Note that most of these projects are individual efforts by members of WCARC but are not club projects as such.
Wideband 10GHz Using Tellurometers
Several WCARC members and other local hams have acquired some MA3 Tellurometers. These were originally used for surveying and happen to have a full duplex voice communication channel in the middle of the 10GHz ham band. On Saturday morning, 12 August, 2006 a group including Doug VE3XK, Ken VA3KA, Tom VA3NFA, Bryan VE3ZRK, Wayne VE3CZO, and Rick VE3CVG decided to test the tellurometers and to try to find some good operating locations for roving and communication on frequencies above 432MHz.
Doug headed to Constance Bay, Tom and Ken headed for Shirley’s Bay, Bryan and Wayne headed for the Experimental Farm, and Rick drove up to Brule Lookout in Gatineau Park.
Unfortunately, it turns out that Bryan has a model MA5 tellurometer which does not appear to be compatible with the MA3’s. But Wayne and Bryan were still able to identify some good locations to try in the future.
Tom VA3NFA has done a good job of recording the contacts in a blog post.
1.2GHz D-STAR Digital Project
222MHz and 432MHz Beacon Project (Club)
The club is concentrating on putting up local beacons to assist testing. Beacons provide a known signal for testing both receivers and antennas. The next beacon will be for 222MHz. The hunt is on for a transceiver. Ken believes he has an old handheld which should work fine and we will key the final. Rick has the circuit and software for a beacon controller and will collect the bits and pieces and arrange for Manfred to program the PIC. We can probably use a loop antenna that Manfred made last year. We are looking for a good location for the beacons that is accessible. The intention is to put the 903MHz beacon and the 222MHz beacon in the same location.
March 2005 Update - The ID’er is built and operational. Ken VA3KA has donated a 222MHz FM handheld for the project and Rick has donated a 432MHz FM handheld, so this has become a 222MHz AND 432MHz beacon project. Work continues on modifying the radios. Proposed frequencies for the beacons are 222.037MHz and 432.370MHz. These both appear to be clear (as per RAC Operating Manual) and in the right portion of the respective bands. Pending club approval.
903MHz Transverter Project (Club)
The objective was to stimulate 900MHz activity in the Ottawa area. We felt that the overall best way to do that was to purchase complete 903MHz transverter kits described as #903-144CK, from Down East Microwave, as shown on the DEMI website.
This kit includes a 144MHz to 903MHz transverter outputting either 10mW or approximately 10 watts and with a receive noise figure better (less) than 1.5dBNF. The transverter does not need a sequencer and will accept up to 10 W of drive from the IF radio (as per DEM documentation). The transverter is complete with case and ALL hardware (if that is the kit you choose), but is a KIT with minimal instructions, requiring assembly and considerable surface mount soldering. It is not a trivial project. Average assembly time is about 14hours.
Purchasers may choose either a 144MHz or 28MHz IF - same price.
IF and RF switching are included for this model, making this a very attractive route, since no costly external relays are required.
After receipt of firm pricing from DEMI, an order for 8 of the complete kits was placed on March 10th. All are 144MHz IF, 10w output. 7 are for the 903MHz version (VA3KA, VE3XK, VA3NFA, VE3XZT, VE3BYT, VA3WK, VE3CVG) and 1 is for the 902MHz version (VE3ZRK). VE3BYT ordered a 902MHz crystal to give him future flexibility. Unfortunately, delivery is approximately 4 weeks. As per DEMI policy for club orders, a bank draft in US funds was forwarded to DEMI on March 11 by VE3CVG. Copies of the bank draft and postage are on file.
More information is available on the project page.
Project contact - Rick (VE3CVG)
The SSTV repeater is not presently operational.
When operational, the SSTV repeater is located in rural Ottawa near Almonte(FN15). The repeater operates on 144.520MHz FM. To access the repeater, monitor 144.520MHz FM and wait for a beacon, sent once an hour, detailing access instructions. You will have to send a 1750Hz tone burst to trigger the repeater. Recommended software for SSTV is MMSSTV by Mako Mori JE3HHT, available at the MM Hamsoft website.
900MHz Beacon Project (Club)
The beacon operates on approximately 903.37MHz CW and signs its call sign VE3WCC. It was constructed by Rick (VE3CVG) using donated components. It was first located in the west end of Ottawa near Lee Valley Tools in 2004, but was not audible far, so was removed from service in early 2005 and overhauled. It was re-located in December of 2005, to mid-Ottawa near Prince of Wales Dr. Then again relocated in January of 2006 to a building near the NRC complex at Montreal Rd and Blair. Phil VE3CIQ braved the winter and mounted a temporary antenna at about 500’ ASL. Approximate output power is 2.5 watts and it provides a solid S5+ signal, in Carp (30km west of Ottawa) and Cumberland (30km east of Ottawa).
The ID logic is an IC8 donated by Gord (VE3PPE).
The beacon antenna was built and donated by Graham (VE3BYT) and is a Skew-Planar Wheel antenna as portrayed on the 902 band web site. It is currently being rebuilt and ruggedized.
Please report if you hear this beacon - specify the complete message, time, date and location at which it was heard. Send reports to Graham VE3BYT. A QSL card will be sent to those requesting same and providing a SASE.
Interesting pictures of the beacon installation are available on the project page.
900MHz Amplifiers (Club)
The club has a supply of retired commercial cellular broadband power amplifiers, suitable for use in amateur radio. Additional information is available on the 900 MHz amplifier page.
APRS - HUDX - Manfred (VA3WK)
Manfred is exploring porting the APRS HUD2 (heads up display) type functionality into a more powerful PIC and adding even more capability. The idea is to come up with a compact group of compatible modules which can be easily assembled into a form which is needed by the user. This applies to both hardware and software. For example, one configuration might have 2 displays, one for position packets and one for messages. Another configuration might use an inexpensive PDA as an interface/display terminal. The underlying objective of this project is to come up with a complete unit - GPS, TNC, Radio, and man-machine interface all in one small box, and powered from a modest power source. We are all watching Manfred’s regular and steady progress with great interest.
APRS - Digipeater Upgrade - Brad (VE3BSM)
See the APRS page for more information.
Weather Equipment & Short Range Linking by Graham (VE3BYT)
900MHz by Graham (VE3BYT)
Antennas for VHF/UHF/Microwave by Rick (VE3CVG)
Tower Installation by Rick (VE3CVG)
For details, please check out Rick’s web site at https://ve3cvg.webqth.com/tower/index.html.
Rick describes the trials and tribulations of putting up a respectable tower for amateur radio. This is a useful web site to visit if you are looking for all the basic information that is not available anywhere else. Lots of pictures.