Regional Amateur Radio News
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Public Emergency Warning System
A new public emergency warning system is coming to a cell phone near
you by April 2018.
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
communicate with a radio station that
operates in the amateur radio service;
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
Spectrum Management & District Emergency Telecoms Officer,
Spectrum Management Operations Branch
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada / Government of Canada
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.
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
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
2017-03-06 Distracted Driving Regulations
The BC distracted driving regulations are available here
Web site updated including a new contact form using captcha added to
the executive page.
AGM. All executive were re-elected for their second term. There is a
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
E-Letter: Popular TV
Show HamRadioNow Adds "EmComm Extra"
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
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
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
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).
2016-10-31 Brooker Search
in Quesnel area
members spent two days
assisting Quesnel and Prince
George search and rescue and
the RCMP with the search for
two missing hunters. Our
trailer was deployed in the
back country behind Dunkley
Lumber on the first day then
we were dispatched to
Barkerville on the second day.
link to our Facebook page has
been added to the top bar. It
will open in a new tab or
window depending on your
New Repeater for Mackenzie
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
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
This is an
so there is no
always, we did
tested all our
had a great
join us was
2016-05-06 EMBC meeting
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
week and next, a few members
are working on the trailer
daily doing upgrades to the
trailer and equipment and some
2016-04-30 Training with
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.
also has a
work with SAR
and one member
the SAR quad
team. We used
both the SAR
PGSAR) found a
that have been
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
2016-04-14 EMBC Spring
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
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 PREOC radio station
was activated and Larry
conducted a 2-meter net.
The Smithers EOC was among
the 15 checkins on
Fire Restrictions in
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
leaving valley bottoms early (interface hazard)
temperatures forecast for the summer
kill – larger % on the ground and drier than normal with low snow pack
and dry “spring” to date.
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
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
is a new
will no longer
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.
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
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
problem continues to haunt
2016-03-02 SAR Radio
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
2016 01 22 Time
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.
01 23 Search
recovery of an
victim who was
in the Torpy
7-hour job was
done by one
from the city.
One of the
on site is
also a PGARC
01 21 Search And Rescue
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
2015 01 21 AGM
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
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
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
2014 08 15, Wild Fires
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
2014 07 16 Wild
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
2014 07 10, Burns
Lake & Verdun
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Prince George Amateur Radio Club did it's annual field day exercise using
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
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
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.
07 Certificate of appreciation - Mutual Aid search
2012 02 PERCS Meeting Report
& Rescue EMBC Tasks (Just a sample - there have been many
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
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 -
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
Radio News - Issue 1 - Nov 2000
Radio News - Issue 2 - Jun 2001
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.