Saturday, April 12th, 2003 We have preliminary reports that show the repeater has about the same coverage that it had when at the elevator. The SWR is rather high so when we install the new mast and feedline we will test the antenna again to make sure there are no problems. In the mean time we have hooked the link radio into the dual bander and while the radio works in both directions there seems to be a problem at Milner. MRS will look into it for us. I have placed more pictures of our new home which will give you a better idea of our location.
Thursday, April 10th, 2003 Thanks to Ron VE4QE the VHF section is now operational. Signal reports are requested. The dual band antenna will be raised another 8 - 10 feet as soon as possible. There is a lot more work to be done and volunteers would be welcomed.
Wednesday, April 9th, 2003 We finally got the dual band Diamond repeater antenna up to it's temporary place. Many thanks to Ron VE4QE for all of the hard work on reconfiguring and
rewiring the whole shebang. Without Duncan VE4UI on the tower we would still be dreaming about the return of VE4MBR to the air. Ron VE4QE and Brad VE4PI were the experts on the ground keeping things going smoothly. We need a 12 or 15' mast to give us more height and to allow for the corner reflector link antenna to go at the bottom of the mast. We will try to get the link operational on the
dual band antenna until we can get the reflector up and get the xtals for the new UHF section. For pictures see . The autopatch will be non functional for the moment but look here for news.
The Western Canada Summer Games 2003 people have really been helpful in allowing us to disrupt their operation.
Friday, April 4th, 2003 Ron VE4QE has spent a lot of time cleaning up the old repeater equipment. The UHF repeater section is a write-off due to rodent damage. See Old-UHF.html for pictures. The new Phillips UHF transmitter/Receiver was a wise purchase decision when it presented itself. We have xtals on order for the APRS section of the repeater and they should arrive in the next week or so. Ron scrounged a four can multi-coupler to allow us to use the main antenna for APRS as well as the repeaters. Hydro has been run to our new closet at the old RCMP Town Office. The Western Canada Summer Games 2003 people have allowed us access and exclusive use of the old secure interview room. The room has excellent ventilation but lacked power so we had two 15A circuits run at our cost.
Saturday, December 2nd, 2000 Due to allocation problems with access to the printing equipment for the BlueBook we must postpone the publication until the new year 2001. We are still open to additions/deletions and changes. Also, any help in obtaining advertisers would be gratefully accepted.
Saturday, November 25th, 2000 Ron VE4QE and Brad VE4PI have been busy exploring the possibility of relocating the VE4MBR repeater to a fascility north of the City of Selkirk. The elevator is permanently closed and destruction/removal is planned for this winter. The new site would be higher as well as have a few more features than the old site which make it very attractive. We will have to see what position can be made available so that a decision on pattern can be made. It would be nice to be able to cover the southern Interlake, eastern Lake Winnipeg as well as the northern Red River Valley. Stay tuned!
Thursday, October 26th, 2000 Removal of the VE4MBR repeater equipment was complete from the AgriCore Elevator facility. The antennas and feed line were left in place in case the decision to close the grain facility is reversed [very remote]. We made sure that the bottom end of the cables can be removed without having to gain access to the building. The last day of operation will be October 30th, 2000. Hopefully another location and tower will be acquired shortly. Many thanks to Eugene VE4NME, Fred VE4VDK, Lorne VE4UN and Bob VE4UI for their work in completing the task in short order. We hopefully will be taking advantage of the lull to tune up the equipment and possibly replace some of the older components. Stay tuned for VE4MBR news.
Fall Bluebook 2000: As a result of the addition of the VA4 prefix I have had to go back and do a total rewrite of the Bluebook. I'm certainly glad that we didn't publish for the spring flea market as we really would have had egg on our faces.
New additions are as well as the VA4 prefix are changes to the summary listings to reflect the new prefix breakdown as well as email stats. Another page has been added to the repeater listings allowing for a listing by callsign plus frequency at the request of VA4AA.
With the much larger publication planned I really need help in attracting advertisers as well as volunteers to try and locate missing phone numbers that make the Bluebook so popular.
Selkirk & Y2K - 02-JAN-2000: The final roll call for the Manitoba ARES Y2K exercise was held at 0800 CST today. I was a tad late due to sleeping in but was in time to check Selkirk in and get the word that all of our people in the north have been picked up or are in the process of being picked up and will return home today courtesy of the RCMP air division.
No problems were encountered that could be linked to the Y2K rollover.
While I was against the hype for most of the preparation time, I must admit that it was a very worthwhile exercise in readiness. We once again have shown that the amateur community is prepared and willing to provide communications in times of need.
This exercise was of shorter duration than any of the floods or Pan Am Games but was the largest deployment of personnel covering the greatest number of sites over the widest geographical area.
Bands used were 75, 40, 20, 2 meters and 70cm.
If nothing else, my personal enthusiasm for HF has been renewed and my new years resolution is to spend more time on the low bands. It was also nice to hear the voices of old friends that I have not seen or talked to in a long time.
I'll forward the final reports as they come in.
Thanks once again for your involvement and support.
73 < Bill Bowman - VE4UB
Selkirk & Y2K - 01-JAN-2000: I want to pass on the word that Don VE4DJM, Section Emergency Coordinator for MB received a personal phone call from Gary Doer, Premier of MB to congratulate all radio amateurs on a job well done.
The net at 2000 CST was a wash on 40 but 75 was perfect once again. Roll call was held with check ins representing RCMP detachments from Falcon Lake in the east to Virden in the west, Emerson in the south as well as many depots in the north and in between.
We are standing down till 0800 CST tomorrow when confirmations will be made on the extraction of our volunteers in remote communities. That will likely be our final net for the Y2K exercise.
I doesn't look like there will be any communications problems that will require our attention because of the roll over but we were able to demonstrate with great strength that we were there if called upon.
Have a good evening and once again, thank you for your participation and happy new year!
73 < Bill Bowman - VE4UB
Selkirk & Y2K and the result: Despite all of the doom and gloom hype from some of the more irresponsible individuals, things went off as we had predicted. There was nothing to be concerned about. I would like to thank all of those hams that took time off from their festivities to be available for duty if required. Things went quite smooth on HF once the nets were switched to 75m since conditions on 40m just did not fill the bill. The net control stations in the south VE4SN, VE4SY and VE4GLS did a great job with excellent signals.
I would like to remind all that the winter is rapidly ending and before we know it there will be another opportunity for us to use the information from the fall CANwarn training session.
Please try to keep in touch on 147.06+ T3A (127.3) and check into the MRS nets on Thursday evenings at 21:00ct and Sundays at 13:00ct. VE4MBR is an open repeater for your use as is the autopatch. No fees are required to use the repeaters but we do ask that all hams support the MRS.
Selkirk & Y2K: On Saturday, October 9th we had an informal discussion on our local role concerning Y2K. Brad VE4PI has been in contact with the City of Selkirk Manager Jim Fenske about the possibility of activating the EOC for the turn of the century. We plan on being as prepared as possibly. Brad has already gathered the Motorola HT-600 portables used by the life guards at the outdoor pool during the summer as well as HT-600 portables from the local RCMP detachments. We will be programming the portables as well as the EOC Motorola MCX-1000 Base with all local frequencies as we did during the flood. I am still looking at the possibility of locating my TS-450S in the EOC but it depends on permission from the City. We are not forcing our will on them, rather we are providing the ideas for coverage and the decision to accept or reject is entirely up to them.
In all likelihood we will not be required but a list of those that could be called on at the last minute is being collected. We will NOT be sitting in the detachments unless called upon at the moment. Don't forget, if there is a problem, protect your family, your self and your property before abandoning your personal responsibilities.
Pictures were also taken for Selkirk & District A.R.E.S. ID cards, Lorne VE4UN will be taking them into the card manufacturer this week. If you want to get yours, get hold of me real quick along with the $10.00. We will be keeping the pictures for the City of Selkirk ID cards which will be issued early next year. Call me at 785-2701.
Canwarn WX Session: On Wednesday, September 22nd, 1999 we held a Severe WX Watcher training session at the Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive High School, twenty seven people attended including Mr. John Parker, Program Manager
Dissemination and Warning Preparedness, Prairie Storm Prediction Centre Environment Canada, Winnipeg who was our instructor. Jeff VE4MBQ of Winnipeg ARES also gave a short course on recommended procedures during declared nets. Thanks to both for a very informative meeting. After the course we adjourned to Smittys for coffee and visitation. If there is enough new people interested in the spring we will try to sponsor another session. We had representation from Lundar, Teulon, Petersfield, Selkirk, east Selkirk and Beausejour as well as Winnipeg. If anyone has any other ideas for guest speakers, please let me know and we'll see what we can do about arranging another evening.
New WX Service: As of Saturday, September 4th, 1999 Bowman Micro-Software Ltd has created a web page that updates local weather along with statistics every five minutes. The service is provided free for non commercial purposes. Just click on the hot link.
Saturday, August 28th, 1999 A dark page from our not so distant past is trying to rear his ugly head once more. If you can remember the incident where one of our own amateur radio operators attempted to acquire amateur frequencies for commercial purposes you will not be surprised to hear that he is attempting a similar scam in the rural area of Manitoba. If anyone has information about his activities, please share this information as soon as possible. It would also seem that he is attempting to get justification through ARES for his blatant piracy of amateur spectrum.
Sunday, August 22nd, 1999 After a very enjoyable day Saturday at the Austin Hamfest visiting with everyone we were back at it today with Canwarn warnings / watches most of the day. There was lots of activity throughout the southern half of the province giving a lot of hams their first oportunity to pass on their observations. Our repeater VE4MBR was active until after VE4WWO shut things down for the evening. With observations from Brad VE4PI mobile we were able to determine the danger to Selkirk was minimal. Thanks also to Bev VE4BEV and Lorne VE4UN for their participation. We brought the VE4VJ link up/down as required during the evening so that our locals could hear the other net traffic. It was a very useful exercise but thankfully there was nothing exceptional other than 1.3" of rain in two downpours, the worst was around noon.
Sunday, June 13th, 1999 Thanks to Derek VE4HAY, Dick VE4HK and Yori VE4ACX the grounding for the VE4MIL link antenna was completed at VE4MBR today.
Tuesday, June 8th, 1999 Bob VE4UI and I upgraded the VHF/Link controller today to correct the missing 127.3 output tone on 147.06+. This will allow for better monitoring in high intermod situations. There is no change to the CTCSS input requirement, you can still command it off using the 570* command. With the new Canwarn season starting it should be easier listening. Listen for Canwarn notices on the repeater during watches and warnings in our coverage area.
Monday, May 17th, 1999 The Industry Canada Discussion Paper: Streamlining the Authorization process for the Amateur Radio Service has been released. Click on this link for the paper: http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/sf01813e.html
Tuesday, March 9th, 1999 We are pleased to announce that the domain name registration for VE4SSS has been completed. It actually has been active for a while but I was waiting for a new counter that would give me the statistics that I wanted, Better-Counter more than fills the bill. You can now just point your browser to "www.ve4sss.ca". All counters were reset to march 1999 since the old hits didn't offer any statistics other than numbers.
Tuesday, December 29th, 1998 The link is in operational condition as this notice is posted. The link is brought up automatically for the MRS nets on Sundays and Thursdays, the link should also drop after 5 minutes of inactivity but due to the noise on the backbone the time will likely have to be shortened since it took 45 minutes to drop out on Sunday. The code to bring the link up once again is 403* and 430* takes it down on the Selkirk end. We hear users (unidentified) trying to bring up the link with #42 but this is not needed on our end. Please remember to identify if you are transmitting on the repeaters and/or link radios. Have a happy new year!
Thursday, December 17th, 1998 The link seems to be in operational condition as this notice is posted. Rick VE4RA installed the link radio along with the patch cord that Yori VE4ACX made up (excellent workmanship), to the 7/8" heliax. Lorne VE4UN also helped Rick with the cleanup as well as the weather proofing of the site. The codes for the link at present are 403* to bring it up and 430* to bring it down. More codes will be posted as the macros are written so keep an eye out here. As a condition of linking we have only allowed access to the autopatch from the local repeaters, no DTMF will be sent out over the link other than those issued by the Scom controller. Remember, the executive of the Triple S Communications Group encourages all users of the VE4MBR repeaters as well as the MRS linking system to support the Manitoba Repeater Society through memberships to the MRS, donations to the MRS linking would also be accepted. We will be bringing up the link for the MRS nets on Thursday evenings at 2100 and Sundays at 1300. The link will drop after five minutes of inactivity. Any reports would be appreciated!
Tuesday, December 1st, 1998 Upgrades to the VHF section as well as the UHF link radio has been completed. We hope to get the radios and controller reinstalled at the site on Wednesday, December 2nd. The 570* code will now work to disable the PL requirement, 571* will turn it back on but a timer will also reset it after a five minute lapse in RX1 activity. To bring up the link to VE4MIL enter the code sequence 403*, when you want the link removed enter 430*. Many thanks to Yori VE4ACX and Rick VE4RA for all their hard work in getting the upgrade completed.
Friday, October 2nd, 1998 Upgrades were made to both repeaters today, the firmware was upgraded to v2.03 and the vocabulary sets are now the same on both machines. It makes programming a whole lot easier for me only having minor changes between the controllers. All signal reports indicate that we have excellent coverage in all directions. If the link radio is ever received our system should be an asset to the MRS network.
Monday, September 14th, 1998 We have created a list on SIRnet to support ARES. This list is intended as a venue to distribute ARES information concerning Manitoba on the internet. To subscribe, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org the subject can be blank as it is ignored, the text of the message should only contain the two words:
You will receive a request to confirm your request and then a welcome message which will give you full instructions. If there is enough interest we have permission to set up other lists concerning ham topics such as swap, dx, etc. Feedback would be appreciated.
Wednesday, July 22nd, 1998 Communications were established with the Winnipeg weather office at 15:30 today. Jeff VE4MBQ was operating the newly established station at VE4YWG now VE4WWO. We also tested simplex coverage which should be an excellent backup in case the repeater is incapacitated.
Tuesday, July 21st, 1998 the VHF as well as the UHF auto patches are working once again. I have to made up a cable and installed it to announce that the patch is busy if the line is on use with the other repeater. WX watches and warnings are being posted as an end of activity message when they are active for our area.
VE4SSS has donated a top of the line, loaded Palomar Controller in exchange for configuring the VE4MBR VHF section and the link to VE4MIL. It was hoped that the project would have been completed months ago but I'm certain the wait will be worth it.
VE4MBR is running on 2 7k controllers by we made the switch because of the lack of support from the Palomar people. We have run the first 7k on the 440 repeater without any failure, the product operates better than advertised and the support is fantastic. Check out their site, you'll enjoy the visit. Our second 7k is controlling the VHF repeater as well as the UHF link to VE4MIL (very soon).
The Selkirk Volunteer Fire Dep't
Assisting M.R.S. & VE4SSS (see photos)
On Saturday, May 9th the City of Selkirk Volunteer Fire Department assisted with the placement of the 70cm corner reflector installation to complete our link to Milner Ridge. Deputy Fire Chief Dan Thorsteinson along with Dave Singleton manned the aerial ladder truck. Without their able assistance I doubt that the job would have been completed. Our thanks to the City of Selkirk Mayor Bud Oliver and City Manager Jim Fenske for authorizing the equipment and manpower on such short notice. The new installation will go a long way in improving our emergency communications capabilities. Manitoba Pool Elevators have been wonderful supporters of amateur radio through the years. We would especially like to thank Russell Ellis, Manager for his cooperation. Brad VE4PI in his capacity as Assistant Director of Communications for the City of Selkirk arranged for the fire truck.