38 Years since Operation Sky-Hook!

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VE4MBR Base/Mobile Ranges
VE4MBR Base/Mobile Range
(click for full size)

The Triple S Comm Group Executive:

Bill Bowman VE4UB ex VE4AFO President
Lorne Nicol VE4UN ex VE4AEL Vice President
Eugene Rondeau VE4NME Secretary Treasurer
Rick Allan VE4RA ex VE4ALN Technical Chairman
Fred VanDeKerckhove VE4VDK Ways and Means

The Original Selkirk Senior Citizens ARC:

The original club was formed by the following amateurs:

Hugh Williamson Studying for ticket Silent Key
Bert Anderson VE4AP Silent Key
Frank Doolan VE4AX Silent Key
Jack Walker VE4DS Silent Key
Hugh MacKay VE4HC Silent Key
Henry Grandmont VE4HN Silent Key
Brian Wilson VE4OA ex VE4AHO Silent Key
Bill Bowman VE4UB ex VE4AFO
Lorne Nicol VE4UN ex VE4AEL

The callsign VE4Selkirk St Andrews St Clements was very active on all bands. The station was located in the old RCMP Office in the basement of the City of Selkirk Offices in 1982 with the latest in amateur radio equipment. Frank Doolan spent countless hours at the station handling traffic for the seniors as well as phone patching. This was the first seniors ARC funded by the New Horizons program in Manitoba. Soon after we established the club, Winnipeg followed. When the civic offices were expanded we were forced to move to the Fox Avenue Seniors home, this was an excellent location for handling the seniors traffic but was very tiny and security of equipment was minimal. As equipment started to vanish and our ranks were being diminished it was decided to liquidate the depreciated assets and purchase communications equipment that all hams could make use of. We still retain the callsign VE4SSS for special events, ARES and field day..

Canadian Amateur Radio Research Club:

The VE4NRC club was formed by the following amateurs plus many others:

Ron Nurnburg VE4KA Silent Key
Bert Anderson VE4AP Silent Key
Bill Bowman VE4UB ex VE4AFO
Lorne Nicol VE4UN ex VE4AEL
Brian Wilson VE4OA ex VE4AHO Silent Key
Jim Barrie VE4FK
Max Toms No Callsign Morrisburg, ON
Larry Toms ex VE4VX Silent Key
Vic Grant VE4VG Silent Key
Pete Guenther VE4PG Silent Key
Hugh MacKay VE4HC Silent Key

NB: most photos circa 1979-1982

The club was formed in a great rush in May 1979 to attempt to design and fly an amateur radio package that would fly on a high altitude research balloon. The balloon was intended to reach a maximum altitude of 120,000 feet and drift west for 24 to 48 hours. Since there was no information available on effects of altitude on electronic equipment and silver cadmium batteries we winged it. After all, this was the height of the cold war.

It was decided that we would attempt to fly a simplex repeater to make the project available to as many amateurs as possible. In actuality the package consisted of two repeaters back to back. The input of one section was on 147.33 and the output on 144.33, on the other the frequencies were reversed. This simplistic (no pun intended) approach allowed the control operator to listen and transmit on 144.33 while the general ham population operated on 147.33.

As well as the two meter vhf propagation experiment we also flew a 440 beacon designed and built by Barry VE4MA. We planned to conduct RTTY contacts during quiet times. We couldn't get the model 75 (loaned by Dick VE4HK) up the stairs so this was hauled by rope over the edge of the Gimli MB abandoned control tower, quite a site, no amount of RF could break through the expletives deleted during that exercise! We never did make a RTTY contact, we never had the quiet times.

I have never seen as much cooperation in this race against the clock. I'm certain that we will never see it again. Hams from all walks of like contributed without hesitation, hell, through the cooperation of the National Research Council we made contacts with NASA who provided the silver cadmium batteries without question. These batteries had reached their shelf life and could not be risked on a space launch but were brand new. Hugh VE4HC baby sat these temperamental beauties giving them their every four hour burping at 85 deg F to bring them up to full strength. This was a two week project alone.

While work continued on our package design, Vic VE4VG designed and built four six element yagi beams along with their phasing harness and aimable stand. The array was placed on a swivel stand and an agc meter mounted between the aiming handles. This array was placed on the roof of the control tower (more sore muscles as well as verbal exchanges that would make any grandmother shudder).

Stay tuned, much more to follow as my gray matter starts to matter! Also, if you would like to add anything that my memory has deleted, please let me know.

VE4SSS Services

The club provides open access to the general ham population to the multi band repeater VE4MBR as well as the auto patches and the linking system into the Manitoba Repeater Society via VE4MIL.

We are also able to provide Volunteer Examiner services to anyone in the district wishing to obtain or upgrade their amateur certificate. The fee for taking any examination is five dollars, no taxes. The fee is non-refundable and goes to support the costs of operating the club equipment. For appointments or more information please contact Bill Bowman VE4UB.

As a club project we are continuing to print and supply the Manitoba VE4 Bluebook which is the bible for Manitoba hams. This publication is provided for twelve dollars per copy, absolutely 100% of the twelve dollar cost is returned to amateur radio. Proceeds have gone to support projects around the province with only the following restrictions: 1-the funds MUST go to a specific project, the project must be of a beneficial nature to ALL hams, not just the specific club membership. 2-no equipment purchased can be used to enhance the performance of an individual amateur. 3-no equipment purchased can be in the possession of an individual amateur. 4-financial statements are required from the club or organization to show where and how the money was spent.  5-books must be paid for in advance, no exceptions.  This year is the first year that we have printing costs, this is beyond our control and no ham receives any monies including myself and Rick.

Some of the major projects supported in the past were the initial packet linking system in Manitoba, assistance to the Manitoba Repeater Society to further the linking system. Funds have also gone to clubs throughout the province.

VE4MBR Autopatch

We hope that the autopatch will be open for local calls as well as 911 soon. To dial a local number just announce yourself ie: "VE4xxx accessing the patch", let the carrier drop then send the seven digits followed by the "*" character. Once your call is finished send the "#" character (hold it for a couple of seconds), let the carrier drop so the repeater can send its clear message and then announce "VE4xxx clear ". Please advise the person on the other end that you are on a amateur radio link at the start of your call.

We have created some shortcuts to dial supporters of the phone line costs as well as macros for emergency assistance in the Selkirk, St. Andrews & St. Clements district. They are simple 3 digit codes followed by the "*" character. Please advise the person on the other end that you are on a amateur radio link.




















One other feature that you might find handy is the time. You can call up the voice announcement of the time by identifying yourself and sending the "A" character followed by the "*" character. All of the instructions apply to the UHF as well as the VHF repeater sections.


As a public service we will attempt to have notices of any weather Watches and Warnings posted as an end of activity announcement. This happens when the carrier drops after the courtesy beep. If a WATCH is upgraded to a WARNING it will be repeated continually unless a net is established. When the Watch/Warning is ended it will also be announced. We will be going through some teething pains until the VE4 CanWarn system is fully established. The battery backup on both repeaters guarantees us 48hr transceive during which we will have no problem linking in our standby generator. Once again, everything that applies to the VHF section also applies to the UHF section.

Environment Canada Severe Weather Training Manual
CANwarn on-line training for London ON
Fact Sheet forWinter Weather Warnings
Fact Sheet for Summer Severe Weather
Weather Radio Info
Weather Warnings Map
Weather Warnings for Manitoba
Weather Warnings for Canada
Current Winnipeg Weather
Official Canwarn Site

Any Licensed Amateur Radio Operator may become a CANWARN Spotter. You do not have to be a member of any other Amateur Radio Club or Organization to join. Training in Severe Weather Spotting, and Net procedures will be provided by local experts. People who are SWL's or those who are currently studying for their Ham ticket may also wish to participate as associate members, but since you must have a Licence to operate VHF or UHF Amateur frequencies, your participation will be limited until you can get the applicable licence class. Families of Hams are also welcome to participate as associate members if their sighting reports can be passed along by the licensed Amateur in the household.

VE4MBQ & VE4WWO News Story

Click here for a Story from The Winnipeg Sun - Sunday August 2nd, 1998. NB: the new callsign for the Winnipeg Weather Office is VE4WWO. Anyone in the Selkirk area that holds an amateur radio certificate and interested in CanWarn training, please contact Bill VE4UB at 204 482-3402. Others that may be interested in becoming an amateur radio operator please contact me as well. Individuals in other areas can still contact me and I will try to put you in touch with either your Emergency Coordinator or an Industry Canada Volunteer Examiner close to you.

VE4DJM - SEC VE4 Free Press Story

Friday, March 22nd, 2002
Winnipeg Free Press
A Welcome Slice Of Ham

APRS (my NEW Packet Mode)

Monday, November 29th, 2004: I have built quite a few TinyTrak3 and PocketTracker3 units as well as running a PacComm TNC for Digi operation but last week I discovered the most amazing unit for portable APRS.  Rick VE4RA had shown me his Kenwood TH-D7A dual band + APRS unit and felt it was more than I needed as we have two Kenwood TH-79A units as well as a couple of TH-26s.  The TH-26s have been demoted to APRS duty with the TinyTrak3s and the TH-79As are getting tired.  I noticed a new (hardly used) TH-D7A unit for sale on EBay and picked it up at about half the going rate.  The unit has been superseded buy the "G" model that has quite a few more APRS features but this one is great for my use.  All a person needs to add is a GPS for a full system.  The least expensive GPS solution is the Garmin GPS-18PC which goes for about $125.00 Canadian.  Personally I have a listing of the coordinates for most places in Selkirk and can easily change the coordinates as I go around town.  For future trips in my scooter I intend to use the GPS-18 so I can keep my attention on steering.  There are many inexpensive methods to get on APRS without spending a lot of money.  We have many stations on 144.39 operating without GPS, it just means that the coordinates have to be entered manually.

My Earlier Postings on APRS:
In all the years my TNCs (Terminal Node Controllers) sat on my shelf unused I never thought that they would be anything more than a reminder of the heyday of packet, 1980-1992. My last TNCs were MFJ-1278s that served me and the community very well. One was used on HF/UHF and the other on VHF. This was the gateway for packet for many years but with the advent of the Internet demand and interest died off. There were some diehards who held on but progress made this mode obsolete. There will be arguments but it is a fact, we must move on. I along with my youngest son Brad VE4PI started to investigate this new use of packet that would allow tracking of mobile units as well as short messages. Because of the insistence of Wayne VE4WTS, Garry VE4KGB, Gord VE4GLS, Grant VE4HGD and many others we finally dusted them off and got them into operation once again.

I'm having a ball with my new interest in yet another mode in this wonderful hobby. So far we have only been able to get one temporary base station operational but I hope to have a mobile in operation this weekend. Our intent is to get our SUV operational next, then Brad VE4PI and then my scooter.

If anyone in the area is interested in getting involved, please send me an e-mail and I will try to help, there are lots of seasoned "experts" in the area who have jumped to help me as in this case it is truly "the more the merrier".

The bare necessities are: a computer 486 or better, a vhf transceiver capable of fm operation on 144.390 MHz, at TNC of almost any flavor , an antenna and optionally a GPS and/or a weather station. Coordinates can be entered in manually in the absence of a GPS, this is fine for base operation unless you reside on a fault line you shouldn't drift much. The weather station adds a nice touch but I have a problem getting mine from tcp/ip to WinAPRS since the computers are in different rooms albeit on a network but I haven't figured this one out yet.

If you are interested at all, try going to http://wx.findu.com/ve4ub check out the links on this page and I'm sure you will be hooked!

VE4SSS & VE4MBR Activities

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017: Yori, Dick and Derek  stopped by with Rick VE4RA to pich up the iCom  VHF repeater,  UHF  link and  accessories  for tune-up and or repair in preparation  of the move to the new site.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017: Ron VE4QE still has not returned the equipment. He claims now that he has nothing and never had it. Lovely, just lovely. Thanks so much for nothing. Along with the new repeater the APRS unit is also gone. What else is missing is yet to be determined as everything was disconnected and moved to a storage are without notifying us.  At least Rick VE4RA was finally able to get the keys and access.

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008:  Ron VE4QE has tuned up the new UHF repeater and has time booked in the radio shop to do the final tuning on the PA deck.  He picked up the transmitter, receiver and cans for the final tuning.  Once this is completed and installed at our Christie Avenue site he will then take the two metre section and cans to the same radio shop for retuning.  We are all looking forward to elimination of the interference especially when the link is up.   He picked up the equipment today so we should see the results of his labours before too long.  Thanks Ron!

Monday, August 28/29th, 2006:  At 1815 CDT the main MTS fiber feed was cut between Winnipeg and Selkirk around Pritchard Farm Road. 

Long distance, cellular 911 and trunk radio service in Selkirk were disabled. 

A call from the emergency supervisor at the Selkirk General Hospital to Brad VE4PI (also director of communications for the City of Selkirk) at 1828 put the communications segment of the City EOC and our communications plan into action. 

Brad set up a portable station at the hospital and at 1855 notified Selkirk Fire and Ambulance to use FleetNet local talk groups.  He then moved the station to the civic offices EOC. 

Emergency bulletins were relayed to fire, EMS and police to move to VHF for site to site and establish Rogers communications. 

Emergency bulletins were relayed via Rogers Cellular to  news media for public to use local numbers rather than 911.  Emergency Services were advised to add crews for the night, and to utilize patrols for highway travelers that may not be aware of the communications outage.  Coverage for Emergency health maintained via pay as you go cells.

We confirmed our participation with Dave VE4PN when Winnipeg net started using VE4VJ.
We continued to give status reports to VE4PSC throughout the evening when we had information of interest to the net.
City of Selkirk Director of communications Brad Bowman VE4PI
NCS for Selkirk on VE4MBR, VE4VJ & Simplex Bill Bowman VE4UB
Assisting with Selkirk net functions Bev Bowman VE4BEV

Selkirk ARES incident participants:
Ron Williscroft VE4QE

Bev Bowman VE4BEV
Lorne Nicol VE4UN
Eugene Rondeau VE4NME
Duncan Bowman VE4UI
Bill Bowman Jr VE4OA
Brad Honke VE4XM
Brad Bowman VE4PI
Bill Bowman VE4UB

We had hams available for backup coms for RCMP, EMS, Hospital and Selkirk Fire.
Interlake Health Region has coms via Rogers and Ambulance units local frequencies.

Selkirk Fire had members on standby at the fire hall with inter department coms via their VHF local & mutual aid frequencies.

RCMP Selkirk/Rural/Highways were only concerned about their local areas.

Interagency coms were handled by shift at the City of Selkirk EOC

All agencies have Rogers cell phones scrounged by Selkirk ARES members and concerned citizens for Winnipeg & Brandon coms.
Full service was reestablished to Selkirk at 0005 Tuesday August 29, 2006.

Our EOC remained active throughout the night to ensure service should the link fail.

We halted our local net at 0100 and cleared with VE4PSC at that time. 

Friday, March 31st, 2006:  Ron VE4QE has tuned up the new UHF repeater and is just awaiting time in the radio shop to do the final tuning on the PA deck.  (anyone have a Bird wattmeter that he can borrow)?  Once that is completed it should be on the air and we can then look at adding IRLP to it.  Now that Environment Canada has committed to SAME technology for weather radio we will be adding local warnings to both repeater sections.  We also hope to add 144.39 to the repeater for APRS and add a gateway when the IRLP is implemented.  Once the equipment is installed we will try to reactivate the autopatches on both sections.  In the beginning, please refrain from using the autopatch during working hours unless there is urgent traffic  

Thursday, October 20th, 2005:  Duncan VE4UI and I have installed the custom words from Sean Caldwell KF4IWT who is the voice of the Vyex DAB as well as "Bob FM".  The custom words/phrases for our area should make the controller much friendlier.  Any reports on the all new VE4MBR custom ID are welcome.  As well as the normal commands try sending "1" from your touch pad to hear a description of our repeater.  Any of the voice outputs will delay before being sent and then switch to CW if a carrier is received.  More will be added once the link radio at VE4MIL is replaced as we have had Sean send us the compatible custom words for the links and special functions. 

Friday, August 19th, 2005:  Ron VE4QE and I have some upgrading done on the VE4MBR VHF and UHF repeaters.  The custom words have been ordered from Sean Caldwell KF4IWT who is the voice of the Vyex DAB.  The custom words/phrases for our area should make the controller much friendlier. 

Thursday, August 4th, 2005:  Ron VE4QE and I have finally started to get some upgrading done on the VE4MBR VHF and UHF repeaters.  Today we got the new DAB installed on the VHF repeater but we ran out of time to get it initialized.  We will get that done tomorrow.  Ron has taken the link radio home for a tune up and make sure that the CTCSS board donated by Yori VE4ACX is operational in preparation for the MRS link at Milner replacement.  Stand by for more news as we actually get planned work completed 

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005: Duncan VE4UI and Ross Paddock aligned the horizontal 440 link yagi correctly to VE4MIL.  My error, in the excitement to get the link up before the snow last year, I was 25 - 30 degrees out in my guestimation.  After getting the correct long/lat from Grant VA4GD, I recalculated and the correction made.  Quite to our surprise the signal path is so good that the alignment made no noticeable difference in the quality of our signal.  Thanks to Garry VE4KGB, Don VE4DJ at VE4EMO and Brad VE4XM for their signal reports.

 Ron VE4QE and I hope to get some more work done on the VE4MBR UHF repeater and get this section operational soon. 

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004: We have acquired a set of four vhf Sinclabs cans which should allow us to multicouple our proposed APRS node into our main antenna.  Ron VE4QE will be setting these up for us so we are a bit ahead of our schedule for our winter upgrades.  Watch for VE4MBR-3 to show up.  We hope to expand this to a gateway in the near future.
We are getting more activity on the VHF repeater section as hams become aware that it is once again operating at full potential.  The MRS nets seem to be a hit as we have a few more hams from the district using the links.  The new Vyex Digital Audio Boards should arrive soon so I will be busy configuring the firmware/software for our needs.  These units will give us a lot more options and enhance the operation.  We plan to have bulletins available on demand as well as notices and weather warnings.  Any ideas of what you would like to see for information would be welcome.  When you hear the new "voice id" you will know they have been installed.

Saturday, November 27th, 2004: We have had many more reports and I have created a coverage map to estimate our Base and Mobile coverage from these reports.  It would seem that we are definitely not an alligator.  Our receive is much better than our transmit.  This is to be expected I guess since we are using very low output power.  It is hoped that in the future we will have tone access to higher power.  Much like the "570" to remove the T3A tone access we would have tone access to higher power when required.  Derek VE4HAY proved this when he was mobile at Grand Beach, he was Q4-5 but had trouble hearing through the repeater.  He tested the coverage when returning on Hwy 59 and his only complaint was local noise that broke his squelch even with CTCSS turned on.  I can't explain this phenomenon but have experienced the same problem from within the City of Winnipeg starting on McPhillips Street near the casino.  Ron VE4QE was mobile on Friday afternoon doing testing from west and southwest sections of Winnipeg where communications were possible despite experiencing intermods.  Higher power or using the link would correct this problem. 
Wednesday, November 24th, 2004: We have had a few more reports and everything points to better VHF coverage than we ever had at the old site even that we are lower.  I can only attribute it to the quality installation work and low loss feed line.  Derek VE4HAY was mobile on his way to Grand Beach.  He was Q5 until he went down the hill to his establishment, pretty good as this measures about 32m or 83km.  Duncan VE4UI was on his way to HMCS Chippewa last evening and was still Q5 in front of City Hall on Main Street in Winnipeg.  Please keep the reports or checks coming as I would like to build a map with portable, mobile and base coverage from all directions.  Once this is completed I'll be sure to post it here.  Ron VE4QE is going to have a look at our noise burst on the link transmitter in the next couple of days.
On a lighter note.  I have stripped the vinyl jacket from the two short pieces of heliax, any ideas on what we should do with these?  How about an SWR trophy?  Let me know.  Check out the pictures.

Sunday, November 21st, 2004: Spent a lot of time today reprogramming controller macros.  Still rusty on the commands so lots of trial and error to get things right.  It was much easier using the programming software over the phone line but this will have to do for the time being.  Jim VE4AGS checked in from his home in Ste Anne south of Winnipeg.  He sounded local so the VHF section of the repeater is operating better than my expectations.  It goes to show that a job worth doing is worth doing well. Duncan VE4UI and Ron VE4QE deserve a real pat on the back for a job well done under adverse conditions.  Any other reports are welcome as this is the only way to find out what our new coverage are is.  Remember, despite some accusations that our PL is to keep users out, nothing is further from the case.  The PL requirement can be turned off by sending DTMF 570.  The PL will turn back on after a inactivity period on the repeater or you can turn it back on by sending DTMF 751.  The PL is there to stop interference from other repeaters further upstream in the Red River Valley.  With inversions we had repeaters near Fargo ND tripping the system.  Now that all of the repeater allocations are used up in our area more and more systems are going to have to do likewise.  At least with ours you can turn it on and off as desired.
Saturday, November 20th, 2004: Thanks to Yori VE4ACX, Grant VA4GD and Derek VE4HAY for their work on the link on the Milner end.  The receive audio is much better after their ay on the ridge.  We have some work to do as there seems to be an occasional small noise burst emanating from the link radio on our end.  This only occurs when the link is up so we will keep it down as much as possible till it is corrected.  For some reason changes are required to the macros at our end to avoid problems on the MIL end.  I hope to have these corrected tomorrow at the latest.
Friday, November 19th, 2004: At long last, thanks to mother nature, Duncan VE4UI and Ron VE4QE the tower work is completed for this phase of upgrades on VE4MBR.

On Wednesday afternoon Duncan and Ron were able to replace the 1/2" heliax link run with LMR-400.  The damaged cable was beyond our worst expectations.  The line was crushed and someone had built the cable back up with rubber seal tape to look round.  In places the copper shield was open. 50 ohms is optimum but this never even came close.  Duncan also replaced pigtails and many adapters with one N male connector at the horizontal yagi.

They ran out of time on Wednesday so Ron VE4QE completed the termination inside on Thursday by noon.

I spoke with Rick VE4RA through the link on VE4VJ to confirm that we were operational.  I also checked into the MRS swap net through the link to VE4WPG at 2100 last evening.  I announced to the net that the link was operational. Grant VA4GD from MRS said that he and Yori VE4ACX would be going to the VE4MIL site on Saturday to see if they can fix the noise problem.

All in all, I think that the VHF section and the link are operating as good or better than they did at our old site.  Only time and reports will tell.

Please dust off your handhelds, mobiles, bases or whatever you have and give us a report.

Next up, to get the new UHF repeater installed as soon as Ron can arrange to get it tuned up in the radio shop.

The transmitter on the link radio only transmits when told to do so by the Scom 7K controller unlike many in the link system that are active continually.

No fees are requested for the use of this repeater, the VE4SSS executive would like to see those hams using the facilities to support your provincial repeater society MRS.  Their user fees go to supporting the linking system as well as repeaters throughout the province.

Remember a great deal of time and effort has gone in to this upgrade, this is your repeater, use it or lose it!

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004: Today is the day we wrapped up the outside antenna work on VE4MBR.  Duncan VE4UI and Ron VE4QE got that completed today with the replacement of the damaged heliax with LMR-400 on the link antenna.  No one expected that we would have a day like this in Selkirk on the 17th of November!  It was expected to reach a balmy 12c on the plus side!  We made it to 11c.  The antenna gods must be liking our work.  Any reports after the installation would be most welcome.  I brought up the morning net on VE4WPG via the link today but it was so noisy that communications through the link would be next to impossible.  It is likely a transmitter problem at MIL since I'm told our audio is excellent through the link.  I'll try again tomorrow to see if our work makes a difference or if MRS will have to do some work on the VE4MIL end.
  As you can see, it is really hard to imagine how we got a signal through this horribly damaged heliax!  Click on the thumbnail for more views.  The outside work is completed for this year.  Ron VE4QE will make the final connection to the link radio in the morning and we will be ready for some real testing.  Please give us some reports!!!

Thursday, November 11th, 2004: I have been monitoring the link this evening and it is operational from Selkirk.  There is some noise on the receive and I don't know yet if it's us or them.  Only time will tell.  We will know for sure once the LMR-400 is installed.
I was able to check into the MRS swap net first try on VE4MBR through the link so this is the first actual test with the new yagi.   After net I checked with Derek VE4HAY who was surprised that I was through the link, he thought I was local in Winnipeg!
Don't forget the MRS Swap n' Shop nets on VE4MBR every Thursday and Sunday evenings at 2100 local.  The link is brought up by timed macro so no operator intervention is required.  Please check in.

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004: Selkirk VE4MBR/VE4SSS
 We have now completed the installation of a taller mast and replaced the feed line with LMR-400 for the tri-band Diamond vertical repeater antenna.  The work was completed by Duncan VE4UI on the tower and Ron VE4QE on the ground.  Weather was excellent for tower work, cold and windy!  The results from the changes are well worth the effort.  The Link antenna was also installed to link Selkirk with MRS and Pinetree for additional coverage.  The UHF section of the repeater should be commissioned in the next couple of weeks and the 23cm section will be added this winter.  We still will have to replace the Link yagi feed line with LMR-400.  That run is ready to go and should take an hour at the most to replace.  As soon as there is a warmer day we will get it done.  Plans for this winter are to get the autopatches working on VHF and UHF and installation of an IRLP link.  The two Scom 7K repeater controllers will also be upgraded to enhance operation. Negotiations are ongoing with the City of Selkirk and our emergency preparedness.  News should be available on this front soon.  Brad VE4PI is also the Director of Communications for the city which enhances our position.  Our new home is in the old RCMP city office and our repeaters are located in the secure interview room.  I wish to thank all of the hams involved in making a success of our operation.  Without the hard work of Rick VE4RA, Ron VE4QE, Duncan VE4UI and Brad VE4PI we would still have pieces in Eugene's VE4NME garage.  A special thank you to Eugene VE4NME and his XYL Pauline for giving up so much space in their garage for so long.

Monday, November 8th, 2004:The new LMR-400 for the Tri-Band vertical is now fully installed at the repeater.  We are looking for reports now that the antenna, mast and feed line are installed.

We now find that the feedline for the link antenna has been damaged.  It looks crushed where it bends to come into the building.  This is resulting in a very high SWR.  Further testing will be required but we have LMR-400 to replace this line if required.

It would also seem that when the windows were being washed at the senior complex next door using a decommissioned fire truck some years ago.  That the outriggers failed and the truck toppled into the building and tower.  No one was hurt but it looks like someone just taped over the damage to the cable and left it in that state?

We will hopefully have good enough weather to get the link feedline replaced very soon if required. 

Thanks again to VE4UI and VE4QE for getting the job done.

Saturday, November 6th, 2004: For now the tower work in as complete as we can do for the time being. See Photos!

The VHF/UHF antenna is now up at full height with the new mast.  The new run of LMR-400 is installed  the tower.  The link yagi is in place and all tower feedline work is done for this winter.

Monday Ron VE4QE will run the LMR-400 feedline into the repeater room and terminate it.  Once we are sure that everything is operating as it should Ron will recommission the VHF and UHF link repeaters.  When Ron can get time in the radio shop the new UHF repeater will be commissioned.

Work to be done:
 1> acquire a new tri-band vertical, probably Diamond. This will require new termination at top end of LMR-400 feed line.
2> acquire and install new 1296 repeater.
3> install a computer and IRLP controller. If anyone knows of a rack mount computer case please let me know!
4> acquire and install a 900mHz control link for IRLP and repeater programming.
5> install autopatch access on VHF and UHF (no access from UHF link).

These tasks are job jar tasks and need not be completed as listed.  We would like to acquire the new antenna ASAP so that it is on hand if there is a break in the weather that would allow the switch.

Thanks to Eugene VE4NME for the use of his ladder, Duncan VE4UI for the tower work, Ron VE4QE for his expertise and ground control, Bev VE4BEV for being the gofer.

73 < Bill VE4UB...

Thursday, November 5th, 2004 VE4MBR rescheduled - Again & Again! 

Having been skunked on the last three attempts by impossibly poor weather forecasting, we will try again tomorrow, Friday 5th.  Duncan VE4UI will be available around 1300 or so.  If anyone can give him a hand besides Bill Jr VE4OA it would be appreciated.  We need an extension ladder to get on the roof and everything else is in place.

What has to be done:

1> Remove the short mast and replace with the new 20' section (VE4UI will be on the tower)

2> Attach the new feed line and raise the mast to at least the twelve foot mark.

3> Install the horizontal UHF link antenna at the bottom of the new mast.

4> Get the new feed line into the building and terminate on the radios.

Number 4 can be done later which will result in the repeater being off line until the job can be done.

We need people on the ground to hoist things as needed and lower things as required.

If the wx office is correct for once, and we have the manpower we should be able to wrap this up tomorrow.

Anyone that can lend a hand please let myself ve4ub@bmsl.ca or Duncan ve4ui@bmsl.ca ASAP!

73 < Bill VE4UB...

Friday, October 29th, 2004 VE4MBR rescheduled - Again!  It looks like the next opportunity we will have is on Sunday afternoon. If the forecast can be believed it should be as good as it gets.

VE4UI curls in the morning but if we can get a few people together mid afternoon there should only be about an hours worth of work to get it done!

73 < Bill VE4UB...
Thursday, October 28th, 2004
We have been skunked for two days now as far as work on the tower goes.  The new mast is on the roof, the LMR-400 feedline is in the building but we need the weather to cooperate.

Yesterday, pouring rain, high winds kept us off.  VE4NME, VE4QE and VE4UI got everything to the site and it is ready to go.

Today, the wind and temp cooperated but the fog and mist made climbing just out of the question since rubber and steel tend to get pretty slippery.

The forecast isn't much better for tomorrow afternoon but hopefully the weather office will bat a 1000 and be wrong once again.  From Saturday on the temp will be dropping and therefore tomorrow afternoon looks like our best bet.

With the mast, feedline and link antenna at the site it shouldn't take too long to complete the job, at least the outside work.  If it is too late we will be offline over the weekend due to limited access for feeding the line in from the tower to the repeater room.  If we are lucky, the feedline connected to the tri-band antenna will be able to feed the uhf link.  This will save us the cost of one run.  If not, we will replace it as soon as possible.

The tri-band antenna will be going up another twelve feet (at least) so the need for the new line.  Also, LMR-400 will be better for the 1296 section when it is available.

Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow!

73 < Bill VE4UB...


The VE4SSS/VE4MBR Photo Album
VE4MA WARC Demonstration of 24gHz EME
VE4INT Installation Circa Fall 1980
VE4MBR Prime Antenna Installation 12-Jul-94 # 0
VE4MBR Prime Antenna Installation 12-Jul-94 # 1
VE4MBR Prime Antenna Installation 12-Jul-94 # 2
VE4MBR Prime Antenna Installation 12-Jul-94 # 3
VE4MBR Prime Antenna Installation 12-Jul-94 # 4
VE4MBR Link Antenna Installation 09-May-98 # 1
VE4MBR Link Antenna Installation 09-May-98 # 2
VE4MBR Link Antenna Installation 09-May-98 # 3
VE4MBR Link Antenna Installation 09-May-98 # 4
VE4MBR Link Antenna Installation 09-May-98 # 5
VE4MBR Link Antenna Installation 09-May-98 # 6
VE4MBR Link Antenna Installation 09-May-98 # 7
VE4MBR Link Antenna Installation 09-May-98 # 8
VE4MBR Link Antenna Installation 09-May-98 # 9
VE4MBR Link Antenna Installation 09-May-98 # 10
VE4MBR Link Antenna Removal April-2001 Album
VE4MBQ at VE4YWG from The Winnipeg Sun 02-Aug-98
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 1
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 2
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 3
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 4
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 5
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 6
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 7
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 8
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 9
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 10
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 11
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 12
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 13
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 14
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 15
VE4BB WARC/ARRL Field Day 1999 Photo # 16
VE4NRC QSL Card - 1979
VE4NRC QSL Data - 1979
VE4PKT Setup courtesy of Werner VE4UA
Map of Selkirk & District
Map of Selkirk & District Zoom Out
Map of Selkirk & District Zoom In
Maps by
Microsoft Expedia Maps

Ham Fests / Meetings / Etc.

 WARC Monthly Meeting
Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month.
at Dakota Collegiate
661 Dakota Street
The meeting will be on the third Monday if the second is a statutory holiday.
No meetings are held in July & August
Meetings Start @ 1930 Local Time
for more info contact WARC

MARM's 14th annual Hamfest
Austin MB Exhibition Grounds
August 2010
Friday evening Campfire Sing along
Saturday night dance party BYOB

for more info contact Dave VE4XN

47th annual International Hamfest
International Peace Garden
July ??? 2010
Friday evening Campfire Sing along
Saturday night dance party BYOB

for more info contact Dave VE4XN

Bluebook Information...

Please get any additions, deletions or correction to Bill VE4UB A.S.A.P.. We also require advertisers so if your business is interested please let me know. All Bluebook pages are updated monthly or more frequently if required.
Manitoba Bluebook Repeater Listings
Manitoba Bluebook Callsign Summary Listing
Manitoba Bluebook Callsign Updates 
Manitoba Bluebook Changed Callsigns

Ham Interest Links...

Local Weather for Selkirk MB 
Weather Warnings for Manitoba
Weather Warnings for Canada
Selkirk Wind Damage Sept 5th, 2005
VE4MBR to VE4MIL Link Album
Our New Home [VE4MBR]! 

HAMRAD Amateur Radio Resource
ARAS Official Canadian Callbook
Camp 807  
K2BJ Home of HF Mobile
Kenora ON Area Amateur Information by VE3NNM
North West Ontario Swap List
The Manitoba Repeater Society Swap n' Shop
The Manitoba Digital Emergency Communication Group
Winnipeg MB ARES
Winnipeg Senior Citizens Amateur Radio Club
SCom Repeater Controllers
Winnipeg Amateur Radion Club - VE4BB



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Bowman Micro-Software Ltd, Bill VE4UB, Brad VE4PI & Duncan VE4UI
Last updated Monday, January 2nd, 2012
Created as a public service, and donated to VE4SSS.
Special thanks to Bowman Micro-Software Ltd for their generosity!