Regional Amateur Radio News

2020 memberships are available. Click on Join Our Club

Sending a text message from your phone to an APRS station

   - This service is only available to Amateur Radio operators and to use it, you must be registered on the system. Contact VE7EQU
    - This service is provided locally for use by northern BC Amateurs only.
    - Send your text message to 204-666-5542 and start it with the call sign followed by the message text (not case sensitive)
            Example: ve7fg-2: This is a test
    - Subsequent messages will go to the same station unless you enter a new call sign as above. The call sign followed by a -2 is the default APRS message recipient.


2020-11-30  Kiwi SDR in Prince George
VE7AV has set up a KIWISDR receiver in Prince George BC. This may be a useful resource to check out real time propagation conditions on all HF bands, check out your own transmissions, monitor nets if your own location happens to be noisy, signal strength comparisons, do some SWL and more. There are over 500 publicly accessible kiwisdr receivers currently in operation. The Prince George SDR is the most northerly one in British Columbia. Four simultaneous connections are possible. The no activity timer default is 90 minutes.  If all channels are occupied, try again a bit later. To connect, go to kiwisdr.com/public/  Search for ve7av or select another kiwisdr. Another interesting site to select a kiwisdr receiver is ve3sun.com/KiwiSDR/ (Both these links will open in a new window)

2020-11-21 Swap and Shop
We have joined with other central and northern BC clubs to create a common swap and shop page for "northern" BC clubs. Each club has a list maintainer and all items are listed by the date posted with the newest on top. Credit for the idea and for setting it up in Google Docs goes to Jordi, VA7GP who is a CCARS member in Williams Lake.

2020-09-17 & 2020-10-01
Trips to Fraser Mountain to install new equipment in the building and on the tower. Details of the work were e-mailed to club members

2020-03-26    Meeting format
Until farther notice, all meetings will be held using ZOOM. Please download the app from zoom.us before the meeting. It works on all platforms: Android, Linux, Windows, IOS - including phones and tablets. Camera is optional. The meeting number and password will be e-mailed to all members before the meetings. Please don't share it with non members.

2020-03-08   Emergency Radio Communication Trailer   *Update*
We now have satellite Internet in the trailer. An Xplornet net system was activated today. Hands-on training will take place at our regular meeting on 2020-03-18

2020-02-27   Local Amateur invited to WPX CW contest
David, VE7DZO, has at a very young age, become a very proficient CW operator. His picture  was featured on the November 2019 cover of CQ Magazine. David has been invited to participate in this year's WPX CW contest with multi operator station K3LR. This famous station is hosting youth CW operators to conduct this year's WPX CW contest. Have a look at the link shown below: Make sure, you click on "Read more".

https://www.gofundme.com/f/team-exuberance-cw-2020












2020-01-29   Emergency Radio Communication Trailer   *Update*

The trailer floor has been insulated with spray foam so winter deployments should be more comfortable. We now have a cell phone booster on board and we are just days away from having satellite internet in the trailer.

2019-10-19   Milburn Mtn.
At our September 2019 meeting, the club was given a detailed description of the conditions of the building at the Milburn Mtn repeater site by Bob,VE7WNK. Rodent control and building repair became imperative and the PGARC members authorized repairs to be undertaken ASAP.  A work party had been scheduled for October 12th but was cancelled due to rain and more rain in the forecast. When the weather became suitable a quick reassembled work party was dispatched on October 19th.

VE7WNK and other volunteers from the Quesnel area managed to get to the site earlier in the week to tackle the rodent and other issues. The Prince George crew was tasked to give the building an all around metal covering to the dilapidating plywood exterior walls. This was done. The Prince George crew comprising of Graig - VE7EAP, Bill - VE7WBF, Lois - VE7LEF and Frank VE7AV left Prince George at 8:00 a.m. We were joined by Quesnel area resident Gerald- VE7GLS, who after tightening the tower guy wires, assisted with the metal works.  We managed to be off the mountain, just before dark, at around 6 p.m.

2019-09-21  Tabor Minor Mtn
Participants were – VE7AV, VE7EAP, VE7LEF, VE7PGK, VA7MDH, VA7RC and VE7WBF who met at the 7/11 store near the airport at 9.00 a.m. Lois, Bill, Milt, Warren & Ken headed the brush clearing operation and loading Milt’s truck and Frank’s trailer. Graig worked on the electrical system between the two buildings and Frank concentrated on working with the shop vac in the two buildings.The brush was unloaded at Milt’s house and has been burned. Those present received a tour of Milt’s new shop. We were all on the way home by 5.00 p.m.

2019-08-26
Six pallets of data transmission equipment arrived. Now the fun begins installing it all and setting it up. This will be a huge addition to the BCWARN network once we get it linked south to the existing sites.

2019-08-18

Search for a lost 4-year old boy near MacKenzie. We provided radio communications for the search and rescue teams. The child was found unhurt but hungry.

June & July 2019  
Sinkut (Vanderhoof): New batteries installed, mosquitoes well fed (VE7BNR, VE7EAP)
Boer (Burns Lake): 
New batteries installed, abandoned antennas & coax removed (VE7PGB, VE7EAP).
Tabor (Prince George): Brushing, tree falling, electrical, remove old batteries, site cleanup (VA7MBL, VA7EBB, VE7CKZ, VE7EAP)

Murray Ridge (Fort Saint James): UHF antenna work. Repeater back on the air (VA7RC with non-ham helpers)

2019-04-13    NESST Conference Display
The 7th annual Northern Emergency Support Services Training conference was held at the Civic Center (conference center) in Prince George over the weekend with about 230 delegates attending.Our emergency radio communication trailer was on display along with several other mobile resources from Prince George to Terrace. Dale, Diana, Graig, and Darrel helped with this project. Visitors to our trailer were from as far away as Calgary and Sooke.

2019-03-03    Basic Amateur Radio Course
Congratulations to the nine people who got their Basic Amateur Radio Operator's Certificate today! (They all passed with honors) We look forward to having you in our club and circle of friends. The course was taught by VE7AV and VE7EAP in the Prince George Search And Rescue class room. A big thank you to our emergency response partners, PGSAR for the use of their facilities!

2019-01-16    Executive Meeting Highlights

  
The following changes will take effect immediately.
  - Our meetings have been switched back to the THIRD WEDNESDAY of each month.
  - Absolutely no money is to be spent without prior approval of the executive. Any exceptions will be recorded as a donation to the club.
  - A course will be held in the next few weeks. See the EVENTS page for details.
  - This web site will again be maintained until the new one is ready to go live.

2017-04-07    Exercise

We provided radio communication for a joint evacuation exercise with several Search And Rescue groups. Classroom training was provided to the SAR members in the morning followed by the exercise in the afternoon to practice their newly learned skills. The exercise was held in the Hart area of Prince George with some residents participating as actors. 9 radio operators participated including 3 from Fort Saint John and one from Smithers. We took the opportunity to familiarize the new people with the trailer and they did the radio work, status board updates and trailer set-up and tear-down. Visitors included staff from 2 regional districts and several SAR people who had not seen the trailer in operation.

2017-04-02   Emergency Communications
Additions have been made to the emergency communications page

2018-04-06    Wireless Public Alerting goes live
A new Canada-wide emergency alerting system will be activated on April 6th. You do not need to register for it. Here is the FAQ for it.

2018-01-30
Good news! We have received a donation from the Prince George Cougars Society from from the proceeds of their recent record-breaking 50/50 draw. Our gratitude goes to Prince George Search And Rescue Society for sharing their portion with their two partner agencies - CASARA and PGARC. Thank you PGSAR!

2017-09-12    Station Manager

Dale Laluk VE7PGB, has accepted the job of radio station manager for the north-east PREOC. He will be making sure that the equipment is kept "operational ready" and will be working with Larry to staff the station when required.

2017-08-12 Amateur Repeater Destroyed by Wild Fire
On 2017-08-12, the Amateur Radio repeater which covered the area around the Nasko and Kluskus communities west of Quesnel was destroyed by wild fire. The Baezaeko Road fire burned over the top of the Fishpot Mountain (AKA Fishpot Lookout) destroying the Amateur Radio and other sites. There is no cell service in the area and we had used this repeater when working with Search And Rescue to locate a missing person.


Restoring this site is a joint project between the Quesnel Amateurs and Prince George Amateur Radio Club. PGARC already owns the Milburn site near Quesnel and will also own the Fishpot site. When land leases and external money sources are involved, sites must be owned by a society. This and the small Amateur population in some areas explain why PGARC owns sites in several smaller communities in the region. Funding has been secured and the restoration project is well under way with the building purchased and equipment either here or ordered.


2017-07-12 Hudson's Hope Telus outage

A crew installing pilings beside a Telus building in Hudson's Hope snagged buried fiber and took down all comms. There was no phone, no cell, no internet. The contractors were not aware of the damage and left for the day. The Hudson's Hope hams linked their repeater to Fort Saint John and were in touch with VE7PRG who phoned Telus about the outage. Apparently, BC Ambulance had a sat phone, and BC Hydro had a microwave link out from the generating stations. It is believed that these agencies also contacted Telus. Who made the first trouble report is not known but the Hams they were available as a back up means of reaching the outside world.

2017-08-16 meeting will be at the Old Beaverly Fire Hall at 19:30 (7:30pm)
Due to the wild fire situation, our regular meeting location is not available this month (and may not be available next month either)

2017-08-01    Mike Mclaren, VE7WBI
Mike passed away from cancer this evening. He was a good friend, member of our club executive, and one of our repeater maintenance technicians. Mike worked for the Ministry of Transportation (highways) since 1995. His funeral will on Tuesday Aug 8 at 3:00 PM at Assman's Funeral Chapel on Queensway. He will be missed!





2017-07-__  BC Wild Fires
Our members have spent over 80 hours of volunteer time this month working for EMBC related to the wild fires. Most of that time has been spent in the PREOC but it also includes one trip to Williams Lake during the evacuation, organizing volunteers to be on standby, and some specialized training.

2017-04-12 Public Emergency Warning System
A new public emergency warning system is coming to a cell phone near you by April 2018.

http://www.tvtechnology.com/news/0002/canada-mandates-alerting-over-lte-networks/280760?platform=hootsuite

2017-04-04 Warning!

FEMA in Washington State is using a commercial call sign on 60M Amateur frequencies to talk to Amateurs for emergency training. This is allowed in the US but NOT in Canada.
Do not talk to
WGY910

Communications with Radio Apparatus in the Amateur Radio Service

47. A person who operates radio apparatus in the amateur radio service may only

(a)   communicate with a radio station that operates in the amateur radio service;

… and:

Emergency Communications

48. In a real or simulated emergency, a person operating radio apparatus in the amateur radio service may only communicate with a radio station that is in the amateur radio service in order to transmit a message that relates to the real or simulated emergency on behalf of a person, government or relief organization.

Therefore you must instruct all EMBC Amateur Radio station operators to immediately cease making future contacts with US Government FEMA stations, unless the FEMA station is using an Amateur Radio Callsign (such as KF0EMA, thus, “operating in the Amateur Service”).  This applies to voice or pactor amateur radio transmissions.

Kevin Hartley
Spectrum Management & District Emergency Telecoms Officer,
Spectrum Management Operations Branch

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada / Government of Canada

2017-04-02 Carney
A group of us did some work and site clean up at Carney Hill. Bad news: The HF antenna has been stolen, presumably for the copper. The site battery needs to be replaced. The ends are bulging from positive plate growth and large differences in cell voltages.

2017-03-31
We are now listed in the "Affiliations" page of the BCWARN web site with a link to our web site.
Several pages on our web site have been updated including George & Valemount sites and a couple others. (More needs to be done another day)

2017-03-29 PERCS Conference Call
The radio and computer equipment upgrades for all the PREOCs is progressing well. The equipment has either arrived or is in transit and will be shipped to the PREOCs soon. A replacement rotator for the NE PREOC (Prince George) is being ordered. The rotator trouble at the NW PREOC (Terrace) is being investigated.

2017-03-28 EMBC Prince George Meeting
Two members, Graig & Ken, spent the day at EMBC in meetings with other emergency response participants and local governments.

2017-05-27 May Day Parade
We need volunteers to help with traffic control for the parade.

2017-03-06 Distracted Driving Regulations
The BC distracted driving regulations are available here

2017-02-17
Web site updated including a new contact form using captcha added to the executive page.

2017-02-15
AGM. All executive were re-elected for their second term. There is a 2-term limit.

2016-12-16 PG Christmas party
The annual Christmas party was held at the Carmel restaurant with 27 in attendance. A draw was held for several Kenwood branded gifts donated by BK 2-Way Radio.

2016-12-13 Repeater Map
The Northern BC repeater map has been updated. Please report any errors to VE7EAP

ARRL E-Letter:  Popular TV Show HamRadioNow Adds "EmComm Extra"
The popular TV show/YouTube show/Podcast HamRadioNow is adding presentations on emergency and disaster response communications subjects. HamRadioNow is an online television show, webcast, podcast, and a YouTube show for and about Amateur Radio. The host is Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, a radio amateur and broadcaster for 50 years. The show is recorded, not live, and there's no set schedule. Viewers can watch the show at any time on the Episode Pages on its website, or on its YouTube Channel. Or listeners can download just the audio and listen on their phones with the RSS feed. The format is primarily a talk show with a pair of hosts and a series of guests. Co-host is David Goldenberg, W0DHG, an Emergency Coordinator. (Pearce has an ARES/PIO background).

Goldenberg and Pearce have announced that they are planning to produce a show whenever an incident occurs that warrants discussion of lessons learned. "The goal is to provide an interesting, entertaining and useful look at emergency/disaster response activity in the context of Amateur Radio," said Pearce. "We do in-depth shows (usually an hour or more), and can go way beyond a cursory summary of an event or drill," he said. Spurring this new aspect of the show was Hurricane Matthew. "We did an off-the-cuff show as HamRadioNow Episode 270, then a more formal show (Episode 274) featuring Emergency Coordinators from Florida and South Carolina in the storm's aftermath," Pearce said. There have been emergency/disaster response themed shows before, collected and published on an "EmComm Playlist" on the YouTube Channel. -- Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, Cary, North Carolina, HamRadioNow

2016-10-31 Brooker Search in Quesnel area
PGARC members spent two days assisting Quesnel and Prince George search and rescue and the RCMP with the search for two missing hunters. Our emergency communication trailer was deployed in the back country behind Dunkley Lumber on the first day then we were dispatched to Barkerville on the second day.
https://www.facebook.com/QuesnelSAR/
http://quesnel.bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=2130&languageId=1&contentId=48696

2016-09-08 Facebook
A link to our Facebook page has been added to the top bar. It will open in a new tab or window depending on your browser options.

2016-09-07 New Repeater for Mackenzie (146.820-)
A new repeater was installed today on the peak of Morfee Mountain near Mackenzie. Bill, Lois, Jim, Graig and Warren T. installed the new equipment in the T&S Communications site. While Graig & Warren did the antenna work in the wind and clouds, the others reassembled and reconnected the VHF repeater, UHF link, APRS and power equipment in the building. Our repeater and APRS are multi-coupled into the existing VHF antenna system. The grid power is backed up by both battery and a diesel generator. A special thanks goes to T&S Communications and to Warren for letting us use their site and assisting with the installation.

2016-06-26 Field Day
This year we took the club trailer to Huble Homestead for our annual Field Day exercise. Huble Homestead is a pioneer homestead located on the bank of the Fraser River that has been restored for the enjoyment of both tourists and locals. It is located at the end of Mitchell Road off highway 97 about a
20 to 30 minute drive north of Prince George. This is an off-grid site so there is no power line noise to interfere with HF radio operation. As always, we did some training, tested all our equipment, and had a great social time. The radio operator who traveled the farthest to join us was Dave, VE7SST from Fort Saint John.

2016-05-06 EMBC meeting
Graig met with Mike Knoff (visiting EMBC staff) at the PREOC to discuss radio technical issues and reimbursement rates. We then visited our emergency radio communication trailer which he hadn't seen it before. EMBC is assembling a list of assets to be ready to help with the Fort Mac fires if the Alberta government asks for help. Our trailer is on that list.

2016-05-05 Trailer Upgrades
This week and next, a few members are working on the trailer daily doing upgrades to the trailer and equipment and some routine maintenance.

2016-04-30 Training with SAR
We spent the day in a gravel pit east of Prince George training with four Search And Rescue groups. Several members with little or no experience came out to "get their feet wet" and others came to help with the training and to get more practice. It was a very busy day. One member from Fort Saint John, a 5-hour trip each way, came to visit his son and train with us. We also provided radio training for a member of Mackenzie SAR. Our new telephone system between us and SAR worked extremely well. The PBX software is running on a Raspberry Pi-2 computer in our trailer.

PGARC also has a quad team trained to work with SAR and one member brought his machine and practiced with the SAR quad team. We used both the SAR commercial frequency (simplex) and our repeater network. We (PGARC & PGSAR) found a few gremlins that have been fixed.

2016-04-20 PGARC meeting
The PREOC was in use so we moved our meeting across the road to the picnic tables in the school yard. Mid April and we had an outdoor meeting in shirt sleeves!

2016-04-14 EMBC Spring Preparedness Conference
The annual North East regional conference was held at the PREOC and by conference call for the other communities in the region. The low snow pack and low moisture at lower elevations continue to be the major concern. The spring and summer are expected to be warmer and possibly dryer than usual. Keep your fingers crossed :-)

2016-04-12 Exercise Coastal Response
This exercise was primarily for the west coast but others were invited to participate to test the operational readiness of our equipment. Several of our members worked on the antenna for the remote controlled HF radio but
during the exercise, HF propagation did not cooperate with us. The PREOC radio station was activated and Larry conducted a 2-meter net. The Smithers EOC was among the 15 checkins on 2-meters.

2016-04-04 Fire Restrictions in April!
 
    The Cariboo fire restrictions are about 2 months ahead of “normal”. There are 5 red flags so far for this fire season, so stay tuned
    -    Drought carry over
    -    Low snow packs
    -    Snow leaving valley bottoms early (interface hazard)
    -    High temperatures forecast for the summer
    -    Beetle kill – larger % on the ground and drier than normal with low snow pack and dry “spring” to date.

2016-04-02 Emergency Radio Communication Trailer
The new PBX telephone system in our trailer is now fully operational. It provides a direct line between our trailer and the SAR command vehicle. If we have either internet or cell coverage, we can also make telephone or fax calls to or from our trailer. Several other upgrades have also been completed.

2016-03-19 Evacuation Planning Meeting
18 people including VE7EAP (Prince George) and VE7EPT (Smithers) attended a meeting at the RDFFG office in Prince George. Also in attendance were 6 SAR groups and the regional districts of Fraser Fort George (RDFFG) (Prince George), Bulkley Nechako (RDBN) (Burns Lake) and Cariboo (CRD) (Williams lake). The topic of the day was evacuation planning and coordinating the efforts of the RDs where events such as wild fires cross regional district boundaries. Items of concern included the public's understanding of what shelter in place, evacuation alert and evacuation order actually mean. Many people don't respond appropriately if they can't see the threat with their own eyes.

The first wild fire of the year has already occurred and the lack of snow pack may mean a very dry summer. Historically, a "running wild fire" might cover 20km in a couple days. Now in some places, that distance is being covered in just hours thanks to the fallen beetle killed pine trees.


2016-03-16 Web site update
There is a new procedure to get your password. The old password will no longer work. The members section has seen a major rework. Some of the old links have been moved to the front page and new content has been added. It is a work in progress so you may see more changes in the next few months.

2016-03-12 SET Exercise
We participated in the SET (Simulated Emergency Test) from the Prince George PREOC. EMBC's new remote controlled HF radio was used for the first time and showed a considerable improvement in the receive noise level compared to the PREOC location. The radio is located in one of our repeater sites with the control head in the PREOC. The radio and its control head communicate over the Intranet using "RemotRig" interface units at each end.

2016-03-06 Repeater Status
The McBride repeater and I-gate are back in operation. Valemount still has a problem that will have to wait until we can drive to the site. The Burns Lake repeater interference problem continues to haunt us.

2016-03-02 SAR Radio Training
Two of our members assisted PGSAR with radio operation and procedures training. We prepared a handout that was distributed to the attendees. As requested by SAR, we included an overview of our emergency radio communication trailer and what we do for SAR. Several SAR members indicated their desire to get their Amateur Radio Operators Certificate and were referred to www.hamstudy.com.

2016 01 22 Time Sheets
It is essential that we keep track of our volunteer hours - including equipment installations and maintenance as well as public service. Time spent on EMBC tasks is tracked using the task forms. A new time sheet has been posted to the documents page of our web site. It is available in 3 formats: Adobe Acrobat (pdf), Open Document format (ods), and Microsoft Office (xls).

2016 01 26 EOC Training - Justice Institute of BC
One PGARC member and one PGSAR member joined the other students from the City of Prince George and several other emergency response agencies on a 2-day EOC Essentials course in Prince George.

2016 01 23 Search And Rescue
Avalanche: Our repeater network and APRS network were used during the recovery of an avalanche victim who was snowmobiling in the Torpy area. This 7-hour job was done by one member working from the city. One of the PGSAR members on site is also a PGARC member.

2016 01 21 Search And Rescue
Three members responded with our trailer for the search for a suicide victim in the Nechako River and part of the Fraser river within Prince George city limits. Nothing was found in the open water. For more information see the CKPG-TV web site.

2015 12 15  Meeting with RDFFG
A meeting between representatives of PGARC and the Regional District of Fraser Fort George was held at the RDFFG office. Topics included formalizing our working relationship with them, interoperability, EOCs, communication requirements etc.

2015 12 05    Christmas Party
Our pot luck Christmas party was enjoyed by 19 people. The food was fantastic and everyone reported having a great time. A special thanks to our hosts VE7CKZ and his wife!

2015 11 21-22 Regional Search And Rescue Conference

Four of our members participated in the annual North East regional SAR conference held in Prince George. Topics included winter operations, a table-top exercise, documentation and much more. Speakers included people from Emergency Management BC (EMBC), BC Search And Rescue Association (BCSARA), RCMP, the Coroner, Avalanche Canada, and Environment Canada. (53.5 person-hours)

2015 11 01 Search And Rescue
We were called out along with PG SAR when a reporter for the Prince George Citizen got lost at Lost Lake which is in the Beaverly area a few kilometers west of Prince George. He wrote a front page article about his experience in the paper.

2015 08 19 Search And Rescue
Call out to Date Creek Road in the Kispiox area north of Hazelton in the North East region for a lost mushroom picker. (950km round trip)

2015 08 02 Search and Rescue
Our repeater network was used to report climbers stuck on the face of a cliff and to direct the rescue teams to the site by helicopter.

2015 07 20-22 Search and Rescue
We spent 3-days helping with a search for a missing man south west of Prince George. In addition to providing radio communications, our members formed 2 search teams to help search the roads and trails with quads and trucks. 

2015 04 06 Search and Rescue
We helped Nechako Valley Search and Rescue (NVSAR)  near Fort Fraser with a search for a suicide victim who jumped into the river from a bridge. Fixed and rotary wing aircraft and jet boats were used. Story on bcsara web site.

2015 03 07-08 Super-North Conference

A representative from our club participated in the annual Search And Rescue conference held in Prince George. A summary of the event is posted on the BC Search And Rescue Association web site www.bcsara.org

2015 02 13 - 2015 03 01 Canada Winter Games
There will be 5k to 7k visitors in town for the duration of the winter games. If some of them decide to explore the mountains, our services may be required to help find them.

2015 01 21 AGM
Our annual general meeting was held at the EMBC office. It was well attended and the directors for 2015 were elected. A reminder that membership in our club is by calendar year and may be paid from the link on our home page.

2014 12 20 PGARC Christmas Dinner

Twenty six people attended our annual Christmas dinner. This year we enjoyed a prime rib dinner in a private room at the Carmel Restaurant. At dessert time, Charlene (VA7AOK) arrived with a birthday cake for her father, Graig (VE7EAP). It was quickly devoured.

2014 11 20-23 Search and Rescue

This was a large search involving about 100 volunteers. We provided radio communications for Prince George Search and Rescue. The search was for a missing woman near Willow River, east of Prince George.

2014 11 22 Carney Hill
Over the last few weeks, crews from CFIS-FM and PGARC installed a 72' Trylon tower and broadcast antenna at our Carney Hill radio site. Like us, CFIS is a non-profit society that is run by volunteers. They will soon begin broadcasting from Carney Hill with a new, higher power transmitter. We will be moving some of our antennas from the wood poles to the new tower as we upgrade the site.

There is a reason that Carney Hill is still standing in the middle of the valley. The soil is mixture of clay and small rocks that even mother nature couldn't move. It took 8 man-days with picks and shovels for the CFIS crew to dig the first 20 feet across the road! In that distance, they found 5 un-documented conduits and pipes running down the road. One feeds power to our building, one is a 12" overflow from the water reservoir, and three are broken and abandoned. We added two more conduits from our building to the tower, crossing the road at 90° to the others.

2014 09 28 George Mountain
A crew used their quads to go to George Mountain and install a new and unique repeater system.

To minimize power consumption, we installed a single repeater to operate on two different frequencies. Using APRS messaging capabilities, this repeater can be switched between our frequency (default mode) and a narrow band commercial frequency for PGSAR.

This required some custom electronic design and manufacturing and custom programming of an Arduino single board computer. VE7LUS was the chief engineer on this project.

2014 08 26 Search & Rescue
Another successful search for 2 missing people, this one at Coal Mine Road, east of Prince George. Due to SAR equipment failures, we supplied the SAR vehicle with power from our trailer.

2014 08 15, Wild Fires
We're on standby again. This time for the China Nose forest fire near Houston, BC. It is threatening the fibre optic communication cable.

2014 07 30, RAC President Visit
Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW, is the president of Radio Amateurs of Canada. Geoff visited Prince George today. He and two club members spent an hour at EMBC talking with the regional manager. They then went for a tour of our clubs' emergency communication trailer so Geoff could see our emergency communication (EmCom) equipment and capabilities.

2014 07 26, Search for missing fisherman
This search was the first time that we used our new aircraft radio (VHF-AM) to coordinate the air and ground searches. The CASARA (aka PEP-Air) (air search volunteers) managers indicated that they may call on our assistance to provide communication for their searches too. The rules state that the search aircraft must report to their control center at least every half hour. In mountainous terrain that time limit can pose significant restrictions on their searches. Adding us to their team could greatly improve their efficiency on some searches. CASARA is a national volunteer organization.

2014 07 16 Wild Fires

There are several out of control wild fires in the region. We have a small crew on stand by in case we are needed to provide radio communications in support of community evacuations. Our assistance is not needed at this time but we are attending conference calls and meetings to keep current on the situation.

2014 07 10,  Burns Lake & Verdun

This work party started shortly after 6 am with planned visits to Boer and Verdun Mountains, a round trip of 600 Km's The work party participants were VA7RC, VE7AV, VE7LUS and VE7XYL.

Our club's Boer Mountain site has been experiencing degraded repeater operation on 34/94 for a number of years. This trip was scheduled in conjunction with Industry Canada inspector Brad Gagon’s scheduled visit through the Burns Lake area. The goal was to identify the source of the interference we are experiencing. Boer Mountain is a heavily congested broadcast station site with huge towers from all of the telephone companies. It would take a good aerial photo to show what is operating there.

The interference was determined to be there all the time when we were there. After some intensive investigation of some broadcast transmitters and a broadband wireless digital operation we determined that the likely problem is externally generated intermodulation. This is not an uncommon problem at sites with the spectral density that exists at Boer Mtn.

We determined that the best plan of attack would be to move our repeater frequencies as high as possible. After a quick check of the band plan and checks with the spectrum analyzer it was determined that TX 147.360 and RX 147.960 would be a good choice for Boer Mtn. The repeater was shutdown and the duplexer was removed and taken back to Prince George for retuning.

The road to the top is very rough but well used. The view spectacular. We could see a smoke plume from a large forest fire in Tweedsmuir provincial park, probably a hundred KM's southwest. The next stop was the Francois Lake Ferry to get to the other side of the valley. The lake is 110 KM's long and up to 244 meters deep. The elevation of the lake is 715 meters ASL.

We were on our way to Verdun from Boer Mtn in late afternoon. Some of our members took the club's emergency communication trailer to the area last summer on a search and rescue job but this was the first time across Francois Lake for Diana and Frank. They too were impressed with the surrounding area. The roads to the bottom of the mountain were excellent but the road up is really only suitable for four wheel drive and high axle clearance vehicles.

The trip to the Verdun site was to restore the APRS system which had been down for several months. The repeater was working well although we found that the time of day clock was out about 30 minutes so we had VE7MK back in Prince George remotely reset it.

The repeater, link and APRS system are located in the local broadcast society's building. The club antennas are about mid way up the tower. Great views all around.

We managed to catch the 7:30 pm ferry back across Francois Lake and arrived home at 10:45 pm with another 600 kilometers on the truck's odometer.


2014 07 05, Valemount

VA7RC, VE7AV, VE7EAP, VE7LEF, VE7LUS, VE7WBF traveled to our Valemount repeater site which is 320 KM east of Prince George. We left at 6 am to upgrade the repeater, antenna system, PV array and batteries and install a new APRS system and do some building repairs.

The road up hill overlooking the town of Valemount was brutal as it was being worked on by huge equipment to make the road accessible to logging trucks later this year.

On arrival, problem number one....our keys did not work the lock so we had to drill out the locking mechanism before we could get in. Problem number two; the water damage was much worse than expected, creating a wonderful climate for massive numbers of ants which were eating up the wood in this steel clad structure. The huge black ants were extremely docile. We didn't get a single bite in spite of digging in their nest! We removed everything in the building, and opened up the floor. We found lots of water saturated fiberglass insulation in the floor and lots of ants, rotten wood and the remains of it all. It didn’t take to long for the order to go out for two sheets of pressure treated plywood for the floor, treated 2 x 6 wood, ant killer, and a new pre-hung steel clad door with new locks. This was an unexpected additional $600 expenditure.

It was late afternoon before the equipment installation even started. We all had thoughts of an overnight stay but the team worked extremely well and hard and we were able to get everything installed and operational at around 10 pm, just as it was starting to get dark.

On the trip back, we were pleasantly surprised by the excellent coverage the equipment upgrade gave us. The Valemount coverage to the west extends well past McBride to the eastern side of the Goat River Valley. Highway 16 East of Prince George now has an awesome 100% two meter linked coverage into the VE7RES repeater system for a distance of 350 plus Km’s. Anyone traveling east or south of Valemount is asked to check the coverage and let us know what you find.



2014 06 27-29, Field Day, Vivian Lake
The Prince George Amateur Radio Club did it's annual field day exercise using our Emergency Communication Trailer. We set it up at Vivian Lake which is w-n-w of Prince George. Contacts were made on 80, 40, and 20 meter bands using solar power.

We also tested as much of the other equipment in the trailer as we could and provided training to some of our less experienced members.  One radio operator made a 6-hour round trip from Houston, BC to join us.

A former Prince George Search And Rescue president and several campers visited with us and toured the trailer.







2014 06 21, Carney Hill, Prince George

Seven members spent the afternoon doing maintenance on our Carney Hill site. We cut some brush away from the building, pressure washed the moss & dirt off it then we covered the previous owner's custom color scheme which gave the graffiti artists a clean canvass to work on.

Several other building maintenance jobs were also completed.












2012 07 Certificate of appreciation - Mutual Aid search

2012 02 PERCS Meeting Report 

Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer (PSLV) award winners

Search & Rescue EMBC Tasks (Just a sample - there have been many more)

We work with Search And Rescue (SAR) to provide radio communications for them. We do not do any active searching.

Search for Ruth Hjorth  (September 2010 - north west of Quesnel)
opinion250.com news about the Horth search
Search for Annie Jack (September 2007 - 40km south of Anahim Lake)
Search for Joseph Andrews (August 2002 - Salmon Valley)
Search for Nicole Hoar (July 2002 - Prince George)

Community Events (a few examples)

2008 BC Senior Games Letter of appreciation received from BC Senior Games PDF version
2008 Juvinile Diabetes Research Foundation Certificate of appreciation received from JDRF
2001 Year of the Volunteer Certificate of appreciation received from PEP
YRB Plaque A plaque presented by PGARC to Yellowhead Road and Bridge in appreciation of their support
NBC Amateur Radio News - Issue 1 - Nov 2000
NBC Amateur Radio News - Issue 2 - Jun 2001

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Please send us any Amateur Radio related news of any thing that has taken place in central or northern British Columbia so we can add it to this page.