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Written by Bill Till   
Tuesday, 14 August 2007 00:35


News for SARC members

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As of August 2009 we have an Echolink node running here and accessible through your computer or the VE5RI repeater.  You will hear the CWID at half hour intervals as VE5FN/VE5RI.  You will also usually hear IDs from Camrose AB (VE6UU or VE6MO) and Russell MB (VE4JA) as they are often connected.  Through VE5RI, it is possible to connect to any Echolink node in the world.  To use this service with your radio, call through the VE5RI repeater and use the DTMF pad on your mic or radio to enter the node number of the station desired. All DTMF commands must start with the prefix "A" then touch in the node number.  Disconnect with A#.  Note:  when using Echolink, pause about 3 seconds between transmissions to allow the system to switch properly.  Jumping right in as soon as the other station stops will result in loss of the first words.  Count slowly to three before pushing that PTT button.

To use Echolink from your computer, go to www.echolink.org and download the free program.  Read the information on this web page and register your callsign as directed.  This will take a short interval , then you can use the program to connect to another Echolink computer or to an RF node for a computer to radio QSO.  Node numbers can be seen when you place your cursor over a station listing.  Ours is 470103.  All hams are welcome to try it out and use it.

A new Kenwood TKR-750 was installed at the VE5RI site on June 26 2008 by VE5FN and VA6NJK, replacing the 30 year old Micor that has done such yeoman service for these many years.  The interference problem at the transmitter site turned out to be due to a faulty antenna and repairs have been made.  VE5RI has battery backup so it will still be available during power. For a computer projection of the VE5RI coverage area, go to http://nwham.com/images/ham/uploads/ve5ri.jpg.

Also SARC are the proud operators of a UHF repeater on a shared tower in the City of Lloydminster.  Callsign VE5YLL.  This machine is a modified MSR2000 kindly supplied by Ed VA6EF and retuned by Gerard VE5FF.  Installed by Bill VE5FN and Jim VA6NJK.  Frequency 444.725 + mhz.  The range at present is just a few miles awaiting a properly modified receiver front end.  (Update - a high gain pre-amp has been installed on the repeater receiver as of spring 2010 and the range is surprisingly good. It can be worked with a low power UHF handheld from anywhere in the city). Check it out at http://nwham.com/images/ham/uploads/ve5yll.jpg.  We are working on a project to link VE5YLL to VE5RI so that the entire wide area coverage area of VE5RI can be worked from downtown Lloydminster with a 1 watt UHF handie.

Future plans involve installation of a repeater at a site some 5 km north of Vermilion.  Callsign VE6YVG.  It should cover from the SK border to Vegreville and from Wainwright to Myrnam or beyond. Frequency 147.315 + mhz.  Eventually to be connected to the SARA system.


Perhaps you thought about it years ago, but the Morse code requirements scared you off?

The Canadian amateur radio licencing requirements have been restructured. The Basic Amateur Radio Operator's Certificate does NOT require Morse code proficiency and allows operation on all assigned amateur frequencies above 30 mhz.  In fact, there are now several ways to get HF privileges without having to learn Morse code.  However, your ham radio experience will be much expanded and enriched by the learning and use of the code.  After all, a CW (Morse code) station is still the simplest and most effective under the most difficult conditions.



Cheap too. Ham licences are free as of 1 April 2000. Study material is available at the Lloydminster Public Library and self teaching courses are available on the Internet for reasonable fees. Examinations are given locally by an Industry Canada appointed examiner at no charge.  All communications with Industry Canada are now done on-line via the Internet so action and response times are reduced.

For more information, click on the "Becoming a Ham" link in the menu.  For local help call Bill at 780-875-7619 or email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


If you have a VHF scanner, listen for our VHF repeater - VE5RI - on 146.940- mhz.  This one is located some 15 miles south-west of Lloydminster on the Blackfoot Hills at a total height above sea level of 2800 feet (853 metres for those who insist on metric). We also have a recently installed UHF repeater on 444.725+ mhz located on a 100' (30 m) tower within the City of Lloydminster.  This is to be linked to the wide area VE5RI VHF repeater during the summer of 2010.

Join us for coffee any Saturday morning at Arby's (corner of Hwy 16 and 17) at 10 AM. There are usually anywhere from 2 to a dozen hams there slurping coffee and talking ham radio.


Some resources worth checking out for further information on amateur radio:

In Canada:  RAC TCA

General: Amsat CQ Magazine

In U.S.A.:   ARRL

Click for current YLL wx



Need a repeater list for your holiday trip?


To RAC's repeater info page.


Would you like to test your Internet download speed? Are you getting the speed you are paying for?






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