About the Club

Welcome to Ridea Lakes Amateur Radio Club


History

Based in Smiths Falls, Ontario, the Rideau Lakes Amateur Radio Club Inc. has members throughout the Region, and is active in amateur radio and public-service activities in the area. The Club Station Callsign is VE3SFR.

The first organized amateur activity in the area arose in 1977 with the founding of the Rideau Lakes Repeater Association, which was established to build and install the repeater VE3RLR in Smiths Falls. The objective of the repeater was to cover the area between Ottawa and Kingston that repeaters in those centers could not reach, and also to serve boaters and cottagers in the central Rideau Canal System area.

In 1982, co-incident with the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Rideau Canal, the idea arose to have a special events station set up to advertise the occasion and promote amateur radio activity. To this end, in January of that year several amateurs from around Eastern Ontario gathered to form the Smiths Falls Amateur Radio Club. Permission was subsequently obtained for the station to be installed at the Detached Locks in Smiths Falls under the callsign VE3SFR. Permission was also granted for the use of the special callsign CZ3SFR, for a two week period. Later, due to dwindling resources, the Rideau Lakes Repeater Association amalgamated with the Smiths Falls Amateur Radio Club. In 1995, the club name was changed to the Rideau Lakes Amateur Radio Club and in July 1996 the Club was incorporated under the laws of Ontario as a non-profit charitable organization.
30th Anniversary Club Meeting 2007
Photo of members at the February 2007 meeting, celebrating the 30th anniversary of our repeater, VE3RLR, and the 25th anniversary of the Club.

Club Meetings

The Club has regular meetings in Smiths Falls on the third Thursday of each month. If you would like to attend, please join us at the Smiths Falls Community Health Centre, Kilmarnock Room at 7:30 PM.

Flea Market

For many years the RLARC has held a successful Amateur Radio Flea market in Smiths Falls usually in the month of May.

The 32nd Annual Flea Market of the Rideau Lakes Amateur Radio Club was held May 14th, 2016 in the Smiths Falls Curling Club on Old Sly's Road, in Smiths Falls (same place as last year).

The 33rd Annual Flea Market is scheduled for May 13th 2017.

Voice Repeater VE3RLR

The club operates and maintains voice Repeater VE3RLR, which covers Highways 15, 29 and 43 in the region of Smiths Falls and Perth, and the central Rideau Canal System and local lakes, popular with recreational boaters and cottagers. The Repeater is on 147.210 MHz (input + : 147.810 MHz).

In 2009 the club had to relocate the repeater due to the closure of its previous home for over 25 years, the Rideau Regional Centre. Fortunately with the help of the Town of Smiths Falls, a new home was found in the Works Department Garage.

In July 2010, a rigger was hired to climb the tower and add two more antennas as well as check some existing connectors.

In March 2011, a new repeater was placed on line replacing the old repeater that had been in service for more than 30 years. The new equipment is a Motorola MSR2000 system. Hopefully this will provide more reliable service.

As of (February 2012) a NHRC 3+ Controller was installed and is now providing regular control capability such as ID and courtesy tone.

During the summer of 2013 failures occurred with the MSR2000 due to high temperature at the repeater site. The system ran on the standby repeater for several months until replacement parts could be provided in September 2013.

Echolink Node

The Echolink NODE formerly linked to VE3RLR has been disabled. Instead the link is now operated under the call VE3UIL-L on a simplex frequency of 147.540 Mhz.

Pressing * on your keypad (while holding the PTT) will cause the NODE to announce itself and provide it's status. To connect to an Echolink NODE press the NODE number on your keypad while holding the PTT switch. (NODE numbers can be found on the Echolink website.) Also you can try a random connection by keying in 00 and you will be connected to a random NODE.

Echolink uses the Internet to connect stations together. As a result some delay may occur so please allow a few seconds before talking at the start of each transmission.

After having a conversation with a station on Echolink, don't forget to terminate the connection by keying in #.

The NODE number for the VE3UIL-L NODE is 339852.

APRS Digipeater

The club operates an APRS digipeater, VA3RLR, on 144.390 MHz

Club Membership Dues

Club Membership Dues of $10 Annually, for RAC members, $20 for those who are not members of RAC; are due by the November meeting and must be paid by then if wish to attend the Club's Annual Christmas Dinner in December.

Email List Server

You may make a request to join our email list server by visiting our Google Group. Membership is normally reserved for members, but we will accept anyone who has the best interests of amatuer radio and the club at heart.