What is the IRG?
The IRG is the "International Repeater Group". The IRG is an organization of radio amateurs who oversee a system of linked repeaters in New Brunswick, which also reaches into Maine, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
History of the International Repeater Group
Formed in 1974, the IRG has grown and established respect among amateurs and served agencies throughout the coverage area. Click here for a selection of archived articles outlining historic events, founders and milestones.
About the IRG Repeaters
There are 30 repeaters in our system (as of June 2023), and they are all on government-approved sites with back-up power. Most repeaters are linked full-time in zones, and zones can be linked to other zones or all at once. Linking zones is done with simple DTMF tones supplied to members.
The linking system is a digital microwave system, using radio frequencies. It does not rely on internet or telephone links so it is a good back-up system when those systems fail. Most major centres have access to more than one zone so there is some redundancy in case of equipment failure.
In 2023, the IRG began it's most recent update, adding new repeaters and other hardware, along with the phase-in of CTCSS (PL tones).
The IRG Officers - as of April 2019 Annual Meeting
Elections are held at every Annual Meeting, usually last Sunday in April. Check here for meeting news.
Al Thurber VE1RG
Dennis MacDonald VE9AAE
Gordon Boone VE9GB
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How is the IRG supported?
The IRG itself operates with member support from dues payments. Along with membership dues, ee get help with equipment replacement and maintenance from the Department of Public Safety, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, Emergency Measures Organization, Department of Health, and other served agencies. In return, those groups welcome help from amateur radio operators for emergency operations.
You can show support and take advantage of full membership - visit the Join or Renew page for more information.
More to come....
Text from the old web site for reference...
The International Repeater Group (IRG) now maintains twenty-five (25) repeaters, all located on government approved sites.
The IRG was formed in March, 1974, with Claude Bailey (VE1HU) as President. There were two repeaters in operation then, one at Kintore Mountain, near Perth-Andover and the other at Crabbe Mountain. It has grown to become a system of 23 VHF and UHF repeaters linked together via microwave with the assistance of the Province of New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization - Municipalities , Environment Canada's CANWARN system , and with the efforts of it's own members. There is also a link into the Nova Scotia / PEI Marcan repeater network system.
The IRG hosts nets on the entire system of linked repeaters. Here is the schedule of the current nets hosted on the IRG.
The IRG holds two annual meetings each year for which members can gather and discuss issues related with the club and other amateur radio activities. The spring meeting is normally held in Doaktown New Brunswick on the last Sunday of April, and includes elections for the executive positions within the club. Also determined at the spring meeting is the location of the fall meeting which is located in a different location each year in the month of September.
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.
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.