The Wires-X system attached to the UHF repeater on EGO quit working (was only generating digital noise and an analog tail squelch) some time before the end of March.  Standard resets of the Windows PC and node did not help.

Brad (VE7WBM) was able to move the Wires-X node from the UHF repeater to the VHF repeater on the 5th of April as the node is at his QTH.

A trip up to EGO was done on the morning of the 10th April, firstly to check the status of the repeater and secondly, to allow Interior Communications to see the site and tower to provide us with a quote for minor  tower repair, cable replacement and putting a better antenna up for the UHF link.

When we entered the shack it was noted the repeaters and associated equipment were running on DC backup.  A quick check showed that the small UPS between the mains and the equipment had a blown/cracked battery - it had swollen so much the front cover was popped off the unit.

The UPS was removed and the systems plugged directly into the mains.  At that point the AC took over.

We turned off the repeaters AC again and the power was cycled on the DC side by removing the plugs from the back of the repeaters.

A phone call to Terry (VE7TRZ) allowed him to do some remote checking through the raspberry pi in the shack.  He noted the door sensor was still showing the door as closed (when in fact it was open), and when we had the door open the fan stayed on (it is set to only work when the door is closed).  The door sensor wire was wiggled around and all came back to proper operation.  The sensor was removed from the door to check for loose or broken wires and there were none.  It may have been one of the wires made contact with the metal door frame and became a dead short, telling the system the door was closed.  The sensor was screwed back to the frame and it stayed working just fine.  Terry has confirmed the last door closing when we left showed up in the log/email he gets.

While on site, other tests were done by Terry remotely as we watched power and measures voltages to the repeaters.  He switched off both AC and DC power to the repeaters and all worked as expected. 

So, it is unknown how the previous remote shutdowns via the pi did not reset the 'stuck' UHF repeater, but we did note that it took nearly a minute for the DC power to reach zero volts.  In future, remote shutdowns will leave the power off longer to see if this was the issue with the power cycles not resetting the repeater.  I have been told the UHF repeater had previously locked up Wires-X due to a bad packet quite some time ago - this may have been the original cause this time as well.

While testing was going on the Interior employee looked at the site/tower and we also removed one of the Samlex chargers to take up to RSS to be installed there when the new battery backup goes in.

Brad has moved the Wires-X node back to the VHF repeater so it is now as it was before.

The mini UPS is at Paul's to see if removing the battery allows it to power up.  It may be scrap, we shall see.

 

Thanks to Brad (VE7WBM), Cary (VA7MXY) and Terry (VE7TRZ - remotely) for assistance.

 73

Paul (VE7KWA)

 

With the successful completion of the spring NORAC Basic Qualification course, it is my honour to welcome our newest hams and soon-to-be NORAC members.

VE7TCS Trevor Sproule - Basic
VA7KXS Christoph Blecker - Honours
VY1GGG Steve Kinoshita - Honours
VE7HLL Andrew Hilland - Honours
VE7ZFS Josiah Palmer - Honours
VE7PXS Peter Sidorczuk - Honours

If you see them in person or hear them on the radio, please welcome them to our wonderful hobby!

 

There will be another group of people testing later in April.

I would also like to extend my deepest gratitude for everyone that stepped up to help and teach, administer the exam, take care of the laptop, projector and setup the room, or even just to sit in during the course and help out with discussions.

I appreciate you all!

 

https://www.rac.ca/rac-basic-qualification-amateur-radio-course-spring-2024/

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 Sunday, April 15 and ending on Thursday, June 20.

 

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.

 

Instruction:

The course instructor is RAC Atlantic Director Al Penney, VO1NO. Al was first licensed in 1977 and has been active in many areas of Amateur Radio including contesting, DXing, VHF/UHF weak signal, satellites, emergency communications and DXpeditioning. He has served as the President of six different Amateur Radio clubs in both Canada and the United States and currently chairs the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 Band Planning Committee. Al has taught the Basic Qualification Amateur Radio Course since 1994.

 

Requirements:

Course material pertaining to all topics covered in the course syllabus will be provided to all registered students. Students must have a copy of the Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide provided by Coax Publications. For more information please visit the RAC Study Guides webpage.

 

It is essential that all students have the necessary equipment and bandwidth capable of taking the course – at least a tablet or PC and a DSL broadband connection – which will be conducted using the Zoom conference platform.

 

You do not need your own account on Zoom to take part in this course, but you may have to download a Zoom applet to participate.

 

Students will receive instructions on how to log on to the online sessions once they have registered for the course. Classes will be recorded, so occasional absences are not a problem.

 

Complete information about the course and a downloadable copy of the course syllabus are available at the link provided below.



Registration:

If you would like to take part in this course please register now by completing the registration form provided on the RAC website at:



https://www.rac.ca/rac-basic-course-registration-form-spring-2024/

 

Other Amateur Radio Courses:

Amateur Radio Basic and Advanced Qualification courses are also now being provided both online and in person by Canadian Amateur Radio Clubs and organizations. Please visit the Amateur Radio Courses webpage for more information at the link provided below.

 

https://www.rac.ca/amateur-radio-courses/

 

Phil McBride, VA3QR
RAC President

Check out the RAC website for more info about this project.  A neat opportunity to get involved ...

 

Canadian Amateurs Invited to Participate in Solar Eclipse Project in April 2024

https://www.rac.ca/canadian-amateurs-invited-to-participate-in-solar-eclipse-project/

"The Case Amateur Radio Club W8EDU of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio is excited to invite Canadian Amateurs to participate in our upcoming eclipse research project!"

 

73 Ritchie

 

 

"In order to support our continued growth, both in scale and global coverage, we are in the process of doing some cleanup and reorganization in the way the Programs, Locations, DX Entities, and Parks are stored in the database."

What this means to us in VE7-land is that our parks will now be called CA-nnnnn where they used to be called VE-nnnnn.

Our American friends will soon be changing their parks to US-nnnnn where they used to be called K-nnnnn.

Check out: https://docs.pota.app/docs/changes.html for more details.