About VA3XPR

VA3XPR is a ham radio call sign for a digital mobile radio, commonly known as DMR, repeater system located in both Toronto and Fonthill, ON. Accordingly, this website is intended to provide users with information about these repeaters, plus also to provide news and information related to ham radio digital voice communications.

Locations

Toronto, ON

Both the VA3XPR-1 and VE3YYZ DMR repeaters are located in downtown Toronto at the site hosting other ham repeaters by the Toronto Amateur Radio Telecommunications Society, or “TARTS”, including:

  • Three 70cm FM repeaters including VE3YYZ (dual mode FM/NXDN), VE3NIB and VE3WOO.
  • Three D-STAR repeaters – VE3YYZ on 2m, 70cm and 1.2 GHz.

Details on all of the ham repeaters operating under generous support of TARTS can be found on the VE3YYZ website.

The UHF repeaters at the repeater site use a single pair of receive and transmit antennas, allowing them to all be multiplexed together. Given this arrangement, users should see very similar coverage for all of UHF repeaters at this facility.

Toronto, ON – 650 Parliament Street

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The VA3XPS repeater site, located at 650 Parliament Street in downtown Toronto.

The original location of the VA3XPR repeater, this location at 650 Parliament Street in the Toronto neighbourhood of St. Jamestown now hosts the the VA3XPS System Fusion repeater. With 22 floors and a height of 73m (240ft), this location provides excellent coverage around the eastern downtown area of Toronto.

This building was built in 1967 and is one of many residential buildings in the St. Jamestown neighbourhood, which is one of the highest density neighbourhoods in Canada.

Fonthill, ON

The VA3XPR-2 repeater is located in Fonthill, ON, on a 61m (200ft) tower, providing coverage around the Niagara Peninsula, including Niagara Falls and the greater Buffalo, NY area. The VA3XPR-2 repeater shares this facility with two other ham repeaters – a D-STAR and a FM repeater operating under the VE3PLF call sign, plus a TV station and other commercial communication services.

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The VA3XPR-2 repeater site located in Fonthill, ON.

A special thanks goes out to TARTS for making both the downtown Toronto and Fonthill sites avaialble for the VA3XPR repeaters.

Purpose

The intended purpose of the VA3XPR repeaters are to:

  1. Community. Create a sense of community and to promote diversity within the downtown Toronto and Niagara Peninsula areas;
  2. Education. Act as a catalyst for education & learning and to promote the growth of ham radio as a hobby;
  3. Communications. Provide an alternate means of communications in the event of an emergency or natural disaster in the downtown Toronto and Niagara Peninsula areas.

All uses of the repeater that support the above objectives are highly encouraged.

History

September 2004

The VA3XPR repeater first went on the air as an analog FM repeater on the 25th floor of 210 Victoria Street. The equipment used was a Motorola Desktrac operating on 441.950 (+5.0 MHz offset) at 20W. The repeater acted primarily as an IRLP/EchoLink node for downtown Toronto.

May 2007

VA3XPR moves to 20 Nanaberry Street, in the east end of Toronto using a Motorola MSF5000 repeater, allowing it to operate at 100W. The antenna for the repeater was located on a 14m (45 ft) tower.

August 2009
VA3XPR moves to 341 Seaton Street, where it provides local IRLP/Echolink coverage in the downtown Toronto area.

VA3XPR antenna installation Toronto UHF ham radio repeater amateur
The crowning ceremony is complete! From the left, Don Trynor, VA3XFT and Swire Chin installing the antenna for the VA3XPR repeater in September 2011 at the former Parliament Street location in St. Jamestown. Photo courtesy of Swire Chin.

September 2011

The repeater moves to 650 Parliament Street in the downtown Toronto neighbourhood of St. Jamestown on a 24-floor residential high rise, providing coverage throughout most of the greater Toronto area.

December 2012

The first VA3XPR digital DMR repeater went on the air to become the first DMR repeater within the city of Toronto and is connected to the DMR-MARC network. The equipment used was a Motorola XPR8400 repeater on 442.3375 (+5.0 MHz offset) with a power output of 40W. The St. Jamestown site now has two repeaters, each operating on its own antenna.

May 2013

The MSF5000 analog FM repeater fails and is replaced with another Motorola XPR8400 operating on analog FM with an output power of 40W. There are now two Motorola XPR8400 UHF repeaters operating at the the St. Jamestown site.

November 2013

The VA3XPR analog FM repeater is converted to DMR. The site now has two DMR repeaters operating in parallel with one linked to the DMR-MARC network and the other as a stand alone repeater.

May 2014

The the power amplifier for the DMR-MARC networked connected repeater fails and it is sent to Motorola for repair. The stand alone DMR repeater is repurposed to take its place.

VA3XPR niagara falls fonthill DMR repeater digital mobile radio ham
The Fonthill repeater site near Niagara Falls, ON, home of the VA3XPR-2 repeater.

June 2014

The VA3XPR repeater is returned from Motorola and set-up and operated as a local DMR repeater 314 Seaton Street under the call sign VA3XFT.

January 2015

The VA3XPR repeater is moved to its new home at an office tower in downtown Toronto.

April 2015

The VA3XPR repeater is upgraded from a Motorola XPR8400 to a Motorola MTR3000, increasing the TX power from 35W to 90W. Also, the XPR8400 is moved to Fonthill, ON where it covers the Niagara Falls, ON and great Buffalo, NY area on 442.7125 MHz. Accordingly, the names of the repeater are changed to VA3XPR-1 for Toronto and VA3XPR-2 for Niagara Falls.

July 2015
Both VA3XPR repeaters adopt two new talkgroups on timeslot 1 – the Golden Horseshoe Area (GHA) talkgroup (TG #8) and the Local 2 talkgroup (TG #9). In addition, all wide-area talkgroups aside from the Canadian and Ontario talkgroups, are relegated to on-demand status with a 5 minute timeout.

January 2016
VA3XPR comes on-line in Toronto as a digital only Yaesu System Fusion C4FM repeater. This repeater is intended to allow hams in the Toronto area experience the crystal clarity of digital communications using Yaesu’s System Fusion equipment.

VA3XPR VE3YYZ DMR NXDN FM, repeaters, Toronto, Canada, First Canadian Place, ham radio, amateur radio
Repeaters in the rack in Toronto, ON. From the top, VA3XPR DMR repeater (Motorola MTR3000), VE3YYZ DMR repeater (Motorola XPR8400) and VE3YYZ FM & NXDN repeater (ICOM).

March 2016
VE3YYZ DMR repeater comes on-line with connectivity to the BrandMeister Canada network using two talkgroups – the Canada talkgroup (TG 302) on timeslot 1 and the Local talkgroup (TG 9) on timeslot 2. The Local talkgroup allows access to a variety of specialty reflectors that can be accessed using a Private Call by the user.

Have additional questions about VA3XPR? Please contact us.