BC Boaters' Net

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BC Boaters Net: The purpose of this net is to provide information to amateur radio
   operators in BC waters, and to facilitate communications with friends and relatives back home.

The BC Boaters Net operates daily during the summer months from 1700 PDT using the Vancouver Island Trunk System. The starting date for 2015 will be June 15. The purpose of this net is to provide information to mariners, and to facilitate communications between boaters and with friends and family back home. Methods of contacting us are shown below.

If you wish to see an azimuthal equidistant map of the world centred more or less on coastal British Columbia (Victoria to be precise) please click here.

BCBN Operations

VHF

Vancouver Island Trunk System at 1700 PDT, but the start / end dates currently shown there are incorrect. The start date is June 15 2015. The BC Boater's Net can be accessed from any of the repeaters connected to the VITS. A big thank you to the dedicated group of hams that maintain the Vancouver Island Trunk System! www.islandtrunksystem.org

NOTE... VE7RNA on 146.680 MHz now requires a 141.3 Hz tone. Also, the 147.240 MHz repeater shown on the VITS website in Victoria is not on the trunk, so VE7RNA on 668 is the southern-most repeater on the VITS.

The Salt Spring Island repeater VE7RSI on 147.320 MHz is no longer used for the BC Boaters Net. However, it still provides good coverage to the southern Gulf of Georgia area. It was recently replaced by a Yaesu DR-1 System Fusion repeater. It supports FM and the digital C4FM FDMA. For FM users, it requires a tone of 88.5 Hz. It also sends a tone, so you can set your radio up for tone decode as well as encode. Thay way, FM users don't have to listen to digital transmissions. If your FM radio is capable of BCL (busy channel lockout) it would be a good idea to enable it to prevent it transmitting while a digital QSO is taking place. For users wishing to make the move to digital, there are several radios that support C4FM FDMA. They are the FT1DR and FT2DR HTs and the FTM-400DR and FTM-100DR mobile radios as well as the FT-991 HF radio. Both HTs are waterproof. The FTM-400DR mobile radio with an absolutely gorgeous colour touch sensitive screen. The FTM-100DR is a more economical version. These radios can also tell other digital users their location if the GPS is enabled and location services is turned on. All except the FT-991 are APRS capable.

 

New Boaters

All boaters that are amateur radio operators are welcome to check in. However, it does make the job easier for the net control station if your boat details are known. If you haven't checked into the BCBN before, please download this text file (boat_name_form.txt) and follow the instructions to send a description of your boat to the email address that is shown in the text file.

Contacts

To request more information concerning the British Columbia Boaters' Net please email Len VE7BSA at bcbn-info@bcbn.ca.

During the boating season, traffic for boaters via email can be sent to bcboatersnet@bcbn.ca. This is an email reflector which will send your message to all of the net control stations. The appropriate net control will then relay your traffic to the intended boater. Please include the callsign of the intended recipient as well as the vessel name, and the location if you know it. Email should be in plain text format and not in HTML format.

 

HF

There are three HF nets that you may be interested in. They are run independently of the BC Boaters Net and we encourage you to check into them.

 

Vancouver Island Trunk System

The Vancouver Island Trunk System (VITS) is a system of linked repeaters running the length of Vancouver Island. VITS is an open system and all boaters that are amateur radio operators are welcome to utilize it to have a QSO at any time. Most 2 meter repeaters on the trunk don't require a tone, but Nanaimo VE7DJA on 145.430 MHz -600 now requires a 141.3 Hz tone and Chemainus VE7RNA on 146.680 MHz -600 also requires a 141.3 Hz tone. The official webpage for the VITS is www.islandtrunksystem.org and the reader is referred to that page for details. Just hover over the map to view the appropriate frequencies for the different geographical areas. Other information can be viewed at the Nanaimo Amateur Radio Association website at www.ve7na.ca. There is an updated copy of the a diagram and DTMF codes for the VITS at www.ve7na.ca/cms/its.

Most repeaters on the VITS are normally connected to the trunk all of the time. However, the Net Control will if necessary connect any repeaters that aren't already connected to the trunk prior to starting the net. All you have to do is listen to the appropriate repeater.

 

2016 - Schedule of VHF Net Control Stations

Start End

commencing 1700 PDT

Call Name Notes
June10June16VE7BSALen
June17June23KD7BFATom L
June24June30KD7BFATom L
July01July07Canada Day July 1VA7PLHPat
July08July14VA7PLHPat
July15July21VE7KALKate
July22July 28VE7WEMMorris
July29Aug 04BC Day Aug 1VE7WEMMorris
Aug 05Aug 11VE7DFJJack
Aug 12Aug 18VE7DFJJack
Aug 19Aug 25VE7BHTom W
Aug 26Sept 01VE7KALKate
Sept 02Sept08Labour Day Sept 5VE7BHTom W
Sept09Sept15VE7BSALen

View a copy of this month's calendar.



Len VE7BSA is the net manager for the BC Boaters Net.

Stew VE7VAX SK

Sadly, Stew VE7VAX became a silent key on November 20, 2013.
He had a heart attack and died suddenly and peacefully at home
with his wife Dorothy beside him.

Over a number of years I only knew Stew via the radio and his telephone
calls to me. I regret not having met him in person. He was dedicated and
100% engaged in the BC Boaters Net. I could always count on his help,
his guidance and his concern for the operation of the net. I knew he felt
sadness the day he decided he was unable to participate anymore but I
always knew he was there, listening in the background. Wherever you
are Stew, a much appreciated thank you.

Len Howland VE7BSA
BCBN Net Coordinator
 

farewell from Stew VE7VAXSent: June 3, 2011
To: Len H
Subject: BCBN Farewell

Hello all
It has been a great five years working with you all. What always frustrated me was all I heard was a voice with no view of who I was talking to. On the other hand, you never saw (the pita) me either. So here I am in my junky ham shack and saying good bye under doctor's orders. It has been fun and more than rewarding to feel that I was contributing to helping run the BCBN along with a great bunch of people. I wish the net continued and successful operation over the coming years.

73 to all Stew VE7VAX


Les Saul VE7GBT

Les Saul VE7GBT

June 13, 2013

When I moved to Thetis in 1983, Alex Ducket, VE7CBV was controlling the BC Boaters' Net. He had been a member of a small group which met nightly on 147.320 when I was living in Victoria. On my move to Thetis, Alex asked me to check in with weather and water conditions and any other information for boaters. After a year he asked me to take over the Net. Initially, I had three or four waterfront hams giving me water conditions. I operated the Net from 4:30 pm to 6 nightly from May to September changing, from 2 meters to HF at 6 pm for those who were out of 2M range. My Net files are at Thetis so I'm a little hazy on some details but if I recall correctly, we had upwards of 30 or 40 check-ins at the peak of the season in mid-July and August. I had the pleasure of meeting many of them in Telegraph Harbour and visited some of them and their families in Washington State. One or two still visit me at Thetis and several send cards at Christmas. I regretted having to give up the Net Control but I have enjoyed keeping in touch with weather, water and marina condition reports.

Due to a session in hospital which Fran and I both had with a bout of e-coli in August and September of 2012 which resulted in Fran's stroke and partial blindness, plus my implant of a Cochlear hearing device on my right side to overcome my increasing deafness, which had impacted my radio communications, I have had to spend much of my time in Victoria with regular visits to St. Paul's hospital in Vancouver where the implant unit is located. It will be close to a year before I can expect to have full hearing again and I must still report into Vancouver for regular check-ups. I don't know if or when I will be back on Thetis on a more regular basis. Fran is recovering her eye sight but I have had to give up my driving license which limits my travel somewhat. It has been an honour and a pleasure to have been associated with the BC Boaters' Net and so many great people over the years.

Thank you and 73 Les VE7GBT


Straits Weather Protocol
A Sea Conditions Program For Interested Amateur Boaters

While transiting Georgia, Malaspina, Johnstone, or Queen Charlotte Strait, amateur boaters are encouraged to monitor and utilize the 2-meter Island Trunk System (ITS) for the purpose of exchanging observed sea conditions. To initiate a request for actual sea conditions on one of the four straits, place a call on the ITS to any vessel on location. For example:

Calling any vessel located on Johnstone Strait for a sea conditions report. This is VE7XXX, the M/V “LION” at Port McNeil.

To initiate providing a sea conditions report while transiting one of the four straits, place a call on the ITS to any vessel indicating your availability to provide on request a sea conditions report on the named strait. For example:

Calling any vessel in need of a sea conditions report for the Strait of Georgia. This is KE7XXX portable VE7, the S/V "TIGER" located on the Strait of Georgia four miles SW of Merry Island.


Marine Amateur Radio Flag

Ron Drinkwater, VE7AIX (formerly VE7LEA), designed this flag and have flown in over a dozen countries. They were individually handmade by Ruth Reader, VE7BAG, but as of August 2012, they are no longer available. Our thanks to Ruth for her work over the years!

Thank you Ruth VE7BAG!

 

 

Hi BCBN Members
I want to let you know what has happened with my eye sight. Due to macular degeneration I have lost my ability to see fine detail. As a result I am unable to sew anymore. I had been making the flags since Ron Drinkwater (VE7AIX) brought me a drawing in 1992. I wish to thank everyone for all their support over the years. Thanks to one and all.
Ruth Reader, VE7BAG


Join our group at YahooGroups

To join send an email to bcbn-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or click here for more information.

Weather Links


Wildfire Links

To report a wildfire, call toll-free 1-800-663-5555, or *5555 on most cellular networks.

Boater's Links

  • Boaters Blue Pages is published by Pacific Yachting Magazine. It is a good reference
    to boating services in Washington and BC.
  • Roger VE7AP and Chris: Tetu (Tetu has been sold, but photos are still available)
  • Roly VE7DCL/VE0TI: Tropic Isle
  • George N7HPE and Jeannie: Nereid V
  • Peter VE7GCG and Marion: Alanje
  • Bill WB6JAO & Mary KG6GEX: Raptor Dance
  • Bill WO7O and Lu KC7AFL: Wojo
  • Gene VE7WOL and Helen: Spectrum
  • Tim KD7WZM and Amy : Patience
  • Northwest Boat Travel Guide - accurate, complete, up-to-date, and useful information available about the waterways of Washington, British Columbia and Southeast Alaska.
  • Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)
  • The VA7RFR repeater on 147.080 MHZ +600 CTCSS 141.3 Hz has an autopatch with free North American calling. *411 plays an info file explaining how to use all the features on the repeater. Note... do NOT dial a 1 after the on code! The repeater is located near Parksville and Qualicum Beach. With the antenna about 400' ASL, it serves much of the Georgia Basin. As well as having an autopatch, the repeater also operates as IRLP node 1179 and EchoLink node 659529. See PDF file for instructions. The coverage area is shown in the PDF file, but you can also download a KMZ file to view it in Google Earth. For more information, contact Mat VA7DMN at .

Wi-Fi at Brentwood Bay

Wi-Fi access is now available at Brentwood Bay courtesy of Art VE7FED. Boaters are welcome to make use of it, but please be reasonable with usage. Anyone abusing the connection will be blocked! The SSID is BCBN. The router is located just above the 4th dock out of Tod Inlet on the Willis Point side. The range hasn't been tested yet, so a few connection reports sent to would be welcome. If it proves necessary, a high gain antenna could be added.

Other Links of Interest To Area Cruisers and Hams

Links for the Net Control Stations

See this site to get the correct time in Pacific or from some other time zone. Need to convert units? Online Conversions

Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card!
Last modified: 2015-08-04
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