Newcastle Repeater

Work B Complete

Update Sept 29 2020
Building has been changed out for the Sea Can! We are done!!! Thanks to all who helped out with this building replacement project, we couldn’t have done it without the help of the local amateur radio community, North Island Communications and many other businesses that helped out! We did a quick tally of the hours to get to this point and we estimated 300 man hours to prepare and install the new building! A job well done by all. We can all be proud of this Island Trunk System!

I’m pleased to announce that the Newcastle Ridge building is going to have a second life as a garden shed.   Ron was on the way to drop the building off at the wood recycling company when he met someone who asked ‘what are you doing with that”.   As a result the building was dropped off at his property where he will use some roofing material to fix the roof.   The additional benefit will be to save $200-250 for the dump fee.
Chris A

Update Sept 15 2020
After more than a year of work the replacement building for the North Island Amateur Radio Society Newcastle Ridge repeater site that is by Sayward is ready to be put in place.  This repeater site is part of the Island Trunk system of repeaters.
I’m looking for volunteers to help on the work parties for the removal of the old building and the placement and assembly of the new 8′ x 8′ shipping container replacement.  If you would like to be part of this work party message me, call me at 250-714-2501 (or email cranton@shaw.ca). 
The exact dates haven’t been finalized yet but would likely be on a Sunday and Monday at the end of September/early October.  You can help on either day or even both.  The dates will be determined by the availability of the truck/crane which will be used for the move.   North Island Communications has kindly offered the use of their truck for this installation.
The first day will require removing the solar panels and mounts from the roof of the old building,  removing the battery bank and disconnecting and removing all the radio and electrical equipment.
The second day should see the container arriving on site, the old building moved out of the way and the new one put in place.  Steel tie downs have been prepared to afix to the concrete pad.  A steel beam framework will be installed on top and the solar panels and mounts put back up.  The battery bank will be moved in and the radio equipment installed and hooked up. We are hopeful that the old building can be removed and taken away for recycling.  If not the building will be demolished on site and removed.

Update Sept 4 2020
The racks are now installed and the electrical ac and dc are done till we are at the site. Lots of light in sea can, about 10,000 lumen between the two fixtures! Should be bright in there! A thank you to North Island Communications for all their help.

Update Aug 28 2020
We got the electrical panel and outlets and light fixture installed today.Next the new 12v dc system to redo.

Update Aug 23 2020
A very big day for the Newcastle Ridge building replacement project. The new building has been taken away and is now up in Campbell River. A great big thanks to Dave Emery and Ron Leech from North Island Communications for making this possible. There is still a little bit of work to do inside the unit but we are now at the point where we need to plan the work party(s) to get this unit installed up on the mountain, the equipment moved over and the old building removed.

Update Aug 9 2020
Our nice white container is now a rather dull grey. The first of the 3 paint coats, this is the primer that has been applied. The next two coats will be a ‘rainforest green’ with first a coat of marine epoxy followed by a protective coat of aliphatic urethane. A big thanks to Mike Donnelly VA7WPM in getting this done.

Interior painting

The project to construct a replacement building for the Newcastle Ridge repeater site is moving along. This site is the northern hub of the Island Trunk System and is key to connecting 6 or the 11 ITS sites together.  Needless to say the Covid19 lock down slowed things down a lot but we have just completed some important steps towards being done.    Last week the foam insulation was sprayed inside the container and all the plywood covering for the walls installed.   The front interior wall is complete and the man door is installed.
The container is currently located on Tom Mitchell’s (VE7TOM) farm in Nanoose where he has kindly let us park it there for months while all this work is going on. 
The next step will be painting the interior and exterior of the container.   While the container is new and painted we want to ensure this unit will be well protected for the next 25 years.  That’s where I need some help.    I’d like to put together several small painting teams to complete this step.  The idea is to have several 4 person teams working across several days so we can get the job done quickly  and safely while still maintaining physical distancing (everyone gets a side).   Please drop me a note if you would like to be involved.  You don’t have to have any commercial painting experience but if you do let me know.
The plan is to put three separate coats on the exterior.    The first will be a primer coat,  then a coat of marine epoxy and finally a coat of aliphatic urethane for weather protection and UV resistance.  Inside the container will be primer and a coat of white to brighten things up.  The container is a small 8’x8′ unit so it shouldn’t take very long for several people to give it a coat.    We will be using brush and roller to do the painting rather than spraying as the unit is sitting right beside Tom and Zoe’s garden.
I would hope to start each session in the morning before things get too hot and then hopefully be completed by mid day.   The schedule is flexible but I thought the following days might be possibilities:
Friday Aug 7th
Saturday Aug 8th
Sunday Aug 9th
Wednesday Aug 12th
Thursday Aug 13th
Saturday Aug 15th
Sunday Aug 16th
Drop me a note or give me a call and let me know if you would like to be involved on one of those days.
Chris VE7TOP 250-714-2501 crantonATshaw.ca

Update July 31, 2020

Spray foam and plywood installed

A special thanks to Chris Ve7top, Jack ve7gde and Randy Ve7faa. It was a hot day.

Update July 2020

Door Installation

Update June 2020

Thanks to Jack and Chris for all their efforts so far with the 1st stage of construction on the sea can! 

Update February 5 2020

Sea Can purchased and arrived at the build site!


The Newcastle repeater building needs to be urgently replaced within the next year or so. Check out the details at this link: http://niars.ca/newcastle-ridge-building-replacement-appeal

There are also plans to install an APRS Igate/Digipeater at the site to expand APRS coverage to the north island! We need to generate funds to purchase a multi-coupler so we can tie into the existing vhf antenna on the tower. The extreme weather conditions experienced at this site preclude using new smaller separate antennas.

Woss Repeater Site


Work Party to be scheduled to do more work to clear the road from the logging road across to the repeater site. The duplexer has a minor crack in it. We need to replace it and get the current duplexer sent off to Comprod for repair.

You are cordially invited to a party. Everyone likes to be invited to a party, right. In this case though it’s a NIARS work party up at the repeater site on Woss Mountain which is one of the links for the Island Trunk System. It’s been determined that the repeater has broken and we need to get in to the site and bring in a replacement duplexer and possibly a repeater as well. Since these two units weigh well over 100 lbs just carrying them in really isn’t an option.Unfortunately the road to the site is quite overgrown so work is required to clear parts of the trail to be able to get a quad or truck through to the site to bring in these replacements. Last year at this time we cleared the first part of the trail but there is still more to do. Tentatively (weather permitting) on Saturday, Sept 28th we are having a work party to brush out the trail and get things opened up enough to bring this gear in and get the repeater operational again.The plan is to meet in Woss at 10:00 AM and travel up the mountain to where the trail begins. The road up is your usual steep, bumpy logging road so this part of the trip will require either a 4×4 pickup or a quad. With a little co-ordination we should be able to arrange to car pool for anyone who would like to come but can’t drive all the way in. Let me know if you have a vehicle up to the task and how many passengers you could take.To get the job done the preferred tools will be axes, machetes, chainsaws and heavy duty metal blade weed whackers. If you are planning on operating these units please also bring the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) like gloves, eye protection, face shields, hard hats and faller’s pants (if you have them). We also need people who can pick up and carry the cut brush so at least gloves will be needed. Given the time of year also plan on having rain gear available. If you can’t come but happen to have a chainsaw or weed wacker you wouldn’t mind lending to the cause please let me know as well.If you would like to volunteer your time that weekend please send me a note (cranton@shaw.ca) or on Messenger so we can start to get things organized. The more people who can come out will go a long way to getting this done and getting the repeater back on the air.Since this one day will be so much fun we are also planning a second excursion for the next day, Sunday as well for anyone who wants to make this a two day trip. If you can only come for just one of the days that’s fine. The plan for the Sunday is to go in to the Shelly Mountain repeater site near Port McNeill to check out the road and site, do the routine maintenance and water up the batteries. Depending on where you might be coming from we will be staying Saturday night in Port McNeill and meeting up after breakfast. Let me know if you would be interested so we can plan this part of the trip.If the weather is forecast to be bad that weekend then we will postpone to the following Saturday. cheers Chris Anton Director – North Island Amateur Radio Society

Shelley Repeater Site


Update: June 2020 Thanks to Ray Logan for his recent Site visit and Maintenance!

Thanks to Western Forest Products for clearing and scraping the road access to the site this last spring! And Ray Logan’s coordination. THANK YOU!