Upcoming new repeaters and zone changes were among the highlights of the 2019 Fall meeting of the IRG, along with a "heads-up" of two important province-wide exercises coming during October. And as always, good conversations and good food were enjoyed by the approximately two dozen members present.
The fall meeting of the International Repeater Group (IRG) took place on Sunday, September 29, 2019 at the Upper Kingslcear Rec Centre. The meeting was chaired by President Al Thurber, VE1RG along with Vice-President Dennis MacDonald VE9AAE and Secretary-Treasurer Gordon Boone VE9GB.
Some of the highlights of the discussions:
- A application will be made to the Environmental Trust Fund to further our experimental portable flood alerting APRS system;
- Work progresses on adding an EchoLink and IRLP node to the system in conjunction with the upcoming system reconfiguration;
- Two new IRG repeaters will be added, one in the Grand Lake area, and another in the Mount Carleton provincial park area;
- To accommodate the IRG expansion, a new repeater controller will be added to the system, and the zones will be revised accordingly;
- Notice was given of a proposed by-law change to allow more flexibility in setting the date of the meetings, to be finalized at the Annual Meeting in April;
- Most reports of repeater outages have been dealt with swiftly by NB DTI Radiocommunications Branch. The Skiff Lake VE9IRG outage remains ongoing;
- Members and net controllers were reminded to allow sufficient pauses after sending DTMF tones to allow the system to fully link up, otherwise, some zones will not be linked;
- A province-wide exercise net "Brunswick Bravo 2019" will be held all-day on October 23, in conjunction with EMO and municipalities, and Joint Task Force Atlantic of Department of National Defence;
- The N.B. Health Care Amateur Radio Network will conduct an exercise on October 30 starting at 6:30 pm. It is a closed net, and participation is being coordinated by Francis VE9FCP and those not directly involved should maintain radio silence during the net;
- The State of Maine has enacted new rules to prevent "distracted driving" such as cell phone use and texting; the amendments allow use of the "CB radio band" but makes no mention of amateur radio. Work is ongoing to correct this oversight;
- A discussion was held on the merits of renewing the New Brunswick Amateur Radio Association;
- A nominating committee will be formed for the Annual meeting, and volunteers are invited to serve on this committee;
- Door prizes were drawn for many of the lucky attendees, including Mike VE9TMV who won the 50/50 draw. Congratulations!
- The next meeting will be tentatively booked for the last Sunday in April 2020 in Doaktown.