One of the groups I belong to is the VE4WDR – Winnipeg Digital Repeater group that runs and operates the local D-Star repeater.  I joined the group last year and picked up a hand-held dstar radio to try out the modes and understand more of the protocols – how we can use it/leverage it /etc …

Well, the computer that runs the internet-gateway services for the dstar system crashed a couple of weeks ago, and while it was attempted to resurrect the machine, it was DOA and not recovering, so a new server was procured – thanks to William VE4VR on his server-grade rack-mount unit with redundant supplies/etc.  After getting the software CD’s /downloads, I was able to get the server back in operational state – running in my rack in my basement.

So, we finally get a time where a group of us can scale the bldg at the site and install the new server.

After getting the old server out (a pc-based desktop housed inside a rack-mount enclosure), we needed to put the (larger) server in a different spot — higher up.

Plugging in the power and the ethernet cables, it came up just fine and started it’s registration process to put itself on the routes.  A little while late rand viola, we were back on-line.  Now Garth VE4GWB was working hard on figuring out the free-start g2_link new software – so there’s a bit of new stuff to figure out, but at least it’s back on-line and more secure.

Attending the fix was VE4GWB, VE4MAB, VE4VR, VE4DRK, VE4RLK and his S.O. Laura.

I was able to spend a few hours spread over a couple days to try my hand at the CQ WPX contest.  I didn’t quite make my deadline on getting my new antenna up, so I didn’t put in much time (nor effort) — so my score shows — I think I made around 140 contacts — so, just played around.

The other item that I was able to get tested out was my ubiquiti radio on the 2.3GHz amateur radio spectrum.  After setting it atop my 20′ pole, I was able to get some connectivity — albeit only at a 1.5Mbps rate .. so I do need more height — mounted to the pole above the house should do it 🙂  will see.

On the bright side, Walter VE4VB was ale to get connected to the network as well — he’s only a couple of km from the site, so it appears he has good coverage, but might be slightly obscured from equipment on top of the bldg and off to the side .. will do further tests to figure that out.

73, Dan ve4drk


VA4WAN – continued progress

A large contingent of hams scaled the 55 Nassau building last Sunday.  Accompanying us was our ISP provider Les from (who coincidentally happens to also be a ham) and with us was a large external enclosure and some new RF gear — a spanking new Air Fiber 24GHz unit!  So the point of this visit is to replace the existing link with this new hot one.  With one radio already setup at the base and this one being installed, the speed will be over 1Gbps duplex 🙂

Switching gear/etc
Switching gear/etc
The Air Fiber ... first dish on the right-side
The Air Fiber … first dish on the right-side
William, Colin, Derek (and apparently my thumb) working on the rack
William, Colin, Derek (and apparently my thumb) working on the rack


one switch, two switch - small switch, big switch
one switch, two switch – small switch, big switch

SO – how fast can this this transfer data?  How about 800Mbps sustained!  Now that’s quite a data feed for our little radio setup – and that’s without tweaking the configuration.

We have more work to do on the network configuration/management end of things, but it’s all good working forwards.

The effort now is to bridge this connection to remote points of the city and outside to provide services to hams and ham groups.

Stay tuned!

73, Dan ve4drk

Meeting VE4VJ up close …

While I was able to see the VE4VJ/VE4WPG site up close and personal on a previous visit on the roof, I had not been in the machine room where the RF gear is located – except for this last Sunday where I accompanied Yuri VE4ACX, Dick VE4HK to the Richardson building at Portage & Main in Winnipeg.

I didn’t realize the close quarters that the gear is setup in — mind you, we don’t need alot of room to host the RF gear.

The UHF repeater VE4VJ is being taken out of service to tune up the RF & audio.  Also – the two link radios are being brought in for Yuri to tune as well — almost like getting the oil replaced in your car – just not as often 🙂

RF gear
RF gear
RF gear ...
RF gear …


It will be back on the air in a week or so after Yuri does his magic … it’s a great repeater and site.

73, Dan ve4drk

Radiosport Manitoba March meeting

A rather nice meet-up occurred on a Thursday – March 12 – at a new venue for our group.  For this monthly meeting, we held it at a local restaurant and we invited our XYL’s!

We had all but one able to show up (work gets in the way sometimes) — and we all had a good time talking about DX and contesting – yes – even the XYL’s understand the lingo.  That’s a good thing considering they are always aware of the wires and gadgets the clutter the house up! 🙂

Quality of my phone camera is less than desirable – but you get the idea:

A fine group of ladies with the DX contest group
A fine group of ladies with the DX contest group

73, Dan ve4drk

ARRL International DX Contest

Its been over a month since I’ve been involved in any contests.

I started to work this contest — did a few in the first couple of hours — then called it a night.

Unfortunately, a run-in with my sushi coming back up on my caused me to miss most of the contest — bad sushi, means staying in bed all day — no radio!  So, I only make 49 contacts – not good at all – but at least I feel better now and can continue on.

oh well.

73, Dan ve4drk