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.

Electronic parts - looking for a new home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The club has a new member, Mike Smith, who is not a licenced amateur but he joined the Kamloops Amateur Radio Club in order to make contact with like-minded electronics enthusiasts and to possibly learn some things about radio design. 

Mike worked in mining as a metallurgist for 37 years and has recently retired. He worked at mines all over most of Canada and has now settled in Kamloops for retirement. Mike has recently remarried and has children in Williams Lake and Kamloops, as well as two step-daughters.

Electronics has always been a hobby for Mike over the years and he has a patent on an electronic device from one of the mines he worked at. Now that he is retired and has the time now, he is currently setting up his electronics workshop and getting back into electronics as a retirement hobby that he is looking forward to. His favorite projects include building radios, alarm circuits, and high voltage generators of various styles. During the summer months he works in his garden growing herbs and vegetables.

Mike has a very extensive inventory of electronic components that he needs to downsize and would like to donate the parts to club members if they can be used by an electronics hobbyist such as himself.  Mike has very kindly organized the parts, and has put together two lists of "lots" available to KARC members.

Click the following links to view the PDF lists: Link 1   Link 2  There are sample photos of some of the lots below.

Mike will be joining us at the May 6 club meeting to introduce himself and answer any questions you might have about his huge list of items.

Welcome Mike!

Reminder: KARC Monthly Meeting this Thursday, April 1 at 7:30 PM

If you were not able to attend the meeting in person, the recording of the meeting may be accessed by clicking this link.  Bob's presentation is also attached at the bottom of this article.
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We are pleased to announce that Bob Brehm, AK6R, Chief Engineer of Palomar Engineers will be our special guest presenter at the April 1 meeting.

Bob has been a ham for over 50 years with experience in contesting, RTTY, Amplitude Modulation, vintage radio restoration, boat anchors, linear amps and unique antennas. He is active on 3.870 AM and 3.895 Vintage SSB, the Saturday swap net on 7.240 as well as other nets offering his expertise to new and old hams alike.

Bob will be presenting on the ABC’s of RFI for Hams

Is your transmitter the SOURCE of RFI affecting electronic devices in your own house or your neighbor’s house?  Would you like to find a quick and easy solution so you can have more time to operate and enjoy ham radio rather than troubleshooting RFI issues?

Are you the VICTIM of RFI from your own electronic devices or from devices in your neighborhood? Do you want to reduce your receiver noise floor so you can hear local contacts and more DX?

If you answered YES to either of these questions, then you should attend this presentation where you will learn how to make ham radio more enjoyable by eliminating problems caused by RFI.

Topics will include:

  • Learn fundamentals of RFI – identify symptoms, pinpoint causes & apply simple cures
  • What’s a ferrite and how to choose & buy the right ferrite for your RFI issue
  • How to use ferrites to solve the #1 RFI problem shared by all hams using HF radios
  • How to choose and use ferrites to solve transmitter RFI problems in your home or neighborhood
  • How to choose and use ferrites to reduce receiver noise and hear more DX

During the presentation you will see many examples of feed line chokes, baluns, ununs, and various practical applications of ferrites for AC/DC power lines, computer interconnect cables, transceivers, linear amplifiers, home theater systems, etc.

VE7IRN and VE7LGN repeater update

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On March 21 and 22 Myles, VE7FSR, visited the VE7LGN repeater on South Forge Mountain near Logan Lake, and the VE7IRN repeater on Iron Mountain near Merritt, to check on things and address some issues that had come up over the past few weeks.  The VE7LGN repeater was not working properly, or was working very sporadically, and the UPS at Iron Mountain was generating an error that could not be resolved remotely over the IP net.

Connecting with Family Through the Mt. Lolo Webcam

The club received a very interesting email this weekend which is worth sharing with our members.

Connecting with Family Through the Mt. Lolo Webcam

Hi,

I'm not sure who will read this email, however I just wanted to say that because of the mountain top webcam your organization has on Mt. Lolo I am able to occasionally connect with my family back home in Toronto and share the passion of backcountry skiing with them. It's been hard not being able to travel back due to COVID, and even though nothing will replace seeing them in person, the live feed as I wave to them after I notify them that I am on the summit makes it easier.

Just wanted to say thanks,

- Robert (Kamloops)

World Amateur Radio Day (WARD) 2021 is Sunday, April 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information click here

VE7LGN on South Forge Mtn

 

 

 

 

 

Simon (perveyor of fine snowmobiles), VE7RIZ and Myles, VE7FSR made a trip to the VE7LGN repeater on South Forge Mountain on the afternoon of March 9 to check on the status of the repeater.  The repeater had been reported as constantly kerchunking and not operating properly.  Simon and Myles discovered that the batteries were discharged so low (and had probably frozen this winter) that the Daniels repeater was unable to operate properly, other than when the solar panels were in full sunshine.  The repeater controller and Daniels radios were disconnected from the batteries and the VE7LGN repeater will remain off the until the club can access the site this summer for the planned repeater replacement and upgrades.

 

 

 

 

 

Thynne Mountain in Winter (VE7TYN)

Photos courtesy of Simon Rizzardo, VE7RIZ.

Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, presenter at the March monthly meeting

NOTE: Carl's presentation has been attached (below), and the recording of his presentation is available at: https://bit.ly/3kSRGB3

"Cycle 25 Is On the Way"

We are pleased to announce that Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, will be our special guest presenter at the March 4 monthly meeting.

PLEASE NOTE: We will be starting the meeting at 1900 hours with Carl's presentation, and conduct the regular club business portion following his presentation and the Q&A session.

Carl will start his presentation with a review of solar cycles and why they are important. He will follow up with a quick look back at Cycle 24, then review the predictions for Cycle 25 and what to expect now while we're still at solar minimum and what to expect in the next several years.

He will go over space weather data and list what he thinks is important as Cycle 25 rises. Carl will conclude his talk with some simple antennas for 15 meters, 12 meters, 10 meters and 6 meters so you can take advantage of the increased number of sunspots.

Meet our ISED Examiners

The Kamloops Amateur Radio Club is very fortunate to be blessed with two really experienced and generous ISED Examiners: Dwight, VE7BV who has been our examiner for many years, and our newest examiner Mark, VE7ARN.  If you are interested in taking your Basic Amateur Licence, upgrading to Advanced, or taking your Morse Code exam, please contact Dwight or Mark to arrange to sit your exam.  Thank you to Dwight and Mark for volunteering your time and for giving so much back to the amateur radio hobby!

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Dwight Edward Morrow VE7BV

Licensed in July 1970, upgraded to advanced in 1974. (Scored 100 percent on all levels.. in those days, written exam, CW, oral exam, drawing by memory schematic diagrams). Original callsign was VE7BCU.  Became VE7BV in January 1989.  Holds Guatemalan Callsign TG9BBV.

Member of the Kamloops Amateur Radio Club, Orchard City Amateur Radio Club, Radio Amateurs of Canada, American Radio Relay League, Interior Director of ORCA DX Club, member and past president of the BC DX Club, past member of NORAC, Shuswap Amateur Radio club, Surrey Amateur Radio Club, alumni of VE7UBC, and Socio de Club de Radioaficionados de Guatemala.  Interested primarily in HF, chasing DX on all modes, all bands, 160-6 meters, contesting, and likes CW ragchewing.

Passionate about promoting this all encompasing hobby! Frequently did Jamboree on the Air, Guides on the Air, Thinking Day, regularly shared shack with numerous school and church groups, in the past tested scouts for signaler badges.

Fluent in Spanish, handled BC emergency traffic for Mexican Consulate in Vancouver, and Mexican Embassy in Ottawa during Mexico City Earthquake September, 1985.  Participated in Edmonton Tornado Disaster Health and Welfare Traffic July, 1987 and Guatemalan Earthquake emergency traffic in February, 1976.

73 de Dwight, VE7BV

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Mark Perren VE7ARN

I have been interested in radio ever since I was a young child living in Banff AB . I remember sitting on my father's knee and listening closely as he would tune through the a.m. broadcast band night listening on a transistor radio which was new technology at the time. He had set up a long wire antenna in our front yard, and I was very excited to hear stations from so far away.

Several years later I was given a 1950s era tube type radio that had short wave bands, I would be glued to it every evening carefully turning the Vernier tuning dial and listening to the shortwave broadcast stations from all around the world. As a young teenager when I got my first job I saved every penny and purchased a Sony shortwave radio. I would run home after school every day and clamp on the headphones emerging only for supper time or for homework and then back to the radio. I was definitely an avid short wave listener and I collected very many QSI cards from countries all around the world. Around about that time one evening I heard a very powerful signal coming from the 40 m band which turned out to be that of a ham radio operator who lived a few blocks away. I got up my courage and went to his house, knocked on the door and he welcomed me in and was delighted to show off his equipment. He was using Yaesu101 echo and several dipoles for the various bands. He wanted to teach me Morse code right away and to tutor me in ham radio theory. Unfortunately I thought I would never learn Morse code And so did not get licensed right away. I enjoyed the electronics theory and went on to build several receivers, starting with a classic crystal radio and moving on to various kits.

Tracking and recovering weather balloons -- An Update

by Ralph Adams, VA7VZA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in October, I described what weather balloons and radio-sondes were and how it was possible to track them (https://karc.ca/node/569). Since then, I have made some interesting progress and discoveries. Here is a short update about how far I have come towards my goal of retrieving a radio-sonde after it has fallen back to earth. As you would expect, there is good news and bad. The good news is that it is relatively easy to track them using simple equipment, but the bad news is that all the balloons launched from Vernon that I have tracked have headed off to the East or South. The only real question each day has been, which inaccessible mountain range will it fall on: the Monashees, the Selkirks, or the Rockies!

     THE SETUP TO TRACK WEATHER BALLOONS

Myles, VE7FSR was first in to assist by giving me a Sinclair 7-element Yagi for 406 to 433 MHz. A check with the Rigmaster showed that it worked well at 403 MHz where the radio-sondes transmit. I mounted it on a short PVC mast attached to a camera tripod, the antenna is at about 1.8m and is oriented for vertical polarization. Feedline is a two metre length of LMR-195 from the junk-box that happened to have a good UHF connector at one end and an SMA at the other. The receiver is an SDRPlay RSP1a (links are included at the end of this article) connected to an old Lenovo ThinkPad. I use the SDRUno software supplied by SDRPlay. One advantage of an SDR (Software Defined Radio) is that you can record the IQ spectrum which can be replayed and reprocessed later.  I am using an old Western Digital USB drive to store the recordings, which are large, about half a GB per minute of spectrum recording. The whole system is powered by the internal laptop battery.

SDRUno was setup to use a bandwidth of 15kHz and FM mode, and the demodulated audio was piped into the decoding software using Virtual Audio Cable.  For the first attempts I was not sure which radio-sondes were being used by Environment Canada (EC), so I decided not to purchase decoding software yet. After I had some radio-sonde recordings from the Vernon launches I was able to confirm that the radio-sonde being used is the Graw DFM09 manufactured in Germany. I then purchased the SondeMonitor software (24 Euros) which can decode the DFM09 telemetry.

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