The Orchard City Amateur Radio Club is incorporated under the Societies Act of British Columbia in 1971.

OCARC is centered in the city of Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. With over 65 members, our amateur radio club provides volunteer communications for events throughout the region. Club members are active in every facet of the hobby and they maintain several analog, digital, VHF & UHF mountain top repeaters.

We are licensed Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Operators by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada).

Silent Key

Posted on: Sun, 08/01/2021 - 16:43 By: VE7JXC

Thomas Elsdon Wyatt

May 7, 1925 - July 5, 2021

Sadly, Thomas Elsdon Wyatt (Tom) has passed away. Ever the gentleman. 
Predeceased by Bernice and survived by their children, Maureen Wyatt (Todd Gale) and Stuart (Marie) Wyatt. 
Survived by Bo’s children Ali Steenbergen (Jeri-Lou Barrett), David Steenbergen, Trycle Steenbergen, and Bonnie (Steve) Jansen. 
No flowers or service per Tom’s wishes. Anyone wishing to do so may donate to the charity of their choice. 
Condolences and memories may be sent to tom.wyatt.memories@gmail.com 
Maureen and Stuart wish to thank all of those who helped us so much in the last few weeks of Dad’s life.

AllStar is a network of Amateur Radio repeaters

Posted on: Thu, 06/24/2021 - 21:11 By: VE7JXC

AllStarLink is a network of Amateur Radio repeaters, remote base stations and hot spots accessible to each other via Voice over Internet Protocol.

A local AllStar repeater in our area is 146.400, it is connected to Canada Hub running in test mode and will be moved to Kuipers soon.

Other AllStar links are: http://stats.allstarlink.org/stats/45381 for statistics, http://stats.allstarlink.org/stats/45381/networkMap for the network map.

A video on AllStar can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPl5bf4BiWE and the AllStar home page is at https://allstarlink.org/

Field Day 2021

Posted on: Wed, 06/23/2021 - 00:18 By: VE7JXC

Field Day, the largest North American amateur radio event, takes place this weekend.   

Recently the health authority has relaxed rules for group gatherings outdoors.  

This creates an opportunity for us to gather for Field Day at the club station at the  Cedar Creek Community Center,  5160 Chute Lake Road.  Kelowna. 

Here is the plan:

We will be at the Cedar Creek Club Station from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00  p.m. Saturday June 26.

The Cedar Creek club station will be operating  as a Class F station (EOC).

On the social side we  will be putting up our canvas shelters on the lawn in front of the club station  and will be supplying free donuts and coffee.

Please bring your  lawn chair and spend some time  reconnecting  with the ham community.  The social side of Field Day is a drop in event, so come for a while or for the whole day.   

If you have never been to Cedar Creek club station this is a great opportunity  to see what we have there that is available to the membership.

If you have renewed your membership online or by cheque  Bob VA7RGM will be handing out 2021-2022 membership cards.  We will also be accepting membership renewals if you want to do that in person.

While this invite is going out to our  club members one of the objectives of Field Day is to showcase amateur radio.  If  you know someone who is interested in what we are doing (ham or not) please bring them along. 

It will be great to see you on Saturday.  If you cannot attend in person but are   participating in field day from another location, find us on the bands and connect that way.

Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.


Bob Meldrum


NORAC “OK 2m” Contest

Posted on: Mon, 06/21/2021 - 21:48 By: VE7JXC


The objective of this contest is to have fun & encourage as much on-air activity as possible throughout the Okanagan Valley with categories for novice amateurs who may have limited equipment on hand. The event provides an opportunity for as many Okanagan based radio amateurs as possible to get involved, requiring a minimum of equipment and a basic license level. You’re encouraged to get out and about and operate in the portable or mobile categories. A base station category is of course offered for those who want to work from their permanent location.

The OK 2m contest is a fun event with minimal levels of recordkeeping required and is based entirely on trust. No electronic logs are required. Results will be distributed to all amateur radio clubs in the Okanagan for distribution to their members and posting on their websites.

The “Rules”

  1. Simplex FM operation only on the 2m band according to the current RAC band plan. The upper and lower limits of the simplex allocation are 146.400 to 146.580
  2. Avoid calling CQ for contest purposes on the national calling frequency of 146.520 and the BC off road frequency of 146.460. Leave them free for non contest QSOs or urgent traffic.
  3. Use the call “CQ OK2” for contest purposes.
  4. Suggested call frequencies are 146.415, 146.430, 146.445, 146.475 and 146.500. Start low and use higher freqs. if congestion requires it. Beginner hint: figure out how to set up your rig to scan the simplex range of frequencies before the contest starts. Then you’ll hear anyone calling CQ OK2 across the range of frequencies.
  5. Stations may be located anywhere in the Okanagan Valley or on the hills and ridges forming the edge of the Valley provided you have line of sight to the Valley bottom. The limits are Enderby to the north and the national border to the south.
  6. You cannot use a repeater of any kind.
  7. Four categories of participation. Pick one only.
    1. Handheld: A battery powered handheld transceiver with a power output not exceeding 10W and using a directly attached compact antenna and internal batteries. Beginner hint: if you’re using a handheld get up as high as possible with line of sight to populated areas.
    2. Mobile: A 2m mobile transceiver mounted in a vehicle and powered by the base electrical system of the vehicle. Power output not more than 50W. Beginner hint: same as handlheld, get up as high as possible with line of sight to populated areas.
    3. Base station: Permanently installed base QTH station, power output not to exceed legal limits.
    4. Open: Where you want to be with any legal equipment you want.
  8. Each station may only be operated by a single operator. Clubs may submit an entry under each category using a club callsign provided the entry in each category is operated by a single member of the club.
  9. The event will run on Sunday 8 August from 14:00 to 16:30 local time (Pacific time zone).
  10. Scoring is based on
    1. Total number of QSO’s
    2. Each QSO must be with a different station
    3. A spreadsheet app on a smartphone or tablet provides an easy way of eliminating duplicate QSO’s. Simply enter each callsign you QSO with on a separate row and then sort the spreadsheet in ascending order using the callsign column. Duplicates will be instantly evident.
    4. Each QSO counts as one point.
    5. Completely trust based, no log submission.
  11. Winners in each category and overall winner will be published. No prizes other than the fun of participation.

If you want to participate send an email to va7rlx@rac.ca containing the following information:

  • Name, callsign, email, club name (if a member) & the category you wish to enter.
  • Registration closes on 16 July at 1700 Pacific time

160 Meter Loop

Posted on: Thu, 06/10/2021 - 23:22 By: VE7JXC

The replacement of the 160 meter loop antenna at Chute Lake Road club shack has been completed. The loop cable has been replaced and the anchor points have been raised to a higher place in the trees. Features like using a pulley at all anchor points and three different locations where the antenna can be raised or lowered will extend the life of the new antenna and make maintenance a lot easier.

Become a Ham Radio Operator / Getting Licensed

Ham radio operators are amateur radio operators that run an informal and unofficial radio station for fun. Due to the nature of the work, ham radio operators can work anywhere, such as at home or at an office.

To become an Amateur radio operator in Canada you must get an operators certificate and a station licence. The OCARC provides courses for area Ham enthusiasts wishing to become hams. Due to current COVID-19 situation, the courses are on hold. 

Industry and Science Canada issues the certificates after the applicant has passed a test. OCARC also provides government approved examiners who give the exam for the certificate types.

While the courses are on hold, many people are studying online, and several have taken their exams and are now amateur radio operators.

The following are some links to websites to help you prepare and study for a amateur radio license. 

  • Canadian Amateur radio operator certificates services - website
  • RAC How to Start - website
  • Georgian Bay Amateur Radio Study Resources - website
  • 9th Edition Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide - website, OCARC also has these books available 
  • Hamstudy course books - website
  • View a 20 minute video on Youtube, about what Amateur (HAM) Radio is about - Youtube - Why Amateur Radio
  • Amateur Radio (HAM) Training Information - website
  • RIC-3 - Information on the Amateur Radio Service - website
  • RBR-4 - Standards for the Operation of Radio Stations in the Amateur Radio Service - website 
  • Canadian Amateur radio exam generator - website
  • Accredited Examiners - website


Amateur Radio Course Study Guides

Posted on: Mon, 01/04/2021 - 18:31 By: VE7JXC

Radio Amateurs of Canada offers the study guides to help you learn everything you need need to pass your exam and have fun with Amateur Radio.

We have the Basic and Advance guides in stock, save on shipping and get your guides locally, courses@ocarc.ca

We also have some good news for those folks who have been wanting to take their Amateur Radio Certificate exams, but are not sure of what to do under the Covid restrictions. Our local examiner has conducted exams remotely using Skype.

Use of Electronic Devices while Driving

Posted on: Tue, 11/17/2020 - 18:06 By: VE7JXC

With distracted driving ticket hitting the news outlets again, here's some information for British Columbia Radio Amateurs:

Castanet.net article Ticketed for doing our jobs

BC Motor Vehicle Act Use of Electronic Devices while Driving

BC Motor Vehicle Act Use of Electronic Devices While Driving Regulation

British Columbia, the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) defines British Columbia road laws and delegates authority to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles to regulate driver behaviour. Since January 1, 2010, amendments to the MVA have prohibited the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving. PDF file which many members carry in their vehicle.

RAC Distracted Driving Regulations in Canada

73, save driving

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