SPARC Christmas Party = Big Success

The legendary (2014 edition) Christmas Party of the Sun Parlour Amateur Radio Club took place on Saturday, December 6th.

Twenty seven area ham radio ops, guests and relatives gathered at Ray’s Ribhouse along the waterfront in Leamington for this year’s running of the annual event.

Virtually everything on the menu made its way to the expanded event this year with a plethora of positive comments about the venue and the menu.

Club President, Bill Leal VE3ES made his customary late entry to the event but better late than never and he joined ham radio ops from Chatham, Blenheim, Wheatley, Windsor, Woodslee, Lakeshore, Kingsville, the former Mersea Township and of course sunny downtown Leamington.

This year’s party was held just days after a similar turnout of ham radio ops turned out for the Chatham Kent ARC’s Christmas get together in the Maple City. That a few from each club visited both events was a nice touch.

Talk of the 2015 event is already being heard on the airwaves.

Thanks to all who attended.

73, Tom VE3TOM

Return of the ECDMRSSNN

Return of the what?

Yes, the return of the Essex County DMR Society Sunday Night Net.

The Windsor/Leamington region is blessed with not just one but two major DMR digital repeaters on the air. VE3UUU on 444.400 mhz and the club’s own system, VE3TOM on 443.2625 mhz.

Earlier this year, DMR users in the area started up a province-wide net using the ‘provincial’ talk-group on DMR. Exact details are yet to be worked out but look for the return of the Essex County DMR Society Sunday Night Net on Sunday evenings at 9:00 p.m. on the provincial talk-group. Again, exact details coming soon, but basically the only thing missing is which Sunday night will it start????

73, Bill VE3ES
3023-049 (DMR registration #)

SPARC Christmas B*A*S*H, Saturday, December 6, 2014 @ 1:00 p.m.

The legendary SPARC Christmas Party returns again this year. All SPARC members and area ham radio ops who know good ham radio (and good ribs) are invited to attend the big event.

SPARC Christmas B*A*S*H
Saturday, December 6, 2014
1:00 p.m. until it’s over
Ray’s Rib House

Further details and a look at the menu are coming soon…

73, VE3ES

January 2015 SPARC Meeting to feature VE3UK on Magnetic Loop antennas!

The January 2015 meeting of the Sun Parlour Amateur Radio Club will feature a talk and demonstration with and by Bob VE3UK on magnetic loop antennas.

Such antennas have been around for years and have been widely used in military applications which due to their compact size and extremely high-Q nature are a natural for the channelized world of military and commercial comms.

Bob has shown his products for two years now at SPARC-fest which have been well received (no pun intended).

Further details in an upcoming SPARC newsletter.

73, VE3ES

SPARC Tuesday Night FM Net @ 8:00 p.m. most Tuesday evenings

A quick reminder that the legendary, SPARC Tuesday Night FM Net takes place most Tuesday evenings at 8:00 p.m. on the Club’s equally legendary VE3TOM repeater, 147.300 mhz. TOM is linked with both versions of the VE3WIN repeater in Windsor on 147.000 and 444.600 mhz. ALL three repeaters require a pl tone of 118.8 hz to access the system.

Hope to hear YOU on the next running of the SPARC Tuesday Night FM Net.

73, VE3ES
SPARC Net Manager

VE3TOM Digital Repeater has moved to 443.2625 MHZ

The VE3TOM repeater on DMR has changed frequencies to 443.2625 mhz.

There has been a long standing interference problem that has caused issues to VE3TOM on the previous frequency of 442.050. Efforts to locate the source of that interference have been unsuccessful. In recent months, the club was contacted by the owner of a UHF FM repeater south of Cleveland Ohio indicating that they have been bombarded with TOM’s digital signal. With the above said, a decision was made to move VE3TOM to a new frequency. After a lengthy search, that new frequency is 443.2625 mhz.

For those looking for a new or perhaps used DMR rig, please contact VE3UCY who is a supplier for both Vertex and Hytera equipment.

Changes to the VE3WIN VHF Repeater

There is a new VE3WIN repeater on 147.000 mhz, 118.8 hz pl required. For the past many years, an ICOM ham rptr has been in service. That was recently changed to a Kenwood commercial system. I went with Mike VE3UCY to make this change last week and to do some housecleaning at the repeater site located in downtown Windsor. Thus a new repeater is in place AND some changes have been made to how the repeater works. There is still the need for a 118.8 hz pl but also you will note the lack of a hang tail at the end of each transmission. This was done to accommodate future IRLP requirements and the repeater is now linked to the VE3WIN-UHF repeater on 444.600 mhz (118.8 hz pl) AND that entire system is linked to the VE3TOM repeater in Leamington on 147.300 mhz, 118.8 hz pl.

So this is now a 3 repeater linked system. Bring one up and you bring them all up. Make a call via the IRLP on say VE3TOM and you’re also bringing up both versions (VHF and UHF) of the VE3WIN repeater. Other than to ensure that you are transmitting a 118.8 hz pl signal, there is nothing else required for this wide coverage linking.

Who knows what the future brings but when the CKARC bring up their main UHF repeater and link it into the VE3TOM repeater in Leamington, we effectively now have a two county linked repeater system.

Oh, and a reminder to drag you heals so to speak for a second before you key that microphone! Give the system a moment to catch up with itself so to speak.

Detroit’s Emergency Dispatch System Fails

Quoting from the popular website and also reported on WXYZ Detroit

“For most of Friday, police and firefighters in Detroit were forced to operate without their usual dispatch radio when the emergency dispatch system failed. The radio system used for communication between 911 dispatchers and Detroit’s police, fire and EMS crews went down around 5:30 a.m. Friday morning, causing a backlog of hundreds of calls and putting public safety at risk. Michigan State Police allowed Detroit’s emergency system to use the state’s communication towers, but access was restricted to top priority calls out of fear of overloading the State system. More than 60 priority-1 calls and more than 170 non-emergency calls were backed up. With no dispatch to communicate if something went wrong and backup was needed, police were forced to send officers out in pairs for safety concerns on priority-1 calls. Detroit’s new police chief, James Craig, says he’s ‘appalled’ that a redundant system did not kick in. The outage occurred only days after Craig took office. The $131 million Motorola system was installed in 2005 amid controversy over its funding. Spokesmen for Motorola said parts of the system were regularly maintained but acknowledged that backup systems had not been tested in the past two years. They said the problem was a hardware glitch in the link between dispatch and the individual radios. As of 9 p.m. Friday, a Motorola spokesman said the system was stable and the company would continue troubleshooting next week.”

FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

Bruce Perens writes
“FCC is currently processing a request for rule-making, RM-11699 (PDF), that would allow the use of Amateur frequencies in the U.S. for private, digitally-encrypted messages. Encryption is a potential disaster for ham radio because it defeats its self-policing nature. If hams can’t decode messages, they can’t identify if the communication even belongs on ham radio. A potentially worse problem is that encryption destroys the harmless nature of Amateur radio.There’s no reason for governments to believe that encrypted communications are harmless. See for more information.”

Club member VE3UCY in the news

Quoting from VE3ES’s email “… if you were watching the CBC news this evening you saw Mike Ciacelli VE3UCY, a Deputy Chief of the Leamington Fire Department being interviewed vis-a-vis emergency preparedness. Mike and Phil Berthiaume the county emergency preparedness coordinator were speaking in lieu of the tragic severe weather that hit the Oklahoma City area. Mike was identified as an Amateur Radio operator and he spoke briefly on the subject of Emcomm.

The above noted article was on the CBC news this evening at 6pm and can be found on-line at the link shown below. Mike’s interview (and a shot of an attempt at comms on the VE3III repeater) starts at 7:52 minutes into the news.

Thanks to VE3UCY and VE3VOG for alerting me of the CBC interview.”

as always,