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45th Anniversary Special Event Station

SPARC Special Event Station on the air to celebrate the club’s 45th anniversary

VE3SPR will be on the air on April 19th and 20th from 17:00 UTC to 21:00 UTC on 14.205 and 7.220 mhz +/- QRM

The call may be on the air off and on during the month of April 2014 as well.

We offer a certificate suitable for framing for contact with VE3SPR anytime during April 2014.

For a certificate send a QSL card and $5.00 to cover cost of certificate and mailing to VE3TMG. If you would rather save the $5.00 I can email your certificate in PDF format and you can print it out, just send a valid email ad with your QSL card.

Terry Greenwood
3329 Baby St.
Windsor On. Canada
N9C 1L4

SPARC special event station

At the October meeting a motion was moved and passed to commemorate the founding of the SPARC in 1969. Full details yet to come but Terry VE3TMG is working on a plethora of activities to acknowledge the club’s 45th anniversary in 2014.

SPARC Tuesday Night Nets moving start time

The SPARC Tuesday Night Nets are moving!!! Well, just by half an hour. At the October SPARC meeting it was proposed and the motion was carried to move the FM net, and thus the 80m SSB net, a half hour earlier in the evening. What with the VHF/UHF FM net gaining in popularity, the 80m net was sometimes starting at or after 10pm. So as of this coming Tuesday night, October 8, the SPARC FM net moves to a new start time of 8:30 p.m. The 80m net will as always start immediately after the end of the FM net, normally around 9:30 p.m. or thereabouts. Same frequencies, just a half hour earlier. Listen this coming Tuesday night, October 8th at 8:30 p.m. Your NCS this coming week will be yours truly, Bill VE3ES.

New VE3TOM Digital Repeater on 442.050 MHZ

Big new coming out of the Sun Parlour ARC this week with a new digital mode repeater soon to be on the air! The club has purchased a new Motorola XPR-8300 TDMA-DMR-Mototrbo brand repeater. Operating in digital mode, the same as how the VE3UUU repeater operates, the new version of VE3TOM will inhabit the UHF band at 442.050 mhz. While DMR operations in the area are limited to a dozen or so ops, this new repeater should be help boost interest in this mode of communications. Full details coming soon. The repeater at the time of this epistle is literally being programmed at the dealer in Toronto and might be on the air this coming weekend. Again, a new “TOM” repeater, the club’s first venture onto the UHF band.
Equipment is available from numerous sources. Used Motorola “Mototrbo” branded hand helds and mobile stations can readily be found on e-Bay, such TDMA-DMR-Mototrbo (whatever you want to call it) equipment is manufactured by numerous commercial manufacturers (TDMA comms are mainly a commercial world thing) such as Motorola, Harris, Hytera, BFDX and Vertex (and others). You can buy new radios locally as VE3UCY is a commercial dealer carrying the Hytera and Vertex line and you can pay from a few hundred bucks to a thousand or more. We’ll be promoting, describing and getting out the word on this new repeater as time moves on.

SPARC licensing course

The 2013 SPARC Licensing Course has come to an end with great success. We now have a number of new ham radio ops in our midst, many of whom are becoming regular attendees at the monthly meetings and heard on the weekly SPARC Nets.

Thanks to all who participated either as a student or an instructor or simply coming out to assist.

The SPARC licensing courses over the last few years have brought in nearly three dozen new ham radio ops to the Sun Parlour and beyond.

Watch this space for details on the next SPARC Licensing Course!

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 slashdot.org 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 hams.com/encryption/ 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,

Ham course interest is picking up

As the title says we are starting to gather some interest on our ham course. To all that consider taking the course and the subsequent exam to get their ticket please let us know that you are interested by sending an email to club@thesparc.ca. Everyone that has already sent an email was registered on the list and we will notify everyone once we have reached a desired class size and have decided on when and where the course will take place.