Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Fraser River Freshet Emergency Activation

SEPAR Members Respond

The Fraser River is experiencing one of the largest flows in recorded history. Warm temperatures are accelerating the snow melt in the interior of the province. This could result in a once per hundred year flood. 

On Sunday May 13, Tuesday May 15 and Wednesday May 16, the Surrey Emergency Program - Amateur Radio (SEPAR) was activated by the Emergency Coordinator for the City of Surrey. We had a good turnout and I'd like to thank everyone that helped out at this activation.

We had a really good showing and Surrey Fire Service & the Surrey Emergency Program are happy with the help we provided. Also, a thanks to SARC for the use of the repeater.

This is a great example of how valuable SEPAR, as an integral part of the Surrey Emergency Program, can be. Other parts of Canada and the United States have the ARES program and those Amateur operators, while invaluable are not usually tied to the City, and are therefore not asked to volunteer for an activation that is not primarily communication oriented. SEPAR while we would like to have a communications component, is still available to the City, and BC (as City and Emergency Management BC volunteers). 

Personally I would like the City to continue to make use of us in times of need.

While this was not primarily a communications activation, we did find a way to make use of our ability to communicate by radio. Several times I was asked to confirm an issue from the command trailer and I was able to do that much faster than those that only used cell phones.  The times I did have an issue communicating, I could have resolved it without a cell phone call, had I remembered that we had designated a couple of simplex frequencies.

Below is a link to the BC River Forcast Centre for information about warnings, advisories and evacuation due to the freshet and flooding in British Columbia.

Monday, April 30, 2018

The May 2018 Communicator Newsletter

Here is the latest Communicator 

In this edition you will find over 40 pages of Amateur Radio News from the South West corner of Canada and elsewhere.

There are two interesting projects including a digital S-meter and an inexpensive, high amperage, variable power supply. You will also find tips and how-to's. You can download it as a .PDF file directly from

The April Communicator made it to 5 continents. As always, thank you to our contributors, and your feedback is always welcome. My deadline for the June edition is May 25th. If you have news or events from your Vancouver area club or photos, stories, projects or other items of interest from elsewhere, please email them to the

John VE7TI
Communicator Editor

Friday, April 20, 2018

Modifying A Switching Power Supply Into A Variable Power Supply (A May Communicator Preview)

An Inexpensive Project To Power Your Amateur Radio (Or Other) Gear

By Daniel Romila VE7LCG

I was faced with a problem that many radio amateurs have: Getting a power supply capable of fulfilling my needs today and for the reasonable future. I decided that switching technology is the way to go, and that 12 Volts is my main voltage requirement. Regarding power, I was limited by my budget, because the more current a power supply can deliver, the more money I would have had to spend. I established 42 Amps would be enough, and that means 500 Watt capacity.

The above moment of decision was in 2016. So, now – in 2018 – I can tell you about the results of my selection of power supply and the modifications I made.

Whenever I was looking at eBay, Amazon and the Chinese websites (,,, etc), I was searching for 12V at 42A. 

The size of such a brick, at 12V and 42A is 115 x 215 x 46 (mm). The current price  around $38 CAD - about $29 US (shipping and taxes included).

I modified the circuit somewhat and replaced the trimmer resistor with a linear potentiometer. That extends the voltage range from the original 9 – 14 Volts to 4.5 – 15 Volts. Here is the result:

I successfully used this power supply for my Kenwood 7950 HF transceiver. I had very short power wires, so I put the power supply on top of the transceiver, on its speaker, because I use headphones... and there was no noise. I also used it for various audio experiments with operational amplifiers installed on a breadboard at around 30 cm from the switching power supply.

It ran cool, and despite my tries, I was not able to make this power supply run hot under various heavy loads. Under maximum power of a little less than 150 Watts. The fan starts to rotate automatically and it is silent.

A comparable digital power supply made for Amateur Radio would cost well over $150 CDN so this is a budget solution.

The full article is featured in the
May SARC Communicator

International Marconi Day - This Saturday

A 24-hour Amateur Radio Event

Amateur radios, point-to-point contacts, high-frequency transfers, a mysterious yet attractive prize for the most connected stations… All of this sounds like the beginning of a quirky B-movie. In reality, it is the essence of International Marconi Day, a 24-hour amateur radio event which celebrates the career of Italian wireless communications pioneer Guglielmo Marconi. 

Fitting with ‘The Rest Of The Story’ featured in the April 2018 Communicator, the event is held annually on the Saturday closest to to Marconi's birthday on 25 April 1874.  This year the contest runs on Saturday April 21st, operating hours are 0000 UTC to 2400 UTC (5pm Pacific time).

To commemorate the Nobel laureate’s achievements, fans use HF radio to make direct point-to-point contact between stations, relying on the same technology Marconi developed and utilized in his time. Although nowadays the Internet is the medium of choice for global communications, the idea behind International Marconi Day is to keep the spirit of invention alive. The event also provides an exciting throwback to the days when a connected planet Earth was but a bold dream and only a few exceptional people, such as Marconi, saw the value in it.

The organizers issue a very nice certificate for contacting 15 of 60 or more stations at significant sites around the globe related to Marconi's work.

At the time of writing, there are over sixty stations registered for the event. The full list, throughout Europe and North America is available at 

Full details of the award and participating stations are available on the website

Sunday, April 15, 2018

World Amateur Radio Day

The following information is courtesy of the

International Amateur Radio Union

Every April 18, Radio Amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day (WARD). It was on that day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was formed in Paris. Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short wave spectrum — far from being a wasteland — could support worldwide propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio worldwide.
Just two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, Amateur Radio gained the allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 metres. Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio. Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, Radio Amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum. From the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include 160 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio.
Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with over 3,000,000 licensed operators!
World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member-Societies can show our capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other Amateurs worldwide.

IARU has provided a poster for World Amateur Radio Day. Any club may download it and use it to promote WARD in their area. The poster comes in two sizes: 61cm x 91cm and a small (A4) flyer.

Groups should promote their WARD activity on social media by using the hash tag #WorldAmateurRadioDay on Twitter and Facebook. The IARU will list all WARD activities on the webpage. To have your WARD activity listed, send an email to IARU Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ.

April 18 is the day for all of Amateur Radio to celebrate and tell the world about the science we can help teach, the community service we can provide and the fun we have.

We hope you will join in the fun and education that is World Amateur Radio Day!

For more information and to download a poster please visit the World Amateur Radio Day webpage at

Source: The International Amateur Radio Union

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director


Fraser River Freshet Emergency Activation

SEPAR Members Respond The Fraser River is experiencing one of the largest flows in recorded history. Warm temperatures are accelerating t...

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