The Elmira Radio Club meets the fourth Wednesday of every month, except July and August, at the Elmira Firehall at 44 Howard Avenue, Elmira, Ontario. The October meeting is preceded by the Silent Key Dinner at 5 PM at a restaurant of the Club’s choosing.
In this time of COVID-19 restrictions, we are meeting virtually, using Google Meet. The link for the videoconference is sent out using the ERC mailing list.
The Club owns and operates a Kenwood UHF Repeater (444.700 /+5 offset / 131.8 tone / IRLP Node 2404 / EchoLink Node VE3ERC-L), and a Yaesu Fusion VHF repeater (147.390 /+.6 offset / 123 tone / IRLP Node 2403 / EchoLink Node VE3ERC-R), both located South-West of Elmira. A Yaesu Fusion UHF repeater (444.700 /+5 offset / 123 tone) is located at the Elmira Firehall. Note that the VHF repeater was moved from pl tone 131.8 to 123 in September of 2016. As of summer 2019, there is also a VHF repeater (cross-connected with a link radio to the ERC UHF repeater) in Alma (147.255 /+.6 offset / 131.8 tone). A big thank-you to Tony VE3DWI for the loan of the repeater and duplexer for ALMA, and to Bill, Bruce, Tony, and Jim for moving the VHF repeater from the firehall to the feedmill.
In any case where the repeaters are unavailable, or out of service for any reason, please use simplex frequency 146.550 MHz to contact Club members.
A daily net is held every morning (7/365) from 08:15 till 09:00 on both repeaters. The VHF repeater is at 147.390 and on IRLP node 2403 / EchoLink node VE3ERC-R. The UHF repeater at 444.700 and on IRLP node 2404 / EchoLink node VE3ERC-L. For the Nets, both repeaters are linked via EchoLink, allowing users to connect on either EchoLink node or either FM frequency. For now, the UHF repeater is off for repairs.
A full net will be held on all Wednesday evenings, except the Club meeting evening on the 4th Wednesday, from 20:00 till 21:00 on the regular repeater frequencies. All nets are run by a number of members of the Elmira Radio Club, with the schedule listed in the Club Newsletter.
The nets can be found on EchoLink nodes VE3ERC-R and VE3ERC-L. Note that the EchoLink repeater link is disconnected at 09:30 daily and at 21:30 on Wednesday evenings. Also, at this time, due to antenna and feedline issues, the UHF repeater is not connected to the VE3ERC-L/IRLP 2404 EchoIRLP node, although the node is online for EchoLink use.
Repeater Equipment Details
The current repeater equipment for UHF is a Kenwood, model TKR 820, running 15 Watts out of a Duplexer into a dual-band UHF/VHF Antenna on top of the Elmira Feed Mill at an elevation of about 100Ft. The VHF machine is a Yaesu Fusion repeater, also located at the feed mill, A second Yaesu UHF repeater is at the Elmira firehall, with the antenna on the siren tower. There are also two microwave mesh nodes, one 2.4 GHz, one 5.8 GHz, on the siren tower. These will eventually be used to provide digital communications to the repeater site and to the area served by the Elmira Radio Club. There is now an HF antenna for 40M, 20M and 15M located on the roof of the Firehall, which should be available to allow operating HF before, during, or after Club meetings.
There are three spare repeaters ready to go if the main equipment fails. Spares are all at Al’s location. The old IRLP Node 2404 IRLP computer has been retired and replaced with a Raspberry Pi node. Node 2403 is on the VHF Feed Mill repeater, and is also a Raspberry Pi node. Both nodes are EchoIRLP nodes, capable of running IRLP on the aforementioned node numbers, or on EchoLink VE3ERC-R for the VHF node and on EchoLink VE3ERC-L for the UHF node. Both EchoLink nodes are capable of more than one simultaneous connection. IRLP and EchoLink connections are exclusive of each other.
Other Club Equipment
The club’s field day equipment is as follows:
The main antenna is a 3 element beam which is good for 40 meters through 6 meters.
The secondary antenna is a G5RV.
The tower consist of a 2-inch pipe with slip-in guides and guy wire connectors. An antenna rotor and controller completes the assembly.
The first HF transceiver is a Kenwood, model TS440 and an Icom, model IC746.
Power is supplied via a Honda generator, 2.5 KW, True Sine wave.
Club Officers and Incorporation
At the June 2021 meeting, the club elected the following executive and committees for the Club:
- President: Ted, VE3TRQ
- Vice-President: Frank, VA3FJM
- Secretary: Kirk, VA3KXs
- Treasurer: Paul, VA3PDC
- Trustee: Wes, VE3ML
- Newsletter Editor: Bob, VE3IXX
- QSL Manager: Kirk, VA3KXS
- Repeater manager and maintenance person: Wes, VE3ML
- Website Admin: Ted, VE3TRQ
- Maple Syrup Festival: TBD
- RAC members – $40 annually
- Additional household members of RAC members – $10 annually
- Non-RAC members – $53 annually
- Payable in March of each year
Sometime in 1990 a group of 7 people decided that they would setup a radio club. All members were from Elmira, ON. Bob Naylor appears to have been the leader of the group. Carl Roney, Jim Heidmiller and John Wood were part of the initial club members and are to this day still active club members.
Past President were (apparently)* John Scheringa, Jim Heidmiller and John Wood. Alan MacDonald was elected president in 2008. Silent keys are Michael Dent, Bing Harris, Bill Graham, and now Al Macdonald.
*History is sketchy at best. If there are members that have a better picture of it all please let me know.