November 7, 2019

NORAC's participation in the ARRL Field Day 2019 was a huge success. The official results have just been posted and we did very very well in regards to points:

https://contests.arrl.org/ContestResults/2019/Field-Day-2019-FinalQSTResults.pdf

http://www.arrl.org/results-database

Our group ranked second in Canada - yes second in all of Canada in the 1A category! And for a Western group, that's an exceptional result. Overall in the 1A category, we ranked 37th out of 142 groups.

First Canadian place went to the 25-participant-strong Union Metropolitaine des Sans-filistes de Montreal group from Quebec. Congratulations to VE2UMS on the Canadian 1A win! With just over double our QSO count, they had a good go in competing with the strong American groups. VE2UMS ranked 15th in the 1A category.

Just behind us in number of QSOs were our neighbours, the West Kootenay ARC. Congrats to you folks on your success as well!

For NORAC, our second place in category is a surprising result as we usually see more QC and ON groups ahead of us. Perhaps the usual central Canadian groups moved up a category or two? We did give it a good effort this year though, and really squeezed all we could out of phone, CW and digital modes. If you attended the event, you might recall that HF conditions were very poor on the Saturday, and we needed to shut down for an hour and a bit for weather, but we made up for it with exceptional QSO rates on Sunday morning.

Do we change classes next year?

Do we run higher power or QRP?

Do we attempt to run the whole event from battery?

Do we switch to having the event in a public place?

Do we switch to having the event take place in the woods to reduce the noise floor further?

Do we make it an even bigger party with the addition of a cook tent?

Make sure your ideas are heard when we begin planning for ARRL Field Day 2020 in the spring of next year.

Congratulations to everyone who participated in NORAC's ARRL Field Day 2019 event,
Mike VE7KPZ
NORAC Vice-President 2017-2020, technical committee member and FD2019 coordinator

Ps: The 2020 ARRL Field Day will take place on June 27 - 28, 2020. Mark your calendars now!

28 October 2019 afternoon

Texted Kevin (Commonage Bomb Patrol Official) to notify him of site visit plans, but the text was NOT delivered ... # 250 744 0732 no longer in service?

Kenwood TK805D node radio female DB9 connector re-configured to match the PiRLP4 male DB9 pin out.
 
The original IRLP cable was also modified to match the new radio setup ... the intent being the original IRLP will still work ... per David VE7LTD, the 2 nodes cannot be on at the same time but the old IRLP hardware can still work as a backup stand in.
 
Installed PiRLP4 at EGO plus left the original IRLP box at EGO.

Brad VE7WBM remotely tested the IRLP operations to confirm all was working prior to my leaving site.

Texted Kevin on the way out ... text still not delivered.

At home confirmed that the PiRLP4 answered to its new SSH login with new passwd.

FYI,
Terry VE7TRZ
NORAC Technical Committee Lead

This article is a new attempt by the NORAC Executive for the upcoming year to briefly document all of our activities as a club. My hope as President is that members will add edits to this page as the year progresses. Please keep the updates short and to the point, no need to create a monster of a page with paragraphs of detail, that level of detail can easily be done in a separate articles linked from this page. 

October 2019

  • Membership drive underway for the new year.
  • Annual General Meeting (AGM) completed - Executive remains mostly the same with Nicolas VA7AZZ joining as new Secretary.
  • RAC Foundation donation in memory of Mel Stratton VE7STR prepared and mailed with a cheque.
  • A new sign for BC Hydro yard trailer was created, then it was installed by Terry VE7TRZ.
  • New PiRLP4 hardware for node 1050 received, unboxed, and being programmed to replace the original node PC.
  • NORAC members volunteer for a total of 10 days of service as radio support for the Pacific Forest Rally in Merritt BC.
  • NORAC members volunteer for a total of 4 days of service on-site at the Okanagan Scouts JOTA (Jamboree On The Air) 2019 in Kelowna (Joe Rich) BC.
  • NORAC members volunteer for a total of 1 day of service as radio support for the Okanagan Marathon in Kelowna BC.
  • IRLP node 1050 radio cabling adjusted to match pin-out for new PiRLP4 node hardware, system tested and moved back to site at VE7EGO on the Commonage.

November 2019

December 2019

January 2020

  • NORAC members snowshoe into the VE7EGO repeater site to get repeaters back on the air after an extended period of extreme cold (cause of the issue: failure in AC power controller).
  • NORAC members test their emergency preparedness by participating in the Winter Field Day event.

February 2020

March 2020

  • Aaren VA7AEJ commissions a selection of personalized NORAC baseball caps for members to order.
  • Lindsay VE7LPG starts the weekly 220 MHz Net in Vernon.
  • NORAC members represent BC by participating in the ARRL DX Contest.
  • NORAC Amateur Radio Basic Qualifications Course completes with many students writing the exam and passing with honours.
  • Club meet-ups and official meetings cancelled until further notice due to COVID-19 outbreak and related social distancing requirements. Club members and regional HAMs work their radios more than usual to communicate via RF instead of in person.
  • The daily Vernon 80m Coffee Net is started.

April 2020

  • Personalized NORAC baseball cap order is sent in to the manufacturer. Hats are made and delivered.
  • NORAC members represent BC by participating in the World Amateur Radio Day special event.
  • Mike VE7KPZ puts an APRS RX/TX IGate on the air as VE7KPZ-10.

May 2020

June 2020

  • Technical team members visit VE7EGO repeater site for more and more tasks.
  • IRLP node 1050 is relocated temporarily to Brad VE7WBM's QTH.
  • Preparations start for setting up our own internet feed wirelessly for the VE7EGO repeater site.

July 2020

  • NORAC club member Mike VE7KPZ along with friend-of-the-club Kevin VE7XY of OCARC find their efforts participating in the BC QSO Party showcased in pictures in the July/August 2020 edition of the ARRL's National Contesting Journal. The article "Taking QSO Party Contesting To The Next Level" can be found on pages 9 and 10 of the NCJ. Additionally, they discover that their participation in the BC QSO Party event has won them the districts plaque in addition to second place in the SOLP phone category.

 

 

The SunRype Okanagan Marathon took place October 20, 2019.

Jane VE7WWJ and Mike VE7KPZ from NORAC offered service to assist with radio control for this event.

We were stationed at location "Manhattan" on the North side of the course with the brilliant John VE7JXC. As runners ran around us in all directions (requiring us to have two distinct focusses), we all worked together as a really great team.

It was a bit of a challenge to collect the bib numbers of the top male and female runners in each class, but we were able to accomplish the task and report runner statuses back to Tom VE7ENP (AKA "Comm Centre") net control for the Northern section of the course.