Club did get good public exposure. Although there weren’t a lot of people using the park over the weekend, due to the heat, we did meet a few of the early Sunday morning dog walkers at least. The Yaesu FT900and FT920 radios were used for this event. Operators were Tym/VA7GE, Tom/VE7AMM, Simon/VE7SHG, Patrick/VE7FAT, Robin/VE7HMN, Darrell/VE7IU and, very briefly, Dave/VA7HDY. From the dupe sheets at the two rigs I counted six contacts made on 15 metres, nineteen contacts on 20 metres and sixty-seven contacts made on the 40 metre band. More operators would have enabled us to extend our operating time and more contacts could have been made. Band conditions were good considering the recent solar activities.

  VE7SHG KDK and his air gun Darrell/IU early Sunday morning on 40 metres Patrick/FAT logging a call Station in the tent Sunset in the Shuswap SARC SARC trailer Robin/HMN flying a kite? Testing the antenna IMG_2327 SARC trailer at the Marine Park in Salmon Arm KDK checking antenna SWR HMN & SHG at the tent station Simon, Robin and Mary Sunday morning Checking the SWR AMM & ETE helping with antenna setup


Sicamous Safety Fair

Kids, Parents, Grandparents and Critters enjoyed their visit to the Sicamous Safety Fair in the Recreation Complex on Saturday, May 30, 2015 in 28 degree sunshine.

Note the CKXR remote radio coverage, drone operated by Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Shuswap Amateur Radio Club communications trailer, Shuswap Emergency Program Communications Vehicle [MO], Shuswap Emergency Support Services
Recruitment, Sicamous Fire Department Vintage Apparatus, water safety, bicycle safety, home fire safety, Eagle Valley Road Rescue [Jaws of Life], and the final two shots showing an airbag with dummy deployed in the field.

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AHR Service Call

Six of the Club’s members met at the Fas Gas station at the north end of the Squilax bridge at 1100 hours on Saturday, May23rd before heading up to our AHR repeater on the nearby Adams Hill.  Phil/VE7BPH, Dave/VA7HDY, Mike/VA7MK, Bill/VA7WTT, Darrell/VE7IU, Richard/VE6DSF departed the service station for the trail head located at the intersection of the Loakin Bear Creek Road and Holding Road.  We unloaded the quads, three of which were generously provided by Bill, and once all gear was loaded up we were on our way up the mountain.  The ride was on an old, unmaintained access road so progress was cautious and took nearly an hour to reach the repeater at the top.  We saw reasonably fresh bear tracks and scat on the way but felt we had safety in numbers.

We replaced the damaged battery and a cable, topped up the water in all the batteries and checked the voltages. Phil also checked the VHF and UHF telemetrics and the duplexer insertion loss.  All were good.  Richard and Mike modified a length of ABS plastic pipe so that it would cover the open top of mast through the roof so water and snow will not get into the repeater shack.

The weather was warm and sunny, the view from the repeater stunning and the drive up was through varying types of forest growth.  All in all the service trip to AHR was a great outing.

Submitted by Dave Hadley





Richard and Mike work on cap for pipe through roof

Richard and Mike work on cap for pipe through roof

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View from AHR

View from AHR

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Capped pipe

Capped pipe

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Darrell and; Bill, superivising

Darrell and; Bill, supervising

Terminal corroded away

Terminal corroded away

Phil opens up the shack

Phil opens up the shack

Ready for Sicamous Safety

On Thursday, May 28, David VA7HDY, Simon VE7SHG, and Ron VE7RLE
prepared the Shuswap Amateur Radio Club Emergency Communications Trailer
for its participation on Saturday May 30 at the Sicamous Safety Fair.

The Safety Fair at the Recreational Complex open to the public
from 1000 – 1300 hours will showcase a number of such emergency
providers as the Sicamous Fire Service, BC Ambulance Service,
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Sicamous RCMP,
Shuswap Emergency Support Services, Enderby Volunteer Rescue Society,
Canadian Pacific Police, and Shuswap Search and Rescue, to name a few.

More of that sunshine and 25 degree weather is forecast for Saturday.

Come out to browse the displays and take this opportunity to
get to know the volunteers and career First Responders who are always
there for you in times of emergency.






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Trying out 450THz


A Red Class 3a 5mW laser was pulse width modulated at 18kHz and aimed from a 3″ PVC pipe cello taped to a camera mount.

The retroreflectors on nearby stop signs were used as aiming indicators!
The stop signs would reflect a significant amount of light back.
At angles of >14%, The amount of light visible to an observer was negligible.

The first test took place from a second story window to a stop sign about 40 meters away using some music as an audio source.
Aiming at the sign by hand was very finicky, care was taken to avoid the drivers below! We found the use of a camera mount significantly helped aiming. It was received at the same location with the reflection from the stop sign.
As seen from 40 meters.
Aiming at a stop sign 140 meters away we could receive it by having one person at the stop sign placing the receiver in the red dot and aiming it towards the TX laser.

Returning back to base we found with very careful bracing of the RX against the window frame we could listen to the reflected signal from the stop sign 140 meters away.

We then transmitted 205 meters to another stop sign. We could not hear any reflected signal possibly due to the rise in the noise floor from the YLs or due to the reduced light reflected because of the smaller size of the target.

Over 200 Meters away
There was visible distortion of the light like gently rolling waves on the stop sign. The ghostbusters theme song came booming out of the headphones while listening at the sign.

After thoughts:

The beam will get much larger over distance. This may be a good thing to avoid modulation by atmospheric turbulence and could be advantage at longer distances by using a larger receive aperture(Perhaps the turbulence would be averaged out?). A biconvex lens was used on receiver and the phototransistor was mounted off center resulting in loss. I suspect that the coma of the lens caused the RX too be too weak 200meters reflected.

Future goals

  • Completing a second TX/RX pair to achieve full duplex.
  • TX/RX > 1km
  • Better enclosure and Optics

Andrew Wood and Patrick Boschalk