Amateur radio club completes upgrades to Island emergency communications

The Manitoulin Amateur Radio Club has just completed the upgrades to the Island’s emergency communications repeater system.

LITTLE CURRENT – The Manitoulin Amateur Radio Club Inc. (MARC) has just completed a two-year upgrade to the Island’s emergency communications repeater system located on the CBC tower in Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands (NEMI).

MARC president Allan Boyd said, “finally after two years in the making I am pleased to report that the antenna and cable has been replaced. Our communications repeater VE3RMI is working better than ever with handheld and mobile two-way radio coverage throughout Manitoulin Island. We are now better prepared to serve the communities on Manitoulin should they require emergency communications. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the organizations that donated to this cause. Without them this could not have been done.” 

The club was first established in 1988 and this is when the repeater system was first installed. After 32 years the existing communications repeater system needed replacement. The process of canvassing for donations and funds to complete the task took over two years.

The radio club works under a program called Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) which helps municipalities and organizations in times of declared emergencies where assistance in communication is needed. The club also provides many organizations across Manitoulin with communications for public service events like parades, walk-a-thons and any other request that is made.

Mr. Boyd noted “thanks to the Little Current Lions Club, the McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm fund and the municipalities of NEMI, Assiginack, Billings and Central Manitoulin, the funds were obtained to replace the failing repeater antenna and cable required.