mackenzie regional radio club
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The Mackenzie Regional Radio Club is building a radio network along Alberta Highway 35 from Hay River, NWT to Peace River, Alberta with links to Slave Lake and Grande Prairie. This project is being referred to as the Mackenzie Highway Network.

The radio system will be UHF radio links between VHF repeaters at Watt Mountain, Battle River, Webberville (VE6PRR) that will allow mobile access along the highway and base station coverage from other communities. A future addition to the network will be a 1200-baud radio packet network. The mobile coverage will be along Highway 2 from McLennan and Donnelly to Peace River. From Peace River north, the repeaters will cover Highway 35 and 55 to 80 km each side of highway. Base stations in Rainbow Lake and Fort Vermilion will be able to access the network. A future link could be made to Fort Nelson BC via a UHF link at RainbowLake and a possible VHF repeater to cover McLennan and High Prairie.

The radio network being built by the Mackenzie Regional Radio Club will provide one end of a UHF link to both Hay River and Slave Lake (Flattop) and connect to an existing link to Grande Prairie at Webberville. These links would provide access to Yellowknife NWT and access to the SARA network via Grande Prairie and Athabasca. The Yellowknife and Slave Lake clubs will be asked to complete the links to their areas. If we are able to, we will assist these clubs with equipment.

The sites that will be developed by Mackenzie Regional Radio Club are Kimiwan, Battle River, Hawk Hills, and Watt Mountain and connected into the Webberville repeater. All these sites will be equipped with solar power except Watt Mountain and Hawk Hills, which have line power. All sites should be capable of a minimum of 72 hours of operation on standby batteries.

The radio network will be suitable for communications along the highway and available to emergency services for communications in event of emergencies such as a search and rescue, major power outages like the Quebec ice storm, floods, or a disaster.

In event of a major power outage in the north i.e. storm, sabotage, vandalism, etc. Telephone and cellular phone coverage will drop out in less than 24 hours and the cellular phone network will overload almost immediately. If a Telus site is "knocked out"" i.e. a tower comes down, all telephone, cell phone and data networks would be interrupted immediately. The network can also be used by federal or provincial agencies such as the RCMP, Emergency Measures Alberta, Red Cross, Sustainable Resource Development, and Municipal Affairs.

The cost of operating and maintaining the network will be borne by the club but some assistance is needed to build the network.

Update

April 25, 2004 The new RLC-4 controller was installed on VE6PRR repeater. This allowed us to move the IRLP link to the repeater. The IRLP link now has a preaccess tone of 9 example Grande Prairie is 91460 to bring it down is 973. Thanks to Sean VE6SAR Dave VE6DCW Arie VE6SIS.

Webpage maintained by VA6DAR Don Reid ph: 780-332-1531