International Repeater Group

Amateur Radio Repeater Linking Network

IRG member awarded RAC Scholarship

Congratulations to Trent Mitchell VE9EN of Fredericton on being awarded one of the Radio Amateurs of Canada Scholarships! Here is an excerpt from the RAC announcement - and be sure to check out the link to Trent's first contact -- on the IRG!:
Every year, through the RAC Foundation, Radio Amateurs of Canada provides grants and scholarships to worthy community programs and to young Amateurs who are enrolled at the post-secondary level in Electrical, Electronic and Software engineering. Students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs are also considered on a case by case basis. 

 

Once again, we are pleased to announce the granting of three scholarships of $500 each to three Canadian Amateurs who are studying in Electrical Engineering programs in Canadian universities:  Aaron Younan, VA3AZY, Trent Mitchell, VE9EN, and Louis Harris, VA2LDH.

 

Trent Mitchell, VE9EN is studying at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton. The UNB has a very active Amateur Radio group under the mentorship of Dr. Brent Petersen, VE9EX and associates. You can watch Trent make his first QSO with the International Repeater Group in February 2016 and as a bonus you get a pretty good description of how a repeater operates. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET8hutBtVqQ

 

It’s gratifying to think that a radio you may be using in the future could be designed by a Canadian Amateur who was helped by your or your club’s donation to the RAC Scholarship and Grants Program today. We need Amateurs like you who are willing to donate to the RAC Foundation to continue supporting future Engineers and young people at the post-secondary level who are studying in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

 

RAC operates the RAC Foundation in cooperation with the Community Foundation of Ottawa (CFO) which administers and invests the donated funds and disburses the earnings from those invested funds to grant applicants, based upon the advice of the RAC Board. All grant applications should be submitted to the RAC Foundation for processing and recommendation. 

 

In addition to the Scholarship and Grants Program RAC also has a Youth Education Program (YEP). For more information visit: http://wp.rac.ca/youth-education-program/

 

If you wish to donate or require further information about the RAC Scholarships and Grants Program, please visit http://wp.rac.ca/grant-information/ or contact me at [email protected].

 

On behalf of Aaron, Trent and Louis, thank you for your continued support of this program.

 

Bill Unger, VE3XT

RAC Scholarship Coordinator

 

Brian Jackson, VE6JBJ

RAC Youth Education Program Chair

Updated membership list  (REVISED)

Here is the latest update to April 18, 2017 in PDF format.  Expiry dates prior to April 30 2017 are shown in shading.   Please verify your information, and if you notice any errors or omissions, please contact the Secretary-Treasurer.


Due to a publishing error, many recent updated memberships were omitted in the list posted last week. Please accept our apologies if you were missing from the list or your renewal was not shown.  Please check the revised list at the link below.

You can join or renew by: 

- paying in person at an upcoming meeting

- online via PayPal or credit card or Visa debit card

- via regular mail


Welcome back!  If your previous membership has long expired, you are welcome to renew you membership on a go-forward basis.  Our on-line PayPal renewal system makes it easy to renew your support for the IRG using your credit, a Visa debit card or PayPay account.

Visit the Join or Renew page for more details.

Melvin Ellis VE9KK (SK)

It is with great sorrow that the family of Arthur ‘Melvin’ Ellis announce his passing on December 7, 2016 at the Oromocto Public Hospital. Melvin was born February 27, 1939 in East Bideford, P.E.I. He was the son of the late Luther and Susan (Adams) Ellis.

Melvin was a proud member of the Military, first serving with the Black Watch from 1957 to 1970, transferring to 2 RCR from 1970 to 1989; retiring as a Warrant Officer. Upon retiring from the Military, he continued his career with the Department of Transportation from 1989 to 2000. During his years of retirement, Melvin was still active in Amateur Radio, he was known as VE9KK, being a former president of International Repeater Group.


Further details and obituary at this link

IRG 2015 Annual Meeting Highlights

(2015-04-28)

The annual meeting of the IRG was held in Doaktown on Sunday, April 26, 2015 and was attended by about 30 members and guests.  Here are some highlights of the meeting:

  • Members observed a minute of silence in remembrance of "silent keys";
  • A committee was formed to make recommendations on constitutional changes to implement staggered terms for IRG officers elections;
  • Hardware upgrades will be sought to repair the intermittent linking problems;
  • Jason Cooling and Duane Augustine from EMO were welcomed to the meeting, and spoke on EMO's renewed faith in amateur radio "when all else fails" as was seen in Hurricane Arthur and other recent events;  It was agreed that we would strengthen our good relationship with EMO and other served agencies;
  • A proposed logo for the IRG was distributed, and an invitation was extended for other designs to be approved at a later date;
  • The next hospital network exercise will be held off until all hardware is in place, there are still some antennae to replace when weather is more favourable;
  • Members were given a "heads-up" on a major exercise planned for November in relation to Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station;
  • Election of officers was held, and Francis Pitre VE9FCP was elected President, Yvon Hachey VE1VON is now Vice-President, and Rick MacMillan VE9MTB remains as Secretary-Treasurer.
  • Everyone enjoyed the pot luck and some were lucky winners of door prizes.
  • The next meeting date was tentatively set for September 27, 2015 in Upper Kingsclear (later re-scheduled to September 20);


Claude Bailey VE1HU - 1914-2015

(2015-03-28)

Members of the International Repeater Group are mourning the passing of Claude Bailey, VE1HU, on March 26, 2015.

Claude was founding president of the IRG and was instrumental in building the network that we all benefit from today.   Our sympathies are extended to Claude's many friends and family .

Here is a link to the obituary notice, and you can read more about Claude and his contributions to the IRG and amateur radio in the news articles below.

CANWARN New Brunswick activated for blizzard

(2015-02-20)  

At the request of the Environment Canada's Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre (ASPC), CANWARN New Brunswick was activated on Sunday, February 15, 2015.

Blizzard warnings, Storm Surge warnings and Winter Storm watches had been issued for all parts of the Province, and snow began in western regions late on Saturday night and intensified with strong winds through the day, creating white-out conditions and heavy blowing, drifting snow which continued into the night and during Monday in eastern regions.

Using the International Repeater Group (IRG) linked repeater system, CANWARN nets were held hourly from 8:00 am until 10:00 pm on Sunday, and radio amateurs from around New Brunswick participated.   Over 140 condition reports were forwarded to the ASPC over the course of the net, including reports gathered on the daily IRG Weather Net.

Taking shifts as net controllers were Rick MacMillan (VE9MTB), Stephen Moore (VE1BCL) and Al Thurber (VE1RG).  Net manager Sterling Carpenter (VE9SK) thanked everyone for participating, and noted that Environment Canada passed along their appreciation for the valuable data.

"We really owe a lot of thanks to the amateurs who provide this on-the-spot information, it helps ASPC "ground-proof" weather conditions, and fills in the gaps of their automated observation system," said Carpenter.

He noted that it shows the best side of amateur radio in service to the public.  "Many of the participants braved the elements several times during the day to gather real-time information and it all helps ensure that accurate weather warnings are passed along to the public."

CANWARN (CANadian Weather Amateur Radio Network) is a network of volunteer amateur radio operators who observe and report both winter and summer severe weather conditions. Reports are passed on via amateur radio to a net controller to the Environment Canada Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre (ASPC) in Dartmouth. This information is then passed directly to the forecasters for incorporation into the forecast.  CANWARN New Brunswick was formed in January 1994, and operates using the call sign VE9WZF. 

The International Repeater Group was formed in 1974.  With support of its members, Environment Canada, N.B. Departments of Public Safety, Transportation and Infrastructure and the Emergency Measures Organization, the IRG now operates on a modern digital microwave linked system of twenty-five repeaters covering all of New Brunswick and providing linking to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and coverage to parts of Maine and Québec.

The year 2014 in review

The IRG celebrated it's 40th Anniversary in 2014. Members at the April meeting of the IRG heard stories of the formation of the International Repeater Group from some of the original members. We presented our first President, Claude Bailey VE1HU, with a new life membership card. Many members of the IRG and friends of Claude's gathered in July to celebrate Claude's 100th birthday, and mark his many years as an amateur.

From all officers and members of the IRG, best wishes for a great 2015! The past year 2014 was a good year for the IRG, here are some highlights:

Work continued on fine-tuning the newly revamped repeater system. The new digital microwave system installed by the province of New Brunswick provides a good platform for the IRG, and we will continue to work towards making our linking system one of the best in Canada. We are most grateful of the support provided by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and Department of Public Safety in maintaining and upgrading our repeater network.

In March, we were successful in lobbying to have favourable amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act. Previous amendments to ban the use of cell phones and other hand-held devices meant that amateurs could only use their radios during emergencies or hands-free while mobile. After much lobbying, and recognition that amateurs provide a valuable public service, Bill 41 was passed in March to remove the restrictions against amateurs from using their radios while mobile.  Royal Assent was given on May 21, 2014.  We went from having some of the most restrictive rules to having some of the most amateur-friendly rules in Canada.

In June, the IRG sponsored a special event station on Miscou Island, commemorating the 1939 forced landing of a Russian plane en route to the New York world's fair. Several members of the IRG participated using the special event call sign, VE9MOSKVA. Over 1500 contacts were made with stations all over the world.

In October, we tested the readiness of our system to help out in the hospitals. Memoranda of Understanding have been signed with the IRG and the two hospital corporations and the Department of Health to work together towards providing back-up communications. All hospital facilities and the department of Health now have 2-meter radio capability to help in times of emergency.  Over 40 amateurs took part in the exercise, and another will take place at a future date.

As we look forward to 2015, we need to give ourselves a pat on the back. The IRG only exists through support of its members, and membership support is the only way we have to prove to government that we are active and ready to help, so they will help us.   We encourage everyone who enjoys the system to join or renew your membership in the IRG.


VX9MOSKVA - Moscow to Miscou

Special Event VE9MOSKVA

 

For more information about this event, visit the special VX9MOSKVA page on the IRG web site.

 Bill 41 Receives Royal Assent

(2014-05-21)  New Brunswick Bill 41, An Act to Amend the Motor Vehicle Act, received Royal Assent this morning (Wednesday, May 21, 2014), allowing use of a hand-held electronic device by a person "who uses a two-way radio while operating a motor vehicle on a highway if that person is the holder of a radio operator certificate issued under the Radiocommunication Act (Canada)."

Bill 41 was among a long list of legislation that was passed by the Legislature during the recent sitting, and Lt. Gov. Graydon Nicholas gave Her Majesty's approval at the adjournment of the Legislature this morning.

For more on this, see the related story below.

IRG Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Cutting the cake at the 40th Anniversary celebration at the annual meeting.  Shown above (l to r): Aubrey Urquhart, VE1OL, founding member; Claude Bailey, VE1HU, First IRG President; Al Thurber, VE1RG, Past President; and Yvon Hachey, VE1VON, President of the IRG.
(2014-04-29)  The International Repeater Group (IRG) celebrated its 40th Anniversary at the annual meeting in Doaktown, NB on Sunday, April 27, 2014 and made plans for the year ahead.

A highlight of the meeting was a presentation of a new Life Membership card to Claude Bailey, VE1HU.  Claude was the first president of the IRG, and was instrumental in establishing the province-wide system of repeaters, in close collaboration with the New Brunswick government.

Now in his 99th year and still active with almost 80 years as an amateur radio operator, Claude was recognized by his peers with a standing ovation.  Claude attended the meeting along with his daughter and IRG member, Joan Powell VE9JC  (formerly VE3ZC).   Yvon Hachey, VE1VON, President of the IRG, presented Claude with his new card.

"Our system is the envy of amateurs across Canada", noted Francis Pitre, VE9FCP, Vice-President.  He remarked that through the work of those in the past, we have a network of repeaters that covers all of the province and beyond.

IRG Past President Al Thurber, VE1RG,  recounted the first meeting of the IRG and how Claude worked to provide amateurs a platform to communicate, and to help during times of emergency.  The result is the robust IRG system that now covers the entire province.  Founding member of the IRG, Aubrey Urquhart VE1OL spoke on the work done by Claude and others to give amateurs a means to operate on radios and modes that were new at that time, forty years ago.

In other business, members reviewed Bill 41, An Act to Amend the Motor Vehicle Act (NB), which will remove the restrictions for amateur operators using their two-way radios while mobile.  Bill 41 has passed third reading and now just awaits Royal Assent.  The IRG presented a special recognition to Al Thurber, VE1AKT for this work on Bill 41. 

"Always remember to wave the flag of amateur radio when you have an event, and invite your local politicians so they know what we are all about," Thurber told the members.

Members also got an update on the Memoranda of Agreement (MOU)  signed between the IRG and the two provincial hospital corporations and Department of Health to assist with emergency communications.  The agreement will promote the provision of back-up emergency communications in hospital facilities.

Work continues on the fine-tuning the complex network of the link controllers, as part of a major overhaul of the IRG system.  Over the last two years, the repeater system has been upgraded and converted to a digital microwave linking system, along with other radio systems maintained by the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.  A new map of the system is now available on the IRG web site  ( http://irg73.net )

The members agreed to sponsor a special event in June, commemorating the forced landing of a Russian plane on Miscou Island, en-route to the World's Fair in  April, 1939 .   A special event call sign has been granted, VX9MOSKVA and more on this event will be available on the IRG web site as the event draws near.  Much appreciation goes to George Dewar VE9GFD for spearheading this event.

After the meeting, members enjoyed the usual delicious pot-luck dinner that has become a hallmark of the IRG meetings.  The fall meeting date was set for September 28 in Upper Kingsclear.

IRG President Yvon Hachey VE1VON (left) presents a new life membership card to the IRG founding President Claude Bailey, VE1HU.  Claude, 99 years young, is celebrating almost 80 years as an active amateur radio operator.

Yvon Hachey, VE1VON (r) presents a recognition certificate to Allan K. Thurber, VE1RG at the IRG Annual Meeting.  Members thanked Al for his work on behalf of amateurs on Bill 41, An Act to Amend the Motor Vehicle Act. As of the meeting date, Bill 41 had passed third reading in the Legislature and was awaiting Royal Assent  (see article below)

Radio Amateurs to be excluded from distracted driving legislation

(2014-05-21)  UPDATE:  Bill 41 received Royal Assent at 11:52 am on May 21, 2014.


(2014-04-23)  UPDATE:  Bill 41 has gone through third reading in the Legislature, so now all that remains is Royal Assent.  When that is done, the changes become effective immediately.  Stay tuned....


(2014-03-18)  Good news for radio amateurs in New Brunswick!  Bill 41, An Act to Amend the Motor Vehicle Act was introduced in the Legislature today, allowing use of a hand-held electronic device by a person "who uses a two-way radio while operating a motor vehicle on a highway if that person is the holder of a radio operator certificate issued under the Radiocommunication Act (Canada)."


Before this change becomes law, it will still require further readings in the House and Royal Assent, expected in perhaps a few weeks. Until that time, you must observe the present law which allows you to use your radio only when stopped, or in a hands-free manner if in motion.


A link to Bill 41 can be found here:  http://www.gnb.ca/legis/bill/pdf/57/4/Bill-41.pdf


More news on this to follow later.  Here is the text of the provincial government news release:


Amendments introduced to clarify distracted driving rules
18 March 2014
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act related to distracted driving were introduced in the legislative assembly today by Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Bruce Northrup.

“In 2010, our government introduced amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act to crack down on distracted driving and make our roads safer,” said Northrup. “These new amendments will continue those efforts while addressing a public safety need involving ham radio operators.”

The 2010 amendments prohibited the use of hand-operated electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.

The new amendments will clarify that it is illegal for a driver to use a hand-operated electronic device while operating a motor vehicle even when the vehicle is stopped, such as in traffic or at a red light. However, motorists who pull off the road and bring their vehicle to a halt will be permitted to use a hand-operated electronic device.

The amendments will also exempt two-way radio operators, who are issued a permit under the federal Radiocommunication Act, from the prohibition on the use of hand-held electronic devices while operating a vehicle.

“Under the initial amendments, these ham radio operators were permitted to use a two-way radio while operating a motor vehicle during search and rescue activities or emergency operations,” said Northrup. “With this latest amendment, ham radio operators will be permitted to use their radios at any time while operating a motor vehicle.”

The change recognizes that ham radio operators need to use their radios to support community events such as parades. It also addresses a public safety need.

“Amateur ham radio operators are a valuable resource during emergencies and search operations,” he said. “In order to assist in these situations, they need to be able to develop and maintain their skills. This amendment will allow them to do so.”

Highlights of the September 2013 IRG Meeting

The IRG Fall Meeting was held on Sunday, September 22 at Kingsclear Rec Centre, with about 20 members present. Some of the highlights:

  • Ground-breaking agreements have been signed with the IRG, Department of Health, and the two hospital corporations on providing back-up communications to health care with IRG members and  other amateur volunteer operators.  More on this to come!
  • Members heard reports on the repeater system upgrades and ongoing work to restore the linking now that hardware upgrade and reconfiguration has been completed;
  • Members heard of the ongoing discussions to have amateurs excluded from the restrictive New Brunswick legislation on distracted drving.  Work is ongoing on this issue;
  • There was notice given of constitutional changes to be dealt with at the April meeting, including term limits of office for IRG officers, and more flexible expiry dates for membership.  wording on this will be sent to members prior to the next meeting.
  • Work towards a larger, more comprehensive Hamfest or Amateur Convention for the Maritimes;
  • The  spring meeting date has been set for April 27, 2014 in Doaktown.


Grand Manan VE9GMI repeater now linked

(2013-07-10)  The Grand Manan VE9GMI Repeater (146.955 -) is now available to the IRG system.  The repeater is normally hard-linked to the South West Zone (including Pleasant Ridge and Maces Bay) when not linked to the entire system.  Individual linking from zone to zone throughout the entire system is still being programmed, and we will provide updates as this progressesAll IRG repeaters are now linked to the network, with the exception of Stanley VE9NRV.  Due to site limitations, Stanley is not planned for network linking at this time, but operates as a stand-alone repeater.

New Network Diagram available

As discussed at the IRG Annual Meeting, the repeaters have been arranged into zones of up to three or four repeaters.  Click here for a PDF version of the latest network diagram, as discussed at the meeting.

Remember, your local repeater may be linked to three or four other repeaters in a zone, even when the entire system is not linked.

As programming and coding is completed, this diagram will be revised. 

Special note on temporary linking issues:

Programming of the repeater controllers continues.  Stay tuned for further updates. Thanks for your patience!


Special thanks to the staff in the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, Radiocommunications Group for their help in this process.


CoCoRaHS - Help Wanted!

Current System Notices:

VE9MTN Moncton Repeater 147.090
(2017-04-20) Moncton VE9MTN is back on-line.

Interference on East Zone
Due to intermittent interference, Sackville VE9SKV repeater may be sometimes off the link, but still operational as stand-alone.  Interference from an unknown signal may cause Sackville, Moncton and Acadieville repeaters to "kerchunk" for certain periods of time.  Investigation is underway.


Remember to unlink, please!
Not all zones or repeaters have a time-out after linking.  So when you are completed with your link, remember to use your "All Links Off" code to unlink.  If you forget to unlink, others may be prevented from linking in other parts of the system.

New IRG Logo:

Here is the logo you will see on our web site and communications in the future,  Thanks to Gaston VE9TEK for his creativity!

IRG Information:

Join or Renew your IRG membership using PayPal


You can now submit your IRG membership application or renewal on-line and make payments using PayPal on our new Join or Renew page.  New members, be sure to fill out all the information on the form so we can keep in touch.  Renewing members, please fill in a form so we can verify and update the information we have.


As always, amateurs can still join or renew via Canada Post, just download the MS Word form here, print it and mail it with your payment.  Instructions are on the form.  You can also join or renew at the next IRG meeting in person, or via any of the area representatives.


   Join or renew on-line using PayPal        Join or renew using Canada Post



Mailing address for the IRG:
Please note  the address for mailing membership forms or renewal payments:


Gordon Boone VE9GB
80 Jennings Drive

Fredericton, NB  E3A 4Z4




CoCoRaHS is the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network.  CoCoRaHS is looking for as many volunteers as possible to provide daily rain, hail and snow measurements.

WELCOME!

Welcome to the International Repeater Group!


Please take a few moments and browse our website. We think you will find a wealth of information!
We are a New Brunswick based amateur radio repeater linking network.
The International Repeater Group (IRG) maintains twenty-three repeaters, all located on government approved sites.

The IRG Network of repeaters can be linked all at once so that province wide communications are available during emergencies. Two times per week all repeaters are linked and the network is tested with Amatuer Radio Nets. Radio operators call in from all over the province via any of the 23 repeaters in the network.  Any two repeaters can be linked together as well to acheive communications within the repeater's range in the province. The network can also be connected to the Provinces of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

The main objective of the IRG network is to provide emergency back up communications to NB EMO, CANWARN, Municipal EMO's, First Responders, Ground Search and Rescue teams, and hopefully in the near future, Amber Alert.

 

A special thanks to New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization who makes the IRG network possible.

Please visit EMO's website HERE

 

 

GETTING THE MESSAGE THROUGH IN EMERGENCIES

AMATEUR RADIO AND EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS

In our ever changing world it seems more and more the threat of major emergencies and natural disasters are apparent. In light of these occurences the need for emergency preparedness is real. Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere without warning.

Often, existing means of communications, such as telephone both landline and cellular, become useless and unreliable due to system overload during an emergency or, they simply do not exist. Our communications we depend on each day can go down in an instant in the event of a natural disaster or act of terrorism.

We are Amateur Radio Operators and have extensive knowledge of radio systems and antennas. In the event of emergencies we are able to establish communications via our amateur repeaters, if they have not suffered from the event, or via direct radio contact using high power, high frequency radios. Many amateurs have emergency radios and antennas ready to deploy when needed.

 

Members supporting IRG from the following Province / State Flags.  THANK YOU!

http://www.flags-and-anthems.com

 

CRABBE MTN REPEATER SITE