Radiosport Manitoba Meeting

It’s been some time since our group last met.  We were unable to set up a time to meet in October – a few fellows have been away – one on a DXpedition to 4W-land 🙂  That’s another story and there were stories 😮

A number of us met to discuss all things DX/contesting.  This time the meeting was held at Adam VE4SN’s QTH.  He’s an established ham with a knack for the DX and it shows – only missing a 1 (or 2?) prefixes.

We heard of our leader’s DXpedition to 4W land.  A local member will also be taking on the VE4RAC callsign for the RAC Winter Contest coming up just after Christmas.  Will be another interesting contest.

After going through the groups’ usual affairs, we were treated to some treats by Adam and his XYL Sylvia.  After such, we had a tour of his shack (pic below).  We will be assisting to get his logs from 3.5″ disk to cabrillo format to get it uploaded to LoTW. 🙂

Adam is also an accomplished painter – having dabbled in that for a while and proudly showcased some of his paintings afterwards.

A rather clean ham-shack if you ask me!

Adam's setup
Adam’s setup

A rather interesting piece of equipment he showed off — a key used from a WWII bomber!  Impressive to have and still use.


WWII Bomber Key
WWII Bomber Key

Our next meeting will hopefully be held just after Christmas – scheduled for Lee VE4DXR’s QTH.  More interesting stories 🙂

73, Dan ve4drk

ARRL Sweepstakes SSB

Unfortunately, I was only able to work a few hours on this contest.  This time I was at my own QTH on my own rigs.  After running on Cary VE4EA’s equipment for a while I get a little spoiled, so I started to work on the gear and bring it up to speed to run on a contest.  I did S&P for a while and, man, was it tough — I mean the exchange seemed so slow, it took, like, forever, to get to another exchange.  Oh well —  something to learn from and get better at.

My lowly score :-(
My lowly score 🙁

So, work is (again) on to get my station working easier on a contest …

73, Dan ve4drk

Repeater controller – cool

I’ve been lucky enough to work with a group that is dabbling in some interesting technology.  The MRS (Manitoba Repeater Society) – are working with Sierra Radio Systems with their beta RoIP device.  An rather interesting set of components compliments this setup.

A nice backplane to host the expansion cards.  A hosting ratio CPU board, a couple of radio interface controlling units and a new beta interface board.  This spiffy little guy is a unique merging of tech – it uses a beagle board (black) as the primary computing platform – which in itself is quite the unit for experimenting with! add a custom codec chipset and away we go.  The idea here is to provide a means to control the repeater systems remotely, automatically, scheduled events etc as well as providing a back-channel of VoIP connectivity to the main repeater systems.  All with standard open-source components/software.  I’ve got a fair bit of background with using/administering asterisk servers, so this is a nature interest.


New beta VoIP board
New beta VoIP board


I’ve got the unit up and running and on-line.  Will be very interesting to get this interfaced with the spare repeater Derek VE4HAY has and test this new mode out!

73, Dan ve4drk