Welcome to a Tour of the NSARC Radio Station Complex

If you are already a “Ham”, or are looking to become a licensed Amateur Radio, consider joining NSARC, a progressive, active club with many enthusiastic members. Our membership continues to attract over 100 members each year because we offer so much for our members: Training, Courses, Operating, Speaker programs, HF special interest group, Emergency Communications Team, Weekly VHF Net, the VE7NSR Repeater system, and many other activities and events.

GERRY BREWER BUILDING

GERRY BREWER BUILDING

This is our “place”, the Gerry Brewer building at 147 East 14th Street in North Vancouver. This building, owned by the City of North Vancouver, has as its tenants, the North Vancouver RCMP detachment and the North Shore Emergency Management Office (NSEMO). NSARC is affiliated with NSEMO and occupies a significant portion of the Emergency Communications radio room.

NSARC is privileged to be able to use these modern and secure premises to practice our radio hobby and to provide emergency communications when needed to the North Shore community. The club meets every First and Third Thursday at 7:30 pm of every month in the NSEMO Emergency Operations Center. This room is normally set up as a meeting room with full audio-visual aids and converts to an EOC in times of emergency.

HF-1 and GOTA OPERATING POSITIONS

HF-1 and GOTA OPERATING POSITIONS

Club members operating in a contest at the HF-1 and GOTA positions as Multi-Operator, Multi-Station. The club encourages members to learn how to operate modern rigs. For many, unable to set up an HF station at home (condos, apartments, or covenant-restricted properties), the club stations can offer a means of operating and learning various skills at the same time from more experienced operators. Favourite operating modes are SSB, RTTY and PSK, all supported with PC’s and various software bundles. All stations are CW-capable as well.

HF-1 PRIMARY HF STATION

HF-1 PRIMARY HF STATION

HF-1 is the main HF operating position, and is well-equipped with an Icom IC-756 Pro 3. An Icom IC-2KL solid state broadband power amplifier and an AT-500 automatic antenna tuner boost power out to about 400W. SWR / Power meters monitor the power out the rig and out of the PA separately. An antenna switch selects either the antenna or a dummy load.

The main antenna is a 3 element SteppIR Yagi. The Yagi is rotated with a HAM IV rotator. A Heathkit monitor scope is connected in -ine to allow observation of the transmitted RF signal, and an electronic keyer is provided for those wishing to do CW. An Astron (linear) power supply supplies the DC for the station. The PC is a 2.4 GHz P4 and is able to control the rig via a West Mountain RigTalk USB link. Digital modes are enabled using a BuxCom RASCAL for audio interfacing.

HF SDR STATION

HF SDR STATION

The Flex 3000 radio is our newest station, installed in November 2010. This Software Defined Radio, the “SDR”, provides the club and its members an opportunity to experience and become familiar with perhaps the next generation radio, today. The radio is the blue box on the right. No traditional knobs or controls, just a few simple connections to a PC, the screens, headphones, the antenna and DC power. All the controls on on-screen on the left hand monitor. The right hand monitor is for all other applications that need to be run at the same time such as logging, RTTY, spots and so on. The radio screen provides all controls and selections up-front, which makes for easy operation. The station is currently configured for SSB and RTTY, the club's favourite modes. The RF spectral display - and other displays available at the click of a mouse - provide an instantaneous view of band and signal conditions. Also visible to the right are the Alinco power supply and a MFJ Power/SWR meter; above those is the Antenna/Dummy Load switch. This simple station offers impressive performance.

GET ON THE AIR “GOTA” STATION

GET ON THE AIR “GOTA” STATION

GOTA is our basic HF station intended for the training and use by our Basic Licensing course graduates. It features an IC-718 rig powered by an Alinco power supply with an MFJ SWR/Power meter. The antenna switch in the upper right selects the antenna or a dummy load. The station is supported by a 2.4 GHz P4 PC running XP. The rig and PC are interfaced with a West Mountain RigTalk USB link for rig control and a BuxCom Rascal for the audio interface and control.

VHF/UHF MULTI-MODE STATION

VHF/UHF MULTI-MODE STATION

The Multi-Mode station is primarily an all-mode (FM/SSB/CW) VHF/UHF station featuring the IC-7000.  Three bands are primary to this position, 6M, 2M and 70cm as can be seen with the three SWR/Power meters on the middle shelf.  Above that are the 2M 100W PA and a 70cm 100W PA.  Antenna switches at the top connect to the dummy loads or the antennas.  Antennas consist of a 6M, 3 element rotatable Yagi, and a rotatable array consisting of a 2M / 5 element Yagi with an 11 element 70cm Yagi which also has elevation rotation.  All antennas have SSBE preamps. One Alinco switching power supply furnishes rig power and a second Alinco runs the PA’s.  The PC is a 2.4 GHz XP machine and is able to control the rig via West Mountain RigTalk USB link and digital modes are enabled using a BuxCom RASCAL for audio interfacing.

6m YAGI

6m YAGI

Three-element Yagi with Ham III Rotator. Note SSBE receive preamp on mast. This antenna is mounted on the building roof approximately 60 feet above street level.

2m/70cm ARRAY

2m/70cm ARRAY

This is the five-element 2m Yagi and eleven element 70cm Yagi array, with KenPro 5400 AZ-EL capable rotor system. Two receive preamps, one for 2m and one for 70cm, are mounted on the mast. Below these is a DC voltage distribution panel. This array is mounted on the building roof approximately 60 feet above street level.

HF YAGI

HF YAGI

This is the three element HF SteppIR Yagi with Ham IV rotor. The mast is a custom-fabricated 4 inch dia. galvanized pipe with included rotor platform and top lateral bearing to relieve stress on the rotor. Suspension of one corner of the N4PC wire loop antenna is visible.

The SteppIR Yagi is a technically advanced antenna system that features continuous resonance for all frequencies between 14 and 55 MHz. The IC-756 Pro 3 provides operating-frequency information to the SteppIR controller in the radio room. This, in turn, powers stepper motors to adjust variable-length conductors inside the hollow fibreglass “element” tubes. Note that the Yagi is also 6M capable as well, with a fixed-length parasitic director.

VIEW OF ANTENNA FARM ON BUILDING ROOF

VIEW OF ANTENNA FARM ON BUILDING ROOF

View of roof of the Gerry Brewer building showing various antennas.  On the left is the commercial tower mounting RCMP and other commercial antenna systems.  Note a ladder line feeder to the right; this feeds the 160m dipole suspended from the tower top.  This antenna is a multi-band HF dipole utilizing an SGC- 230 Automatic Antenna Tuner to achieve a match from 160m thru 10m.  The three masts to the right of that support a N4PC Horizontal Loop antenna also matched with another SGC-230 allowing this antenna to operate over 80m thru 10m.  The fourth support for the loop is the right-most mast that mounts the 3 element SteppIR Yagi.  The 6m, 2m and 70cm Yagi’s are hidden but are mounted between the commercial tower and the N4PC masts.

MOBILE COMMAND POST (MCP) - VE7EMR

MOBILE COMMAND POST

The Emergency Communications Team (ECT) operates a Mobile Command Post (MCP) owned by the North Shore Emergency Management Office. The MCP saw many years of service with the North Shore Rescue Team until it was replaced by newer equipment.

The vehicle serves the needs of the ECT well, providing two radio operating positions for HF, VHF & UHF communications. Antennas for all modes are also part of the equipment. The MCP also has the capability for APRS and IRLP operating modes.

A small meeting space is available in the vehicle for on-site discussions as well as weather protection for Team members when needed. The on-board generator supplies power for light, heaters and all radio equipment.

The MCP is used on a regular basis for community events such as Sun Run and communications exercises.

Through excellent cooperation from the District of North Vancouver Fire & Rescue Service, the MCP is stationed out of the weather in one of the District fire-halls.

FIELD DAY 2008

FIELD DAY 2008

NSARC Field Day is traditionally held at the picnic site on the road up to Cypress Bowl. Typically the club operates under the 2A class with two HF stations operating simultaneously, variously on SSB and CW, and sometimes RTTY or PSK. We also have a 6M, 2M and 70 cm position as well as a GOTA station.

In this arrangement, we set up 3 towers in line. The closest is the CW position operating out of the NSARC Mobile Command Post using a TA-33 Yagi on a 30 foot tower for 20/15/10m. There is also an 80/40m trap dipole supported from this tower to give full multi-band capability.

The second tower back along the line-up is for the GOTA position using a 40 foot tower to support a multi-band trap dipole for 80 thru 15 metres. Not altogether visible but in about the same location is the VHF/UHF tent for 6m / 2m / 70cm using Yagis on each band.

At the end of the field is the truck used to haul materials to the site which also serves as the SSB operating position for the second HF station. A TH-3 Yagi on a 30 foot tower operates on 20/15/10m and a 80/40m crossed dipole supported of this tower completes the coverage.

Other tents are for reception and food services. All power is supplied by a diesel generator. The club has also conducted Field Day under the “F” category operating from the NSEMO Emergency Operations Centre.


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This page last updated: 2014-04-28